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Unusual woodland plants

Saint Louis, MO(Zone 6a)

Here are a few of the less common plants which I'm growing in my woodland garden.
So far, they're doing really well.
Here is trachystemon orientalis.
It has really big bold textured leaves which covers a lot of ground.
In early spring, it has an abundance of weird cobalt blue flowers.
It's surprisingly effective from a distance.

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Saint Louis, MO(Zone 6a)

This is anemone nemerosa Bracteata pleniflora.
Definitely different.

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Saint Louis, MO(Zone 6a)

A nicely variegated trillium, trillium underwoodii.

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Saint Louis, MO(Zone 6a)

Another different trillium, t. sulcatum. Nice nodding white flowers.

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Saint Louis, MO(Zone 6a)

A beautifully textured polygonatum odoratum Chollipo.

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Saint Louis, MO(Zone 6a)

Anemonella thalictroides Betty Blake is a floriforous greenish cultivar. Quite vigorous.

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Saint Louis, MO(Zone 6a)

A tiny little dutchman's pipe, only about 3 inches tall.
Forms a spreading colony of strange little dutchman pipe flowers.
Blooms as soon as it emerges in early spring.

Edited to say it's botanical name is aristolochia guichardii.

This message was edited Apr 19, 2010 9:15 PM

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Saint Louis, MO(Zone 6a)

This is a variegated short uvularia, u. sessifolia Cobblewood Gold.

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Saint Louis, MO(Zone 6a)

Pachyphragma macrophylla is a relative of cardamine.
A nice clump of fresh green leaves topped reliably w/ clusters of white flowers.

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Lucketts, VA(Zone 7a)

Wee - really nice plants. I think unusual woodland plants are great. Do you have any Conopholis americana, Squaw Root? Its a parasitic plant that you only see when it puts up its odd flower spike in the spring.

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Saint Louis, MO(Zone 6a)

Finally, our native Alleghany pachysandra is a beautiful alternative to the aggressive japanese variety.
It has nice white flowers in early spring, before the leaves emerge.
Grows slowly into a nice clump. Not invasive.

That's all for now.
Thanks for touring some of the less well-known plants in my woodland.

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Saint Louis, MO(Zone 6a)

Greenthumb, I don't have squaw flower. Looks like it would be right up my alley.
There are a couple other parasitic plants that look intriguing.
I'm always interested in trying something new!

Lucketts, VA(Zone 7a)

Wee, I don't know how readily the Squaw Root can be translocated. I'll look it up and send you some if there is a reasonable chance of success. Also, I have Indian Pipe (Monotropa uniflora), but it is not up yet. Love the Dutchman's Pipe, but that species would never make it here. I hate to say it but your Pachyphragma macrophylla looks a lot like Garlic Mustard, a local scourge. Nice shot of the Pachysandra procumbens in bloom, a sadly underutilized groundcover. I'll d-mail you if the Squaw Root is a go.

Saint Louis, MO(Zone 6a)

GT, why wouldn't the dutchman's pipe make it at your place? It's hardy for me.
It goes dormant once it gets hot and humid.

I was trying to remember where I saw a photo of a beautiful saprophytic woodland species.
It looked like a clump of bright purple button mushrooms. It was really stunning.
I recall it gets it's nutrient from soil mycorrhiza.
I can't imagine it being transplantable, at least by the ordinary process.

Lucketts, VA(Zone 7a)

Wee, you listed the Dutchman's Pipe as Aristolochia guichardi, and according to the plant files its hardiness is 9b. That should have rung an alarm with me since I lived for years in Iowa, just a few hours north of you, so I should have realized something was amiss. Re-checking, I see the Plant FIles also lists this species as growing 10 to 12 feet, not the few inches like yours, so perhaps your is misidentified (or theirs). Squaw Root can be grown from seed, but the seeds need to be sown in contact with the fine, growing root tips of red oaks, then it takes about 4 years before it begins flowering and you get to see anything. I can try to save seeds if you are interested, and perhaps we can do a trade as I would love to get a start of your little Dutchman's Pipe.
David.

Saint Louis, MO(Zone 6a)

GT, I don't know for sure about the dutchman pipe's true ID, though the tag says a. guichardii.
I googled it and see seneca hill nursery is selling a plant with same name listed as 4in height, zone 6.
I think it looks like my plant.
But whatever the correct name, it's pretty cute.
It has easily doubled in size in 3 years. I hope it doesn't become a nuisance.
Time will tell.

