A new month with new alpines. I'll start with a few plants from our new crevice garden at work. This first one was sown as Penstemon alpinus but is actually a hybrid of some sort...a little tall but still attractive.
Vella spinosa has come into its own this year, and is quite floriferous. It seems to defend itself quite well against grazing animals... not only does it cover itself with a barrier of criss-crossing spikes to protect the leaves below, but each flower has a spike projecting up immediately above it.
Alta, do you every run out of cool plants to show? (Certainly not complaining!)
Decumbens is very cute. Some of us here have Spiraea 'Golden Elf', about twice as large. IMO it's fairly gaudy, with its yellow/chartreuse leaves and normal rose pink flowers.
Hmm, I'll have to find a description for I. zhongdianensis also and compare (and also try to key mine out!) When I glanced thru the one for forrestii earlier I thought it sounded rather different in leaf shape, but reading it again, I'm not sure.
Oh, okay, as I read it again (for I. forrestii), it says the leaves are simple and not divided, unlike on I. zhongdianensis... that's what I thought I read the first time. I'm not sure if it's my eyes, or my comprehension, that's failing, LOL!
Gee, Rick, here I was thinking I don't have near enough cool plants!
Dare I hope that this might actually be Penstemon whippleanus that's just started opening today... one that's eluded me in the seedex's for years? I haven't keyed it out completely yet, but I'm encouraged!
I haven't yet keyed out the presumed P. whippleanus (from which I will definitely save seeds, Todd!), but I did this one, though I suppose the exaggerated flowers made it relatively "obvious" (among penstemaniacs, anyway)... P. grandiflorus.
And this photo shows the basics of penstemon IDs... the shape of the anther sacs. The photo shows that the anther sacs are glaucous, navicular (boat-shaped), open all across the connective (the point where the stamen attaches at the back), and out to the tips. Also, the staminode (the thingie in the center) is expanded at the tip (to 2mm), and hand-lens examination shows that it has a stubbly beard... all of which leads one to the penstemon section, and then eventually to the actual species... P. grandiflorus! The Key to the Genus Penstemon by Robin and Kenneth Lodewick is utter genius! I'm astounded that an amateur (especially a not-very-focused one, LOL!) can do this!
Todd, your Claytonia sibirica (from seed) have been blooming for a couple weeks now. I guess you just don't het enough heat there.
I seemed to have ruptured or slipped a disc in my back almost 2 weeks ago now. Am on my second round of Medrol and had an MRI scan Tuesday. So I haven't been doing a lot of garden stuff. I swear, I've been watching that seed pod of Iris minutoaurea so closely until this happened. I went to look for it yesterday, and it disappeared! Sorry Todd: no seed for you this year.
Lilium formosanum var. pricei seedlings are coming along:
I'm amazed that Lilium formosanum survives our winters...those at our BG have been outside for some 10 years.
Rick, my Claytonia siberica have been blooming outside for at least 6 weeks and still show no signs of stopping. However, they have never bloomed the first year from seed...guess I didn't start them early enbough in the past.
Sorry to hear about your back...I know what a bad back is like but I've never ruptured a disk!
True alpines, though I hardly think of them as such, since they are popular and easily grown here... Sempervivum 'Ruby Heart', one of a few new ones I've picked up in the last couple of years, in a new appreciation of them:
I went through all these and never saw any "Donkey's Tail" It is wonderful for a rock garden. It has reseeded all over my strip sun garden so if anyone would like some just dmail me with your addy and I will get you some in the spring. BEV