Wednesday, June 5, 2013

B.C. (more ancient scans)

Babiana truncata near Middelpos
Typical habitat for babianas is in crevices where their namesake baboons can't get at the bulbs. This was high enough in altitude that there would be hope of hardiness. But there was no seed, of course!

Babiana truncata closeup

Bryomorphe aretioides
Not exactly a Walmart plant (thank Heavens), this tufted Gnaphalinae is restricted to high altitudes in the Western Cape mountains--growing in the unforgiving quartzite as a chasmophyte. Too early for the flowers (which are as modest as the foliage tufts) I'm curious if this has ever been cultivated. A wonderful memento of a magical day with David McDonald, an ecologist and wonderful friend from Cape Town.

Bulbinella elegans
More memories of the Roggeveld: why is this plant not in my garden? I am sure it will be hardy...and judging by the closeup, it obviously would tolerate some much remains to be collected in the wild world of plants (before we turn everything into shopping malls: it's a race).

Bulbinella elegans

Calceolaria lanceolata Laguna del Maule
Very few spots on earth can match the extraordinary density of wonderful plants that I encountered in the Maule valley. I hope the Heavens will be kind enough to let me return one day. The Calceolaria was just one example. There was much, much more.

Campanula alpestris
Somewhere I have another picture which is just solid with flowers--but this shows its habit better. What a marvelous plant! For a while I thought it would be a weed. I was wrong.

Campanula hagielia

I have not yet scanned the amazing pictures of this in the garden--which look like wedding cakes in wooly rosette, studded with huge pale blue chalices for months at a time. And it was perennial! (Not long lived, mind you, but it did bloom and rebloom at least twice before expiring). And it produced buckets of seed. Probably my #1 Campanula--which is saying a lot--here growing in "Nature"--in crevices of the ruins at Ephesos.

Campanula hawkinsiana
I have managed to grow this several times. And lose it several times. From serpentine screes in Greece: I have managed to tame and probably keep Rosularia serpentinica, from similar screes in Turkey--so perhaps we can do the same with this gem of a bellflower.

Campanula macrantha
We grew this monster for years--the largest perennial campanula I believe. I loved it and miss it (it's been gone for at least a decade). But I have proof that we had it (and BOY, did we!--that's almost 6' tall!)...

Campanula mollis
A trophy from a trip to Spain in October, 2001, in Andalucía. We grew this in the garden, but it did not persist.

Campanula rupicola
My first attempt at growing the gem of Mt. Parnassus.

Campanula rupicola
It came back several years with a vengeance: I'd work harder at keeping this if I got it again--it's one of the best of the chasmophyte group because of its compactness and perenniality.

Campanula sartori
One of the tiniest of Mediterranean chasmophytes: this self sowed for me for years.

Campanula takesimana
This extravagant Korean monstrosity I photographed in the Pacific Northwest turned out to be reliably perennial for us, and not nearly as weedy as its close relation, C. punctata. Never photographed our plants--and we no longer have it. Oh well...that's why you take pix!

Campanula tubulosa
Another of the endlessly variable (within narrow parameters, I demur) Mediterranean chasmophytes. I had this for many years in my old garden. It must have produced seed. Nowadays our incredible staff at the Gardens would have turned this into thousands of plants. Like the endless variations in the concerti of Vivaldi, the subtle differences between the dozens if not hundreds of Mediterranean campanulas appeals to certain recondite minds.

Campanula waldsteiniana
I have seen pictures of this filling big pans in English Alpine shows in the most ostentatious way. I know it sounds like sour grapes, but I prefer a happy tuft in the garden. Those grapes are very sour.

Carduncellus pinnatus in bud
I terrify visitors with my taste for thistles. And this one is undeniably thistly and prickly to boot. It is also very slow growing, propagates with reluctance and sets few seed. It is definitely not a weed.

Carduncellus pinnatus

And when it blooms it's enchanting. Another gem from Morocco (where I would love to visit)...

Centaurea drabifolia
For a while the Czechs were collecting all manner of subspecies of this taxon. I grew several and enjoyed them for a long time.

Centaurea ruthenica
I recall many years ago--probably half a century--when Pam Harper visited our Garden the ONLY plant she seemed to be transfixed with was this. She took picture after picture of it (and almost nothing else). We had it growing superbly on this slope for twenty years or more--then one year it was gone. Jelitto sells it pretty reasonably: I must order it again (and I saw it in Kazakhstan--a pretty a picture in the wild as in the garden)...

Centaurea ruthenica closeup
More pictures of this scrumptious thing...

Centaurea ruthenica
The foliage is incredibly leathery to the touch and firm--I love it as much for that as just the flowers...

Cephalaria tatarica and Swallowtail
I know, I know: Cephalaria is a horrible self seeder, and growing as it does to 10' tall and across, it's not for the intimate garden. But few plants attract so many butterflies...

Chaenactis alpina
This small genus of tufted plants with strange flowers has produced several "keepers": this is my favorite one--abundant in the high Rockies in the right spot.

Chamaelirion luteum
This throve for me for years, and slowly faded away. It would be fun to try this uncommon eastern woodland plant again...

Chamaerhodos mongolica
Very close to potentilla, these little shrubs are a delightful addition--although they fade away as well. We have a native Chamaerhodos which is biennial and rather homely. I found its biennial cousin in Central Asia too--but left the seed behind on that one. We want this shrubby perennial instead!

Chasmatophyllum musculinum
One of the longest blooming plants I've ever grown. Just realized my plants faded away. Time to get more!

Cheilanthes eatonii
Otherwise restricted to the southeast corner of the state, I was thrilled to find this in Clear Creek Canyon--one of the loveliest of our desert ferns--I was standing on the very spot I found a rattlesnake on another occasion (good story that one...)

Cheilanthes eatonii
Here it is in Southeastern Colorado. I must grow this one from spore one day.

Cheilanthes marantae
What a treat it was to find its cousin growing in Western Turkey--I took this picture almost exactly 20 years ago this past month. How time flies when you're having fun!

Thank you, Ann Frazier, for unlocking transparencies from my past so crisply and letting me share them with the plant nerds of the world...


  1. Lovely to see a picture of Bryomorphe, to which I have also been led by Dave McDonald.

  2. Chamaelirion luteum !!!!That plant smells exactly like honey, i found it in the woodlands and was enthralled by it even though everyone else said it was a weed, only to later learn it was one of the most widely used medicinal plants of the Native Americans in that area. I love it


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