Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Phylica pubescens And Other New Plants

Above, Phylica pubescens
 
I've been keeping an eye out for a Phylica pubescens since October 2014, when I saw the famous $400 specimen at Seaside Gardens in Carpenteria.  The general thought is that they priced the famous specimen at $400 because they got very tired of saying, "No, it's not for sale!", and they wanted customers to quit asking to buy it.
$400 should silence everyone:
 
A garden club member graciously gave me a seedling last June, but sadly despite care it's now...smaller than it was last June.  
New foliage, though...maybe it's growing roots?

Late To The Garden Party mentioned finding a Phylica recently, so the hunt intensified, and after some enthusiastic cajoling on the beauties of Phylica, and Beloved shrewdly pulling up some photos on his phone, a local supplier (Village) ordered a few, called me when they arrived, and I was able to get a beautiful plant.


The foliage is as silky as a kitten.
 Nice, eh?  Phylica pubescens is native to the Cape peninsula of South Africa.  A bit of good information on it here.  I have a spot for it in the ground--not sure which spot, though.  This plant is so breathtaking backlit, it needs to be placed where the sun will light it up and explain why I was looking for it for so long. 
You life up my light!
 Another new plant,  Leucophyta (formerly Calocephalus) brownii 'Silver Stone'.  Native to Australia.  I bought it in six-pack form not realizing it was a dwarf selection of the species which I've grown several times.  Short-lived, but stunning.  'Silver Stone' grows to about a foot (30 cm) tall and wide, the species to 3 feet tall and wide.  However a dwarf should work perfectly where I placed it.  I noticed its already grown in the week since planting--so, good.  It will provide some interest until the Kalanchoe orgyalis grows large enough to fit the space, and then it will die though I wish it wouldn't.   The Kalanchoe leaf backsides will silver up with summer heat. 
 Noted with red arrow.  Hey those 'Joe Hoak's are finally growing!
I bought some hybrid Watsonia bulbs at 50% off a few months ago, and finally, a flower stem appeared.  They are like small Gladiolas that don't need staking.  Like Phylica, from South Africa. They can form quite a formidable clump, so may not be here for long. 
An impulse purchase but with a purpose--a very prominent spot had a wimpy own-root rose that looked simply dreadful--I potted the poor thing up in hope of saving it, and replaced it with a potted rose, 'Drop Dead Red'.  No idea how this rose will perform, but it looks miraculously better than what it replaced.  

In the not-new-but-new category is one unexpectedly back from the dead.  I got Agapanthus 'Sandringham' at Joy Creek on the Portland Fling back in 2014.  It vanished soon after I planted it, so I assumed it died.  Uh, no.  It's a deciduous Agapanthus and another South African native.  I didn't even know there was such a thing as a deciduous Agapanthus.  It didn't appear last spring, but here it is...so...whatever.  Welcome back!
 Lastly another new/old plant, a volunteer Diascia, Nemesia (thanks teejay!) a great-great-great-great-great grandseedling of a plant I bought probably around 2002.  It's appeared periodically since then.  I haven't seen any for several years, but a pair appeared a few weeks ago, in a sweet shade of lavender.  Usually the seedlings are white.  
 Cute.  One is lankier than the other.  Kind of odd with Agaves and Aloes, which is where they appeared, but...cute.  Plants.  They do what they do. 
Just don't you dare die, little Miss Phylica!

 

24 comments:

  1. I like how you place plants for maximum beauty such as catching the morning or evening sun to make them glow.

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    1. It makes them fun to photograph! Light and shadows are part of a garden, too. :)

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  2. I'm glad you found the Phylica! I was at Armstrong today and briefly considered picking up another one but my husband was along so I wasn't permitted to dilly-dally and decided it would be best to come home and figure out where I'd put a second Phylica before buying it. The one I have in a large pot seems to be very happy thus far.

    I didn't know there was such a thing as a deciduous Agapanthus either - I hope you'll post a photo of the flower when it blooms. Watsonia can develop a massive clump - I had it in my former garden where it was (sort-of) kept in bounds between the neighbor's fence and our driveway but I haven't planted any of the bulbs here (yet).

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    1. My Armstrongs didn't have any, but Village came through. I hope the deciduous Agapanthus actually blooms! It seems so small to me. Thanks for the Watsonia warning--as soon as I read "massive"--those Watsonia are coming out right after they finish blooming.

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  3. That Phylica is fantastic - never heard of it before today. I bet your little one is still just working on its roots. What's that saying again...? Something like"The first year it sleeps, the second year it creeps, and the third year it leaps." Up here, I think all Agapanthus are deciduous - at least the ones in my garden are.

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    1. Well I wish it would wake up. ;^)

      Here, Agapanthus are snail condominiums. Each night, especially during the rainy season, dozens of snails venture forth to destroy what they can and return at dawn to their condos. So the idea of a winter-deciduous one is delightful. But it must bloom to stay.

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  4. Phylica, that's a beauty and lucky to finally get one!

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    1. It's a new new thing here--experimental. An acid soil on sandstone slopes is ideal. Ive got the sandstone slopes, but not the acidity.

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  5. I have never seen Phylica before. I can see why you love it. It is beautiful.

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    1. It's fun and out of the ordinary, a few of those in the garden make it more special.

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  6. Sob - here I sit on the Cape Pensinsula looking at my gone Phylica, smothered by an exuberant Euryops.

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    1. But, at least you get to be on the Cape Peninsula! Euryops was a very popular plant here for a decade--nurseries found it easy to produce and sell. I think I like Phylica better. The "acid soil" is going to be difficult--I'm worried about that.

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  7. Makes sense you brought home a deciduous agapanthus from Joy Creek - I think they're the most cold tolerant, whereas SoCal's ubiquitous clumps are evergreen. I decided to bring in some ag's last year but the crowns have become buried by other stuff. My new phyllica looks OK, but I really should buy a replacement phyllica now!

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    1. It was my Joy Creek souvenir as they were out of Clematis. Had to have a souvenir of that wonderful day and that beautiful nursery.

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  8. Watsonias do tend to multiply when they're happy where they're planted. Eventually, however, the corms start to crowd one another and they send up fewer blooming stalks. Lots of smaller leaf blades, though. Once every three years or so, it pays to dig up the clump when it's dormant, (I know, I know--July/August/September, just when you don't fell like digging much of anything), and replant only the biggest and most vigorous corms. Also the best time to move the clump, should it come to that.

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    1. Well they must be ecstatic where I planted 5 corms a few months ago because there is already a forest of foliage.

      Fear will motivate me to move them! It works, even in July.

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  9. That shot of the backlit Phylica pubescens brings to mind a photographer talking about Marilyn Monroe, who glowed in the same way (and for the same reason). Stunner!

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    1. Hopefully Phyl is easier to work with, and doesn't die young. :(

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  10. I think those might be volunteer Nemesias--seedlings from 'Bluebird' plantings somewhere nearby. I get them coming up, and eventually they go to the pale bi-colors. FREE PLANTS! Now I have Phylica envy!

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    1. Thanks, teejay, yes Nemesia. Diascia didn't quite feel right but I needed to get back outside. It has been so long since I bought 'Blue Bird' that I forgot the name. Yep, free plants! :)

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  11. This is a great quote: "Plants. They do what they do." I always enjoy your posts.

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  12. Congratulations on finally finding a Phylica pubescens! It is, indeed, stunning when backlit! "You life up my life" Love that!

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    1. Thanks, Peter! If I can enable the plant to grow well, I'll be even happier.

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