BIG Leaf perennials

rouge21_gw(5)July 26, 2014

In another thread 'woody' expressed her love of large leafed garden plants. While at her home I saw several outstanding specimens.

I suggested ligularia, angelica gigas and some Brunnera.

And then while at an independent nursery a couple of days ago I saw this monster leafed perennial plant in one of the shade gardens. (I put a plant tag near the center of one of the leaves to give you some scale).

I don't know what it is. I am sure many of you can ID it.

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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

That rather looks like a cross between Rodgersia and Astilboides! Whatever it is, I want it!! :-)

    Bookmark   July 26, 2014 at 11:46AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

hey rouge.. long time..no time..

i have really been enjoying all your posts... two green thumbs up ...

especially in regard to taking the pix.. uploading.. downloading them ... and all the attendant time you invest in entertaining us ...

most of the stuff you post about.. i dont grow.. so i usually have little to say ... specific to the post..

but i just wanted to take the time here.. now.. to THANK YOU... for all the posts ...

is that a hosta?? .. lol

ken

    Bookmark   July 26, 2014 at 11:48AM
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a2zmom(6a - nj)

I have no clue what that is but it sure is impressive.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2014 at 12:56PM
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dbarron(z7_Arkansas)

Looks quite a lot like a mayapple leaf.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2014 at 2:18PM
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rouge21_gw(5)

I was able to get confirmation and it is a Podophyllum pleianthum or Dysosma pleiantha. (This plant is a member of the "Mayapple" family...very good dbarron).

Here is a link that might be useful: Podophyllum pleianthum

This post was edited by rouge21 on Sat, Jul 26, 14 at 15:21

    Bookmark   July 26, 2014 at 3:16PM
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rouge21_gw(5)

Thanks very much Ken. Good to hear from you.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2014 at 3:18PM
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NHBabs(4b-5aNH)

Woody's original question was prompted by a photo including some of my rhubarb leaves. Here it is in its spring glory. I know that I am supposed to cut off the flowers, but I really like the flowers as well as the leaves and the pies, so I manage it for all three.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2014 at 3:35PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

I was just checking on that Podophyllum pleianthum.... Lost Horizons has it - I checked after reading the blog post in the link below. Both that blog and the Missouri Botanical Garden information says the flowers are smelly as they rely on flies for pollination. The question is - how smelly?! That would determine where one might want to put it! Both the blog and MBG say it is a clumper but can spread by rhizomes - I wonder how big an issue that could be? And it sounds like it might be a good idea to have only one plant to reduce the chance of viable seeds. The MBG says it prefers acidic soil - which I don't have. It sounds, though, that a trip to Lost Horizons may be worthwhile to make further inquiries and see it in person.

nhbabs - how do you go about managing the flowers and leaves for the rhubarb? I've got a rhubarb clumps started in both a big pot and in the front bed to see if I can get one to establish well, and to compare how they do in a pot vs. the ground. Years ago I tried to grow one at the end of the driveway border. I let it flower and it petered out fast - but I'm not entirely sure the flowers were responsible for the failure of the plant!

Here is a link that might be useful: Podophyllum pleianthum - interesting blog post

    Bookmark   July 26, 2014 at 4:50PM
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jean001a(Portland OR 7b)

How smelly? If pollinated by flies, typically rotting smelly!

    Bookmark   July 26, 2014 at 8:09PM
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rouge21_gw(5)

Great link 'woody'...thank you.

(There is no mention of the 'scent' of the flowers.)

    Bookmark   July 27, 2014 at 5:00AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Rouge - check again just under the picture of the closer view of the flowers,,. It says something like ' smelling somewhat unpleasant, pollinated by flies'. The MBG site called the flowers 'malodorous'.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2014 at 7:43AM
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NHBabs(4b-5aNH)

Woody, I let the rhubarb bloom, but cut off the stalks the minute the blooms start dropping so that the plant doesn't put any more energy into the flower/seed end of things.

