With each passing day, my obsession with Candidissimum only increases! The spathe is now backed with a sumptuous trifoliate leaf that only highlights her beauty! I noticed another pink blushed bud emerging from the ground and have fingers crossed that it might in fact be a second spathe, but from the looks of it, it might be more foliage. Either way, this is way more than I expected from my tuber when I purchased it from GardenImports at Canada Blooms this year. Dugald, I don’t know if you’d remember me, [I was there on St. Patrick’s Day looking for shade plants] but thanks so much for having this beauty!
I decided to revisit what Daniel Hinkley had to say about ‘Miss Candidissimum’ in what I consider to be the bible of all rare and unusual - ‘The Explorer’s Garden: Rare and Unusual Perennials’ – here’s what he had to say:
‘… the species that is perhaps the ‘queen of the genus,’ is found naturally throughout the mountainous regions of western and southwestern China. Arisaema candidissimum has enormous trifoliate foliage, with each leaflet nearly 30 cm in length, and more than 25cm in width! The very distinctive inflorescence possesses a spathe of precious light pink and white striping; the white spadix does not extend beyond the lip of the spathe. In cultivation this is a notorious late riser, often not showing itself until after the first of June, and then flowering shortly thereafter! The 20cm fruiting stems recurve down towards the soil as the fruit begin to ripen in early Autumn. A prodigious multiplier, it forms numerous offshoots on the mother tuber each year, and those can be removed in early Spring, or they can be left undisturbed in the garden and large colonies will ultimately develop! When I observed this species in its native habitat of Sichuan Province during the autumn of 1996, I was surprised to find the tubers nearly resting on the soil surface in parched, dry soils in full sun and partial shade on rocky, south-facing slopes. Though it is not dependably hardy in areas colder than Zone 7, gardening friends in colder climates successfully cultivate this species and others in containers that are protected in cool but non-freezing locations during the winter months….’
On Sunday I am off to TBG for the annual Rock Garden and Hardy Plant Sale. While I have trolled their site’s listing of available plants available for sale, I have my fingers crossed that perhaps there will be unwritten surprises available – perhaps another Miss C if I am lucky? Of course this means I will have to beat my four travelling companions to the treasure. Must work on my distraction skills between now and then! I shall report back with whatever treasures I should happen to deem worthy to join the garden’s repertoire!