Sunday, 26 April 2020

Colocasia gaoligongensis

Colocasia gaoligongensis
The Southeast Asian taros (Colocasia species) are very popular right now for subtropical plantings, with their huge tropical looking aroid leaves - often dark and beautifully textured. In this case the leaves are up to about 2ft across, a soft matt green and heavily marked black toward the centre. Yellow arum flowers appear in summer.
Colocasia gaoligongensis
Like many subtropicals (Canna, Dahlia etc), some of them are surviving the winters outdoors in the UK these days but very few are reliably hardy. This is where gaoligongensis comes in as it's reckoned to be the hardiest, and under good conditions (damp and warm in the summer) is a vigorous big exotic herbaceous perennial. It will grow in drier conditions but the leaves will be smaller.
Not letting it get too wet in winter is probably important but here at least, it seems remarkably easy - running around on stolons and potentially filling a large area. Grow it with other big vigorous perennials - nothing too small and delicate, in sun or part shade.
1 L pots £8



3 L pots £12




Epimedium grandiflorum nanum hybrid

Epimedium grandiflorum nanum hybrid
Some of you may know that Epimedium grandiflorum nanum is an exquisite miniature form of this popular species where the new foliage is fresh green, less than an inch across, and broadly edged in maroon, and the milky white flowers, despite the tiny size of the plant, are normal size. The whole thing is only a couple of inches tall. Sadly it also has a reputation for being difficult to keep - I've had it and lost it twice. This is why I was so pleased when I came across this at Marchant's Hardy Plants a few years ago.
Epimedium grandiflorum nanum hybrid
Its a bit bigger than nanum - about 5ins high but more vigorous and easy to keep. In every other respect it seems identical.
Epimedium grandiflorum nanum hybrid
It is still slow to increase though so I'll only ever have a few small plants to sell.
£8



Tuesday, 14 April 2020

Ornithogalum reverchonii

Ornithogalum reverchonii
A choice species from Spain and Morocco with pure white flowers and long grey leaves. More demanding than most European species – needing excellent drainage and some protection from the worst of the weather, but not at all weedy.
£8



Iris attica

Iris attica
A soft yellow form of this exquisite miniature bearded Iris.
Needs a well-drained soil in full sun with other small plants.
£8



Lathyrus bauhinii

Lathyrus bauhinii
Like many vetchlings, it’s very hard to describe the colour of these flowers - turning from creamy to soft pink to dusky mauve. An exquisite pastel combination.
Lathyrus bauhinii
This is a low creeping species - lovely with early bulbs in rough turf and gravel.
£8



Peucedanum verticillare

Peucedanum verticillare
One of the absolute best garden umbellifers, making sturdy upright wine-red stems to well over head height, with whorls of good quality angelica-like foliage and heads of greenish umbels.
The new foliage is glossy coppery red.
Peucedanum verticillare
Best in moist soils but adaptable.
Sadly this is a monocarpic species but it seeds about without becoming a problem
£8



Petasites paradoxus

Petasites paradoxa
Despite some initial scepticism I can report that this is a well-behaved perennial that, unlike other Petasites, does not spread. This seems to be because it doesn’t form long fleshy rhizomes - just a compact rootstock.
Petasites paradoxa
The heads of pale flowers appear before the leaves in winter and early spring and the leaves are broad, not huge, and white beneath. Quietly lovely with spring bulbs – best in a moist semi shady site.
£8