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Saturday, February 17, 2007

What's a Filipendula without a name?


Filipendula hoosiewatsis?

Phooey, don't you just hate it when you lost the name of a plant? It drives me crazy when this happens, it's not like I don't know how important it is to keep the name of any specific plant.


About 5 years ago I was visiting Fox Hollow Farm here in South Huntington. Mary Kay always had the coolest perennials available there and many a time she urged me to buy something I had passed over. While I can't say I loved everything she pointed out, I have to admit that 90 percent of what she chose turned out to be amazing. Like the time she twisted my arm to buy a flat of left over primrose. OK, maybe she didn't have to twist too hard :-)


Well, one day she pointed out this little 4" pot. There were only two plants like it and she told me that I should make sure I took one home. Mary Kay is one of those plant people who have botanical names tripping off her tongue at the drop of a hat. Me, I'm pretty good with those names too, certainly not a Mary Kay, maybe that's why I want to pull my hair out when I've lost the name.

My luck, there was no label in the pot, and just minutes later when I got home all I remembered was that it was a Filipendula. Well, I had never grown a Filipendula and didn't even bother to look up it's requirements. For some reason I thought that it was a shade plant and so I planted it in my front (very dry) shade bed.

It's taken a few years (no wonder considering where I planted it) but this plant has grown into a huge, mature, lovely clump. This year I had several visitors while it was in bloom and all of them expressed surprise at the spot I had chosen to plant it. I guess I goofed on that one but instead of up and dying on me, this Filipendula has really put on a show.

This year it's really due to be divided as it's doing that donut thing (growing into a big circle with a hole forming in the middle). I'd really like to take a nice piece and put in a spot where it will shine but it sure would help if I knew what I was dealing with.

If you have any ideas as to the full name of this plant and it's ideal conditions please post it as a comment here for everybody to see.

3 comments:

Gardener Greg said...

I would just call it Phil for short. I can't remember most of my plant names, I just call them plants but they respond to that quite well. It's kind of like calling everyone Bubba. (which they do around here. Anyway, I just wanted to say I love your blog and really Love Long Island. Those pictures took me back a few years. PS don't tell anyone here in the South that I said I loved Long Island. They would hang me. :)
Greg

Mary Kay said...

It is Filipendula 'Kakome'. Although I like 'Bubba',too. Light shade and moist soil. I love the pictures and your words on your new blog. If I can assist anyone with those obscure Latin names that I know, but often mispronounce(!!), please let me know. Mary Kay

Gotta Garden said...

Okay, I'll take a guess...I'm not sure if the flowers are white or pale pink...so, I'm guessing Filipendula palmata...here's a link (scroll down) with a list, maybe that will be of some help: http://pss.uvm.edu/pss123/perfilip.html

(okay, I'll study up on that posting links in comments stuff!)

Btw, I'm anal about my labels, too...I like to know names and my brain simply cannot store them all; hence, gotta have labels!

Great pics! Isn't this fun!