Thursday, September 29, 2011

Plants for Wet Clay: Ludwigia alternifolia (Seedbox)

This little native plant isn't of particular interest until early fall. It does have small yellow flowers in mid-summer, but it's more inoffensive than pretty.

Now the foliage will quickly turn a fiery red. Seedbox does well for a few spots of early fall color. Below it's come up next to another self-seeder, Great blue lobelia (Lobelia siphilitica). Quite a blast, however brief.

But its seed cases are it's main claim to a place in the garden.

If it were more prolific, I might have to call it a weed.


  1. I love the Ludwigia seed-boxes, James. They'd look great greatly enlarged as sculptures.

  2. Faisal, they're very small--only about 1/4 inch in diameter, but with the appearance of fine woodwork. I think that's part of their attraction for me. One tries to believe they were made, that they didn't just grow. Interesting, that place in the mind where artifice and nature meet.

  3. that is a stunning blue especially against the red foliage - a good combination

  4. Thanks. But it's an element of randomness in the garden. One never knows where seedbox will come up next.

  5. Only call it a weed if you don't want it.

    I think those seed- boxes seed cases are superb. Very creative, nature's artisan.

  6. They tend to come up along the path edges and I keep them all. Well behaved not-weeds.

  7. Japanese netsuke? Carved out of very old ivory?

  8. I can't imagine gardening on wet clay or wet anything - I garden in northern Lazio and my soil is tuffo (friable fertile volcanic rock) But that's the fun thing about the blogging world isn't it? you can enjoy plants in other gardens that you can never grow in your own. Christina

  9. Christina,
    I think I would trade New Jersey for Lazio and its volcanic soil in an instant. Wet is just a fact of life for me, not a condition I seek. Thanks for commenting.



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