Manfreda virginica, ho ho ho!!

Steve Marak
Mon, 26 Dec 2005 13:22:09 PST

I've found since that that collection site may actually be E(ast) Benton Co.,
AR, but either way I'm pleased they've grown for you - that site is, or was,
the rocky very-well-drained south-facing slope on the north side of a highway
which is being expanded, and probably doesn't exist any more. We had collected
seed of several things there every few years (the Manfreda, Callirhoe digitata,
Penstemon digitalis, Asclepias verticillata, etc.) for a long time. 

When we realized they'd started road construction, we hastily went out late
last summer and spent some hours chipping away at the rock-like soil to rescue
a few. But there were hundreds of the Manfreda alone so the few dozen we saved
were a drop in the bucket. None of those are rare plants here, though only the
penstemon is common, but that site was one of the prettiest, especially to be a
few feet from a major road, and I'll miss it.

They quickly lose their foliage in winter here as well - in fact, I didn't 
realize there were strains that didn't until I saw your note. Flowering time 
here is usually mid-summer, seeds ready late August or so. Inflorescences to 
over 2 meters when happy. That site had lots of water in the spring, run-off 
from the hillside above it, then baked all summer.


On Sun, 25 Dec 2005, Dennis Kramb wrote:

> The plants of Manfreda virginica growing in my garden come from NARGS seed 
> exchange (ex: wild collected, W. Madison Co., AR).
> Yesterday I got an early Christmas present of seeds from plants growing at 
> a local nursery which are themselves from one of the only wild populations 
> here in Ohio in Adams County.  (I posted several photos of these plants to 
> the wiki a few months ago.)
> Anyway, I am really happy to have the local material now.  I noticed that 
> my Arkansas plant foliage has already turned to mush from the winter 
> weather.  The Ohio plants were still in relatively good shape, showing 
> little winter damage.
> Also, one of the plants at the nursery apparently tried to bloom in fall 
> rather than at the normal time in spring.  Is this normal behavior?  The 
> bloom stalk was 4 feet tall and filled with frozen (and wilted) 
> flowers.  Quite pretty, actually!  :-)
> Dennis in Cincy

-- Steve Marak

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