Friday 5 July 2024

Two new Strobilanthes

A deservedly popular genus nowadays - especially valuable for their  late flowering and tolerance of dry shade.

Strobilanthes sp. large leaf sp. (Yunnan col. Jacky Pousse)
Strobilanthes sp. Yunnan
A stonking great species with fabulous big leaves up to 8ins long, beautifully veined, and tinted purple on the reverse. 
Strobilanthes sp. Yunnan
Hardly tried outside in the UK so far and I’ve not seen the flowers but promises to be an amazing addition to a sheltered woodland garden. Thanks to Mike Clifford for this.
£16


Strobilanthes lactea
Strobilanthes lactea
A beautiful species with silver-white bands either side of the midrib of each leaf – these really shine out in shady conditions. 
Strobilanthes lactea
I’ve not seen the flowers yet and this species is largely untested for hardiness in the UK but is categorised as z8 in the USA so should be fine with a bit of shelter over most of the southern and western regions. Like other Strobilanthes this is going to be an excellent addition to the woodland garden especially for late summer and autumn. Thanks again to Mike Clifford.
£12

Wednesday 26 June 2024

Gibasis sp. Jose Puig

Gibasis sp. Jose Puig
A houseplant related to the ever-popular Tradescantias, and very like a small version of those, with deep maroon foliage and small white flowers. 
Gibasis sp. Jose Puig
Easy and manageable (not weedy) in a sunny window.
£6

Balbisia gracilis

Balbisia gracilis
Aka Wendtia gracilis - known locally as the 'oreganillo amarillo'. This is a very special small shrub from Chile belonging to the ledocarpaceae, related to Melianthus and Francoa, but looking nothing like either of those plants – perhaps more like a small yellow-flowering Ribes or Potentilla.
Balbisia gracilis
Small, delicate, finely cut glaucous leaves, and profuse small yellow flowers with prominent red stigma on wiry stems in summer. 
Balbisia gracilis
A nice thing for a sunny well-drained spot and should be hardy over much of the southern half or the UK. Thanks to Ann Cann for this very rare plant. 
£15

Friday 21 June 2024

Impatiens flanaganae

Impatiens flanaganii
An African species related to the better known I.tinctoria. Overall it is smaller and has deep flesh pink flowers. 
Impatiens flanaganii
My experience of it here is that it is hardy and not difficult to grow but needs a rich moist soil to do well.
£10

Opuntia scheeri

Opuntia scheeri Lancing, Sussex, UK
An excellent and choice hardy prickly pear with pads about 6-8ins across and forming a solid small shrub quite quickly. The fine evenly spaced yellowish areoles on a sea green background make for a very satisfying effect. Don’t however underestimate the tiny, barbed spines which get everywhere. Handle it with thick leather gloves and plant it well away from the path.
Opuntia scheeri
The parent plant is in a front garden in Lancing, Sussex, in ordinary soil and gets no protection at all. I hear of other plants as far north as Lancashire also doing well fully exposed to the elements. Pale amber yellow flowers appear in spring.
£15


Tuesday 23 April 2024

Omphalodes nitida

Omphalodes nitida
A very lovely neat perennial forget-me-not relative, with clear blue flowers in spring, and smart narrow foliage. 
Omphalodes nitida
Seeds about a little but not at all weedy or coarse. Likes a well-drained site in semi-shade. 
£6

Wednesday 20 March 2024

Zingiber mioga Crûg's Zing BSWJ4379

Zingiber mioga Crug Zing
An excellent form of this hardy ginger which produces orchid like blossoms directly from the ground in spring and then the standard upright leafy stems afterwards. Crûg's Zing differs from other mioga commonly in cultivation in that the flowers are pink instead of creamy yellow. 
Zingiber mioga Crug Zing
This is a genuinely hardy species (or at least, as hardy as any of the Hedychiums or Roscoeas) needing nothing more than perhaps a bit of mulch to stop the roots freezing. It does not need a dry winter. The new shoots can be harvested as a vegetable.
£12