Thursday, June 09, 2005
Roscoeas are little-known, small cousins of the gingers, with the flowers being very suggestive of small, terrestrial orchids. They are native to S.E. Asia, and it is quite surprising to me that many of them grow here in Iowa with no special fuss. This is Roscoea tibetica. Also growing in the garden are cautleoides (which has the largest flowers, but has a bit of "wet laundry" look to the flower, and a somewhat tepid pale yellow color), beesiana, capitata, scillifolia, and purpurea. They come up VERY late in the spring, so the first time I aquired one, I thought it hadn't survived the winter, and reacted as I always do when something disappears: I planted about three hostas in the bare spot. Then one day about two years later I wondered what that strange little flower was that was trying to grow up through the hostas. Roscoeas look cute in their own little spot in a shady garden; I wouldn't stick one in the daylily patch (and I wouldn't intentionally plant a hosta on top of it).