Mukdenia

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

Just digging around my 2011 digital photos, I came across photos of Mukdenia rossii 'Crimson Fans' (also known as M. rossii 'Karasuba'). I took the photos in a garden in Acworth, New Hamphsire in July, this garden included in a multi-garden tour (I forget the garden owner's name). I like the earlier name for Mukdenia better; Aceriphyllum, which is more descriptive for this monospecific genus in the Saxifragaceae, with its bold maple-like leaves. Crimson Fans is the one to grow, with gorgeous red and green foliage, the color scheme apropos to revisit in this holiday season. :)

Moyles
Title: Guest
Joined: 2010-12-23

No image, just a note:  the genus Mukdenia was reviewed (nicely illustrated) in the recent "Plantsman" (V10:4).  Evidently ,not monotypic ... there is a second species, M acanthifolia, native to North Korea with quite a different leaf form.I grow an unselected version of M rossii and for me its interest lies in its slowly developing/expanding inflorescence. Quite herbaceous and not really "rockgarden" material.

Bill Moyles
Oakland, California

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

Thanks Bill, I was not aware of the 2nd species M. acanthifolia.  So I did some google research.  The status of the 2nd species is apparently still in question, The Plant List only accepts M. rossii and reports M. acanthifolia as "unresolved status".
http://www.theplantlist.org/tpl/search?q=mukdenia

The Saxifrage Society has both species listed and some very good photos of M. acanthifolia flowers that can be enlarged... the flowers look more wide open and attractive compared to M. rossii.  No foliage can be seen though.
http://saxifraga.org/plants/saxbase/taxon.asp?Taxon=4189

Flora of China only describes M. rossii, but does mention about M. acanthifolia "A second species, Mukdenia acanthifolia Nakai (J. Jap. Bot. 17: 684. 1941), has been described from Korea, but it is doubtfully distinct from M. rossii"
http://www.efloras.org/florataxon.aspx?flora_id=2&taxon_id=121297

Then I found this photo of M. acanthifolia photographed at the Royal Horticultural Society's garden, Wisley, notice the entire undivided unlobed leaves, looks VERY different.  Seeing what I've found in my google search this afternoon, I'm a believer that there are indeed two species of Mukdenia... thanks again Bill!
http://www.phytograph.co.uk/m/mu/mukdeniaacanthifolia/species.html

Don't you all think there should be a technical botanical term for a plant genus with just two species (such as Kirengeshoma), maybe named something like "bispecific genus" or duospecific.

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

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

Hey, that's exactly what I was doing, Mark, looking up references to M. acanthifolia... another beautiful plant for the border!  I thought it odd that the species name implies "with leaves like acanthus", while the leaves appear to be oval and entire, like bergenia, and not really like acanthus at all.  ???

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

Lori wrote:

Hey, that's exactly what I was doing, Mark, looking up references to M. acanthifolia... another beautiful plant for the border!  I thought it odd that the species name implies "with leaves like acanthus", while the leaves appear to be oval and entire, like bergenia, and not really like acanthus at all.   ???

Great minds think alike ;D  Exactly, I was totally surprised to see totally unlobed leaves, does indeed look Bergenia-like.  Will need to find the original description of the species to see how the leaves are described.  Bill, does the Plantsman (V10:4) describe the leaves for M. acanthifolia?  If so, what does it say?

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

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

While you solve the Mukdenia puzzle I'll be driving back home after some lazy days in Oslo (but with little chance for Internet). I am a bit anxious of the weather though as the forecast says we'll have one of the strongest storms in 30 years.

Some great pics you have shown too!

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

Moyles
Title: Guest
Joined: 2010-12-23

The Plantsman article has a very nice pic of the leaves of M. acanthifolia ... they describe them  as "heart shaped"  and serrated ... The author is Grahame Ware ... Owl and Stump Rare Plants .. Vancouver Is, BC owlandstumprareplants.com   The rossii cultivars are nicely illustrated ...

Bill Moyles
Oakland, California

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

More on Mukdenia rossii.  It is generally regarded as a moisture-loving plant for light shade.  I have grown it for years in a woodland setting, although eventually parts of the the heavy thick rhizome died out from old age; I should dig it up and replant the more vigorous portions of the rhiozome in a new refreshed location.

On the left is Mukdenia rossii growning in a friends garden nearby, at the base of a bog.  The plant is growing in rich soil in the open shade mature hemlock trees.  On the right is my plant from spring 2011, with only one side of the root mass producing shoots.  Growing next to it is Primula kisoana.

 

More information of Mukdenia.
Hardiness and some cultural information
http://rslandscapedesign.blogspot.com/2011/09/mukdenia.html

Walters Gardens, the page goes through a slide show, illustrating the plant at various leaf color stages:
http://www.waltersgardens.com/plants/General-Perennial/1684_Mukdenia-ros...

This link suggests that 'Crimson Fans' is a hybrid beteen M. rossii and M. acanthifolia
http://www.sequimrareplants.com/Mukdenia%20rossii%20'Crimson%20Fans'.html

article: Mukdenia by Aileen Stocks
www.hardy-plant.org.uk/articles/autumn09/014_chapter.pdf

Mukdenia rossii photos in the wild:
http://cafe.naver.com/wildfiower/book73209/33224
http://www.nibr.go.kr/species/webvol_com/popImgThumb.jsp?att_gbn=CONT&it...
http://www.nibr.go.kr/species/webvol_com/popImgThumb.jsp?att_gbn=CONT&it...

Note:  since the Mukdenia discussion has taken on a life of its own, later I will move the pertinent messages to the Miscellaneous Woodlanders topic :D

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

RickR
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-09-21

The Greek noun "acantha" means thorn or thistle.  It refers to "the thorn-bearing sepals" (according to wikipedia) in the genus Acanthus.  I can't be certain how it applies to that Mukdenia sp., but if you look closely you can see in Mark's link that there does seem to be "pricklies" on the leaf edges similar to some epimediums.  So I don't think that the stem (acanth) refers to the genus Acanthus.
---------------------------------------

McDonough wrote:

Don't you all think there should be a technical botanical term for a plant genus with just two species (such as Kirengeshoma), maybe named something like "bispecific genus" or duospecific.

Oh no...

Then where would it end?
bispecific, trispecific, ...septa, .. deca,...

Rick Rodich    zone 4a.    Annual precipitation ~24 inches
near Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA

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

Oh, right, Rick.  Stern's Botanical Latin says "acanth-, acantho-" means "spiny, thorny" so the reference may be to spiny leaves then, apparently.

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

But... Mukdenia "acanthifolia" has rounded leaves without resemblence to spiny leaved plants, thus the paradox.

Back to the link I posted:
www.hardy-plant.org.uk/articles/autumn09/014_chapter.pdf
...here's a pertinent excerpt:
"The specific name of this Mukdenia, namely acanthifolia, rather like the old
name for Bergenia acanthifolia, has me a little perplexed. Neither has leaves that
are ‘pointed’ or ‘thorny’ as the name would suggest, whilst the leaves of M. rossii
do indeed seem to resemble those of the Acanthus. The Bergenia is now known as
Bergenia x spathulata, giving a much more apt description that could equally be
applied to M. acanthifolia. Maybe there is a Hardy Planter reading this who will
put me straight. I look forward to the next edition and the answer to my
quandary".

So, maybe Mukdenia acanthifolia got its name from resembling a rounded-leaf Bergenia "acanthifolia", the latter an invalid name for Bergenia x spathulata (with possible parents B. ciliata and B. stracheyi).  Such a mystery.  

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

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