Lucketts, VA(Zone 7a)

Wee, my guess is that the Plant Files are at least as likely as a specialty nursery to have incorrect information about an obscure species. My point was to explain why I jumped to the conclusion that the plant would not survive in my zone, not impune any part of the universe. I really don't care what the correct name is either as long as I know it would live here, I think it is pretty cute too.

Lexington, VA(Zone 6a)

Awesome plants as always Weerobin! :) That little Aristolochia is really unique! I'll have to take a picture of our clump of Trachystemon orientalis. It's been planted for about 4 years and it's an aggressive spreader! It's a perfect groundcover for the area where we have it planted but probably not a plant most people would want in a "tame" garden! LOL I've been so busy I haven't taken any pictures this spring but I'll have to get a few of the "unusual" plants here and post them soon. The Disporum 'Night Heron' popped out of the ground early this year and the stalks are HUGE!

David, we were in Ontario a few years back and came across a nice clump of Squaw Root. This was taken in just one spot but it was the largest colony I'd ever seen - popping up everywhere in an area which covered almost 100'!

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Saint Louis, MO(Zone 6a)

RCN, I agree with the spreading nature of trachystemon, but so far, it's been good, not bad.
I'm using it for erosion control on a shady slope. It's filling in nicely, though not yet very dense.
The slope used to be a jungle of english ivy and creeping euonymus - yuk!
I hope trachystemon will be dense enough to work. We'll see.
By my calculation, it's got a couple years to go before it runs up against an area planted with more delicate things. We'll see how easy it is to reign in at that time.

Hobart, IN

"english ivy and creeping euonymus" - exactly describes my shady slope. Planted it 20 years ago before I knew better. Now the thought of clearing it for better choices is intimidating.
Your plant choices are so diverse! You don't happen to work at the botanic garden down there, do you? A friend of the family used to work there for years. I have a little spring-blooming bulb that he gave my dad years ago and he passed some on to me and I passed some on to DD. Still don't know what the name of it is although I've always been curious.

Saint Louis, MO(Zone 6a)

Cindy, I'd love to work at the Mo Botanical Garden! It would be great.
Unfortunately, I have to wait for weekends for gardening endeavors.
And, of course, it's supposed to rain this weekend!
I have a porch full of mail-order plants waiting to go in the ground.
Oh well, sooner or later, everything gets done...

Woodinville, WA(Zone 8b)

WR - did you get more stuff from Rick at Mt. Tahoma? I mentioned you and he remembered that you're from St. Louis.

Saint Louis, MO(Zone 6a)

I got my shipment from him Thursday.
It's usually like Christmas morning, unpacking each plant to see what it is.
Unfortunately, this time, it was getting dark (too dark to read tags!) and starting to sprinkle.
So I just rushed to unpack everything.
I'll look more closely today at what I got.
I know it includes several hepaticas, including the Cremar (sp?) red one you told me about.
And some anemones, paris, trillium, polygonatum, epimedium, .. the usual stuff.
I even got a couple things which I know won't grow here, like soldanella.
This is the paris I got from him a couple years ago - doing fine.

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Woodinville, WA(Zone 8b)

Look at that. Someday I'll see that. :-) I got a couple of the P. quadrifolia this year. It already has a bud. Much more rewarding. I did get the P. polyphylla to replace the one I lost last winter.

I also splurged on a very cool cypripedium with fanlike leaves - C. formosa - though I haven't been able to find it online. It looks pretty cool.

Rick was so patient with us - we kept picking up plants to buy and half the time he'd tell us that we couldn't have those because they were his seed stock. :-) I guess he lost a lot of stuff this last winter (we had an early hard frost). He said that he's sold mst of his Daphne already.

When I was there many of them were in bloom and it smelled pretty darned good He's built lots of raised beds to maximize the heat and drainage for his alpines.

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Saint Louis, MO(Zone 6a)

Katie, I bought a cypripedium last year, which bloomed it's first summer.
But I didn't really count it as a success, since hadn't overwintered.
I was saddened this spring when I couldn't find it.
Then a few days ago, I was clearing a HUGE pile of leaves and uncovered it.
Already in full bloom! I'll need to figure out a way to keep all the leaves off it next spring.

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Woodinville, WA(Zone 8b)

Suuuuuuweeeet!! Maybe you should do the same thing this year that you did last year. Seems to have worked. The leaves might have provided just the protection it needed. Do you remember the name of it?

Saint Louis, MO(Zone 6a)

As I recall, it's a c. parviflora x kentuckiensis hybrid called 'Rascal'.
Supposed to be one of the easiest to grow.
Most of the other ones sounded way too fussy to thrive in my yard.
I have a second one coming up, too. No flower bud yet.
I'm not sure what it is. Maybe in bloom next weekend. We'll see.