I harvest for cooking both before and after bloom, but not in large quantity, and stop harvesting in late June so that the plants will be full for the summer.

I have found that rhubarb likes regular moisture. Where mine is it's well-drained but in a bit of a low spot so it gets extra moisture every time it rains.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2014 at 2:14PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

nhbabs - I'll try that IF I can finally get one to grow decently for me! When I was a kid, there were clumps of it all over the place at Grandpa's. They got no special care - some were near the site of an original farmstead over 100 years old and they were still productive clumps that got no care other than regular harvesting in spring. But I haven't been able to get one to grow here at all...! Try, try again.....

    Bookmark   July 27, 2014 at 3:08PM
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katob Z6ish, NE Pa

Rhubarb has such a hefty leaf but it wants two things which I have trouble giving, lots of moisture and a good rich soil.... But the bloom stalks are mighty impressive too! If I could find them for an "experimental" price I would love to try the ornamental kinds.

Rouge, that's a relatively tame mayapple and be careful about going down that road. Google 'asian mayapples' and you'll see there are several others that have the big leaves plus cool patterning, and I don't think they die down like the Americans.
I think 'kaleidoscope' is an especially well patterned selection as is 'spotty dotty'. They're pricey and hard to find though!

    Bookmark   July 28, 2014 at 8:03AM
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rouge21_gw(5)

UPDATE

Take a look at this one 'woody'!

We noticed this plant while driving in our old neighbourhood.

The leaves are a good 3 feet across and you can see some flowers of some sort ready to come forth. (The aspect is full sun).

It must be some...tropical plant...started indoors?

    Bookmark   August 3, 2014 at 10:00AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Elephant Ears (Colocasia) in the front and banana in the back I think... We usually grow EE in pots by the front porch and on the back patio. We didn't bother with them this year - I love the leaves but the plants need lots of water so keeping them watered can be a PITA :-) I wonder if the plant in the picture is growing in a little pond....? We've never got flowers when growing them in pots but the Alocasia we grow as a houseplant in the living room has flowered a few times.

:-) I've tried - or considered but rejected for some reason - just about any big-leafed plant I've read about or seen.... :-)

I was just trying to add pictures of the EE we've grown but can't get right-click to work on here today to drop in the pictures for some reason.... It works when I do it in Word or e-mail, but not here, so it's not a problem with the mouse... strange....

    Bookmark   August 3, 2014 at 10:43AM
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katob Z6ish, NE Pa

Wow rouge! I wish I had some adventurous neighbors like that!
Like woody said it's an elephant ear and I suspect it's something in the 'Borneo giant' alocasia group. It can get much much bigger and it's a plant I know I will fall for one day. So far I've resisted but it keeps showing up at the garden center to taunt me.
There are also quite a few angel trumpets in that yard. If you go by in the evening the whole yard is perfumed I bet.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2014 at 11:20AM
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Ruth_MI(z5MI)

rouge - I'm guessing that's colocasia Thai Giant. I grew it one year but didn't have much luck growing it the next after over-wintering in the house. Here it is getting ready to come indoors at the end of the season.

It's an awesome colocasia, and I was hoping to find one locally to grow this year. A nursery that's had it in prior years didn't have it, so next year I'll mail order starts in the spring. The ones in the picture grew that large in one season...one from a mail-order start, and one from a gallon-sized plant purchased in spring.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2014 at 7:41AM
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gazania_gw

I bought 5 Elephant Ear bulbs in a bag at Walmart in May. . Can't remember the exact price, but less that $10. Here is the results.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2014 at 10:20AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Those are sure some magnificent elephant ears! I always liked the velvety feel of the leaves, in addition to their sheer size. But wrestling them out of the pots at the end of the season, cleaning them and storing them in the basement to dry for the winter, restarting them in February so they'd be a good size by the time to move them into the outdoor pots, keeping them copiously watered in the summer...., all got to be too much effort so we discarded them at the end of last summer.

