Plants I should be growing

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Mark McD
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-12-14
Plants I should be growing

Sometimes I come across a plant in my internet meandering, and i think, what the heck, why am I not growing this fine plant.  And, too often we look to plants from China and other far-flung locales with mystical reverence, when in fact fine plants abound closer to home.

In this first entry, I just came across Stenanthium occidentale, in the Liliaceae, and I'm struck by how utterly charming this American native plant is, now I want it :-)  The common names Mountainbells and Bronze Bells suggest a plant worth growing.

Here are some link to this plant, does anyone grow it?

Stenanthium occidentale:
http://www.pnwflowers.com/flower/stenanthium-occidentale
http://nwwildflowers.wordpress.com/2013/07/20/bronze-bells-stenanthium-o...
http://qualicumbeachgardenclub.files.wordpress.com/2011/11/stenanthium-o...
http://home.comcast.net/~tdhagan/photos/flowers/Stenanthium_occidentale....
http://calphotos.berkeley.edu/cgi/img_query?enlarge=0000+0000+0707+1670
http://calphotos.berkeley.edu/cgi/img_query?enlarge=0000+0000+1010+2022
http://calphotos.berkeley.edu/cgi/img_query?enlarge=0000+0000+0707+1674

Lori S.
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-10-27

What a great topic for a thread!  I'll have to think of what to add... it would be great if all of the readers out there would do so too, and add to this list.  I'm always interested in more variety for the garden!

Bronze-bells is quite common in the montane zone here... it can be quite nondescript or quite attractive!  It seems to be more strongly coloured when in more sunlight (my guess, anyway).  I'll try to collect some seed for you, Mark... no promises as to how attractive the result may be!  :-)

  

Lori
Calgary, Alberta, Canada - Zone 3
-30 C to +30 C (rarely!); elevation ~1130m; annual precipitation ~40 cm

Mark McD
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-12-14

Thanks Lori,

I'm sure we all have experience with the exciting realization of plants that simply tickles one's fancy, and when I saw this, I did a dope-slap to my head, and thought, why didn't I know about this native plant.  Calphotos and other sources show this plant is quite variable, but I'd love to try it sometime, I'm a sucker for the obscure liliaceae :-)

It's like with Melanthium virginicum, my best new plant for 2013, I would never have even considered this plant unless someone gave it to me; oh the joy of gardening:
https://www.nargs.org/forum/melanthium-bunchflower

 

Mark McDonough
Massachusetts, USA, near the New Hampshire border USDA Zone 5
antennaria at aol.com
 

Toole
Toole's picture
Title: Guest
Joined: 2010-07-02

I'm so glad you have started this topic Mark .Like you i 'wanted' this plant after seeing a pic somewhere of a plant with lovely red flowers and then reading about it in the NARGS publication 'Bulbs Of North America ' .

I managed to obtain seed back in 2006 which germinated easily enough and i understood the best chance of success was to grow it in a shaded position which I've done,(although i think last year Lori you mentioned finding it in the wild in open positions).

Anyway I've just been out in this spring like day ,(currently 15C),and had a peek in the pot.Here's a pic showing how small my plants are .Thumb is for scale.

Perplexed Dave.

Invercargill
Bottom of the South Island New Zealand
Zone 8 maritime climate
1100mm,(40 in),rainfall p.a.
Nil snow cover

Mark McD
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-12-14

Small but promising Dave.  Please keep us posted how this plant does for you.  I find it fascinating that I'm getting response from forumists in western Canada (in the plant's range) and New Zealand.  As Lori suggested, please feel free to post about new plant discoveries :-)

Mark McDonough
Massachusetts, USA, near the New Hampshire border USDA Zone 5
antennaria at aol.com
 

Toole
Toole's picture
Title: Guest
Joined: 2010-07-02

I'm currently putting sheep manure pellets around those Trilliums in the garden that have their noses well above ground level Mark so as i have the seedlings of the Stenanthium still together in their pot i might transplant a few and feed those up with the animal manure .(probably end up sacrificing them ).....Smile).

Cheers Dave.