Lucketts, VA(Zone 7a)

Wee, do you remember where you acquired your wonderful cypripedium from?

Jamaica Plain, MA(Zone 6a)

Great plants, Weerobin! Thanks for the show. Now I can add even more to my want list.

Woodinville, WA(Zone 8b)

The only existing one I have coming up (and it's slower than the dickens) is C. Reginae. I had no idea it was supposed to get as tall as it does. If so, it certainly has a ways to go. :-)

Saint Louis, MO(Zone 6a)

Wow, I was afraid to try c. reginae - it's supposed to be one of the finicky ones.
Mine seem to go quickly from first appearance of the emerging stem to flower within just a couple weeks.
So don't turn your back on it for long. I want to see pix of the bloom when it occurs
Maybe you'll give me courage to try one myself. They're beautiful.

Woodinville, WA(Zone 8b)

We'll see what happens. I didn't know that it was a finicky one. We did lose a lot of things this winter (I lost native Disporum) and I didn't lose this one, so that bodes well for it.

I will for sure be posting pictures, but it has a way to go . . .

Stanford, CA(Zone 9b)

VEry cool plants. This variegated plant is a farfugium 'Argentea'. It's not hardy at all but thought that you might enjoy it.

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Woodinville, WA(Zone 8b)

Beautiful Doss. I love the bicolored leaves.

Saint Louis, MO(Zone 6a)

Another lady-slipper in bloom.
I heard that they're so finicky, but so far, so good.

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Woodinville, WA(Zone 8b)

Nice!!! Okay, tell me more. How much shade is it in? How do you keep it moist in summer? How tall is that one?

Saint Louis, MO(Zone 6a)

I have a wooded lot, so mostly high shade. This one gets some morning sun.
I'm not convinced it's a success yet, since I just planted it last year.
But I figure the first overwintering success is a big step, so maybe he'll do ok.
I recall someone last year mentioned a big established lady slipper,
multiple flowering stems on a huge plant (I think it might have been RCN?) -
so she would be able to tell better about growing requirements.
RCN, are you lurking???

edited to say I have an automatic sprinkler which keeps it moist.
It's planted in one of my better-draining sites.
And it's about 16in tall (to the top of the flowering stem).

This message was edited May 7, 2010 5:53 AM

Woodinville, WA(Zone 8b)

They are so much bigger than I ever imagined. My Reginae is still slowly coming up. But we've had a couple of weeks of rainy overcast cold (10 degrees colder-than-normal) weather.

I agree with you, though, surviving the first winter means a lot. Whatever you're doing, you're doing it right.

I'm trying to decided whether to keep mine in the spot where it gets morning sun. I think that's okay now, but I'm going to move it into more shade. The only problem there, of course, is that the trees suck up the water in the summer. I don't have automatic watering, but I'm putting soaker hoses up there, so that should help me some.

RCN - would love to see your lady slipper.

Lexington, VA(Zone 6a)

LOL, not lurking just haven't had an opportunity to catch up in the past month! You're killing me with those beautiful Ladyslippers but you know that, right? :) One of these years I'm going to have to bite the bullet and try a few of those. I've always wanted to try the C. kentuckiensis because I've heard they're easy and yours are absolutely gorgeous! By the way, I still haven't taken a picture of the Trachystemon but as soon as I do I'll post a picture.

Katie, our location for the Showy Ladyslipper is similar to Weerobin's - a high canopy of shade with a little dappled sunshine in the morning. It's planted under the shade of a wide spreading Crab and receives minimal water other than rainfall. However, if the Ferns in the area start drooping we do set up sprinklers to water the area. This was a small plant, maybe three stalks, when we bought it from a nursery in Michigan. It was in an area where they had plants from a rescue dig and obviously no one knew what it was, it was priced at $10.00 and we grabbed it immediately! I don't know why but I don't have any recent pictures of it - this one was taken in 2005, about three years after it was planted in our gardens. I was worried earlier this spring because I couldn't see any shoots popping out of the ground but not to worry, three weeks later the shoots have already grown to about 12" high. Once they're finally out of the ground it doesn't take them long :) I think 2008 was the best year so far, there were 15 slippers on it! Not sure how many we'll get this year but I'll have to remember to take an updated photo.

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Woodinville, WA(Zone 8b)

I'm psyched. That gives me hope that maybe mine will do well. It's still coming up, but very slowly.

Your picture is lovely - do you know what kind of fern that is in front of it?

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