Sunday, October 26, 2014

Ledebouria petiolata

Ledebouria petiolata syn. Drimiopsis maculata
The good folk at Larkman's Nursery in Victoria bought this to my attention recently as they market it as an 'African Hosta'. Unlike the Japanese Hosta this plant thrives in poor soil and with minimal water but it is equally loved by snails and slugs which generally spoil its appearance as soon as your back is turned. At this time of year it produces masses of short stemmed white flowers which resemble miniature Hyacinth but without the perfume. It grows from a series of fleshy bulbs which protrude slightly above the ground.These can be easily divided to form new clumps of plants. I am in two minds about this plant; one could consider it as a "novelty" item or as a serious contender for a difficult garden site of dry shade under trees where not much would grow and where it would be quite at home. Otherwise it makes a terrific pot plant which can be brought indoors when in flower or if you like things a bit dotty/spotty.

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