Mukdenia: a tale of whoa!


The flowers are merely white, and the foliage cool enough: why then does this plant appeal to me so much? The name contains a bit of history: Mukden was the Manchurian name for Shenyang, the capital of Liaoning province of Northeastern China, where this attractive herb in the Saxifrage family was presumably first named by botanists.



I was lucky to find Mukdenia in full bloom in Copenhagen's little gem of a rock garden on April 2013


Same clump in early July of 2015


And I just took this picture a few days ago (early September, 2017). I am a lucky mortal to have had a chance to visit some place a continent apart on three rain-free days to compare the seasons...and even the self-same plant in three charming different guises! Ah, the things that thrill a plant nerds heart!


A slightly different view from another vantage point...

 
A closeup of the springtime bloom in Copenhagen...


I photographed this at a Home Depot near my house: really beautifully grown (but mistakenly labeled) pots of Mukdenia--the fancy reddish leaf form from Japan that is sold as 'Karasuba' in Japan, but goes by 'Crimson Fans' in the US.

7 bucks is a pretty good price for these...
I didn't buy any (I have a few miserable specimens--my garden is just too dry for them to thrive)--but was tempted! I checked back a few weeks later to see if they'd gone half price--I would have picked up a few for sure then for the heck of it! (this was last year btw) and they were all gone: did some clever person find them and buy them all? Or were they dumped. Probably the latter...

Here is Mukdenia rossii 'Karasuba' at Denver Botanic Gardens where quite a few were propagated a couple years ago. They don't seem to be much in evidence at the Gardens (where we are a bit stingy with watering too!)...perhaps they were sold at our plant sale? I love this plant--and notice I haven't photographed it's hybrid with Bergenia that's doing better for me--perhaps I'll add that to this rogues gallery at a later date...

Comments

  1. I have not had good luck with this plant either; probably dryness asyou say.

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