7 Aug 2012

Plant Hunting [From the Comforts of Home] Part Two


Surprisingly the following morning dawned somewhat cooler than the previous, with a gentle breeze that held the humidity at a bearable distance. Cool breezes, cool colours. Gentiana scabra ‘True Blue’ was the first plant spotting of the day! Delightful in that it maintains a rigid upright posture, to 0.5m in height, and is topped with delightful true gentian blue flowers that closely resemble gems before they open. The camera [and I] loved this plant beyond words!


It was no surprise that I should stumble on more delightful specimens of my signature plant Corydalis! I loved that this one appeared to have seeded itself in front of the fabulously chartreuse foliage of Aralia cordata ‘Sun King’, another delightful introduction that I made during this plant hunting expedition! There isn’t a doubt in my mind that I will be planting many of this glowing beauty in the gardens upon my return home – I’m thinking four at the very least to light the way in the dappled shade! I have seen the light and he truly is ‘Sun King!’

DSC_0625 I had to refer to one of the many plant books I’d taken along to be able to properly identify a diminutive flowering shrub that appeared along the pathways. Also known as the Himalayan Lilac, Leptodermis oblonga was smothered in blossom – sadly its common name is somewhat misleading as there was no discernable fragrance – and certainly not one as easily recognizable as that of Syringa! Just goes to show how misleading common names really are! [Long live Botanical Latin…… you knew I had to toss that in somewhere!]

DSC_0598Had I not tripped over my feet, I would have completely missed what has been the highlight of the day: the discovery of the rare and elusive Arisaema candidissumum! How do I love thee? Let me count the ways!

DSC_0601  Of course where the is one Arisaema, there is guaranteed to be others, all vying for the title of most beautiful! While my heart forever holds ‘Candidissimum’ as the most ethereal, there is no denying that Arisaema sikokianum ‘Silver Splendor’ would be more than enough to push some certified connoisseur/collectors over the edge! They remind me of a botanical Ken and Barbie prepping themselves for the Prom!

 DSC_0731 DSC_0006 Bright and early, earlier this morning, I stumbled upon what at first appeared to be stars that had fallen from the sky! Turned out to be a rare yellow [the tag said ‘delightful pink, rarely yellow’] Erythronium japonicum. I would have much rather the pink, but who is going to complain in the face of such beauty?

DSC_0003 I was told by an elderly caretaker that this unique lace leafed Corydalis was in fact Corydalis woroshillovii – a rare Russian species whose flowers eventually morph into two vivid shades of blue! He said it was the third year that this diminutive plant had appeared in the garden – each year only slightly larger than the year before! [And here I was on hands and knees as it was!]

DSC_0006Cypripedium calceolaria never fails to stir emotions from deep within! A short distance further I noticed the clear pink flower of what I surmised to be Podophyllum hexandrum. Yup! Stunning is he not?

DSC_0020DSC_0030Polygonatum falcatum ‘Silver Stripe’ remains a personal favourite with its distinctive steel blue reverse to its foliage that has a distinct silver stripe down the centre of each leaflet! Sublime! Delicate and fragile….. the perfect addition to a growing collection!

DSC_0011 Must cut the day short….. need to find a land line and see if I can contact my woodland nursery of choice and see if they might possibly have any of today’s dazzling discoveries within their inventory! More to come~!

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