Gymnospermium altaicum
Sun, 23 Feb 2003 08:27:18 PST
James Waddick <> wrote:
>Excellent picture. I am curious about 
>how this species grows for you. The 
>shredded mulch suggests a woodland 
>soil. Is this in shade or sun? Drainage?

The Gymnospermium is grown in a raised mound within our "foundation 
plantings" in front of the house.  The planting area, located in full sun, is 
covered with pine bark mulch.  I've planted small select shrubs and trees, 
but also lots of crocus, species tulips, and even some juno iris.  When I 
plant bulbs that demand dryness and excellent drainage, I excavate a hole 
more than a foot deep and as wide, then fill it with course sand and a wee 
bit of compost mixed in.  Thus they get very good drainage from the sand mix, 
and from being planted on raised mounds. Some Juno iris have done as well 
planted this way as those grown in larger, pure sand, raised beds.

>Also the spread suggests underground 
>Did you start with multiple tubers? 

A generous friend sent me a tuber.  The tuber, as I recall, was rather large 
and flattish (much wider than tall), sort of begonia-like.  I see no evidence 
of increase yet.  The growth shoots rise a small distance away from the 
central tuber.  I know that I took photographs of the foliage first emerging, 
because they catch one's attention being so red and "filigreed" in appearance 
(leaf margins are tightly rolled).  Can't find the pictures... vaguely 
remember deleting them because filigree red foliage on brown mulch did show 
up too well.  

It's a fascinating little plant.

Mark McDonough        Pepperell, Massachusetts, United States    "New England"               USDA Zone 5
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