Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Foliage Follow-Up - April 2013

One of the most fun plants I've ever had in my garden is at its best this time of year. Syneilesis, or Shredded Umbrella Plant, is an odd but beguiling shade garden resident.

The one I show here, Syneilesis x hybrida, is likely a cross between S. aconitifolium and S. palmata.
When the leaves first emerge from the ground in mid- to late March, they are strange, silver and furry.
My first and largest clump came from Collector's Nursery at the 2010 Lan Su spring plant sale.

At the 2012 Lan Su spring sale, I subsequently bought another Syneilesis x hybrida from Collector's Nursery, and S. palmatum from Dancing Oaks.


When I put them next to my older plant last spring, I thought I could detect a little difference in the plants. S. palmata is on the left and seemed slightly smoother. Looking at pictures of mature plants, the smoothness is more apparent.


I planted them all in the same bed, but I think the new ones got too much shade from the Acanthus mollis all summer. They both kind of disappeared - probably helped along by slugs.

But this spring, one of them (I don't know which, but I think it may be the hybrid) is making a comeback, though you can see it's still duking it out with the slugs.


I love the way each leaf retains a bit of fuzz in its center, even when it's fully open.

Last year, I had one bloom stalk, but it got broken off before opening, probably by a marauding raccoon. This year, I see at least two bloom stalks on my older plant. As you might imagine with such an unusual woodland plant, the flowers are apparently something of an afterthought. Still, I'll be interested to see what they look like.

You can get this cool Syneilesis hybrid from several regional nurseries including Cistus, Collector's Nursery, and Far Reaches Farm. If you want to know more about this and other Syneilesis species, go here.

Foliage Follow-Up is hosted monthly by Pam at Digging. Click over to see what else is happening in the wonderful world of foliage this month.


17 comments:

  1. I'm in love with these but slugs or something keeps eating mine and the damned Spanish bluebells have encroached. I'm going to start again with a new plant as your gorgeous clump & that of the dangerous one are inspirational!

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    1. I have one word for you, Outlaw: Sluggo.

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  2. If they're kept watered, do you think they'll remain until frost or do they always go dormant in summer? I want one and I've got a place all picked out for it and I'm planning a trip to Dancing Oaks in a few weeks.

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    1. They are not normally summer dormant Grace. My newer ones just apparently had a tough first year. And with the dry shade tolerance of S. aconitifolium, they shouldn't need a great deal of water. Just watch for slugs.

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  3. Pretty! I always see pictures of these plants emerging, and they look so cool!

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    1. Renee, thanks for visiting: you need this plant!

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  4. Oddly I thing all of mine have come from Collectors Nursery, even the plant I bought last weekend at Hortlandia as a Mothers Day gift!

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    1. Apparently the owner of Collector's has a way with a Syneilesis!

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  5. Well shoot, now I want one! Your new masthead looks awesome, by the way.

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    1. Always happy to encourage plant consumerism. Thanks for noticing my header: I'd been quite dissatisfied with my last several attempts and this feels more "me".

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  6. Shredded umbrella plant,what a great name for a very intriguing plant.

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    1. Definitely worth growing if it it will make it in in your zone, Jason.

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  7. I was unfamiliar with this plant. It's definitely a fascinating one. I like your header too.

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    1. Try this in one of your shady spots, Ricki.

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  8. A not so familiar plant yet an awesome one. Great images of it.

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  9. They really do look like umbrellas going up, don't they? Or maybe frilly parasols. Either way, good choice for Foliage Follow-Up.

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  10. I think you solved the mystery for me - Syneilesis! Thank you - I was wondering what those great looking plants were! Much obliged!

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