Lily Lion Heart

Saturday, 28 April 2012

More Springtime Delights

Daphne 'Lawrence Crocker'

Hymenoxys acaulis

Clematis macropetala

Clematis tenuiloba

Disporum maculatum

Penstemon arenicola

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Euphorbia micracantha

This interesting succulent comes from south-east South Africa and is a spiny succulent shrub up to 60cm. Mine is grown raised as a charming caudiciform and has the appearance of a rubinesque lady.  It has now come into bloom and has tiny reddish-brown flowers up and down the succulent spines. This grows in my south windowsill and has been happy in this location for several years now. Watch out for the spines!

Thursday, 12 April 2012

Claytonia virginica ( Spring Beauty)

This lovely spring beauty ( how apropos) is in the Purslane family (Portulacaceae). It has succulent foliage with delicate pink or whitish flowers striped with dark pink. They stand 6-8" tall. This native plant bring back memories of when I was younger and lived at my family home. We use to have some in the garden but they are long gone. There is still a swath on the neighbours adjacent property that has flourished there for decades.

This past Easter I visited my family in Windsor, Ontario the city of my birth. I went for a walk with my family and of course saw the colony in the lawn at my neighbours. We continued walking into a subdivison through a path on public property which were more variable. I came the next morning with my Dad and my trowel in hand and dug up a pink and white clump. Shhhh!!!! Don't tell anyone. To be clear they are prolific in Ontario and I would NEVER dig up a plant that is endangered or critical!

They are found in moist woods, thickets, clearings and lawns. They range from Ontario to Nova Scotia and down into the south-eastern U.S. They grow from underground tubers that have a sweet chesnut-like flavour. This I cannot personally verify. Native Americans and Colonists used the tubers for food. Below are photos in habitat.

Thursday, 5 April 2012

Kool Kohlerias

Kohlerias are Gesneriads from Central and South America. There are many species and hybrids in a stunning array of colours with attractive foliage. They are scaly rhizomatous plants that are easy to grow. Their leaves are generally hairy and the tubular flowers brighly coloured with spotting.
They enjoy high humidity and grow best under warm grow lights. They are most rewarding as they bloom for at least 2 months. Close to the end of their cycle the leaves will start to dry a bit at the tips and most of the flowers will have finished. They are now ready for dormancy. I generally let them wither, watering sparingly and then stopping completely.
I leave mine dormant for the summer and repot them in August. Some rhizomes are quite long and unusual looking. I have grown many hybrids and species over the years and now grow the 3 hybrids below. 
Brazil Gem has bright lipstick red flowers with a yellow throat and red spots against the background of lovely chocolate foliage. Karl Lindberg is a cerise pink with dark spots and Lono is pink with a green/yellow/purple face with dark purple spots.

K. Brazil Gem

K. Karl Lindberg
K. Lono