Saturday, September 12, 2009

Pinckneya bracteata....Fevertree, the bracts are spectacular, but dehiscent capsules are my favorite fruits

These are interestingly textured and curiously shaped with an intriguing bulge at the distal end as though a bladder inside was expanding. Dirr observes that the seeds germinate readily with no pre-treatment. We will have to give them a try.

This particular plant is in the Coastal Plain section of Fern Valley. I missed the flowers this year and, judging from the quantity of fruit, I missed a good year. The floral display is spectacular, no thanks to the flowers themselves, which are inconspicuous, but because of the large pink, white, and rose colored bracts.

Pinckneya is a tree of the far south, native to north Florida and South Georgia. Unlike, say Franklinia, you don't hear about wonderful specimens in the warmer parts of New England. I think we really are about as far north as it goes. We had lower temperatures last winter than we've had for a while but nothing like 2F that Dirr relates killed a plant in his garden, though ours are likely more cold acclimated than his plants in Georgia. This is the happiest I have seen our plants so there's every reason to assume a good floral display for next year.

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