Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Speaking of competition

Here is Pulmonaria 'Samourai', a durable, silver-leafed hybrid from Tony Avent's Plant Delights nursery. I planted the large one two years ago, then added two more last spring. Sweet woodruff (Galium odoratum) spread from a colony across the path and is now making a pretty background for the Pulmonaria. (Pretty, but this is certainly an invasion.)

Here we may have plant war in slow motion. The Pulmonaria appears to be extremely sturdy and durable. I know the Galium is a rampant spreader (which I accept, even want, because it's such a good groundcover). Who will win? Or will the plants co-exist, at least for a few years?

The last photo shows another invader, Eupatorum rugosum, another attractive, four-foot native that self-seeds like crazy, in the lower center. This must be plucked out.


  1. Interesting that you mention Eupatorium r. as invasive. I've been growing 2 Eupatorium r. 'Chocolate' for 5 yrs or so, and there's no self-sowing with this pretty variety. In fact, I've just come in from the garden and it's now confimed: one plant - the more vigorous specimen - has died. No sign of it at all. It's listed as zone 4-8 on, and I'm zone 9 or 10 depending upon temps for the year.
    Many perennials that thrive on the East Coast simply languish here. Usually they do not to die, but rather, exhibit a distinct failure to thrive. It's taken me years to let go of various plants that I've wasted time and energy on pampering. I'm pleased, however, that Pulmonaria 'Bertram Anderson' has naturalized, spreading nicely from its original spot, and I adore it. It's listed as Zone 3-8 ( So some perennials can adjust to my dry-season garden with mild, wet winters.

  2. I haven't tried Chocolate, but perhaps it doesn't seed. The native I have is extremely prolific in my wet clay environment (seeding, not spreading).



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