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The giant mother of all Dahlia, reaching up to about 4m in suitable conditions before flowering, though the large, pale-pink, single flowers are produced very late, in early winter, so frost free early winter conditions are needed to see them. Very hardy if mulched well, though in my experience doesn't really need it. Huge foliage and thick stems a joy in themselves.
Dahlia merckii - dark flowered
This is the darkest Dahlia merckii money can buy, raised from one of our collections from Mexico. A fairly hardy species with pretty, single, small flowers in a vivid deep lilac-pink, on stems to 1.5m, flowering in late summer. Easily grown in a well drained sunny position. Mulch in winter.
Dahlia merckii compact
A dwarf version of this fairly hardy species with a different growth habit. There are many more shoots and they're less straggly. Simple, pinky-lilac flowers on stems to 75cm in late summer. Easy to grow in well drained soil in sun. Mulch over in winter to be safe, though very tough.
Derived from plants we found in Mexico, this very uncommon species reaches about 2m on thick black-purple stems, with large green foliage topped by fairly large purple pink single flowers in autumn.
Dahlia sp. nova? F&M 312
Almost certainly a new species, found by me in a moist sheltered site in NE Mexico in 2005 at 1020m alt. beneath Quercus rhysophylla, with seed secured in 2006. Particularly exotic looking glossy green compound foliage is a notable feature together with sturdy, fluted, wind tolerant stems. Pale lilac-pink flowers with a distinct central yellow star, to 2.5m, above the foliage in late autumn. Hardy!
A clumping woodlander from China with fleshy nodding saucer-like slatey-blue flowers on 45cm stems over bristly, attractive leaves. For humus rich soil in shade. An herbaceous member of the Hydrangea family.
Clusters of white bell flowers backed by silvery-white bracts dangle from tall arching stems in summer. Height 1.5m. Sun, not too dry in summer.
A species Wand flower with pendulous rich pink flowers on stems 50-150cm high. Sun, not too dry in summer.
Digitalis ferruginea 'Gigantea'
Self-seeding short lived evergreen perennial foxglove with particularly beautiful, tall, straight, very narrow spikes of densely set, hooded, apricot-yellow flowers, brown netted in their throats. Dark green leaves are glossy and narrow. A particularly large form up to 1.8m high, flowering over a very long period in summer. Sun or part shade.
Dipsacus asper (new)
A tall Asian perennial teasel with rounded heads of white to yellowish flowers on leafy stems to 2m. An important plant in Tradition Chinese herbal medicine and also recently tested for use against Alzheimer's disease. A collection from Guizhou, SW China.
Short stout Solomon's Seal look-alike with broad evergreen foliage. Little creamy bells with dark mouths and a fine scent hang from the 30cm stems in June. Spreads slowly to form ground covering patches in leafy soil in shade.
Disporopsis pernyi 'Bill Baker'
A rare form, found by Bill Baker in a Chinese market, more deciduous than the norm with slightly narrower leaves. Wonderfully sweetly scented white bells with flared mouths and dark markings hang from arching, semi-evergreen, leafy stems to about 30cm. Spreads slowly to form patches in leafy soil in shade. A Solomon's Seal relative from China.
An evergreen Solomon's Seal relative reaching only 20cm high and spreading slowly to form a patch of arching stems bearing undulating dark green leaves. The little scented bell-like flowers are white with purple speckles and a yellow interior and are produced along the stems in May/June. Violet berries replace the flowers and are seen through winter. Hardy, for a woodsy spot in well drained humus soil.
Disporum aff. longistylum NJM 11.011 (new)
A collection from Leigongshan, Guizhou, SW China at about 2000m asl. This formed a well branched perennial to about 1m. Flowers not seen as yet, but probably pale greenish yellow. For semi-shade and humusy soil.
Disporum cantoniense 'Blueberry Bere' (new)
A unique new colour form we found at altitude in Manipur, NE India, bearing plenty of lilac bell-like flowers on vigorous upright stems in late spring, followed by black berries. For humus rich soil in semi-shade
Disporum longistylum 'Night Heron' seedlings
As 'Night Heron' itself only produces a small amount of propagating material each year why not have a seedling, which comes true anyway... with a bit of rogueing here and there? Magnificent dark-chocolate new growth extends on almost bamboo-like stems with contrasting sheaths. These branch and bear creamy green bells followed by black fruit. To 1.8m, for semi-shade.
Disporum megalanthum (new)
Glossy, broad, well veined foliage on arching stems ending in white open mouthed bells at 30cm in late spring/early summer, extending to 60cm in blue-black fruit late in the season. Hardy, for shade/semi-shade and woodsy soil.
A Solomon's Seal relative from China and Japan, making a spreading clump of strong upright leafy stems to about 50cm, arching at their tips, where the clusters of starry greenish-white flowers dangle in April/May. Best in leafy soil with shade. Hardy.
Dracunculus canariensis (new)
Quite the opposite of the stinking D. vulgaris, this white flowered elegant beauty from the Canary Isles is generally smaller to about 1m tall. The slim white spathes with a pale yellow spadix inside are borne above the divided green foliage in spring to early summer. A winter growing species, dormant in summer, therefore needing cool glasshouse conditions. Rarely offered.
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