Monday, June 09, 2008

A Wandering Little Sunbeam

Disporum sessile in its common form is up to two feet tall in nature (perhaps a foot here in our garden), and is an amazingly accomplished spreader. There are however, quite a number of selected, named cultivars that are shorter and cuter, usually with variegated foliage, and they are described as being much less aggressively stoloniferous. I'm not sure what these plant catalog people are smoking; these selected plants are shorter, they're cuter, but they still spread like crazy. Disporum 'Tightwad' in one year has staked out an entire section of a flower bed and is in the process of mugging everything else growing there, then rambling out into the surrounding woods, looking for a fight. Plant Delights opines that while Disporum 'Sunray' does wander a little, they wish it grew faster; my small plant in one year spread two feet in every direction, popping up in the middle of a clump of shooting stars and was nudging an anemone and a toad lily out of the way. I had to rip out these stolons and put an underground plastic barrier around the main clump. Now this spring I received a tiny plant of Disporum 'Awa-no-tsuki' (shown above). This little plant certainly is lovely, with amazing bright yellow foliage with blue-green streaking. Usually plants that are almost all yellow are rather frail and tend to get sun-frazzled here to the point of disappearing altogether in our hot summers. Therefore I gave this wee plant a nice spot nestling under an azalea, with my only concern being that it looked so fragile. Well three weeks out of its tiny pot, it is putting up a new stem a foot away. How does a plant three inches tall and four inches across put out a stolon a foot long? A plastic barrier goes in tomorrow. Awa-no-tsuki; you're cute, you're beautiful, and I'm watching you like a hawk.
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stoloniferous = my new word for the day. :) Lovely little plant, truly as bright as a sunbeam.
Nancy... i may have made that word up; it set off spellchecker, anyway.

Don, sounds like you have a real colonizer there, though a lovely one! I wouldn't worry about the Blogger spellchecker though, as it flags me all the time on botanical terms. And I like stoloniferous neologism or not!
I don't understand the other terminology you wrote but still I like the little sun beam
Home Garden
IVG... you're right; well, i figure too, that rules are made to be bent a little.

Precious... a stolon is an underground stem (like an underground runner)... I think.

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