Wednesday, December 12, 2012

x Sycoparrotia semidecidua and Nandina 'Lowboy'

These are not the commonest plants in the world. They look pretty good together though. 'Lowboy' is a wonderful  obscure selection of Nandina domestica; I'm not sure why it isn't more popular. It is smaller than the species and has great winter color. There are berries in there though the cultivar itself is listed as sterile. I'm not sure whether this means that somehow seed has been moved here from a fertile planting (of the species) and we just neglected to notice seedlings, or whether this cultivar does occasionally set fruit. I'm leaning towards the latter option but I'm not certain.

I am certain the x Sycoparrotia semidecidua is a cool plant. It grew on me. The first 10 years or so that I knew these plants, I had no use for them. They do have issues; they are unprunable. You can remove branches to allow passage underneath, but it's impossible to reduce the overall size of the plant without destroying that lovely structure. So whatever's in its way has got to yield! And it's semi-deciduous which means it's.....I don't want to say hideous, but I have to, for large parts of the winter. Still, look at it now! It's surely worth the space if you have it. Plus it's in the Hamamelidaceae, which is one of my favorite families.

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