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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.


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. :)

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, I'm guessing Filipendula's a link (scroll down) with a list, maybe that will be of some help:

(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!