Sunday, November 9, 2014

Tetrapanax papyrifer 'Steroidal Giant' is my favorite plant in the garden - this week

There's lots of autumn color out there this week and I've been enjoying all of it for the past few dry days. And although the changing color is very short-lived on Tetrapanax papyrifer 'Steroidal Giant', it's just one feature that's making it my favorite this week.

You just have to love a leaf this big, bold and buttery yellow!
This is my favorite plant of the week for another reason: the annual race is on to see if its blooms will beat our first freeze.
I've had this plant in the garden since 2011 and this year for the first time, it produced multiple babies. I've dug and given away most of them, but I like the Tetrapanax forest look so I've left two larger, well-placed youngsters.

Winter in Portland typically kills off the top of the main plant, so last spring I cut it back at about seven feet to encourage branching out lower down.

Plant Lust stats on Tetrapanax papyrifer 'Steroidal Giant':
Zones:  8a-11
Size:  H:20' W:15'
Soil Needs:  Well-drained, rich
Water Needs:  Even moisture
Sun Exposure:  Part sun, part shade
Flowers:  White (something to look forward to...)
Fruit:  Purple, black (... maybe some year in my future!)

A final reason this is my favorite plant this week is the perfect view of Tetrapanax papyrifer 'Steroidal Giant' I get from my big breakfast room window. It's quite an eyeful.
I'm joining with danger garden to share this favorite plant with you. Click over to read the comments and see what other bloggers are enjoying in their gardens this week.


  1. I should try harder to appreciate the golden yellow leaves, to me they just look like the ones that die off over the summer. As for those blooms I really thought this would be the year...I guess it depends on just how crazy next weeks weather gets.

  2. The only negative is that this plant makes me jealous. Beautiful, and great contrast with the bamboo foliage!

  3. Yum...and your windowsill arrangement is pretty great too.

  4. It definitely has a tropical feel. They can survive here if sited in a well protected place with reflected heat. Now all you need to park a hammock under it and have someone use the leaves to fan you in the summer. :o)

  5. This is one of my favorite plants too, but mine is brand new this year and still small. I'm looking forward to seeing how it does.

  6. I love yellow fall foliage, maybe because I grew up in a heavily forested area where the big doug firs didn't let in enough light for the vine maples and other things to get much red color. I always thought the spectrum of yellows was perfect for lighting up dark woods on a rainy day.

  7. Wow, I´am very impressed with the picture of your hand for scale with the tetrapanax leaf. Incredible!

  8. I really appreciate the contrast of the big, bold leaves against the fine form of the bamboo. You are feeding some inspiration for me Jane!

  9. I'm so glad I saw this post. It reminded me that I needed to go out and cover up my little start before the ice rain starts. It's first year was shaded by an Edgeworthia, so it didn't grow a whole lot yet, but the hope is that it will soon tower over everything with those fabulous leaves. I can't wait until it reaches the stature of yours. Thanks again for the reminder!

  10. Impressive plant - though I doubt the marketing consultants would have approved of that name!


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