Thursday, August 2, 2012

Doronicum orientale, Leopard's bane

 Doronicum orientale syn. D caucasicum  has sent up a near perfect solitary yellow daisy flower measuring some 5cm or 2" across, glowing at the top of a short stem. I thought I should record that I actually got this plant to flower, for, without being too pessimistic, it may well have disappeared from my garden and be just a memory in years to come. So many plants have done this for me and in pre-blogging days I kept no record of their existence or brief appearance. We all like to grow plants which are really quite unsuitable for the climate or which need some special growing conditions but there is nothing quite like a challenge in the gardening world. This small creeping rhizomatous perennial which has slightly hairy ovate scalloped leaves is from the cold Northern Hemisphere woodlands and meadows of Siberia, the Caucasus, Turkey and Lebanon. My RHS encylopedia tells me it is prone to root rot and powdery mildew and needs a humus rich sandy soil. I agree about the root rot as one out of my three plants is barely hanging on. Without a garden soil which matches this growing requirement, I have made up a special potting mix using a sand based seed raising mix combined with some Perlite and coco-peat. Hopefully I can report in a years time that it is still growing strong.
2017 update: Sadly I no longer have this plant.

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