Tuesday, 14 September 2021

Berberis calliantha

Berberis calliantha
The spiny edged foliage is glossy green above and white underneath and the flowers are lemon yellow – nothing unusual about any of that - except that the leaves and flowers are bigger than any similar species – the leaves up to 2ins long and the flowers an inch across, and all this on a low compact shrub not more than 3ft tall. At the same time this is as hardy and adaptable as any of the more familiar types. 
Berberis calliantha
Many people dismiss Berberis as just a lot of dull scruffy spikey shrubs, too often planted around carparks (and full of litter) but there are quite a few good, interesting species for the more discerning gardener – and calliantha is one.  
£16



Weigela middendorffiana

Weigela middendorffiana
An interesting alternative to the commoner Weigelas in cultivation, having soft yellow flowers in early summer developing orange markings inside. 
Weigela middendorffiana
More compact than the others too at about 6ft x 6ft and may be pruned quite hard after flowering. Any situation except very dry, very wet or very shady.
£16


Teucrium fruticans Azureum

Teucrium fruticans Azureum
A form of this popular shrub with intense blue flowers over a long period in spring and summer. The foliage is a cleaner combination of white and green than the more common form. 
Teucrium fruticans Azureum
Better in every way in my opinion.
Ideal for a hot sunny site on well-drained soil, with shelter from cold winds.
£12


Silene regia

Silene regia
An amazing tall upright N.American species with big, intense red flowers over a long period. 
Silene regia
Hardy and long-lived
£6


Schisandra grandiflora

Schisandra grandiflora
A strong deciduous woody climber grown for its nodding creamy Gardenia-scented flowers up to an inch across. 
Schisandra grandiflora
Easy in woodland conditions.
£16


Saruma henryi

Saruma henryi
A peculiar relative of the Asarums in that it has more conventional yellow flowers in spring. The emerging foliage is soft suede and dark tinged and a feature in its own right. 
Saruma henryi
The mature foliage reminds me a bit of Brunnera. An adaptable woodland or border plant.
£8

Salix magnifica

Salix magnifica
Originally mistaken (out of flower) for a Magnolia - this species has broad lustrous oval hairless leaves and thick stems - completely different to what we normally think of as a willow.
Salix magnifica
This is the female form and the catkins are long and slender. A remarkable shrub for a retentive soil.
£16


Rostrinucula dependens

Rostrinucula dependens
My sources tell me this might actually be R. sinensis, but either way, 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 are a feature all summer. 
Rostrinucula dependens
Exquisitely sculpted 3-4 inch pearly white 'catkins' sprout mauve/pink filaments in Autumn. The whole thing has a most unusual pale/dark effect - restrained but very classy and unlike anything else. To 4ft tall. Easy in any sunny well-drained site.
£8


Retama


Retama monosperma
Retama monosperma and Ceanothus papillosus
A graceful, tree-like broom with silvery stems and fragrant white flowers in late spring. 
Retama sphaerocarpa
Hardy here in West Sussex – undamaged by the late April frosts of 2021
£12



Retama sphaerocarpa
Retama sphaerocarpa
Very like R.monosperma but with delicate yellow flowers on grey stems. 
I think Retamas have a grace and elegance that most brooms lack and are well worth wider planting
£12




Two Primulas


Primula veris x elatior  
Primula elatior hybrid and Allium paradoxum normale
A neat small Primula with short stems, tight foliage, and the yellow flowers have relatively narrow petals in umbels on short stems. 
Primula veris x elatior from Kevin Hughes
Easy and floriferous. From Kevin Hughes.
£6




Primula Lady Greer
Primula Lady Greer
A really very cute old cultivar with neat rounded leaves and umbels of pale yellow flowers. 
Primula Lady Greer
Gradually makes a colony but hasn't seeded about. Easy and long-lived in moist shade.
£6


Persicaria chinense ovalifolium Indian Summer

Persicaria Indian Summer
A lush green perennial mainly grown for its tight bright pink inflorescences and autumn colour. To about 3ft high. 
Boehmeria platanifolia and Persicaria Indian Summer
Something of a spreader but not madly so – the thick rhizomes run around just under the surface. Any soil that doesn’t dry out too much, in sun or shade.
£8


Pelargonium tetragonum

Pelargonium tetragonum
One for your succulent collection - a very unusual species with minimal foliage but thick pencil-like blue-green stems. 
Pelargonium tetragonum
The flowers are white, marked with deep pink. Easy to grow. Needs frost-free conditions.
£6

Arum nigrum Zadar CEH.524

Arum nigrum
A horrendously stinky species with deep maroon-black inflorescences in summer, held low among the broad green leaves. 
Arum nigrum
Will grow as a woodlander but best in sunny well-drained conditions. A must for those of us that like this sort of thing.
£8


Alangium platanifolium

Alangium platanifolium
Another collector's item perhaps. This rare small deciduous tree or large shrub is grown both for its striking foliage (something between a plane tree and a tulip tree) and the flowers, which are individually quite small but numerous and very nicely made. They have been described as resembling little white martagon lilies. 
Alangium platanifolium
Hardy but growing and flowering best in a warm spot on any decent soil. 
£20