Too much blogging about the plants at Cistus Nursery? Not possible. Either you are lucky enough to be able to visit frequently but you can’t get enough, or you aren’t able to visit, and it is our duty as Portlanders to share the experience.
Bromeliad Fascicularia pitcairnifolia (with correct spelling of the genus this time, thanks Loree). Leaves are divine as is, but as a bonus, it gets sky-blue blossoms surrounded by burgundy leaves. As much as I’m in love with agaves, it’s so hard to find a good sunny spot for the sun worshipers in my yard, and I’m a big failure at overwintering non-hardy plants indoors. Fascicularia says it takes some shade, likes cool conditions, and has recovered from 0F in zone 7. Now that, I can do. I made the trip looking for a Yucca Rostrata, but didn’t find one that was big enough to enjoy, yet small enough to afford, so I got a Fascicularia instead.
Another terrestrial bromeliad – Dyckia choristaminea. It says full sun for “best color.” Do you suppose that means I can get away with it on my mostly shady patio? It’s supposed to be hardy to upper zone 8, but a plant this tiny, just a few inches tall and wide, that wouldn’t be so hard to overwinter in a bright window.
Puya venusta shares that spiky form, spiky leaf combination of the Fascicularia and Dyckia. From the tag: “This is one of the most dazzling of the Puyas with clumping 3 ft rosettes so glaucous as to appear nearly white, and on this form the deep blue-black flowers were supported by 6-8 ft stems of nice pink.” Also hardy in zone 8 with well drained soil.
Back to plants I have no business looking at – Agave ornithobroma. The leaves are soft and cylindrical, almost like a thick leaved rush. Hardy to zone 9/10, although the tag says they’ve been growing it here in the ground and it has survived the last few years, so if you were inclined to press your luck, maybe this is a candidate.
I forget sometimes what a fantastic fern collection they have at Cistus. Lots of really interesting unusual varieties. Phlebodium pseudoaureum (blue rabbits foot fern) is a small one, about a foot tall. The tag says the fuzzy glaucous leaves make good cut foliage. Some day we really must talk more about the ferns.
2010-07-12 » megan