Monday, May 10, 2010

Joy in the Garden

Great joy can be had when one grows a plant well in their own garden. This is especially the case when the plant is relatively rare on the street. The "oohs" and "aahs" of visiting friends and family can certainly be most gratifying, if not also feed our horticultural egos. ;)

Such is the case with two Arisaema (Jack-in-the-Pulpit) in my front garden. The first is A. kishidai 'Jack Frost', a very cool variegated form (of a Japanese species) I grew from Shady Oaks Nursery several years ago. The flowers are an interesting creamy-white with brown streaks.
As a definite and very significant bonus, each leaf has a beautiful silver stripe down the middle. I have found it relatively easy to grow.
Second, is A. sikokianum, another Japanese species, which is a special plant for me, as it was a gift from a good gardening friend. It has the completely inappropriate common name of Gaudy Jack, apparently in reference to the bright white spadix which sits inside and in contrast with the black-striped, green spathe. It has also been easy to grow.

These are both of course, relatives of our native Jack-in-the-Pulpit, A. triphyllum, easily seen during the spring in wooded areas of Southern Ontario. It is also rather variable, and I hoping to grow a selection with particularly dark-coloured flowers and foliage called 'Black Jack'.

Here's to dirt under your nails.

Mark, the coolplantsguy

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