Saturday, April 16, 2011
Foliage Follow-up…Cussonia paniculata
Cussonia paniculata, or Mountain Cabbage tree, is an evergreen tree from South Africa. Hardy to 20-25 degrees F it can grow to be 9-15 ft tall and 7-15 ft wide (that’s an amalgamation of the different sizes I find online). If I am remembering correctly the first one I saw was at the Berkeley Botanical Garden in 2009. Above is a picture from that day. Fast forward to my June 2010 visit to Dancing Oaks nursery. Not only did they have a large specimen on display with vivid new foliage... But they also had a few good sized plants for sale, of course I bought one. Here it is potted up and on the patio last summer. Since I wasn’t sure how the shade pavilion greenhouse would perform over it's first winter this one spent the season under grow lights in the basement, I didn’t want to lose it if the green house proved too drafty and cold. It has put on a huge amount of growth! (you can take the plant out of South Africa but you can’t take the South Africa out of the plant). Here it is today. It has put on significant growth over the winter, the "trunk" is a good 10" taller. Unfortunately it's also probably partly due to it's reaching for the "sun" (grow lights). Hopefully it can withstand the outdoor conditions later. The new leaves are drop dead gorgeous! And during my recent adventure through the greenhouses at Cistus Nursery I spotted their growing collection… No matter what the size from the smallest little plants like above, to a larger specimen (also at Cistus) putting on new growth like this… ...these are such cool plants with fabulous leaves! It even made the back cover of the most recent Annie’s Annuals catalogue… If you are lucky enough to be living in zone 9 and up you really should be growing this plant. And if, like me, you are in a cooler zone…try it anyway!
Labels: foliage follow-up