Thursday, 29 October 2020

Clematis socialis

Clematis socialis
A gorgeous small species of non-climbing herbaceous and somewhat suckering habit - popping up here and there around the original plant, but without being in any way a nuisance. The foliage is narrow and fresh green. The quite large bell-shaped pale violet flowers are classic viorna type. 

Clematis socialis
A very rare plant from the Georgia and Alabama but hardy and easy to grow
£12


Arum

Arums obtained as concinnum Mt.Ida (bottom) and sp. Crete
 
A couple of interesting species from the garden here - neither of them correctly named when I got them and both a bit obscure. 

Arum concinnatum Mt.Ida
Arum sp. obtained as 'concinnum Mt.Ida' is probably a form of italicum (Mount Ida is in Crete - outside the distribution of italicum, so who knows?) It has large leaves with well defined pale markings and a scattering of black spots. The spathes seem to me to be unusually large - up to nearly 1ft tall, are pale and marked with maroon lines. A hardy and prolific plant.
£9


Arum aff.  concinnatum Crete
Arum sp. Crete - possibly a new species according to Peter Boyce. This is a smaller, less prolific plant than the above, with plain green leaves, cream spadices, and pale spathes, touched lightly with brown. Seems to be easy and adaptable.
£9



Aloe cooperi

Aloe cooperi

A fascinating species with fleshy upright foliage and striking orange inflorescences. This is one of the so-called grass Aloes (along with linearifolia and ecklonis) native to the Eastern Cape - these grow in grasslands and die down in winter to just a couple of central leaves. 

Aloe cooperi
Like many South African bulbs, they're cold hardy, but must have a dry winter, so only for the most sheltered spot outside - preferably with some sort of roof from November to March.
£12

Wednesday, 28 October 2020

Ribes laurifolium

Ribes laurifolium
Another winter flowering shrub and one of my favourites. Nothing like the blackcurrants to which it is related, this is a low, gnarly, rather picturesque evergreen, producing dangling trails of pale greenish yellow flowers from red bracts in earliest spring. 
Ribes laurifolium Amy Doncaster
Easy-going but probably best with some shade from deciduous trees and shrubs. Grow Cyclamen and Scillas through it. 

Male and female plants are available.
Ribes laurifolium Amy Doncaster (male)
The common male form is known, confusingly, as Amy Doncaster and has more rounded open flowers
£14




Ribes laurifolium female
The female form has denser clusters of flowers with conspicuous bracts. Black berries are occasionally produced
£14



Tuesday, 27 October 2020

Deutzia hookeriana

Deutzia hookeriana

I used to think Deutzias were a rather boring group of shrubs but the cognoscenti know different. It's a surprisingly varied genus and many of them are exquisite in flower. 

Deutzia hookeriana
Hookeriana is one of the best with almost unbelievably finely crafted sugar pink flowers in neat rounded heads in late spring. The overall shape and foliage are also good. Like most Deutzia, and easy adaptable plant. 
£15



Fritillaria hupehensis (monantha in part)

Fritillaria hupehensis, a segregate of the F. monanthos complex

This plant has been in the trade for a while now under a few different names. I got it as F.sinica but apparently the above name is correct, or at least, the best I've found so far. 
It's very distinctive both for its very short stature and its large deep pink/white chequered flowers. Basically the stem is only a couple of inches high and the flower is a couple of inches long. The foliage is deep green. 

Fritillaria sinica Pink form?
Unlike many Sino-Himalayan Fritillaries it is not a difficult plant to grow, although I suspect it would prefer cooler conditions than I can provide here in Sussex. 
A gritty open situation suits it but drought does not. Typical alpine really. 
£8 per pot


Desmodium (Ototropis) callianthum

Desmodium callianthum

A seldom-seen scrambling shrub with subtly variegated clover-like foliage (2 or 3 shades of green) and rich pink pea flowers. 

Desmodium callianthum

Either grow it among other shrubs so it can scramble about among them, or, if you feel motivated, train it against a wall. Either way it makes a very welcome splash of colour in late summer and autumn

£15