Well, I suppose I better fully admit that my addiction to plant collecting had once again emerged. I tried to hide it when I went to Lowe’s on Sunday but it was no use. Then when I went to Clinton on Monday I had to take a trip to the garden center downtown. Notice I said “I had to”. That was not a question. The first thing I saw was the herbs. I saw a few that I would have liked but I was saving them for last. I needed desperately to see what else was available. The next selection was the annuals. There were SO MANY Petunias that their fragrance filled the air. BUT, I hesitated because I really wasn’t in the mood for Petunias at the moment.
Then I walked to the back… OH YES!!!! SEDUM, HOSTA, VIOLAS, SALVIA… Then I saw their prices. HOLY CRAP!!!! Suddenly my wish list got smaller. I decided maybe I shouldn’t buy any. Then I started looking at the Sedum and they called out to me. OH, it was terrible! I had to tell so many they just couldn’t come home with me. Then with the Hosta. She even had a Hosta ‘Samurai’. I had one of those in the early 1980’s. SO AWESOME but she wanted $15.00! Then I spotted a Hosta ‘Empress Wu’! My mouth drooled but it was in a 1-gallon pot from Monrovia which meant it was over $20.00. SO, reluctantly, I passed up her Hosta and went back over to the Sedum. Then I noticed the Leptinella squalida ‘Platt’s Black’ like I had in 2014. WELL, I had to have one.
Well, one plant led to another then another… In alphabetical order:
‘Lunar Eclipse’ False Indigo’
Baptisia x variicolor ‘Lunar Eclipse’
Baptisia australis x Baptisia sphaerocarpa
bap-TIS-ee-uh aw-STRAL-is x sfay-ro-KAR-puh
Part of the Prarieblues Series. There are many cultivars of Baptisia I have wanted to try, but this only the second I have owned. A couple of years ago I bought B. ‘Carolina Moonlight’ from Brent and Becky’s but it had some issues. Baptisia haven’t been readily available locally so I was happy to see this one at the garden center in Clinton on Monday. Baptisia ‘Lunar Eclipse’ is one of several in the Prarieblues Series from the Chicagoland Grows program from the Chicago Botanic Gardens. This hybrid featured flowers that change color… They emerge light lemon-over-cream then turn to cream, pale lilac and shades of purple/blue. They grow to a height of 3-4 feet in a full to mostly sunny location. Baptisia attract a lot of butterflies.
French Lavender, Fringed Lavender
Lavandula dentata L. was named and first documented by Carl Von Linnaeus in Species Plantarum in 1753.
Now, folks, I don’t know much about Lavender. I just know it smells girly and has many different leaf and flower types. I have always particularly favored the French Lavender because the flowers look like they have wings on top. A couple of years ago I bought a Lavandula angustifolia ‘Platinum Blonde’. It was taken over by the HUGE Coleus growing next to it and died… I had too many other distractions that year and completely neglected my plants. Lowe’s had Lavender plants when I was there on Sunday but they were the English species so I didn’t buy any. When I saw the garden center in Clinton had a few of the French, I had to have one.
When I add this plant to the pages to the right I will have more information about Lavender.
New Zealand Brass Buttons ‘Platt’s Black’
Leptinella squalida ‘Platt’s Black’
I bought one of these at Lowe’s in 2014 and it was really neat! Well, it did very well in the pot but went downhill after I put in the bed. It did flower then died cold turkey. SO, I found another one at the garden center today, which was a surprise, so I had to bring one home. Yes, I HAD TO! It was fate that brought me to the garden center and possibly because they had this particular plant. OK, well, maybe that is a complete exaggeration.
According to information on the internet, these plants are supposed to like full sun to part shade and can spread indefinitely. OH, that would be AWESOME!!! It says in large planting, spent flowers can be clipped off with a lawn mower and can even stand foot traffic. Well, I don’t think I will be walking on mine for a while, or even be using a lawn mower on them. They grow a max of 2” tall and the leaves grow 2” long x 1/2” wide. Info says they like full sun to part shade but last time I tried them in full sun so this time I will try part shade. It also says they don’t like their soil to dry out.
They are considered a herbaceous perennial in USDA Zones 4-10 and are even evergreen in zones 9 and 10.
Leptinella squalida are native to New Zealand but the ‘Platt’s Black” cultivar is from a sport discovered in the garden of Jane Platt of Portland, Oregon. According to some, the original is much better and more bushy and healthier looking.
OH, I almost forgot… Leptinella squalida Hook.f. is the correct and accepted scientific name of this plant. BUT that’s all I could find… Publication details weren’t available on Tropicos.
Caucasian Stonecrop, Two-Row Stonecrop
Sedum spurium ‘John Creech’
Sedum spurium M. Bieb. is the correct and accepted scientific name for this species of Sedum. It was first described as such by Friedrich August Marschall von Bieberstein in Flora Taurico-Caucasica in 1808. You can take a deep breath after that.
Well, I love Sedum so I had to have this one, and many more to come. We all pretty much know the characteristics and growing conditions of the “ground cover” type Sedums. BUT you have to realize that many Sedums have had or now have different genus names. In fact, many Crassulaceae experts who have written many publications use the genus name “Phedimus” due to the leaf shape (and other characteristics I am sure). While The Plant List says this species is Sedum spurium, they say Phedimus spurius. I am certainly not going to argue either way because I am just a gardener. The taller species, like the ever popular “Autumn Joy” isn’t even a Sedum anymore. They are in the genus Hylotelephium… Sedum is MUCH easier to pronounce! Many retailers and growers are still using the Sedum name, though.
You have to admit the list of 421 ACCEPTED species names is STILL pretty long… Not to mention there are STILL 429 names that are unresolved. That is because in the world of succulents and cactus there are so many that are the same.
Sempervivum x ‘Killer’
This Sempervivum cultivar was hybridized and registered by Volkmar Schara of Germany in 2004. According to one website, they are also sold under the name of Chick Charms® ‘Cranberry Cocktail’. That name led me to the Chick Charms® Collectable Hens & Chicks website.
Chick Charms® are selected by Chris Hansen who is also the breeder of SunSparkler® Sedums. He has a collection of over 485 named varieties.
You know, there are over 4,000 named varieties of Sempervivums and SO MANY of them look exactly alike and no doubt many are the same. The result of the same crosses or sports. Just like in this case… They were hybridized AND registered under the name ‘Killer’ and they are also sold under the Chick Charms® name ‘Cranberry Cocktail’.
I had a few really nice Sempervivum that did very well until they met their end in 2014. This one caught my eye at the garden center because they have longer leaves and the rosettes reach 8” across and they grow up to 3” tall.
Well, that’s it for my second trip of plant buying. The next post will be about my new bed. SO, until then, take care, enjoy life and GET DIRTY!!!