Wednesday, February 3, 2016


Petasites japonica Gigantea.  3 foot tall stems, 3 foot wide leaves and about as tropical looking as you can get.  Looks right out of a tropical rain forest.  All that, and here it is blooming in February, which is what it does most every year. We grow 5 different varieties.  All are happy growing in light shade and love moisture, even going so far, in the case of 'Golden Palms' to preferring seeps and springs on the hillside to anywhere else.  Rubra has better color in sun, but won't get as big.   People are instantly attracted to them in the garden.  While they can spread a bit more than one might like, they are easy to control.  They also hybridize easily with each other, so if you're going to grow more than one kind, it is probably best to separate them.  They spread both by runners and by seed.  But enough talk, here are some photos.  The first is a bud, ready to open and only bothered a little bit by the cold.  These blooms are about the size of a baseball and just covered with little white flowers.

This is Petasites hybridus, the leaf is a little more heart shaped than gigantea

And here is the bloom from P. hybridus which is unlike any of the others we have growing here

A patch of P. gigantea

And a bloom that has opened.

P. rubra showing that good red color on the undersides of the leaves.

And P. variegata, the first one we grew and still a favorite.

P. 'Golden Palms'.  Different species, different leaves, different blooms.  Much more difficult to find and slower to grow and slower to spread.

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