Here are old pictures of the rather ordinary ones we grew in pots. Near the front porch in 2008:

By the back porch in 2011:

You can see by their size that we just didn't keep them watered well enough.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2014 at 10:37AM
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gazania_gw

I planted those Ears in the ground. For all they cost, I don't think that I will dig them up and store them for next year. If I want some next year, I will just go back to Walmart next May.

We have had a rather rainy summer so far. Have not felt the need to water the area in which they are growing. It is east facing. Our rain almost always comes from the West. Planted the bulbs right below the edge of the porch roof so they get all the drippings from it.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2014 at 11:19AM
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rouge21_gw(5)

Thanks for the info. everyone.

It looks like it would be lots of fun growing Colocasia!

    Bookmark   August 5, 2014 at 4:29PM
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katob Z6ish, NE Pa

Ruth those are amazing! Any growing tips? and were they in those small pots all summer?
Seeing these pictures makes me want to try them again, but like Woody says it does turn into a little more work than it is to grow marigolds, but even the plain old Walmart ones look cool!

    Bookmark   August 5, 2014 at 11:24PM
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Ruth_MI(z5MI)

Kato- those were in the ground for the summer. I had a couple in nearly full sun and a couple in part shade. Both did about the same. They liked lots of water (but not standing water) and I fed them with Milorganite.

If you Google "Colocasia Thai Giant" you'll find some awesome and inspiring pictures. The pictures with people in them will probably give you a better perspective of how big and cool these plants can be.

I've mail ordered them from Wellspring Gardens on ebay and Brian's Botanicals. I was happy with both, and I'm definitely growing them again next year. I really miss not having them this year.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2014 at 3:33PM
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arbo_retum(z5 ,WinchstrMA)

For the last many winters, we have treated our colocasia just like our cannas: cut down after frost, leave them in their soil and pots, move to cellar (~60 degrees ave), bring out in May. Soooooo much easier. Try it? FanTAStic Thai photos!!

    Bookmark   August 7, 2014 at 4:47AM
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arbo_retum(z5 ,WinchstrMA)

another great large leaf perennial is macleaya. I love the bluish leaves and actually use it in one garden as a skirt at the base of a large chamaecyparis Golden Mops. Macleaya's natural height is 8' or so; as a skirt, i just keep it chopped down to its lower 1 or 2 sets of leaves! It likes moisture but grows very robustly in our hot dry bed.
People often say macleaya is invasive but we have had no trouble eradicating it.

Also, just fyi, Gertrude Jeckyl was famous for using potted hostas in spots where she wanted big leaves!

    Bookmark   August 7, 2014 at 5:05AM
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rouge21_gw(5)

rouge - I'm guessing that's colocasia Thai Giant

You are definitely correct 'ruth'.

I stopped by the gentleman's property today and took a few poor quality phone pictures of his incredible zone 5 tropical garden.

He told me that his largest leaf this season was 6' by 4'!

He has several Brugmansia planted directly in the ground (not in containers) that were 10 feet tall and quite dense.

His "Banana" plants were equally impressive.

But he wasn't looking forward to all the work, bringing them into his basement or outdoor greenhouse, that was soon to happen with colder temperatures predicted this week.

He even had some 'cuttings' of that "Thai Giant" in grey plastic pots that he was willing to sell (see the last picture).

    Bookmark   October 5, 2014 at 4:38PM
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arbo_retum(z5 ,WinchstrMA)

OMG, rouge, what town is he in that he can grow brugs in the ground?
mindy
supposedly you don't put them in the ground until the soil is a certain temp; same for cannas. did he tell you if he puts them in a pot and brings it in in the winter? Maybe they are already in a pot that he just sinks down in the soil?or does he just grow on cuttings in water? thx rouge (she sighed, w/ her glorious but SINGLE pink brug bloom because she didn't give them new soil or fert. them enough.)
mindy
My brug motto is:
"Paying the Price for lack of due diligence."

    Bookmark   October 5, 2014 at 5:49PM
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