Thursday, 2 January 2020

Vallea stipularis

Vallea stipularis
A relative of Crinodendron and Aristotelia with small pink cup shaped flowers and variable leathery leaves.
Vallea stipularis
This is a lax scambling species, best grown as a wall shrub or through other shrubs. Not considered very hardy in the UK – there is nevertheless a large specimen on a wall at Wakehurst
£20



Titanotrichum oldhamii

Titanotrichum oldhamii
Classic gesneriaceae - sturdy basal rosette of fleshy crinkly leaves and stems of foxglove like flowers emerging from the centre. The flowers are a very striking bright yellow, deep red inside, and the leaves are purple on the reverse. Not well tried outdoors in the UK, but the main problem overwintering temperate gesneriads usually is not the cold so much as keeping them dry in winter, This doesn't seem to be a problem in this case.
Titanotrichum oldhamii
Titanotrichum is best in a moist woodsy soil, and it is imperative that it does not dry out in summer, or else the flower buds will turn to tiny tubers (gemmae). A solid and vigorous woodland perennial as long as it has enough water
£10



Sophora flavescens

Sophora flavescens
A herbaceous species from China with pale yellow, somewhat monk's-hood like flowers on slender stems over elegant pinnate foliage. A cool airy alternative to Baptisia and Thermopsis. Fully hardy.
£8



Salvia omeiana Crug Thundercloud

Salvia omeiana Crug Thundercloud
A stunning and wonderful Asiatic woodland species with broad, heart-shaped, beautifully textured and muskily aromatic leaves (sage & onion?) with a rich purple underside.
Salvia omeiana Crug Thundercloud
Sprays of soft yellow flowers appear in late summer.
£8



Salvia chamaedryoides

Salvia chamaedryoides
An absolutely gorgeous little Salvia from Texas and thereabouts, sprouting spikes of intense indigo violet over low ash-white bushes.
Salvia chamaedryoides
It will, like so many species from this area, need the driest sunniest site you've got but is cold tolerant and can eventually make quite a sizeable patch.
£6



Rhodiola rosea


Rhodiola rosea
Our native rose root – quite a common plant of uplands and crags forming dense clusters of grey succulent leaves on stems radiating from a compact root.
Rhodiola rosea
Clusters of yellow flowers appear at the ends of the shoots in spring. Very adaptable to any sunny well-drained spot
£6



Pycnanthemum muticum

Pycnanthemum aff. muticum
Another North American that certainly deserves to be better known. Forms colonies of upright stems with fresh green rounded leaves ultimately developing an almost Euphorbia-like inflorescence of tiny white flowers subtended by silvery white bracts. At this stage the whole plant has a pale silvery sheen.
Pycnanthemum muticum
Not invasive. Has a lovely fresh peppermint fragrance too, and can be used in the same way. Any soil.
£8



Phlomis atropurpurea

Phlomis atropurpurea
Very different to the sub-shrubby Mediterranean types. This is a herbaceous species from Asia with dark maroon flowers in small whorls among green leaves.
Phlomis atropurpurea
Prefers plenty of moisture and doesn’t need full sun.
£8



Lathyrus vernus cyaneus

Lathyrus vernus atrocyaneus
One of the best forms of the European spring vetchling – with flowers of a pure inky blue and not a trace of purple or pink
£7




Hydrophyllum canadense

Hydrophyllum canadense
A handy woodlander for perhaps a wildish part of the garden – the leaves resemble a creeping buttercup being lobed, dark green and marked with silver – very attractive when they appear. Copious white flowers in broad cymes in spring give a beautiful frothy effect.
Hydrophyllum canadense
Not weedy but likely to seed about a bit.
£6




Gelsemium sempervirens

Gelsemium sempervirens
The Carolina Jessamine - a gorgeous small evergreen climber from the southern states, and lightly built so not too overwhelming in small spaces. The parent plant has come through the last two winters in Sussex with little frost damage but since it flowers early on last year’s shoots it’s essential the shoots survive the winter so as much shelter as possible is recommended. Otherwise an excellent choice for a large container or unheated greenhouse in colder areas.
£15



Gaura coccinea

Gaura coccinea
Now for something completely different – this is a low-growing perennial with short spikes of scented white flowers, distinctly tinged with scarlet pink - quite unlike the more familiar Gaura lindheimeri.
Gaura coccinea
The habit is spreading, like Zauschneria so not to be trusted with small plants but excellent for a stone wall or sunny raised bed. Easy and hardy.
£6


Chrysogonum virginianum australe

Chrysogonum virginianum australe
A terrific small sunflower type making a compact clump of deep green leaves and bright golden flowers over a long period. Very adaptable to a variety of conditions.
Chrysogonum virginicum australe
This is the southern form of the species and to my mind, definitely the nicer plant – more compact and better colours.
£6




Ceanothus papillosus

Ceanothus papillosus
A gorgeous and rarely seen species with sky blue flowers and glistening, slightly sticky leaves.
Ceanothus papillosus
Reputedly not quite as hardy as the popular hybrids but it’s been undamaged for many years with me here in SE England.
£12



Carthamus dianius

Carthamus dianius
A lovely big Centaurea type of thing. White flower heads with violet stigma over jagged lobed deep green foliage.
Carthamus dianius
Unlike the more familiar annual safflower (C.tinctorius) this is a robust perennial and despite being Spanish is a hardy evergreen.
A splendid herbaceous border plant - ought to be much better known.
£8



Biarum tenuifolium abbreviatum

Biarum tenuifolium abbreviatum
Black arum flowers at soil level in autumn followed by narrow leaves. Full sun and excellent drainage – ideally dry in summer and protected from the worst of the winter weather
£8




Boehmeria sieboldiana

Boehmeria sieboldiana
Shiny fresh green attractively veined and serrated nettle leaves on a lush bushy plant to 4ft tall. Whitish flowers. Moist woodland ideally but adaptable
£8




Bergenia emeiensis

Bergenia emeiensis
A beautiful white flowered species with glossy green oval leaves.
Bergenia emeiensis
An easy woodlander - it does however need shelter from spring frosts, which can destroy the flowers
£8



Arthropodium milleflorum

Arthropodium milleflorum
A very pretty and understated plant found growing among the grasses and other herbs under Eucalypts over large parts of south-eastern Australia, where it is very adaptable.
Arthropodium milleflorum
In the UK it will be less adaptable (shade in England is not like shade in New South Wales) but given a well-drained soil and sun or light shade it is quite hardy and the delicate mauve flowers on tall, slender arching stems (to 3ft high) give a fresh, light effect in the border.
£6