Friday, 23 August 2019

Pelargonium sidoides - the true species

Pelargonium sidoides
A remarkable low growing species with silver/grey leaves and black, honey-scented flowers. It is hardy enough to be grown outside in the southern UK, given a sunny, sheltered, freely drained spot. In 2010 it lost its leaves but came back as strongly as ever to flower late summer and autumn.
Pelargonium sidoides
It seems most of the 'sidoides' in cultivation in the UK are hybrids (probably with P.reniforme) and have wine purple/maroon flowers. The easy way to tell is that the hybrids have main stems and make a  bushy plant much like many popular 'scented leaved' pelargoniums with the flowers on side branches.
Sinningia tubiflora and Pelargonium sidoides
Sidoides on the other hand has no stems at all - the leaves are on long petioles arising directly from the base of the plant. The flowers are on very long (up 40cms), extremely slender stems which also arise directly from the base and radiate out horizontally. The flowers are very close to true black with no hint of purple or pink. Once you have seen the two together the difference is obvious.
£8



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