Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Plant of the Day

Do you have any idea what this plant is?

I've been living in my house for 5 1/2 years. I'm on my 5th beautiful spring in my delightful little garden-yard. I've admired & enjoyed this little plant. With it's abundant sunny yellow flowers dotting the leaves as it vies for space beneath the honeysuckle & trumpet vine, this is the little plant that could! Ok, the plant isn't so little--given a little leeway, it might think it can take over that section of the yard, but it behaves when asked nicely. And, until today, I had no real idea what this was. I had heard it may be some type of coreopsis, or possibly lantana, or maybe it's one of those, you know... but alas no definitive answer. UNTIL TODAY! I actually saw one, for sale at the garden shop. It was $30.00, but had no identifying tag in it. Ok, one step closer, it's a $30 shrub. of some sort.
So we asked the girl that works there. She dug through the pot looking for a tag, shrugged her shoulders and PLUCKED a poor innocent flower from the baby and went in search of an answer. And the mystery plant is.... (a drum roll please)


Common Name: Japanese rose
Genus: Kerria
Species: japonica
Cultivar: 'Pleniflora'
Skill Level: Beginner
Exposure: Partial shade, Shade
Hardiness: Hardy
Soil type: Well-drained/light, Clay/heavy, Acidic, Chalky/alkaline, Moist
Height: 300cm
Spread: 300cm
Time to divide plants: September to November

Also known as Jew's mallow or quite simply as Kerria, this is a popular spring flowering shrub, just a single species from China but with several lovely varieties. It will grow almost anywhere, and soon develop into a thicket of tall graceful stems as suckers grow from the creeping roots, but it is best kept out of direct sunlight to avoid bleaching the flowers. In this form these are fully double, like golden pompons, ideal for illuminating a dark corner or north-facing wall. Chop round plants annually to restrain their spread. The Royal Horticultural Society has given it its prestigious Award of Garden Merit (AGM).

And now we know! I bet you sleep better tonight, I know I will. Now if I can figure out what else is growing out there, I'll be able to make it through the spring.

2 garnishes:

Sarah Louise May 20, 2007 at 9:22 AM  

don't tell my mom you've got a non-native plant in your backyard...but KEWL!

KitchenKiki May 20, 2007 at 10:17 PM  

It was the mystery plant. I didn't plant it, I just tried to figure out what it was!

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