Friday, 6 December 2019

Aristolochia macroura

Aristolochia macroura
A tender evergreen climber with three-lobed ivy-like leaves. The baggy brown flowers are about 2ins across and have a long trailing tip. They smell vaguely fecal but those of us who like these sorts of plants don’t mind that sort of thing do we?
Aristolochia obtained as trilobata but probably macroura
Flowers all summer and needs a frost-free space in winter. There is some confusion between this and A.trilobata and their hybrids, but I have it on good authority that this is correctly named
£12



Saturday, 16 November 2019

Aristolochia sempervirens from Carqueiranne, Toulon

Aristolochia sempervirens Carqueiranne, Toulon
A very special form of this species from the South of France with relatively large lush foliage (up to about 3ins long), a more vigorous climbing habit and very refined, richly coloured flowers. Very nice indeed.
£9




Thursday, 24 October 2019

Tender plants

I don't propagate a lot of indoor plants but this year I seem to have raised quite a few almost by accident...

Begonia soli-mutata
Begonia soli-mutata
A gorgeous Brazilian species grown mainly for its deeply textured richly coloured foliage (it also has pretty white flowers) Not difficult as a house plant as long as not dry. Regular misting helps.
£8



Drymonia chiribogana
Drymonia chiribogana
A bushy gesneriad from Latin America with dark lustrous leaves and silver veins. The flowers are pale lilac. A plant for a terrarium or tropical greenhouse. It survives as a houseplant but really needs good humidity. Not at all difficult given the right conditions.
£8



Crassula streyi
Crassula streyi
A tender South African species with 2in wide broad glossy leaves – dark green above, slightly marbled in silver, and intense wine red under.
Crassula streyi
Like many plants with red leaf reverses, this is an adaptation to growing in shade, which makes this an excellent choice for a sunless windowsill and irregular watering – the ideal houseplant in many ways. The flowers are small and off white and produced in branching sprays in spring.
£6


Tuesday, 15 October 2019

Cobaea pringlei

Cobaea pringlei
A hardy herbaceous perennial relative of the familiar cup-and-saucer vine, C.scandens. Having white flowers, it's not as spectacular as its tender purple-flowered relative but still a lovely thing. I grow it in a sunny spot on a well-drained but rich soil, with a thick strawy mulch in winter just to be on the safe side. It dies down completely in winter.
Cobaea pringlei
Once it gets going it's a big plant capable of covering quite a large area in a single season so make sure you put it somewhere where it can roam free. It tends to start late and flower late too so provide warmth and shelter.
Cobaea pringlei
Despite the bindweed-like roots it does not spread vigorously and can be slow to propagate. As a result I never have enough of these to satisfy demand so please enquire.
£12



Thursday, 26 September 2019

Asphodeline taurica

Asphodeline taurica
As much a foliage plant as one grown for its flowers. The plant makes very eye-catching rosettes of extremely narrow pale grey leaves, complemented by a spike of slightly rosy white flowers in late spring. 
Asphodeline taurica
A very tasteful species needing excellent drainage and full sun.
£8




Herbertia lahue

Herbertia lahue
A gorgeous little summer flowering Iris relative producing attractively marked violet flowers on short stems just above the ground. Although this is widely distributed in the USA it’s of doubtful hardiness and may need protection, but I recommend trying it in short turf – a technique that works remarkably well with many ‘tender’ bulbs
£6



Wednesday, 7 August 2019

Sida hermaphrodita

Sida hermaphrodita
A tall leafy mallow with clouds of small pure white hibiscus flowers.
Sida hermaphrodita
An easy hardy prairie perennial for any good soil
£8



Dichroa febrifuga

Dichroa febrifuga
An attractive but tender evergreen woodland shrub with conspicuous heads of pink (or on lime-free soils, blue) star-shaped flowers followed by metallic vivid blue berries - overall very like Hydrangea macrophylla but without the sterile florets.
Dichroa febrifuga
Apparently most of the plants in cultivation are hybrids between the true Dichroa and Hydrangea macrophylla, but none of the Hydrangea's cold tolerance seems to have found its way into the progeny. Strictly speaking should probably be classified in Hydrangea
Dichroa febrifuga
Sadly not hardy enough for most UK gardens but worth a try in very mild sheltered sites and will regenerate from the base if cut down by frost - probably not soon enough to flower though. Otherwise a splendid plant for a cool greenhouse
£16



Wednesday, 24 July 2019

Silphium

A great genus close to the sunflowers that, although often very tall, produce a very compact rootstock and are best displayed among low-growing plants.

Silphium terebinthinaceum
Silphium terebinthinaceum
This and S.laciniatum produce among the biggest, most luxuriant leaves of any hardy border perennial.
Silphium terebinthinaceum
In this case they are huge and heart-shaped (like a Colocasia or Anthurium?) to 12ins across.
Silphium terebinthinaceum
The flower stem is more slender and smooth than laciniatum.
£9



Silphium simpsonii
Silphium simpsonii
A smaller species with simple green leaves and golden flowers
£8



Silphium laciniatum
Silphium laciniatum
Leaves to 2ft long and impressively lobed, like some huge tropical fern. The stiff bristly upright flower stem is a bonus.
Silphium laciniatum
Easy in any fertile, retentive soil, and best at the front of the border where its stature can be appreciated. Perfect for prairie-style plantings.
£9




Thursday, 4 July 2019

Mirabilis longiflora

Mirabilis longiflora
A glorious night-scented species - the fragrance redolent of tropical evenings. (The very long-tubed white flowers are typical of plants pollinated by moths.) A low spreading perennial with rather sticky green foliage.
xeric bed
Very vigorous and easy on the dry chalky raised bed at the nursery, and has established (presumably from stray seeds) in the herbaceous border at the nursery as well. In colder, wetter climates it  would also be fabulous in a big terracotta pot on the patio, right next to where you sit of an evening with your prosecco and BBQ
£8



Centaurea atropurpurea

Centaurea atropurpurea
An easy and long lived medium sized border perennial but not garish or coarse. Ragged tufts of deep wine red flowers emerge from hard sculpted involucres of dark overlapping scales.
Centaurea atropurpurea
The leaves are jaggedly cut with narrow lobes, and the whole plant is edged with silver rime. Suitable for any reasonably well-drained soil in sun.
£8



Iochroma australe

Acnistus australis dark purple
A vigorous and tough South American shrub with nodding funnel shaped flowers in various shades of purple and also white.
Acnistus australis pale purple
Seems remarkably hardy in many parts of the UK, given a sheltered sunny situation and can make a very big vigorous shrub against a warm wall. Hard pruning after flowering is recommended.
Acnistus australis white
This has had quite a few scientific names including Acnistus and Dunalia.
Please let me know which colour you'd like
£15



Sandersonia aurantiaca

Sandersonia aurantiaca
An exquisite diminutive relative of Gloriosa with delicate orange or yellow lantern-shaped flowers in summer on slender semi-climbing stems.
Sandersonia aurantiaca
From southern Africa, this is very nearly hardy given a dry winter and a warm sheltered spot. Otherwise an easy pot plant for a frost-free greenhouse.
£10