Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Plant of the Week

Okay, here's the first entry in the (hopefully) regular Plant of the Week and it's ... centradenia floribunda, sometimes called Spanish Shawl. It's a hardy, low growing evergreen perennial that features fabulous reds and burgandys in its foliage. Spreading quickly, it can be grown in partial shade or in the cooler regions of our Bay Area in quite a bit of sun. Beginning in late spring, it produces masses of fuchsia pink flowers. We have some growing over the rock front of a pond area in Grand Lake Ace garden center and it's made itself at home. At first glance it looks like a weed but then people realize it's exceptionally lovely. I'm always on the outlook for interesting ground covers or things to spill over low walls and this has quickly become one of my favorite picks. Best of all, it's not fussy, is disease resistant and handles a variety of light conditions. Just prune to shape and you have a ready made great rock garden plant, morning sun ground cover or cascading plant. Though it likes some moisture, and loves getting splashed by our work pond, it isn't an overly thirsty plant. Sometimes you just love it when a plant "takes over" an area.

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