Monday, 7 June 2021

Osteomeles subrotunda

Osteomeles subrotunda
Unaccountably hard to come by – this is one of my absolute favourite shrubs -with its finely cut foliage and generous clusters of rosy-white flowers. 
Osteomeles subrotunda
Slow-growing and oddly angular in shape – a very characterful plant and a lot hardier than is often claimed. Completely undamaged by frosts here. I give it a well-drained sunny place here, tho it might not need it.
£18

Lonicera chaetocarpa

Lonicera chaetocarpa
An unusual and distinctive shrub with rich green fuzzy foliage and large, pale, soft green calyces, holding pale yellow flowers within. The flowers are followed by pairs of orange fruits and the calyces turn to pale parchment. 
Lonicera chaetocarpa
Hardy, slow-growing, characterful, and of modest size. Oddly appealing.
£16

Hypericum aegypticum and balearicum

 I have a suspicion people tend to pass over Hypericums when they come across them in catalogues as rather boring yellow-flowered plants, but there are a few real gems that are well worth growing. Here are a couple...


Hypericum aegypticum
Hypericum aegypticum
A terrific small shrub, looking more like a tiny shrubby Linum than a Hypericum – the flowers are a soft pale yellow, more or less funnel-shaped, and set among tiny grey leaves on a low bushy wiry shrub. 
Hypericum aegypticum
Hardy here for many years in a sunny dry spot.
£6



Hypericum balearicum
Hypericum balearicum
Another small shrubby species, this time with very unusual aromatic crinkly, fresh  green leaves and good size rich golden flowers of an unusually good quality. 
Hypericum balearicum
Needs shelter, sun and good drainage. A perfect dwarf shrub – not nearly widely grown enough.
£6

Dermatobotrys saundersii

Dermatobotrys saundersii
An unusual Madagascan sub shrub related to Phygelius, with similar pink tubular flowers and broad aromatic leaves. Usually an epiphyte or lithophyte in the wild - it fits in well with succulents and bulbs and other African xerophytes. 
Dermatobotrys saundersii
Definitely not hardy outside but needs minimal heat in winter - I keep it dry and it loses its leaves. Flowers appear on largely bare branches in autumn. 
£15

Cocculus laurifolius

Cocculus laurifolius

An exotic evergreen shrub somewhat resembling a Cinnamon tree or other lauraceae but actually a member of the menispermaceae. The leaves are very glossy and elliptical with 3 prominent veins. Not seen flowers yet but they’ll be very small and pale and followed by black fruits. 

Cocculus laurifolius
A highly ornamental species – maybe suitable for a very sheltered site in milder areas – otherwise best brought inside for the winter.
£16


Clematis fremontii

Clematis fremontii
 
A unique non-climbing species from the Prairies. The plant makes a low cluster of stems clothed in simple elliptical leaves, topped in spring with nodding bell-shaped flowers of very unusual colouring. 

Clematis fremontii
The buds start out a rich shiny woody colour then open to reveal a soft pale green interior. Ultimately, the petals curl back and the flower turns a soft rosy colour. 
Easy to grow in a well-drained sunny site.
£12


Monday, 4 January 2021

Digitalis obscura

Digitalis obscura
A very distinct small, almost shrubby foxglove from Spain with 8-10in spikes of brownish orange glossy flowers over narrow evergreen leaves. 
Quite charming and generally hardy in the southern portion of the UK, especially in drier areas but worthy of a special place in a sunny raised bed or container.
£8



Lotononis galpinii

Lotononis galpinii
 A remarkable South African shrub in the pea family with tiny silver leaflets and violet flowers. 
Lotononis galpinii with Fremontodendron
Very rare and not tried outdoors in the UK as far as I know but cold hardy here with minimal protection.
£12




Nonea pulla

Nonea pulla
A distinctive Eastern European relative of Pulmonaria and Cynoglossum with black flowers and grey foliage. Easy to grow in a sunny well drained place.
£6



Salvia omeiana ex Crug Thundercloud

Salvia omeiana ex 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 summer.
£9


Sutherlandia montana

Sutherlandia montana
An excellent and easy small shrub from S.Africa. The big vivid scarlet pea flowers in spring are perfectly complemented by the silver edged fine pinnate leaves. The papery coppery seed pods are a bonus later on. 
Sutherlandia montana
Although this seems to be quite cold tolerant and long-lived in a pot I’ve never managed to get it going in the ground, and I have no idea why. A very well-drained sheltered sunny, maybe maritime site might suit it but primarily I recommend it as a container plant.
£12