Jane McGary
Sun, 03 Jun 2012 18:34:05 PDT
Tim wrote

>I'm not very fond of yellow foliage myself but was excited to see 
>another one of the new releases, 'Dark Star.'. Their photo at least 
>shows solid dark purple foliage, much darker than any of the E 
>autumnalis clones out there (ie oak hurst and sparkling beauty, 
>etc.   E vandermerwei is obviously one parent to this as well as 
>'Freckles' another one of their offerings.

I am growing 'Dark Star' and it is handsome and vigorous. I think by 
"sparkling beauty" Tim means 'Sparkling Burgundy', which is widely 
offered, possibly not always the true clone of that name. It's a bit 
lighter purple but also very vigorous. These purple ones emerge quite 
a bit earlier here than the various green-leaved species, which I 
grew from seed. I have a bed the central part of which is devoted to 
Eucomis, interspersed with Heuchera selections with purple-and-silver 
foliage and punctuated by an oakleaf Hydrangea that assumes 
interesting foliage tones. (I don't care for most yellow-foliaged 
plants either; they look sick to me.)

This is one of the best South African genera for growing in colder 
climates, because it emerges late in spring and can be protected by 
deep planting and plenty of mulch. However, the flowers of E. 
autumnalis can be ruined by frost in fall.

Jane McGary
Portland, Oregon, USA

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