Thursday, April 24, 2014

Podophyllum pleianthum is my favorite plant in the garden, this week…

The first time you see a big healthy clump of Podophyllum pleianthum is a memorable moment, it's such a big glossy, alien-looking leaf. Hands down the most beautiful plant I'd ever seen was spotted in a container in my neighbor’s garden, I was awe-struck. I’ve planted a handful of podophyllum over the years but never ever in my wildest dreams did I ever think they could look like this…

And they don’t! Mine struggle along, producing another leaf or two every year but that’s about it. This one, this one was something altogether different. So you know where this is going right? Yes that clump belonged to my former neighbor, Bridget, and is now in my garden. Two weeks in a row my “favorite plant” is a pass-along of epic proportions from a plant loving friend. Here's the clump shortly after I dug it out from her former garden...

We discussed the ideal placement in my garden and since as part of the privet-lands project I'm getting a new larger (and sunnier!) stock tank "pond" I decided to drain the old one and fill it with soil.  It was actually kind of reassuring to see that after four years filled with water this tank was still solid with no rust, just a little discoloration (that's a bit of water and soil in the bottom, I started adding potting soil and then thought to take a photo)...

Tada!

And here's how they look now. Pretty fabulous right? Thank you so much Bridget!

A huge bonus of growing this plant in a container is that you can see the flowers, which are held under the leaves.

About to open...

I've been keeping an eye on them, enjoying watching their development.

The stats on Podophyllum pleianthum:
  • hardy in USDA Zones Zone: 6 to 8
  • grows to to 24" tall, individual leaves on my plant measure 12" across and the clump it's self is 36" wide
  • light shade to shade with even moisture - not drought tolerant
  • originates in Central and southeastern China

Here are my other podophyllums. The dark leaf I believe is Podophyllum 'Red Panda', I have a vague memory of buying it at a Leach Botanical Garden plant sale one spring. On the right is my other P. pleianthum, just a tiny thing.

Hiding behind 'Red Panda' is Podophyllum delavayi, he's shy (or I just couldn't get a good photo of him).

Unlike the above podophyllums which are clumpers it turns out Podophyllum peltatum is a runner.

Yes it is! I planted just one in 2010...

And now I've got, well, 17, 18, oh I don't know, a lot of plants! Of course I'm not complaining, I'm thrilled. So what looks good in your garden right now? Please tell us about it...

All material © 2009-2014 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.

32 comments:

  1. Nice podophyllums! They've really grown since March. It must be spring...
    The flowers are pretty nasty smelling to me. Kind of like toe cheese?
    Max P.

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  2. Isn't she lovely? Adopting out beloved plants out is so hard! But you've made some really hard choices easy Loree. Sending plants home with you is like sending them off to paradise. Thank you for allowing me to enjoy them virtually! -Bridget

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    1. I feel so honored to have these (and the others) in my garden. The yucca and hebe have finally made it in the ground as well. Thank you for trusting me with your babies!

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  3. I love those leaves - and the flowers are impressive (comments regarding their odor notwithstanding). My choice this week is a plant you're apparently already familiar with: http://krispgarden.blogspot.com/2014/04/my-favorite-plant-this-week-halimium-x.html

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    1. It's certainly not an odor that travels, and I've yet to go investigate closely.

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  4. I love podophyllums and am happy that Bridget let you adopt her plants. You'll give her kids a great home! I've never noticed the fragrance that Max mentioned and now won't rush out and stick my nose in the blooms.

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    1. Ya I haven't either, I'm going to remain happily clueless on that one.

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  5. My Podophyllum pleianthum gets bigger every year, I love it! I should keep an eye on the flowers, I didn't realize they were interesting. Here's a link to my favorite plant post: http://bonneylassie.blogspot.com/2014/04/my-favorite-plant-in-garden-this-week-is.html

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    1. Oh the flowers are fabulous, although hard to see. The berries that come later are pretty sweet too.

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  6. Nice score, DG! Looks fab in that pot. You know..I wonder if the one in my post last week that looks like it popped up as a runner (mine is the same, Podophyllum pleianthum), is actually a seedling? It seems this year it could be really really spreading. Hmm....I found roots running all over. I am a little scared this will take over, truth be told. But keeping it, by far one of my all-time faves.

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    1. Your plant is so spectacularly sited Tamara, I hope it stays with in it's space and doesn't get too rowdy!

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  7. Wow - Such a perfect clump. All the ones I have ever received have been seedlings, so they are years away from being that gorgeous.

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    1. I hear ya, of course the fact I planted my others under the big magnolia where they compete for resources probably wasn't the best idea.

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  8. Fabulous! So that is how you grow them. I have to try. They are so dramatic.

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    1. Ah dramatic indeed, good luck with yours.

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  9. So are those the "fresh because it's spring" leaves, or do they actually stay that glossy and lush all summer long? I'm guessing these don't like hot summers?

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    1. In my experience they stay this glossy and fresh all summer long. Of course since our rain shuts off in early July they do require a bit of a spritz with the hose now and again. As for the hot summers aren't China's summers fairly hot and humid?

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    2. Not everywhere in China. I've learned this from growing bamboo -- the species that originate in the mountains like it cool.

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  10. I have no doubts about why it is your favorite plant this week. If I had one like it I think it would be one of my favorite plants ever!

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    1. You'll have to see if it measures up in person when you're here this July...

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  11. I've immediately added Podophyllum pleianthum to my wishlist as soon as I've seen your photos of it Loree, so lush, glossy, and eye catching! We have the running P. peltatum but beauty wise it doesn't come close to this one.

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    1. So what makes this one better? The clumping, shape of the leaves? Just curious.

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  12. Your big clump look fab in that big container! You have a very kind neighbour.

    I have Spotty Dotty, Kaleidoscope, pleianthum and peltatum growing in my garden. Up until this year the clumps grew bigger and bigger, but this year the show so far has been very poor and I am not sure why :puzzled:

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    1. Uhm...naturally I want to blame it on the weather. And yes I do, I just wish she was still my neighbor.

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  13. What an elegant solution to viewing the shy blooms, and later fruits. I'll have to bear that in mind when I eventually score one of these. My fave this time is much less exotic: http://bannersbyricki.com/archives/3679

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    1. And I've hear they do grow just fine long term in a container...

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  14. That big clump looks great in that container. Someday my little pleianthum will grow up to look like that...I hope. lol I definitely need to get more podos, especially P. delavayi (so gorgeous!).

    Here's my favorite this week: http://practicalplantgeek.blogspot.com/2014/04/my-favorite-plant-in-garden-this-week.html

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    1. I think I need to finally actually follow through on my threat to move the ones I have in the ground. The deserve better...

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  15. I looooove your tanks. I wouldn't have thought they'd be so tough out there exposed to the elements. The podophyllum look SO GOOD in there, and have come a long way from the little ones you transplanted!
    http://crmbsgrdn.blogspot.com.au/2014/04/my-favourite-plant-in-garden-this-week_27.html

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    1. Thanks Amy! We've got 12 tanks now, it's kind of crazy but I love them.

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  16. Good to see your stock tank isn't rusting. I wonder if my issues with rust have something to do with our water?

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