Roscoea cautleoides redeemed (sort of)

mark zukaitis
Tue, 21 Jul 2009 08:15:46 PDT

The Roscoea cautleoides is beautiful!  It was worth the wait to get a display like that.  After flowering does it hurt the plant to just cut off the ungainly spikes, letting the leaves just go dormant normally?
  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Mark McDonough<> 
  Sent: Monday, July 20, 2009 9:45 PM
  Subject: Re: [pbs] Roscoea cautleoides redeemed (sort of)

  I have posted on the PBS wiki some young flowering plants of Roscoea cautleoides.  Through the several years I have grown it, I am not a fan, the flowering stems quickly lengthen to 24-30" and flop about, looking miserable and unkempt for the growing season, then reflower on short stems semi-concealed amongst the mess of untidy foliage in the fall.

  Since that PBS posting 3 years ago, it has redeemed itself this spring with nearly 50 stems of bloom, a virtual bouquet of soft yellow orchid-like blooms, on still 8-10" neatly erect stems.  Of course, the cane-like stems still lengthen to 2' or more and completely flop over and splay the stems horizontally in an ungainly sight by summer.

  Seed is produced sparingly (thank goodness), which is "scratched in" and germinates freely, so I do have some more young ugly plants coming along.  Just checked tonight, out of perhaps 100 or more total blooms, I find 3 viable seed capsules swelling.

  It is a love/hate sort of thing with this plant!…<…>…<…>

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

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