Monday, July 14, 2008

GBBD July - Silene, Handsome Harry and Roman Wormwood

Rather than my usual bombardment of photos, I decided to focus on only three interesting plants (to me), two of which I grew from seed.

The first is a Silene or campion, Silene uniflora 'Robin Whitebreast'. From J. Hudson Seeds: "Abundant white flowers nearly enclosed in balloon-like inflated calyces, in summer. Small hardy perennial to 8", forming 4" tall cushions of grey-green leaves." Zone 3. It seems this plant is commonly grown in Europe but I have not seen it sold in nurseries here.

The second, Corydalis sempervirens, 'Roman Wormwood'. From J. Hudson Seeds: "Pink to purple 3/4" yellow-tipped, short-spurred flowers in spikes. Attractive annual or biennial to 2 feet". After reading about Corydalis in an old issue of "Horticulture" I decided to see if I could grow some from seed. And indeed this one was very easy to grow with good germination. The flowers are pretty but very small. However, the attractive fern-like leaves make up for the dainty blooms.

I added this photo of the finely figured Corydalis leaves because I think they are quite beautiful in their own right.

And finally "Handsome Harry", Rhexia virginica, Meadow Beauty which I wrote about a few posts ago but thought I'd share more photos of because it has a unique look and more flowers are starting to bloom. Entangled of Tangled Branches: Cultivated has some wonderful pictures of some wild ones growing on her property in Maryland. The colors of the flowers are a little off - it should be more pink rather than having a purple tinge. I left it uncorrected because the background colors becomes unnatural when I try to manipulate the photos.


Blogger Entangled said...

Cool plants! I'm curious about the Corydalis - did you start it from seed this year (the catalog description said annual OR biennial)? I killed 2 perennial Corydalis species and then gave up.

As an aside, the MD Meadow Beauty is actually growing in VA. I think they shouldn't name plants after states ;-)

4:55 AM  
Blogger Ki said...

I started the Corydalis from seed this year. I hope it's at least a biennial but it was easy enough to grow and I'll happily plant it as an annual. The flowers are few and small but it is quite a distinctive plant with very attractive leaves. I'll post some photos of the leaves later. I know a lot of people who got sucked in to buying the light blue gorgeous Corydalis they were selling a few years ago. Unfortunately those were very difficult to grow if not impossible.

Nothing like trying to confuse the gardener more by naming them after states. :)

5:16 AM  
Blogger Gail said...

I like the calm here...and new plants!
All the names are familiar from reading but the varieties are not! Thanks for a pleasant time with your trio!

clay and limestone

11:44 AM  
Blogger Les, Zone 8a said...

I am glad to see something different for bloom day. I was given a Corydalis almost 10 years ago and am not sure which one, but I suspect C. lutea. There has been no trouble getting it to germinate - I pull it up by the fist full from all over the garden, always leaving a few. It has blue green foliage with a very unique aroma, and small yellow flowers.

4:46 PM  
Blogger Ki said...

Thank you for your kind comments Gail! It is fun to grow plants from seed. I've read a lot about Corydalis but this is the first I've seen or planted so it's been a pleasant surprise. Thanks for stopping by.


Hi Les,
Wow, I hope the one I planted will do as well as yours has. I'll have to check to see if the leaves have an aroma. I thought about buying some C. lutea seeds too but I can't remember why I didn't. Old age is creeping up on me, quickly. Now that I've had success in growing this Corydalis, I may try some different ones. Thanks for your comment.

6:09 PM  
Blogger Cindy said...

Thanks for a great introduction to three plants new to me! And your photos are lovely.

5:48 AM  
Blogger Ki said...

You are most welcome Cindy. These were new to me also, although I've been wanting the Rhexia for many, many years. The other two I tried on a whim - I like interesting looking plants. I actually tried a couple of other Silenes, one purportedly used by the Xhosa African peoples to induce vivid dreams. Apparently the roots are used somehow, probably in a decoction. I think my dreams are vivid enough and I won't be trying the roots ;) The plant seems to be growing vigorously though there are no flowers yet.

Thanks for stopping by.

5:58 PM  
Blogger joco said...

You always have be running for my wildflower books ;-)
The silene looks remarkably like one of our wayside flowers, the species Silene vulgaris. The other interesting silene is the nightflowering catchfly, S. noctiflora. The plain white campion finally turned up in my garden, S. alba. I saw it by the Thames a few years back, just one plant, so I just wished for it, honestly. And it must have heard me wish. It looks lovely against the dark brown of Notcutt's Smoketree. (I won't struggle with that name any longer since they changed it from Rhus ).

12:39 AM  

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