Sunday, October 10, 2010
The BEST Zauschneria
I am not always a diehard, sticking to my guns no matter what. But I still call shooting stars Dodecatheon (even though I know they are really primroses) and zauschnerias may really be fireweeds (not a bad name for them) but I figure if hummingbirds know the difference, so might we...So I persist in calling this Zauschneria septentrionale.
I am always amazed there are not more zauschnerias planted in Denver. Plant Select has championed Zauschneria garrettii, which blooms in June, July and August but is pretty tattered by now. It is undoubtedly the toughest and hardiest...and many years the later blooming californica and arizonica are often frosted...but Zauschneria septentrionale never disappoints. This terribly underappreciated plant comes from northern California, and possibly Oregon. It generally comes into bloom in August, but it is still blazing away in mid October this year (I just took this picture last Friday in the Rock Alpine Garden at Denver Botanic Gardens.) I think I got my plant from Carman's wonderful nursery in Los Gatos almost 30 years ago, and it has grown there contentedly ever since. The silvery white foliage is decorative long before the flowers open, but with its wonderful bloom (and tolerance of many garden soils and conditions) I would rate this plant very high indeed. Don't you agree?