Never heard of it? Neither had I, until I spotted it in my friend Peter’s garden last fall. I can’t remember exactly why it caught my attention but as soon as he said the words “hardy” and "Protea family” I knew I needed one. Luckily we were about to embark on a day long plant shopping adventure and I satisfied my plant lust that very afternoon, at Far Reaches Farm.
Here’s what Far Reaches has to say about Lomatia tinctoria, who’s common name is the Guitar Plant: “Choice evergreen Tasmanian Proteaceae family member whose vaguely guitar shaped flower buds open to a wild riff of white flowers that will have you playing the air trowel. Hardy to a normal zero degrees and drought tolerant when established. Needs no fertilizer.” (not sure what a "normal" zero degrees is vs. an abnormal one?)
Later that day we visited The Desert Northwest, where they also grew my new found fav, their description: “Who draws the crowd and plays so loud, baby? It's the guitar plant! Actually, the soft, fernlike foliage alone - deep green, very finely dissected leaves with bronze new growth - could draw a crowd. But it also produces showy spikes of white or cream flowers in summer, which someone apparently thinks look like little guitars up close (but much quieter). This Tasmania endemic has been in cultivation for a while, though still very rare, and it's much hardier and easier to grow than given credit for, thriving easily on any reasonably well-drained soil in sun or part shade. Hardy to about 5 - 10 °F.”
Nobody seems to mention the scent of the flowers but when I was taking these photos it was very strong, not at all unpleasant but not something you would necessarily seek out.
I think the red stems are an especially nice bonus paired with the lacy green foliage.
As always I'm curious if a certain plant has caught your eye this week, if so please tell us about it...
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