I have two things for you today. The first is a question relating to a plant I grow: Petasites japonicus. This is the large-leaved plant that I grow at the edge of the pond if you've forgotten. When it first starts to emerge in the spring, it first puts up its flowers.
This is what the flowers on my plant look like. Not much of a bloom, but the bees find it attractive even if I do not.
Here's the bloom from what I thought was Petasites japonicus that's growing next to the lily ponds in Tower Grove Park:
First of all, it's so pink!
Secondly, it's so tall -- maybe 10" (25cm) for the tallest one, possibly more:
(Sorry about the harsh photos, but I couldn't find blooms in better lighting.)
So is this a different species of Petasites, or is it just a form with a particularly attractive bloom?
Here's my bloom again for comparison:
It has to be a different species, doesn't it? (In previous years I've had two different types of blooms even though just one species planted AFAIK.)
That was my question. Now my warning: if you grow running bamboo, rhizome prune every year!
This is one of my favorite "shrubby" bamboos: Shibatea kumasaca. Here it is from last summer:
Like most smaller bamboos it seems to be extra vigorous in the rhizome department, and I did not prune last year. A few culms came up on the other side of the path and I left them with plans on making divisions sometime.
That time is now, so I dug them and pulled up the rhizomes which were all growing away from the main plant. You can see how rhizomes love to branch out:
Moved onto darker mulch to get a better look:
At the left edge of the frame only one or two rhizomes exist. (It's like the reverse of a cage match: one enters and many leave!)
You can see that when a rhizome branches off they mostly continue in the same direction, with not too much crossing:
So many rhizomes!
This makes for a pot jammed full of potential!
So a question and a warning. Hope you can answer one and that you heed the other!