Monday, May 27, 2013

Q. Andrew: “How many Schefflera do we need?”A. Loree: “as many as Mark & Gaz have...”

A quick stop at Garden Fever last weekend yielded an unexpected surprise…a new (for me) Schefflera!

We stopped in looking for the next office plant component for Andrew, but of course I had to do a quick once-through the nursery and what should my wandering eyes discover but a Schefflera! At this point they’re still so rare it’s like spotting a four-leaf clover or a double rainbow. Schefflera brevipedunculata…

Of course a quick Google search reveals that indeed I have seen this one before (I love that Google has a better memory than I do), at Molbaks in July of 2011. Never mind that one was an expensive 5-gallon. This was just a 1-gallon at $15.99. Ya, $15.99!!!

I have no idea where it will go but in instances like this you grab now, and think later; hopefully it can be happy in a container until I find a place for it in the ground. I love its strange leaf pattern of 7(ish) larger leaves on the bottom and 3(or so) smaller ones held above.

This raises the Schefflera species count to 3 (S. delavayi = 1, S. taiwaniana = 3, S. brevipedunculata = 1). Obviously I have a way to go before I can reach Mark and Gaz’s total of 6? 7? 8 different species, what is you guy's count? And why are they so much easier to find in England?

***new information, I just read this on the Monrovia website: "Newly recognized in the Flora of China, the name of Schefflera brevipedunculata is a work in progress. A close ally to Schefflera alpiinia this unique shrub may indeed prove to be a variety of it."***

All material © 2009-2013 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.

33 comments:

  1. Yay! It's always good to find a plant you love. The price just makes it better. You'll find the right spot....eventually.

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    1. Indeed I will. I find my stash of plants in containers usually always make it into the ground within a year (the ones that are "meant" to be in the ground...not the tenders that always will stay in a container). It's nice when moving things around or planting a new area to have a collection of desirable plants to choose from (ones you already own).

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  2. That looks like a great plant, I havent come accross it before so it will be interesting seeing how it does with you. Good luck!

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    1. Really you haven't? I hope Mark and Gaz chime in to say if they've got it or not.

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  3. I'm going to need a new pot! I walked right past those after visiting Garden Fever twice that day. Third time, after your tip, definitely the charm. So glad you've got the Schefflera eye.

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    1. But why not put it in the ground? You've got some open semi-shady space don't you?

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  4. Great find! I have yet to find a SINGLE hardy schefflera here in the Sacramento area!

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    1. Bummer. I guess you'll need to make a trip up to Oregon just for some Scheffy shopping! (although that can be rather hit and miss...)

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  5. The pot is a perfect match to the midribs on the leaves. A+

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    1. Why thank you! I'm blushing...

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  6. Hooray! That's one great looking gallon of Schefflera and the price was certainly right. The answer to Andrew's question might be, "Oh far fewer than the amount of books we need." I've got one S. delavayi and a couple S. taiwaniana. However, one taiwaniana looks much more like brevipedunculata. Some folks think that they were mislabeled earlier in the hardy Schefflera game so I'm not really sure.

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    1. It's an interesting situation that's for sure, the Monrovia name-game. The photo on the plant tag looks a little more taiwaniana-like than the actual plant does. I'll be curious to see how it looks as it matures but right now the leaves look nothing like any of my taiwanianas, they're much bigger and fleshier.

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  7. I've just bought a replacment S. Taiwaniana ( that winter again) from my local !!!

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  8. That's a cool looking plant.

    In fact all of the Schefflera I have seen for sale are cool looking plants.

    However, my climate is too cool/cold for them :(

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    1. I'm sorry Adam...I do feel lucky.

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  9. I must admit I'm still puzzled as to why it's taking ages for most of the 'hardy' Scheffleras available to buy here to be available there. No definite explanation that I can say, but we've heard some rumours...;)

    That is a very good price for that Schefflera, a bargain even and it is likely to do very well in your garden. Great find!!

    You made me count now, hmmm..I think we have ten species at the moment, plus same species with different forms and collection numbers. Cross fingers you'll catch up very soon, they are such lovely plants and I'm glad you appreciate them as much as we do :))

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    1. 10! I'll let Andrew know we've still got a ways to go.

      I've since learned that Schefflera brevipedunculata is a close ally to Schefflera alpiinia and may indeed prove to be a variety of it...what do you think based on the images?

