some plants that got away

Continuing in a reflective, “safer at home” mood, from the AGO archives, these would be plants that got away for various reasons — grew too large, grew too slow, grew in a spot I needed for something new, but all of which are fabulous constructs and sorely missed. And now I find they are difficult to replace. Yes, seed might be available somewhere in the world, but I’ve often found that when plants are rare and scarce it’s for a simple reason — they are difficult to propagate. I can get some annuals to grow from seed, but difficult stuff? My patience and skills aren’t really up to the task. If you find any of these plants along your zone 10 plant acquisition routes, I can assure you they are interesting characters to grow and observe.

Solanum marginatum, the extremely poisonous White-Margined Nightshade from northeast Africa. Grew to a beamy 4X4′ — and has thorns. Dangerous beauty.
(3/25/20 Edited to add that after an office purge, seeds were found in a cork-stoppered glass tube, labeled 2012, sown in sterile potting soil, and something has germinated!)
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Argemone munita — a CA native with matilija poppy-like flowers, this one got away when a nearby Euphorbia cotinifolia tree crashed down on it
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Limonium peregrinum — a South African sea lavender that’s very, very slow and was presumably overwhelmed by nearby plants — or my impatience
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Buddleia ‘Silver Anniversary’ — I think this smallish, sterile hybrid is still available. It too had its moment like other trendy silver plants Stachys ‘Bello Grigio’ and Senecio candidans ‘Angel Wings.’ Wonderful felted, silvery presence. With Geranium ‘Ann Folkard’ which Robin Parer pointed out recently used to have chartreuse leaves and now is more often sold with medium green leaves. What’s up with that?
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Geranium maderense ‘Alba’ – biennials can be tricky to fit into a small garden’s schedule, especially those that grow as big as large tumbleweeds. There were seedlings from this blooming event for years that I could never quite find the room to grow…and then there were no more.
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Bought as Brachysema praemorsum ‘Bronze Butterfly,’ now filed under gastrolobium. A shrubby Australian that flourished in the front gravel garden for over a decade, including during a lengthy drought. I know I must have deliberately removed it when reworking the planting — but what a good plant!

And then there was that unnamed chartreuse, crinkly-leaved verbascum, and the willowy Euphorbia ceratocarpa…

I’m convinced that plant and garden people have deep inner resources, but even so, please take care…and don’t stop planting!

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5 Responses to some plants that got away

  1. Kris P says:

    You’ve always grown some of the most interesting plants, Denise, including many like these that I’ve never seen anywhere else. I hope you’re doing well. Every day seems to come with a new jolt. Are we on the set of “The Twilight Zone, or are we perhaps moving into “The Outer Limits”?

  2. Jeremy says:

    Denise, did you grow your berkheya from seed? I’m in the process of trying it myself. Just planted seedlings out in the garden. This will be my first attempt at growing a serious perennial from seed. I sowed the seed months ago, in another world seemingly. Hope all is well.

  3. Denise says:

    @Kris, I don’t think sci-fi literature has covered what we’re going through!
    @Jeremy, no I brought it back from PNW nursery Cistus. It’s a traveler, and the newer outlying clumps need to bulk up for best bloom IMHO. Good luck with seed.

  4. Elaine says:

    So many plants come in and go out of fashion so quickly it’s hard to keep track. I was told by a nursery grower that if you like it buy it because by next season it will already be replaced.

  5. So many plants that have come and gone from our gardens! Hope you and your family are doing well. Doesn’t standing in Dustin’s garden together seem like a lifetime ago?

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