Thursday, September 10, 2015

Bocconia frutescens is my favorite plant in the garden, this week...

I started my "favorite plant" feature back in 2012 because a particular plant was looking extraordinary and I wanted needed to share it with my gardening friends. Walking in the back door the other day I happened to glance at the Bocconia frutescens and realized, "damn! That plant is looking fine"... thus it's being "fav'd"...

The front of the leaves are such a bright happy green, but the backs - with their white powdery flocking - are knock-outs!

Here's what this same plant looked like in January of 2014.

It spends winter next to the back door so in case of a cold-snap I can bring it inside quickly (it's only hardy to 25F-ish). But that particular year temperatures dropped without warning and BAM! no more foliage. I was afraid the whole thing was dead and cut it back hard. It later responded with new growth but didn't look particularly nice for all of 2014 - that's probably why I never bothered to move it into the garden this year - it's spent summer by the back door.

That location meant plenty of water since the veggies grow there too. I think it likes the water along with our summer heat.

The darn thing produces copious amounts of seeds. I've had many germinate in the container itself, but have had difficulty removing them and potting them up to live on elsewhere.

If it were in the ground this native to South America would be 10-16 ft tall and 8-12 ft wide.

I'm just happy to have it alive here, in a container...

All material © 2009-2015 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.

15 comments:

  1. What a cool plant. May I ask where you found it? :)

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    1. At Dragonfly, up in Washington, sadly now closed. Wanna try some seed?

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  2. Now I'm even sadder that my little seedling failed. That foliage is splendid.

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    1. I'll bring more seeds to the swap, if you want to try again.

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  3. The leaves are really cool, something like Oak, but not Oak. They remind me of folding up a piece of paper in elementary school and cutting out little bits and unfolding the paper and ending up with a "snowflake". Which is amazing for a kid in So Cal who had never seen snow, but in Spokane...maybe snowflakes didn't capture the imagination, because you saw the reality.

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    1. Oh we still did the paper snowflake thing, I think it was a rule that grade school windows had to be covered in them!

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  4. Such interesting leaves - they remind me of swamp white oak.

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  5. Ok, that's pretty cool. Maybe I'll have to try some seeds...

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  6. I thought it was oak at first. Still a plant that's hard to come by here.

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    1. I've only seen it at the one nursery up here in the PNW. Now if you were in California I think it would be much easier to find.

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  7. It's quite a resilient plant to have made it through the sudden cold snap. Glad it survived as it's very pretty!

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    1. Thanks Peter. I still recall your comparing it to the (much hardier) Hydrangea quercifolia.

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  8. I really like its foliage. I hope you get lucky with some seedling some day.

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