Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Aroidiana: three more delightful weeds...


I can almost hear my friends in wetter parts of America groaning! Pinellias! Panayoti! You have GOT to be kidding...these are ineradicable weeds for many of you I know. That's punishment for living where gentle rains soak your landscape on a more or less regular basis...for those of us who live on the godforsaken steppes of America (they're simply awful--stay where you are) we can grow these things just fine. They are even a tad, well, picky (we have to put them in shade, in places we actually commit to watering. If not...bye bye! The one above is Pinellia pedatisecta, which I enjoyed finding on top of Confucius grave. Quite literally...in Qufu, Shandong province to be exact. I do have it seeding here and there--just enough to share with friends. It is green flowered, like most pinellias--if you do not like green flowers, have a good long chat with your therapist and get over it.


This is public enemy number one: Pinellia ternata...it has the famous bulbils in the axils of the leaves which (along with real seeds) are responsible for its bad habits. In Colorado it doesn't seem to be a problem. Here it is in Sandy Snyder's wonderful garden. I must remind myself to ask her for a piece so I can traumatize wetlanders when they visit me...it's green too!

 
This is the polite one that no one seems to resent too much: Pinellia tripartita. I am very fond of it myself--like a summer blooming Jack in the Pulpit. There is a slightly more purple form that goes by 'Atropurpureum'--but like the others it is green...
 
For those of us who live where sun and dryness are the norm, these accomodating (and yes, vigorous and possibly even invasive where you live) plants are very welcome...
 
Invasiveness, like beauty and lots else is in the mind and eye (and garden) of the beholder. If you live in wet regions stick to the last one and perhaps Pinellia cordata--a spectacular species that has not proved hardy for me in Zone 5/6...
 
When I was a child, the premier Delicatessen and specialty grocery store in North Denver was Pinelli's, where we would go to buy cheese, olives and suchlike many decades ago...I rather like the thought that that long gone delicatessen is commemorated by such a sweet suite of aroids--the first of which, come to think of it, even has a sweet smell...wonder if the grocer and botanist were related?

1 comment:

  1. Yesterday I dug out a 3 cubicfoot bag of Pinellia pedatisecta from my shade garden where they were engulfing some choice epemediums. I love the pinellias ( hey name a aroid that I don't like)& I know that P. pedatisecta will be back next year with a vengeance.They just needed a bit of "thinning"!

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