Miscellaneous Woodlanders

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Mark McD
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-12-14

Maybe I have flogged this horse long enough ;), but I wanted to share a recent development.

While perusing a garden center, and checking out the "shade perennials" area, some of the tables were pretty well picked over, but there it was, sitting by itself, a lone Kirengeshoma koreana.  So, I had to buy it, and then compare with my garden plants identified as K. palmata.

Placing the plant right up to my 6' tall plants I have under the name of K. palmata (still in nice bloom by the way), the two plants couldn't be more different.  The newly purchased K. koreana has thickish, waxy, heavily rugose leaves, whereas my garden plants of K. palmata have smooth matte grayish-green leaves 4-5x the size, looking completely different.  In the closeups of "koreana" you'll notice how the upper stem cauline leaves are "alternate" whereas the "palmata" leaves are strictly "opposite".  When the buds open on "koreana" I'll take side-by-side photos of both in bloom to compare.  I'm still hoping to find an actual botanical description of K. koreana, with which to compare to palmata.

Kirengeshoma "palmata" still in good and ample flowering, the end of August 2011.  It helps that we've had ample rain this summer, and the impressive 5' wide x 6' tall clumps have been blooming throughout July and August.

Mark McDonough
Massachusetts, USA, near the New Hampshire border USDA Zone 5
antennaria at aol.com
 

Hoy
Hoy's picture
Title: Member
Joined: 2009-12-15

Interesting observations, Mark!
I suppose you intend to plant the new plant out some place and compare the specimens next year when the new one has had a better life than restricted in a pot.

Daniel J Hinkley mentions in his book "The explorer's garden. rare and unusual perennials" that "The large, sharply lobed, maplelike leaves (of K.palmata) are borne in opposite pairs . . . . .. Atop stems that rise to 6ft (1.8m) on content individuals, cymes of elegant pendulous, pastel-yellow flowers are produced on lax pedicels in late summer . . . . . .The nodding floral branches are what distinguish this species from K. coreana, the flowers of which are borne on a stiffly upright inflorescence. With a stem reaching nearly 7ft (2.1m) high on robust specimens, K. coreana can be somewhat larger than the Japanese counterpart".

He also mentions that the University of British Columbia Botanical Garden has successfully crossed the two species. Possibly others have done too.

Trond
Rogaland, Norway - with cool, often rainy summers  (29C max) and mild, often rainy winters (180 cm/year)!

Mark McD
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-12-14

Fascinating!  Thanks Trond!  I think there is so much parroted (mis)information out there on the internet, it's hard to get to the root of these situations.  And as well, plants in cultivation, when lacking well known and accessible botanical information, are often mixed up because there is little basis for comparison and any correction.  But when I saw this potted plant of K. koreana, I was struck with the obvious differences between it and palmata.  The Hinkley description is interesting, and now I'm more anxious than ever to see if the buds on K. koreana remain upright.  

It is curious that in the Flora of China entry for K. palmata, reports flowering and fruiting months as: Fl. Apr-Mar, fr. May-Aug, which seems completely wrong, the early dates surely an error, as Kirengheshoma is a late summer blooming.  Flora of Japan gives flowering time as August.

By the way, I do have The Explorer's Garden book, but didn't think to check it, thanks for the insight.

About K. palmata, I found one site that states: The flowers of most of the plants seen in gardens are a fairly deep yellow, though the colour of wild specimens ranges from white to apricot.

Mark McDonough
Massachusetts, USA, near the New Hampshire border USDA Zone 5
antennaria at aol.com
 

Mark McD
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-12-14

We've had regular rain this summer, but even so, with the extra heavy total rainfall from last week's Hurricane Irene (Tropical Storm Irene) by the time it reached us, Kirengeshoma palmata is more floriferous than ever, certainly enjoying all that rain and repaying in kind with a burst of new flowers and more buds (left photo).  And my recently purchased and planted K. koreana shows buds a trifle swollen, still waiting for them to open (photos 2 & 3 on the right):

 

Another moisture lover (although taking normal moderate dry soils well, but not drought) is Leucoceptrum stillipilum, the Japanese Shrub Mint.  This is a small Asian genus, and at least with a couple species I know about, are superb autumn blooming plants that excel in shady woodland conditions.  It's been perfectly hardy for a number of years, and unlike what might be implied by the common name, it behaves as a woody-stemmed herbaceous perennial, all growth dying down over winter and resprouting with fresh shoots in the spring.  It is worth growing for the board, textured foliage, looking something like a Hydrangea.  In mid October the buds expand into stamen-candles of lavender.  Here are some photos of foliage and buds taken today, and a freshly expanding flower taken Oct. 15th, 2010.

There's a fine lime-green variegated form sold by Plant Delight's Nursery, and two leaf forms of L. japonicum in these links
http://www.plantdelights.com/Leucosceptrum-stellipilum-October-Moon-Pere...
http://www.plantdelights.com/Leucosceptrum/products/233/

Mark McDonough
Massachusetts, USA, near the New Hampshire border USDA Zone 5
antennaria at aol.com
 

Hoy
Hoy's picture
Title: Member
Joined: 2009-12-15

My Kirengeshoma has declined the last years and isn't much to beheld :(
I think I have to move it to another site.

Leucoceptrum stillipilum is a rare one! I don't think I've ever seen it for sale anywhere anytime :o Does it produce seed?

Trond
Rogaland, Norway - with cool, often rainy summers  (29C max) and mild, often rainy winters (180 cm/year)!

Mark McD
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-12-14

Hoy wrote:

Leucoceptrum stillipilum is a rare one! I don't think I've ever seen it for sale anywhere anytime :o Does it produce seed?

Nope, never seen seed; this plant flowers mid October through November, and by the end of flowering, the season shuts down and we're into freezing temperatures and often some snow, so seed on such late bloomers never has time to develop.

Mark McDonough
Massachusetts, USA, near the New Hampshire border USDA Zone 5
antennaria at aol.com
 

Mark McD
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-12-14

The last blooms on Anemonopsis macrophylla just finished up.  The form I have is not the best, and this season I only had 1 bloom stalk versus the 5-6 stalks I usually get, not sure why the deficit. The individual flowers deserve to be uplifted for close inspection, as they are extraordinarily beautiful.

Mark McDonough
Massachusetts, USA, near the New Hampshire border USDA Zone 5
antennaria at aol.com
 

Hoy
Hoy's picture
Title: Member
Joined: 2009-12-15

Yours are better than mine anyway. I haven't had any blooms at all this summer :(

Trond
Rogaland, Norway - with cool, often rainy summers  (29C max) and mild, often rainy winters (180 cm/year)!

Lori S.
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-10-27

None on my single, poor, sad plant either.

Lori
Calgary, Alberta, Canada - Zone 3
-30 C to +30 C (rarely!); elevation ~1130m; annual precipitation ~40 cm

AmyO
AmyO's picture
Title: Member
Joined: 2009-12-06

I've got 3 A. macrophylla from 2 different growers. the 2 from Ellen Hornig are much more compact than the one from Peter Joppe and they are planted pretty near each other. But they all bloomed and now I'm hoping for a good seed set.  :D

Amy Olmsted
Hubbardton, VT, Zone 4

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