Tuesday, October 9, 2012

A must have Sedum from Siberia

If this were called Echinacea or Hosta, there would be scads of gardeners buying it, and hybridizers fussing over it and nurserymen loving it. Alas, it is but a mere Sedum (or perhaps more correctly Hylotelephium. I prefer to use the latter as a Sectional of the genus Sedum [and stick to the old generic] for the sake of simplicty, clarity and to annoy sticklers). This pink form is to DIE for: it's growing (like so many treasures) at the Gardens at Kendrick Lake, the Lakewood city Xeriscape demonstration garden.

Here is a pure white form of the same taxon, growing the same place. Dontcha love variability?

And here is a rather impoverished individual I photographed years ago at my old house: in more shade and otherwise tortured it does not make such a wonderful dome, but it is still charming (and you can see the terrific, silvery, toothy leaves. I first obtained this from a great rock gardener from Brooklyn named Louis Budd Myers--we're talking thirty years ago. The two plants at Kendrick are from a subsequent expedition to Inner Mongolia where seed was gathered by Harlan Hamernik. Bluebird Nursery still offers this wonderful plant that I rarely see in people's gardens, and more is the pity. It never spreads, and makes a perfect dome in late summer just under a foot tall and across--great to grow where spring bulbs come up early and die down in time for this to do its thing. Like all sedums, it's dead easy to grow. You should try it: you too will like it (in pink or white--or both perhaps!)...And besides, the name is fun to say!

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