Sunday, April 06, 2008

The Best (Leaves) Die Young

A few posts ago I showed Shibateranthis pinnatifida flowering; a lovely little Japanese alpine which in nature (and in our garden), blooms near the melting snow. The flowers are exquisite, and the foliage shown here is equally jewel-like; waxy and finely dissected little leaves, rising only a couple of inches off the ground on frail little individual stalks, and colored a unique shade of olive gray. These leaves only last for the cool months of spring, shriveling at the first breath of summer, with this little plant then staying dormant for the next nine months until the first trickle of snowmelt awakens it again.
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Ah, then there IS something good to be said of the snow. Lovely plant.
This looks like it could be in the same family as a waterleaf that grows in our shade garden. I found it in a nearby woods and relocated part of it to our garden. The leaves are larger and I've never seen a bloom on it, but it's the same color and has silver markings on its leaves. It comes up in the spring then disappears a couple of months later.
Nancy... it's about the only thing good. We just are getting rid of the last little patches of snow.

Kylee... Virginia waterleaf does get some insignifigant little flowers. I'd be real careful where you plant that one; you'll never get rid of it. It gets long, tangly roots that wrap themselves in and around your perennials. NEVER plant it with daylilies, for example.

I've had it for about three years and I'm always surprised when it makes an appearance. So far, it hasn't even gotten larger, but it's in a pretty heavy clay area, maybe that's why? But thanks for the warning!
What a wonderful plant, outstanding flower and beautiful leaves. I'm amazed how quickly your spring ephemerals are appearing. We've had a mild winter but the early bloomers seem to be taking their time.
Ki... this is the latest spring I can remember.
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