Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Jeffersonia Diphylla

While the delicate lilac flowers of Jeffersonia dubia are enthralling, our native twinleaf, J. diphylla is no slouch (though it is blooming now, the snow is piling up in the flowerbeds as I type this, so these pictures are from last spring). It is endemic from the Atlantic seaboard to Minnesota and Iowa. Here in Iowa it is, as they say "widely distributed, but scarce in all locales". It is in fact on the endangered list here. It's flowers are pristine white, rather reminiscent of bloodroots though not as blindingly white as that wildflower. Unfortunately twinleaf's flowers last but a little longer than sanguinarea, so the whole show is over in a week or so, depending on the weather. However, the seedpods, as shown in the second picture, are also neat as the dickens, looking like flattened little green acorns on straight stems. This plant seeds all about, but the seedlings take five or more years to flower, so it's not a plant for the red geranium and yellow marigold crowd.
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"not a plant for the red geranium and yellow marigold crowd"

This quietly careful phrasing makes me grin.
Congrats on having twinleaf...I'm trying to propagate some for myself. I'm told that if you squeeze the seedpod when ripe, the top pops open like a little trash can-cool!
Jenn... you'd be surprised how many people have left this blog in a huff.
Lisa... I'm told the main thing in suceess is to sow the seed fresh (that, and be very patient while it grows.
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