Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Fatsia polycarpa 'Needham's Lace' is my favorite plant in the garden (this week)…

As we enter this time of short, mostly wet days it’s the plants I can see from the windows and doors (as I come and go) that get the most admiration. This is the view from one of our bedroom windows as I make the bed each morning…

Fatsia polycarpa 'Needham's Lace' or as I’ve read it called on UK plant forums Fatsia Polycarpa Edward Needham form.

Here’s the view from the driveway into the back garden. There’s no missing this plant whether you’re inside the house or headed out to the car!

The reason it’s planted so prominently (literally “in your face” if you’re walking into the back garden) is because it was only a tiny thing when I brought it home in March of 2011 (below, a gift from Sean at Cistus Nursery) and I wanted to be able to see those gorgeous leaves…clearly not a problem anymore!

This plant seems to still be rare and as such it was hard to track down much information to share with you. However in my experience it’s quite comparable to the better known Fatsia japonica, in other words easy schmeezy. Here’s a description I found from the UK, on eBay of all places - auction ended May 19, 2013:

RARELY SEEN HERE IN THE UK - Edward Needham Form
Fantastic unusual plant new to cultivation in the UK, endemic to the high hills of Taiwan this hardy evergreen is a must for all those who know and love plants. Like the more easily found Fatsia japonica, it can grow tall (perhaps 3-5 metres like a small tree) in sun or partial shade. There are 2 plants in the picture - my own larger one which is to give a good idea of how yours will be after it ages a bit more and to see the beautiful dark leaves which become huge with about 5-10 lobes per leaf divided nearly to the base. The plant I'm selling is the one next to it which is well rooted in a 3.5" pot. Apologies for the damp photo - this is Cornwall at the moment! Grown predominantly for its exotic year round leaves there are small white flowers which appear in dense panicles in the autumn.
(the auction photo is still up if you want to see it, I wasn't able to copy it)

Why do I love this plant? The deeply cut leaves primarily, but the color variations in the foliage is lovely as well. The new leaves emerge a bright fresh green…

And eventually age to a darker green which makes the yellow veins all that more prominent.

Heck I even love the trunk, now that it has one.

I’ve been toying with the idea of moving it this spring, since it is a little close to the walkway. Then again as it grows taller and loses its lower leaves it won’t be a problem. So what plants are you grateful for in your garden this week?

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

27 comments:

  1. What a great plant! And I love that shot of the leaf with the water droplets on it. I'm really still a Fatsia newbie, working on keeping my regular one alive this winter. We'll see. If that works, maybe I'll look for this one next year.

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    1. Here's hoping you have success with your current one and find this one in the spring.

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  2. I love it! I think it's much more elegant than the common Fatsia japonica. This is a must-have plant for me. On my wish list it goes.

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    1. Yay! Glad you like it Gerhard, and "elegant" is the prefect word.

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  3. I love the view of it from the window, but I wonder if you'll love it as much when it's bigger and taller? It sure is a beauty though!

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    1. Do you mean because of it's location? (bigger and taller not being good there) Or just in general? I predict I will go on loving it regardless. Besides those cool leaves look great as they get bigger.

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  4. What a great plant and yours is beautiful! I'm as green as those leaves with envy for your success with this beauty. I've had two of them and they both died after a few years, the only member of the araliaceae that I haven't had great success with. Now that I've seen how gorgeous yours is and how much it's grown in the last couple of years, I'm going to try again!

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    1. Wait! I didn't realize you lost another. Bummer Peter. Yes I do hope you try again.

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  5. Hmmm. That may be a good choice for my partially shaded "glen" area. I wonder how it would do in a large pot? Here's my contribution this week: http://krispgarden.blogspot.com/2013/11/favorite-plant-of-week-erysimum.html Thanks for hosting, Loree!

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    1. I bet it would do just fine in a large container. And even if you had to root prune it in a few years it would be worth it. Love your fav Kris!

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  6. fifi la fontaineNovember 20, 2013

    Oh wow, I need that one!

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  7. It's a beautiful plant, third time lucky for me, I'm hoping.

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  8. We're big fans of this stunning plant Loree, glad you highlighted it and well deserved of its dedicated post. We've seen some of the original plantings too, by the man himself wherein all the seeds of the plants we all have came from. I'm glad you have one and its evergreen leaves are a cheer to see in the winter.

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    1. I bet those plantings were huge and beautiful! I'm afraid my plants leaves are a little limp looking this morning, it's a cold 27F outside.

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    2. Our larger plant took -10C (14f) and bounced back. Sadly it doesn't appear to have survived the fire.

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  9. I love sooooo much this plant, to bad I didn´t see that auction before may...

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    1. Keep looking Lisa, I bet it will come up again.

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  10. I love the colour variation in the new growth. It's a lovely shape too.

    Here's my fave this week: http://crmbsgrdn.blogspot.com.au/2013/11/my-favourite-plant-in-garden-this-week_21.html

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    1. It is, and I neglected to mention its form. My two Fatsia japonica are both multi-trunked. I like the single trunk (so far) form of this one, better for showcasing the leaves. Off to check out your fav...

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  11. Replies
    1. Love the secret link! (and it's a good favorite too)

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  12. Like Mark & Gaz you have picked an amazing plant, yours looks super healthy too, must be that good Cornish air :) Mine is still very small and this will be its first winter in chilly frost pocket of East Anglia.

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    1. I hope yours does well! (oh and mine's in the U.S....only West Coast American air...)

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  13. Stunning! Here's mine: http://bannersbyricki.com/archives/3511
    And that start is yours for the asking. I could bring it to Heather's.

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  14. Definitely a beautiful plant. The shape and those outstanding ribs make it a real standout! Bravo! Hey I think I'm going to join this plant of the week. Do we have a logo thingy! LOL

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