Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Comptonia peregrina

This is my plant of the day. Comptonia peregrina is more commonly known as SweetFern. We have been growing this one for years, but after I took this photo, I just couldn't remember either the Latin name or the common one. No way to file the photo without a name and ever hope to find it again. No way to look it up online if you can't remember the name. All I could think of is Sweet Shrub, which, of course, didn't work since it is an entirely different plant. Now that I have gotten the name back in my head, (found by accident while I was looking up another plant in my big wildflower book) I thought I'd share a bit about this pretty thing since I don't think it is all that well know.
Here is a plant for you northern growers since it is cold hardy to zone 2 (-38 degrees F.) and not very happy any warmer than zone 6. Ours grow in a dry place at the edge of the cactus scree and my research says that it likes that sort of thing. Full sun to partial shade. This one is about 2-4 feet tall and will spread wider than that over time. It is deciduous and is native to the northeastern United States. It is not commonly found in nurseries, probably because it is difficult to transplant and establish. Once settled in, however, it seems to not be bothered by insects or other problems.
So many weeds - so little time.

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