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    2. I'm not sure Loree but more likely not as the Alpinia group has a distinctive dark purple indumentum on the new flush of leaves. But the general feedback for this plant has been good so farespecially when it comes to hardiness, not the toughest yes but one of the more cold hardy ones.

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  10. Okay. I ran out and planted in the ground...

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    1. Good woman. I hope to do the same soon.

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  11. I NEVER see these here in Los Angeles. I'd probably grow them in containers, since I'm guessing they prefer relatively constant moisture. This one's leave look a little tougher than others. If I see it local, I'm swooping!

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    1. Actually IMHO these leaves are a little less tough. The others are more leathery. I dream of a day they are so easy to find I can ship them to you and Gerhard (wait, Cistus is doing some mail order...).

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  12. I've decided that mine is in fact that one and not taiwaniana. Though Monrovia is not shipping those to Canada yet (sad face) at least whenever I try to get it ordered it comes up unavailable.

    Sooo happy for you!!

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    1. I thought about yours when I was looking at the unique leaf structure of this one, at least you've got the one beauty!

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  13. Need versus want. Non-gardeners apparently do not understand this. It takes a lot of explaining. Non-gardeners think you really mean "want", but gardeners understand why you "need" a plant.
    The Flora of China treatment of Schefflera, by the way, is here:
    http://www.efloras.org/browse.aspx?flora_id=2&name_str=schefflera

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    1. Plus he's afraid of the house disappearing behind a mass of foliage.

      Thanks for the link...I'm going to go read it again and try and understand what they're saying...

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  14. AnonymousMay 27, 2013

    I bought one of these plants from Molbak's in the summer of 2011. It has done well for the most part, but the winters have been mild since then. This winter, toward spring, two of the three stems, probably three plants potted together, had their leaves wilt, then fall off. The stems look like they are dead. The one good stem has put out more than a foot of new growth this spring. What I have learned from reading the English plant forum, Growing on the Edge (GOTE), from people that have a lot more experience growing hardy Schefflera than us is that they get root rot in soil that isn't draining. They will die from this even if the winters are mild. That might be my problem since I planted it on a clay soil part of my property, then put composted steer manure on top as a mulch. I have done this with other species of Schefflera I have with no ill effects, but they are growing in forest humus that is moist but fast draining. I recently bought two more of these plants in one gallon pots like yours from a nursery near Issaquah, WA. I planted them in the humus soil part of my lot as double protection.

    If these are really alpina the people posting on GOTE say they are really hardy plants. So my advise is plant it out, but find a spot where water doesn't set for any length of time so the roots don't rot.

    If you really need a Schefflera fix, you need to make a run up to the Rhododrendron Species Foundation garden at Federal Way, Washington. They have at least half a dozen species planted throughout their gardens. It was like an Easter egg hunt for me. I took pictures which I posted on the Pacific Northwest Palm & Tropical Garden forum. While there I talked with a young woman who was working their plant sale area. She said that Steve Hootman, Director of RSF and Plant Exployer, brought back lot of seeds from several different species of Schefflera on his last year's trip to SE Asia. She said they have flat after flat of seedlings that might be available next spring for sale. I can't wait!

    John (Aberdeen, WA)

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    1. Never have been to the Rhody Species garden, often considered it and was just shown some beautiful lupine photos taken a couple of days ago. It sounds like I might need to attend their plant sale next spring!

      Thank you for your comment John, I remember you (I think) from my time on the PNW Palms forum. I used to read it everyday before I got into the blog world, still occasionally go back and catch up on what you guys are up to (just enjoyed Linda's pictures this morning). This is good to know, about the soil. I've got more than my fair share of clay so I will be careful when selecting a spot.

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  15. Wait, there's only *some* times that "grab now think later" is appropriate? No wonder my garage is getting fuller and fuller each winter. :)

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    1. Alan I have to say things like that every now and then in case the husband happens to read my blog.

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  16. Handy, isn't it...to have Mark & Gaz to flaunt in the faces of unbelievers? Kind of the botanical equivalent of "but Ma, all the other kids are doing it".

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  17. Interestingly, "Schefflera brevipedunculata" does not appear to be a valid scientific name, although S. brevipedicellata is. Nevertheless, Monrovia is selling them under the former name, no doubt introducing some additional confusion into an already rather murky nomenclature. The flora of china doesn't have much to say about that, except that the name "Schefflera" itself will not apply to most of the species we know under that name after the next round of taxonomic revisions in that group.

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