Sunday, October 25, 2009

Strobilanthes (again!)

Here is the update on my Strobilanthes gossypinus. This plant hails from the East Indies and all things considered has done remarkably well in my garden which receives several frosts each winter. My plant is about 5 years old and came from Lyle Filippe at Roraima Nursery and he got his stock from a single plant at the fabled Wirruna Nursery. Some species of strobilanthes are semelparous - that is they reproduce once and then die. Some species also appear to flower synchronously on a cycle of seven to ten years before dying - a bit like bamboo.
Mine is looking good and as you can see it is covered in lilac flowers. However the flowering looks like it is coming to an end (since commencing in July) and no new leaves are being produced. I sincerely hope its not dying but I don't hold out great hopes. I have checked the base of the dead flowers and there looks like there might be a single green seed present so I will have to collect some seed. I initially grew this plant for its silvery ribbed leaves and gold new growth - the silver and gold together on the same bush at the same time makes a striking combination. It can grow to about 1.5m across by the same high but mine has never quite reached 1m in height or width.
Only time will tell whether it will cark it or not!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the update, Melanie. I'll stay tuned to hear further adventures - including how the seeds go.

    I've only recently been to Roraima for the first time and it blew me away. I'm heading down to the Bellarine next weekend, and now you've given me another place to check out. I'll be right near Wallington, so I'll go to Wirruna as well. Thanks for alerting me to it.