Thursday, August 23, 2012

Just Call Me Morticia - The Flowers of Ligularia 'Britt Marie Crawford'

photo credit

I always feel a bit like Morticia Addams when I lop off the flowers of my Ligularia dentata 'Britt Marie Crawford'. But just because it flowers does not mean I have to like them.

I just think the bright yellow composite flowers clash with the delicate sophistication of the plant. The plant and flowers, to me, seem mismatched; the flowers look like they should appear on a full sun, drought tolerant, super hardy plant. And Miss Britt is not any of those.

She wilts at the first sign of drought due to the large surface area of those amazing leaves, and cowers from sun even though it's needed to produce that incredible dark colored foliage. This type of plant goes against most everything I believe a garden should be - tough, low maintenance, year-round-gorgeous. But Ligularia is truly a gardener's plant, perfect for the person who enjoys puttering around the garden, primping and pruning and keeping things looking maintained. And that's why plants that need babying in my garden are few.

For her large dark green/bronze/purple foliage, and her maroon stems, I'll keep her. But the flowers have got to go.

For more plants better known for their foliage than their flowers, check out Foliage: Astonishing Color and Texture Beyond Flowers by Nancy Ondra. I just bought my copy and have been inspired to look beyond the flower in my landscape designs.

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