Thursday, 2 January 2020
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 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
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.
Not invasive. Has a lovely fresh peppermint fragrance too, and can be used in the same way. Any soil.
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.
Not weedy but likely to seed about a bit.
Boehmeria is a genus of remarkably ornamental non-stinging nettles, mostly from Eastern Asia.
Mostly they're grown for the lush foliage and vigorous (but not invasive) growth habit, but the catkin-like flowers are also attractive. All prefer a moist rich soil in sun or semi shade, but they are adaptable.
Shiny fresh green attractively veined and serrated nettle leaves on a lush bushy plant to over 6ft tall. Whitish flowers.
Moist woodland ideally but adaptableBoehmeria tricuspis
A shorter species with, as the name suggests, three-cusped leaves.
Lush translucent green leaves on reddish stems with pinkish flowers
A lovely medium-sized species with broad rounded matt grey-green leaves and long creamy catkins.
Highly ornamental and well worth having.
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.
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.