Jan 19, 2011

Spigelia marilandica

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They say that as gardeners we ‘grow’ into an appreciation for most anything that grows, and when it comes to this wonderful native woodlander, it couldn’t be closer to the truth. Let me explain…..

I’m all about soothing colours in the garden: blue first and foremost, followed closely by pink, purple and the palest of yellows! [think whipped butter!] I rarely grew anything that stood out like a beacon! Of course with the introduction of ‘fabulously chartreuse’ all of this was tipped on its proverbial ear! I cannot live without the colour……

But back to the glaring subject matter at hand: Red rarely ever appears in my garden, and certainly not in combination with yellow! Correction: it didn’t used to! Then along came this spellbounding beauty!

Spigelia marilandica is a North American native that is still relatively rare to most gardens, and tis all the more a pity. Fabulous blue green oppositely placed foliage is a perfect foil for the startling trumpet shaped flowers that end in a shocking pale yellow star shaped pattern. Achieving heights of 40cm by approximately the same in width, it does, over time create a wonderful clumping habit. Perhaps its best attribute [aside of its startling beauty] is that it is one of the most hummingbird friendly magnets a person can choose for their garden. Hardy to Zone 5, it appreciates a partially shaded location, in humus enriched, acidic soil. I’ve planted mine in a small container with Cheilanthes lanosa, commonly known as the ‘hairy lipped fern’ where their distinct bluish grey foliages commingle most becomingly! Also great in a woodland bed where its distinct trumpet shaped flowers will be fully appreciated to their ultimate beatific potential! It was added to our inventory last season and flew off the benches! We’ll definitely be ordering more this year!

Specs

40cm x 30cm; North American native woodlander; partial shade with well draining, humus rich, acidic soils. Hardy to Zone 5.

7 comments:

jodi (bloomingwriter) said...

Well, I've never met this plant before, but what a beauty it is. It wouldn't matter what colour it was, as soon as I saw "hummingbird magnet" I figured I'd have to look into trying it here. It's splendid. Always excited to see a new plant!

Katrin said...

It IS a beauty, but the slugs like it too...

Best wishes, Katrin

Grace Peterson said...

I still don't have this beauty. Maybe this will be the year!

Patty said...

Hello, I bought two Spigelia a couple of years ago but only one made it over the winter. The blooms were great and quite eye catching. Please order more for this year!

Rebecca said...

I am definitely adding this to my woodland shade garden this year-I was so pleased to see that it's hardy to zone 5! What about deer-do they enjoy it as much as hummingbirds?

Laurrie said...

I love this plant, but it won't grow for me (zone 5 southern New England). I tried it in containers kept in light shade, and I tried in in the garden, close to a walk where I could see it easily, but it didn't want to stay in either place. I like it so much, though, that I'm going to try again! Your photo is reminding me why.

Marie said...

Like you, hardly any red in my gardens, though that is (very) slowly changing. I have 2 tiny ones in my "plant ghetto" and am deciding where their chances are best and where they'd look the nicest. Thanks!