Showing posts from May, 2015

Where have you been all my life? A true blue Corydalis.

Occasionally you stumble onto a plant you never heard of and suddenly it's everywhere: everywhere (that is) in a certain garden: The garden of Jacques and Andrea Thompson was brimming with more color than seems quite proper, really: vast sweeps of creeping phloxes, Trilliums in drifts here and there in every color imaginable, dozens of daphnes the size of small eastern states and what seemed to be the genetic stocks colletion of Stylophorum diphyllum: I will eventually get around to blogging about all of these (probably in several blogs: that garden is just too dang big to boil down to just one blog) But tucked here and there all over the garden among the many treasures I kept noticing a piercingly, lavish blue corydalis that was new to me: Corydalis turtschaninovii is a cruel Latin name to saddle upon such a graceful little nymph.

 It seemed to grow in all manner of spots: sunny, shady, among other plants, and by itself. In gravelly soil and woodsy soil. Of course--as soon as I…

Clearly Clever Clematis

Not flamboyant like poppies or peonies, but for us devotees, nothing beats an herbaceous 'Viorna' clematis (Viorna is the name of a prominent semi-vining species in the Eastern woodlands that is the type of the sub-genus that includes the American clumping clematis: it has even been used as a Generic name for the section--not something I advocate). Superficially reminiscent of the Eurasian Clematis integrifolia--which I suspect they will prove to be related to as well one day--there is a great variation among and within the American clumpers: these pictures have been taken this past week at Denver Botanic Gardens and at my home. I begin with the rare Clematis albicoma, known from eight counties in Virginia and three in West Virginia) here blooming at Denver Botanic Gardens. The chartreuse flowers with a wonderfully hairy (albi=white; coma=hairdo) glow. How cool is that?
I was privileged to see this in the wild north of Wichita on a wonderful fieldtrip four years ago led by La…