‘Sun King’ Spikenard

Today was overcast with some light snow/drizzle although we still had a nice turnout of volunteers.  I’m presenting both tomorrow and Thursday at the 2015 Garden Center Symposium/Midwest Perennial Conference near Milwaukee and look forward to networking as well as the presentations.  Janice was in to continue work on her Spring Plant Sale vegetable research.  Mark down Mother’s Day weekend (May 9th and 10th) for the sale although RBG Members can come to the pre-sale on Friday, May 8th and receive their 10% discount throughout the entire weekend.  Pat M. and Bill O. were inside processing lights and cords respectively.  We have a steady supply of Holiday Lights Show (HLS) elements coming back to the building and today, both Peg L. and Larry H. were out continuing to collect more lights and cords from various locations.  With snow possible later this week, we’ll try to collect what we can before the snow covers everything up.  Dr. Gredler came in to work on wrapping up cords as well. I caught up on various office duties and continue to juggle various tasks.  I’ll start ordering seeds in earnest this Friday and throughout next week.
All but one of the photos in this blog are of the ‘Sun King’ Japanese spikenard (Aralia cordata) which caught my eye about four years ago when it was introduced.  This hardy perennial can get 4′-6′ tall with a 3′ width in time.  Our specimens have been gaining size slowly but their impact was immediate.  Located in a partly shaded location in our gazebo garden (with ample water), we were rewarded immediately with bright gold, spring foliage coloration, chartreuse-gold summer color and this year, we saw some blooms.  The blooms, seen below, are “satellite-like” flower clusters that ultimately form berries. The second photo down is from the regular green-leaf Japanese spikenard (Aralia cordata) which also gets quite large!  Of course, the fruiting would be identical to ‘Sun King’.  This perennial has a “bright” future in our shade gardens!  The photo above shows a clump of five of these perennials at the Morton Arboretum (Lisle, IL).

 

fruiting on Japanese spikenard (Aralia cordata) – green leaf form
spring foliage
 spring foliage
spring foliage
 summer foliage
summer foliage

Comments are closed.