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