Petit Inventory II – Chinese Podophyllums

A rainy day, perfect to show my young Chinese Podophyllums: Podophyllum delavayi and P. pleianthum x versipelle. They don’t like the cold very much but surely enjoy the moisture whenever possible.


Podophyllum delavayi

The few that I manage to transplant in larger pots in early summer, obviously fared better than the ones left in small ones. This is happening with all rhizomes forming species, which need large pots in order to develop well. Note taken of the ‘thorny’ problem of quantity over quality…


Podophyllum pleianthum x versipelle

Talking Chinese Podophyllum spp., I have the chance to show a ‘freshly’ taken image with seeds of P. aurantiocaule ssp. aurantiocaule.


Podophyllum aurantiocaule ssp. aurantiocaule seeds

Interesting to see how different the seeds are comparing with others (see in the featured image germinated seeds of P. pleianthum x versipelle). This species belongs to Section Paradysosma and it said that combines the leaf shape of Sect. Dysosma (P. pleianthum, versipelle…) with the floral characters of Sect. Hexandra (P. hexandrum). The seeds are very similar with those of P. hexandrum, that’s for sure.

Looking fw to see the ‘youngsters’ next year!!!

And…I have few seeds to spare for those interested, enter the shop here: Podophyllum aurantiocaule ssp. aurantiocaule

Germination for all: clean the seeds from the fleshy fruits and sow right away (late fall); or place the seeds in cold/moist stratification and sow when they show signs of germination (early spring).


My petit inventory

Fall has officially arrived and I thought it would be wise to start doing what I call my ‘petit inventory’ :) Lots of seeds have been sown this year and many have germinated. As usual, some seedlings have perished, while others have grown well; a few have been planted in the ground, and some are even flowering! (see Iris dichotoma and Scabiosa caucasica).

An inventory always helps me remember what I’ve grown during the year and it adds to the experience. In most cases, the inventory entails only 2-3 plants, or worse, 1 – truly ‘petit’! I will show a few from the alpine section for now.

Few Caucasian species are my joy and pride: Potentilla divina, Astragalus levieri and Eremogone lichnidea.


Potentilla divina a bit difficult to grow, I hope to get it through the winter


Astragalus levieri – a high altitude species, easy to germinate but usually hard to establish; the young seedling was planted in the ground in May


Eremogone lichnidea – another new species, I left them as they were in the seeding pot (some alpines react well to this treatment)

As well other species, like Silene jailensis and Paronychia cephalotes, have exceeded my expectations. I also have good hope to finally see the alpine thistle – Carlina acaulis, established in the rockery (seen in the Silene background).


Silene jailensis (a Crimean collection) – seedling planted early outside


Paronychia cephalotes – another new one, the seedlings were looking so nice that I was afraid to prick them out and planted the whole seedlings pot in the ground.

As you notice, I have continued my experiment of planting asap very young seedlings in the ground, and it has proven again to be the better way to go, at least for me. They can have the roots going deep down fast and establish well throughout the season, while the ones left in pots are more difficult to manage water-wise, plus that the pots are not deep enough for their liking.

In the feature image: Artemisia umbelliformis (Alpine wormwood), another little alpine gem I’m happy to see doing well.

Next to come – the Chinese Podophyllum babies from the shady section!

Where’s the Snow White?

This Scabiosa caucasica (grown from seeds) was supposed to be the Snow White, ie. Scabiosa caucasica ‘Fama White’.


Scabiosa caucasica – best called just ‘Fama’

Because the mother-plant grew close to a ‘Fama Blue’ last year, of course there was a chance of ‘mixed’ off-springs or the reverse to the wild type (I warned everyone). In any case, the bluish to lavender flowers with a silvery overlay are spectacular! A bit late start of flowering because I planted the seedlings very late. However, note that this is a plant started from seeds this year, in late February!

As it happens, the dwarf of the genus, Scabiosa silenifolia, is also flowering, and as well off-time. All these pincushion flowers for the delight of the pollinators!


Scabiosa silenifolia

Awaiting for the hummingbird

September Wildlife Wednesday

September – the hummers are more visible and feeding more often trying to fatten up before the flight back to their winter homes. Although they are ‘punctual’ for their meals they are hard to catch on camera though; it seems they are picky on the daily menu: Hibiscus, Delphinium, Kniphofia, Phlox…. They are fun to watch but so frustrating to photograph!

In waiting for the hummingbird, I will show first more pictures of swallowtails and the hummingbird moth, all captured while feeding one afternoon on Vernonia – Ironweed (probably V. noveboracensis). It was quite crowded! I don’t have this plant in the garden, so it is on top of my wish list (there are seeds, no worry… :)


Giant swallowtail – Papilio cresphontes; said to be the largest butterfly found in Canada


Eastern black swallowtail – Papilio polyxenes (there are a few subspecies, but let’s not go into details here)

The Hummingbird clearwing moth behaves like the hummingbirds, showing around the garden at the same time for the feeding. According with wiki, this moth is considered to be a hummingbird mimic and is frequently mistaken for it! It collects nectar from a variety of species, using a long proboscis. I’ve also seen it on Phlox and Monarda, and it seems to prefer purple and red flowers.


Hummingbird clearwing – Hemaris thysbe

And since we’ve waited for the hummingbird, here it is my best shot taken yesterday just by pure chance. The female of the Ruby-throated (Archilochus colubris) or Black-chinned hummingbird (Archilochus alexandri), I cannot tell for sure; feeding on a Delphinium.


As always, there is much more to read and many beautiful pictures with birds and other pollinators for this Wildlife Wednesday meme, at Tina’s wildlife friendly Blog!