Daylilies have a lot to recommend them. They are tough, reliable plants with beautiful flowers. And they don’t lollygag about. When spring arrives, so do the daylily sprouts. As soon as the snow melts back, I can begin checking them off my daylily list as every day brings a new showing. Check, check, check…all present and accounted for!
The same can not be said for some other garden varieties. Take this Pinellia tripartica ‘Atropurpurea’, pictured above. Last summer, I planted two of these pinellias. Also known as Purple Dragons, these little Jack-in-the-Pulpit relatives are very cute, featuring a long, slender spadix extending from the flower’s hood (spathe). This spring, I waited and waited, and just about the time I began to ponder what plant I would replace the missing pinellias with, a little sprout broke the soil. Just one plant. No sign of number two. Oh well, still good. About 10 days later, to my surprise, Number 2 finally showed himself.
Also new to the garden last year was a Roscoea purpurea. Roscoeas are members of the Zingiberales, the order to which the gingers belong. Species of Roscoea are divided into two groups, a Himalayan clade and a Chinese clade. Roscoea purpurea is native to the Himalayas, and in particular Nepal. Roscoea purpurea was named by the English botanist James Edward Smith in 1806, in honour of his friend William Roscoe, the founder of the Liverpool Botanic Garden. Here’s how roscoea purpurea looked when first planted in the garden last year.
This spring, there was no sign of roscoea purpurea. I waited and waited, and finally decided to plant something else in this spot. I dug up the ground and when I popped out the root, it was obviously still alive, with a tiny white sprout just starting. So I replanted it, and waited and waited, and finally, in the middle of June, it has sprouted. Lost…and found.