Saturday, April 04, 2009
Gardeners are often warned to avoid Petasites. I've even had a nursery refuse to sell it to me, and I agree I've seen it growing with such vigor I want to either cheer or run. In my garden - so far - it's been willing to spread slowly but seems easily controllable.
I have two kinds. One, sold as Petasites japonicus 'Giganteus' (above), with great round leaves, and another, sold as Petasites hybridus x Dutch (below), with roughly triangular leaves. The flowers of both are in bloom now. They're small, no more than three inches high and less wide, for the Giganteus.
The inflorescence of the 'x Dutch' hybrid is much smaller and strikingly different in appearance. Long blossoming stems will rise from the cone-like flowering body in the next few weeks, then wither as the foliage grows. I have no idea what the Petasites x Dutch was hybridized with, but its flowering behavior is dramatically different from its cousin. The flowering stems are similar in appearance to those of Darmera peltata, so I do wonder if the cross was made with some form of Darmera.
Maybe you know the answer.