Colourful flowers that sway and jitter on wiry stems, Fame flower (Talinum calcycinum) is another example of a rough and tumble, easy-grow plant that is disguised as delicate and fragile. Rather, it is a hardy (zones 4ish-9) succulent that is native to the North American prairies. Related to the common edible weed purslane (Portulaca oleracea), fame flower likes it dry, so if you do not have sandy or gritty soil, consider keeping it in a pot as my friend Barry has with the specimen pictured here.
These Lady’s-Slipper orchids are currently in bloom in my friend Barry’s garden. If you can make it to his garden open house this weekend you’ll get a chance to see these and a few other species in person.
When we think of orchids, we tend to think of those finicky tropical flowers that are so often difficult to grow without the benefit of a heated greenhouse. Amazingly, some species of Cypripediums are cold hardy and even fewer still are native to the so-called cold north. You can still find them growing in woodland habitats in protected parks across this part of North America. I was lucky enough to catch one in bloom on a trip to Lake Huron several years back. I didn’t even have to go out to a protected spot — the plant was growing in the lot behind our cottage!
I didn’t intend to post another picture of hepatica, although I still have one more with pretty leaves to show. My sole purpose for choosing this photo today was so I could post the following two links to photos of really interesting hepatica varieties: 1 and 2.
I tried to select a favourite and couldn’t do it. So many incredible varieties! To think, I went from knowledge of a white flower with a few different leaf and flower forms, to colours, to discovering a whole new world.
Hepatica nobolis is a tiny early blooming woodland plant that does well as an under-planting and doesn’t seem to mind a bit of dryness now and again. I rarely see it in use — it seems to be overlooked in favor of the larger, more colorful bulbs that flower around the same time. Or perhaps it is because there is a general (and wrong) belief that woodland plants are boring?
I’ve posted here about a similar white-flowered hepatica (Hepatica acutiloba) previously, but have to admit I prefer the more colorful species like the one above.