Saturday, December 17, 2011

Challenge: Countdown to Christmas - R

The family: Saxifragaceae
This genus of herbaceous perennials is quite diverse, with five distinct species.

Should you do a search for Rodgersia pinnata, you will find quite a number of interesting cultivars.
 For example, if you click on this link to Big Dipper Farm (which I am using as an example only),
you will be able to view several varieties!

I'd like to share with you, photos and information about the Only Rodgersia I own:
The species R. pinnata , 'Chocolate Wings'
(The name alone piqued my interest!)

This was planted September 2008

It's located in my 'Woodland Walk."

This photo was taken June 10, 2011
If you click on the photo above, you may be able to discern a smudge of
'Chocolate Wings' in the center of the photo... between the hosta in the foreground and a small
hosta in the background (edged in white).

I must apologize.
On that day, I walked around the yard - snapping photos right and left.
and in this instance, I "snapped" to the right instead of the left as I walked the Woodland Walk path.

The photo below I borrowed from Big Dipper Farm.

The stats on this plant tell us that it will thrive in hardiness Zones 5 - 9, loves moist to wet humus-ey soil and shade to partial shade conditions.  It does NOT like dry conditions (which we suffered greatly last summer).  It does NOT like hot, sunny locations.  In this respect, it is much like Ligularia (especially 'The Rocket!).

This is a slow-growing plant, reaching around 10 or so inches tall, with long stems and huge leaves.  The plant spread is 2-3 feet in diameter. 

The outstanding features of this plant are the ever-changing colors of the leaves: emerging chocolate brown, then to green, red and back to chocolate brown in the fall.  The flowers also change colors.

Thinking about the drought we suffered most of last Summer, I will be ecstatic if the plant reappears!  I watered when I could, but we all know that's not enough!! 

R is also for Remembering.
My father died at the end of April.  His funeral was May 2.
The drought made gardening "not so much fun" this past summer.
I'm missing him, but the Christmas Countdown is a good thing to do!

I'll be wearing my dad's straw hat outdoors next year!  lol.

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