Invercargill
Bottom of the South Island New Zealand
Zone 8 maritime climate
1100mm,(40 in),rainfall p.a.
Nil snow cover

cohan
cohan's picture
Title: Guest
Joined: 2011-02-03

I have (still, I hope!) one plant of this, which I believe is a survivor from my teenage years rock garden- I presume I collected it from the wild somewhere at that time, but don't specifically remember! In any case, when I moved back home and started cleaning up the rock garden, this was one of several survivors I found, and it did flower for several years, before I completely redug and rebuilt that rock garden- it had to get stuck in a pot temporarily, where I hope it still is, haven't checked lately. I think this spring it sent up a flower stalk which never developed, though it also didn't wither for a long time, no idea why... Need to see how it is and get it planted back out... I didn't see seed  on it the years it flowered, so it must be self-sterile...

Related to Mark's comments, I have thought that if some of our tiny native bulbs (Tofieldia glutinosa and Maianthemum trifolium come to mind besides Stenanthium) were greenhouse or house plants, they would be treasured tiny gems in pots, where they could be admired up close (and perhaps they are, somewhere outside their native range) whereas seen in the wild and planted in ground they are easily overlooked unless in good numbers. I am a big fan of tiny plants though :) Troughs might serve these well..

west central alberta, canada; just under 1000m; record temps:min -45C/-49F;max 34C/93F; http://picasaweb.google.ca/cactuscactus  http://urbanehillbillycanada.blogspot.com/

IMYoung
Title: Member
Joined: 2010-01-31

Crumbs, Mark, if I posted about every plant I  see and covet, I'd need more hours  in the day!

As to the Stenanthium occidentale - well, what's not to love about anything in the lily family as far as I'm concerned?

Especially when the flowers are trying so hard to be frits!

It's a cracker - and lucky you, t00lie, for having babies coming along.

M

Ian  and/or Margaret Young ( -here it is usually Margaret)

Aberdeen , North East Scotland, UK
Zone 8a

www.srgc.net

Hoy
Hoy's picture
Title: Member
Joined: 2009-12-15

Mark McD wrote:

Sometimes I come across a plant in my internet meandering, and i think, what the heck, why am I not growing this fine plant.  And, too often we look to plants from China and other far-flung locales with mystical reverence, when in fact fine plants abound closer to home.

 

You know Mark, for me many North American plants are as exotic as any Chinese!

My list of plants I should be growing enlarge every week! And I get more pots with seedlings than I can manage properly :-(

Right now Ribes lobbii is renewed on my wishlist due to Claire's picture.

Trond
Rogaland, Norway - with cool, often rainy summers  (29C max) and mild, often rainy winters (180 cm/year)!

Mark McD
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-12-14

Hoy wrote:

You know Mark, for me many North American plants are as exotic as any Chinese!

My list of plants I should be growing enlarge every week! And I get more pots with seedlings than I can manage properly :-(

Right now Ribes lobbii is renewed on my wishlist due to Claire's picture.

 

Sadly, many North American plants are harder to get here than plants from far-flung places like China!

For me, I'm long over the stage (this took decades) where I felt compelled to grow every plant that tickled my fancy.  I love seeing fabulous cacti and their beautiful flowers, but they never really look that great in New England (and besides, it would break my "no spines" garden policy, so no roses here either), almost a good thing the lily beetles are so bad, otherwise I would be lusting after gorgeous Lilium.  I agree Trond, Claire's Ribes lobbii put that one back on my list, and if I find it, I will dig out the inodorous yellow Ribes odoratum and replace it with lobbii.  There are enough plants that do well here, without challenge and headache, that I'm quite content pursuing their endless variations and pleasures (such as Epimedium and woodland Iris).

Mark McDonough
Massachusetts, USA, near the New Hampshire border USDA Zone 5
antennaria at aol.com
 

Lori S.
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-10-27

I've just been visiting Panayoti Kelaidis' very entertaining 'Prairiebreak' site, and predictably, my wish list is growing!

http://prairiebreak.blogspot.ca/

Campanula macrantha

Dianthus gianteus

Cicerbita alpina

Salvia daghestanica, S. nubicola

Napaea dioica

Artemisia filifolia

Monardella macrantha 'Marion Simpson'

Scutellaria pectinata

Teucrium crossonii 

... I could go on and on!! 

 

Lori
Calgary, Alberta, Canada - Zone 3
-30 C to +30 C (rarely!); elevation ~1130m; annual precipitation ~40 cm

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