Roscoea cautleyoides
Sun, 26 Aug 2007 06:15:29 PDT
Last year a plant of Roscoea cautleyoides set lots of seed in late summer/early fall, so I scratched in some of the seed near the mother plant, among the bark mulch.  A couple weeks ago, I noticed a fresh crop of seedlings.…

But here's the dilemma, do I really want these seedlings?  I'm on the fence with Roscoea, actually somewhere over the fence and deciding I don't like these gawky stiff growing plants.  The foliage and elongated stems stay in growth all summer, and look like corn stalks gone bad.  Everytime I pass by the plant, I'm reminded just how ugly it is.…

Now, back in early June when in flower, the flowers are attractive up close, but still are produced on such tall stiff stems, that they lose their charm, in my opinion.……

In the 4 years I've grown the plant, it reliably flowers, seems perfectly hardy, and actually reflowers each and every autumn.  Now there's a sight, the long persistant stems and battered foliage, some flopping and some erect, and there at the base of the stems, a whole new crop of flowers that poke out near the base of the stems; a fine mess.

Maybe there is a way to grow this plant to conceal its unsightly growth pattern, then perhaps I'd like this plant better.  Maybe the other species have more appealing growth, but these I have not tried. 

Mark McDonough
Massachusetts, near the New Hampshire border, USDA Zone 5

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