Friday, 30 September 2011

Rostrinucula dependens

Rostrinucula dependens
There's one to get your lallaker round, as my grandpa used to say (ie it's a tongue twister, for those of you that don't speak Olde Sussex). 
This is definitely turning out to be one of my favourite plants.

The arching habit, elegant 6in blackish sea green foliage and pale bloomy stems and leaf undersides have been a feature all summer. Exquisitely sculpted 3-4 inch pearly white 'catkins' sprout mauve/pink filaments in Autumn. 
Rostrinucula dependensThe whole thing has a most unusual pale/dark effect - restrained but very classy and unlike anything else. I cannot speak too highly of this plant.

To 4ft tall, and not shrubby, despite appearances, so don't worry when it disappears in winter.

Easy in any sunny well-drained site. 
(My sources tell me this is more likely to be R.sinensis. R.dependens has broader leaves, not so white beneath.)
3L pots ~ £9

Sunday, 25 September 2011

Ranunculus malessanus

Ranunculus sp. Cazorla
A miniature species from Southern Spain with glossy dark green palmate leaves - tinted black when young, red stems, and substantial fresh yellow flowers. It has tuberous Ficaria-type roots but without any invasive tendencies.
Ranunculus sp Cazorla
It appears in spring, flowers, and disappears again, and is therefore ideal for combining with other small Mediterranean bulbous and tuberous plants. An extremely neat and satisfying little buttercup for troughs and raised beds.
10cm pots ~ £6

Lonicera hispidula

Lonicera hispidula
The Californian Pink Honeysuckle - ideal for drier, sunnier or shady conditions, where a lot of the more familiar types tend to get mildew. The pink flowers are produced sporadically through the summer and into autumn. The foliage is rounded and somewhat fuzzy and, in the population from which these seeds were collected (thanks Dennis), marked with irregular maroon-black blotches, especially when young.
Desmodium elegans album and Lonicera hispidula

Some individuals have completely blackened foliage which I find rather striking, but I understand that not everyone will agree. Please let me know if you'd prefer a specimen with more or less black leaves.
3L pots ~ £12

Sunday, 11 September 2011

Fuchsia procumbens

Fuchsia procumbens
A fascinating little species from New Zealand (almost all other Fuchsia are Latin-American) with a creeping habit and bizarre little green and yellow flowers with violet anthers, peeking up from among the rounded leaves.
Fuchsia procumbens fruit
In a good year you’ll also get edible cranberry-like fruits.
Normally considered very borderline in cold-tolerance, the parents of these plants have come through the last few winters in mid Sussex without trouble. Best in rather dry shade in my experience.
sold out - more next summer

Fuchsia procumbens - reverted Wirral probably
Also available - a grey leaved form - almost certainly a reverted version of the variegated form (apparently correctly known as Wirral - which bodes well for its hardiness.) Exactly the same in all respects as the above but the foliage makes an interesting change
sold out - more next summer

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Anemone rivularis and leveilei

Two very similar species with blue tinted white flowers on tall stems. The main difference seems to be that leveilei (on the left, below) is an altogether more substantial plant
Anemone leveilei (left) and rivularis

Anemone leveilei
Anemone leveilei
Purple blue tinted white flowers with dark anthers are produced on long arching pedicels in an umbel on a stout leafy plant up to 2ft tall. For moist alpine or woodsy conditions. 
3L pots ~ £8

Anemone rivularis
Anemone rivularis
White flowers tinted steely blue on the reverse and with similar coloured anthers on slender wiry branching stems. This species is adaptable but is particularly useful in wet sites.
2L pots ~ £7

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Cymbalaria hepaticifolia

Cymbalaria hepaticifolia
Cymbalaria hepaticifolia
Forget the common Ivy-leaf Toadflax that festoons shady walls in many parts of the country (pretty though that is) this is a much nicer species with delicate mauve white flowers and fleshy silver marked leaves and spreading without being invasive. Excellent in dry shade but best to avoid big vigorous neighbours. Good cover for hardy Cyclamen. 
3in pots ~ £5