Thalictrum ichangense ‘Evening Star’
I’ve wrapped up the February newsletter for the local Hort Society, got their new weblog up and running for them[http://fergushort.blogspot.com] and find myself with idle time on my hands. We all know where this is leading….. a perfect opportunity to share a few more of my Wish list hopefuls for the coming year.
I’m determined to try this delightful Helleborus again. Picked my first one up four years ago at the RBG booth of Canada Blooms only to discover that its borderline hardy to Zone bloody 7! I have the perfect window for it during the harsh winter months. You truly have to see it to believe it. The pewter inlay of the foliage, the ruby petioles and the darling little pink blooms….. its enough to make one pontificate to the point of gushing!
Another Thimble Farms collector’s item is this wonderful rare Asian shrub, related to the Hydrangea. A shrubby, evergreen member of Hydrangeaceae, Dichroa febrifuga would easily pass for a hydrangea, but for its spectacular fruit. Dichroa febrifuga bears flattened clusters of starry blue flowers amidst glossy, deep green papery leaves in late spring. Flowers have five reflexed petals and prominent stamens, and open from round buds of pale blue. Iridescent indigo-blue berries follow in autumn (Hydrangea have unremarkable dry capsular fruit) and remain on the shrub for many months. The species is widespread over much of southeast Asia, but is rare in cultivation and most plants cultivated locally are derived from a single, hardy clone collected in the mountains of Guizhou, China. Another Zone 7 – ultimately increasing my Zonal Denial collection at the same time!