Sunday, April 27, 2008

More plants to plant

On an excursion to one of our remaining independent nurseries yesterday looking for a pot of Bolivian begonia, which had been wonderful last summer on the porch, I didn't find any, and will just have to wait until the one I ordered as a 'summer bulb' arrives. I did find a number of other things (of course!) that I thought it would be fun to try.

A large flat of Bidens in one of the greenhouses (species not given) was unusual among the normal collection of warm season annuals. Bidens is a genus in the Aster family full of tough, sometimes weedy wildflowers (common names include Tickseed, Beggar's Ticks, and Bur-Marigold), so seeing flats of something tame-looking labeled as an annual got my attention.

I had run across a reference to selections of Bidens ferulifolia a couple of weeks ago, working on a drought-tolerant plant list for our zone (7b). They supposedly flowered all summer, were attractive to bees and butterflies, and were happily drought-tolerant in containers (my kind of plant). So even though I wasn't sure what sort of Bidens were being offered up, two pots made it into my cart (I managed not to buy more, as I already had added a couple of portulaca plants, two licorice plants, and several small tomato plants), in spite of having a number of plants at home needing planting already....

Some time poking about on the web suggested that my purchases WERE a cultivar of Bidens ferulifolia, a native of the U.S. Desert Southwest and Mexico, a evergreen perennial in Zones 8-11. Which cultivar, I don't know, but I think I'll use one in the large corner hanging basket, and the other along the driveway and see how they do.

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