Field of Science

Slow learners

Some people are just slow learners, or stubborn. In this case some people must learn the hard way about planting certain plants.  TPP has warned you about plume poppies (here also) and bishop's weed, and a hardy bamboo; never plant these plants, period.   In the not quite so terrible category, but you are properly warned anyways, are loosestrifes (Lysimachia).  Presently one shady bed has a sizeable population of L. clethroides, the gooseneck loosestrife. In flower the curving racemes of white flowers are quite handsome, but it takes some effort to keep this population in its place. If would be harder if the area were wetter.  The worst species in our experience is L. punctata, which can really crank out the rhizomes and aggressively colonize an area although the dense spikes of yellow flowers are very handsome, and like the others, it flowers in summer when flowering of other plants is limited. Fortunately, L. congestifolia is not hardy here and must be replanted, but it's a low spreader just like L. nummularia which can even invade lawns. So why or why did the Phactors decide to try yet one more species, L. ciliata, in a semi-shady area near our
pond?  Well, it's flowers are large and pretty of course (image courtesy of Wouter Hagens, Wikimedia Creative Commons), and this is a bit of a tough place, but something tells TPP this decision will be regretted. Even as the plants were slipped out of their 4" pots, the rhizomes were ready to go suggesting this is another spreader, although this location won't let it roam too far circumscribed by barriers as it is. Anyone with experience with this species can let us know how big of a mistake we are making, but we'll probably have to learn for ourselves.  In the questionable plant ethics category, our local gardening shop (who called it to TPP's attention) has a variegated variety of creeping Charlie for sale as if anyone would deliberately pay money to plant it!  It was part of a whole shipment, so not deliberately selected. 

1 comment:

Eric said...

I had L. ciliata in a dry semi-shaded place and it spread but not too aggressively. A good yank on the perimeter plants kept it in check. Then we had a wet spring and summer a few years ago and the colony took on new dimensions that were not appreciated. To my surprise, it is rather sensitive to glyphosphate and spraying the edges of the colony very nearly did in the whole thing.