Monday, June 1, 2009

Diphylleia grayi

You have to love the Berberidaceae; for reasons of phytochemistry, deer rarely eat any of these plants. Disease is not normally an issue, most tolerate, or require some shade. Many have good berries which can be a blessing and a curse. They're pretty but birds eat the fruits, notably of the commoner Barberries, run them through their digestive system, and deposit them, primed to germinate, randomly throughout their territories. Barberries are an invasive problem in some places. So far as I know, this plant is not.

This Asian species is a counterpart to our native Diphylleia cymosa, Umbrella-leaf. Both have these, well umbrella leaves and blue fruit. Both are shade plants. I don't know this one yet, but our native likes the water a bit for a shade plant and I suspect the same is true of this species. Anyway it has large boldly-textured leaves, and I can't get enough of them!


MaidenShade said...

There are posts going around saying this is a "skeleton flower" and that it becomes transparent in the rain. Is this true?

Does the diphylleia grayi become transparent when wet?

ChrisU said...

I don't think so but maybe I wasn't paying attention. I do pay a lot of attention though...