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Although this could very well be a picture of me finding a new treasure at a favorite nursery, it's actually an illustration by David Catrow for a children's book called Plantzilla.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Aesculus hippocastanum 'Laciniata' is my Favorite Plant...This Week

Joining with my pal Loree at Danger Garden in her favorite plant this week meme.  Click over there to see what other gardeners are loving this week!


Truth be told, all of the plants from yesterday's post plus are my current faves but this one gets its own post.

I love a lacey leaf.  Acer palmata varieties with lacey leaves tickle me, Quercus dentata 'Pinnatifida' with it's shredded foliage has been a favorite since I first saw it for sale at Heronswood a bunch of years ago.  Last spring, there were a few of these on Dragonfly Farms table at the Heronswood Open and plant sale.  However, they were walking out in the boxes of others. 

When this sort of situation arises, one makes himself feel better by saying things like, "It's deciduous and you really need more evergreen foliage in your garden." and "It's really sweet right now but what happens when it becomes a huge tree and blocks what little sun your garden still has?" We do what we can to mask our disappointment, right?

Imagine how thrilling it was to find a few of these casually sitting on a sales table at Hortlandia, the Hardy Plant Society of Oregon's spring plant sale.  (Watch for a future post about this plant nerd's paradise.)

Here are some descriptions lifted from  Plant Lust:

Rare and slow growing cultivar of the native Oregon horsechestnut. Shaggy serrated leaves and dissected to the base and have a very unique look. Although it grows very slow, and appears to be dwarf, very little is known about this plant. - Garden World

A shrubby tree to 10' in your lifetime; the compound palmate leaves are deeply and narrowly incised. zone 4. - Whitman Farms

Leaves which are deeply, irregularly cut (even needle-like!) add another layer of interest to this always beautiful large flowering tree; slower growing than the species; older plants may have drooping branches. Sun-PSh/Med. - Forest Farm
Blue Bell Arboretum and Nursery has this to say:  An unusual form of our native horse chestnut, Aesculus hippocastanum 'Laciniata' has interesting, exceptionally deeply cut leaves. These leaves are dark green in spring and summer and can turn butter yellow in a good, crisp autumn. Upright panicles of attractive white flowers appear on the branches of established plants in late spring.
A very handsome tree with intriguing foliage!
This Aesculus can be coppiced every few years to produce a much smaller plant with a very distinctive foliage effect. Pruning it in this way can make it suitable for even the smallest of gardens!

16 comments:

  1. What a cool plant! I'm trying to remember now why I didn't get one too.

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    1. Something about not having room for another tree? It is wonderful!

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  2. So glad you grabbed one and I look forward to seeing it grow in your garden. Yesterday I discovered a rodgersia in my garden with a similar foliage effect, damn critters!

    (my foliage fav post will be up first thing tomorrow)

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  3. Bound to become a conversation piece, even though it will have plenty of competition in your garden.

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    1. It needs a special pot and place out there in the jungle!

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  4. Curious looking plant that is a guaranteed conversation piece!

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  5. What a fascinating plant, the leaves are very unique.

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    1. It may be a temporary infatuation; always excited by unusual foliage!

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  6. Hmmm, sorry but I'm not sure I like it. It's fascinating and would be a talking point, but I have had plants that look like that when caterpillars have stripped the leaves!

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    1. Gosh, I didn't think of the caterpillar-stripped appearance but rather was thinking of the similarity to some Acer palmatum leaves.

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  7. The lighter centers of the leaves are intriguing.... it seems very wispy, I'd like to see the golden fall color.

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    1. I'm also looking forward to fall color and hopefully someday flowers.

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  8. That is so cool! It´s the first time I see this plant!

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    1. I'd only seen it once before and am very glad to have it!

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Thanks so much for taking the time to comment! I love to hear your thoughts.