1 Apr 2012

The Greatest Love of All

I have to admit that the recent spate of warm weather got the better of me as well, making the first substantial purchase of 2012 a good month sooner than usual…… BUT, I did manage to restrict it to two of the genera on the much shortened and condensed list of ‘as long as its an Arisaema, Epimedium, Polygonatum…..’

DSC_0726 I was thrilled when Andria said I should grow some of my personal favourite plants this year in order to ensure the continuing trend as a supplier of rare and unusual perennials. Those who know me best know that Arisaema and Epimedium represent two of my favourite genera!

DSC_0722 Small though he may be, this is Epimedium ‘Fire Dragon’ which when mature will look more like this! Is there any wonder why I chose to grow this one?

Epimedium Fire Dragon When it comes to Arisaema, the more exotic and sinister the better! I already cultivate four alluring species in my garden, but there will always be more for room, especially if they look like these two!

DSC_0725 The magnificent shiny green foliage with it’s digitate [many leaflets radiating in the same direction as like a hand] formation belongs to Arisaema kuishianum, a wonderful Asian species that you can just make out in the photo. Here is what a mature plant’s inflorescence will look like:

a.kiushianum Is this not a case of lust at first sight?

My last addition is another species within this genus that for many a shady character like myself has become somewhat of a ‘holy grail’ addition: everyone wants one but finding them can prove to be disheartening at best! If and when you are able to find one, you have to be willing to part with something close to a part of your soul in order to bring one home!

DSC_0723Arisaema sikokianum, also known as the Japanese Cobra Lily, is one of the most sensational species within the genus. I will candidly admit to finding it’s entirely unique and individual shaped spathe and bizarre golf ball shaped spadix somewhat off-putting when I first began collecting this childhood obsession! As with a good wine, it has grown on me over the years and I am thrilled to be able to add it to my garden’s rare and unusual repertoire! Here it is at maturity!

arisaema sikokianum For those of you who regularly frequent LittleTree Garden Market, I’ve still a small number of each of these dazzling selections available for sale. Be forewarned, once they are gone, it will be another year before they will make their illustrious return to the benches.

No comments: