Thal­ic­trum delavayi

Garden News (UK) - - Garden Of The Week -

Although it’s not look­ing at its ex­quis­ite best at this time of year, Thal­ic­trum delavayi is a spe­cial plant. Col­lect­ing seed from it a cou­ple of days ago, I was re­minded of just what a spe­cial plant it is and that we must try to grow much more of it. It’s easy from seed although, if you col­lect your own, the best idea is to sep­a­rate the seed from its sur­round­ing husk with your nails. Be­ing a mem­ber of the but­ter­cup fam­ily, Ra­nun­cu­laceae, it’s best to sow seed fresh as it doesn’t store well.

Presently, the plants are still at­trac­tive. Their dainty, maid­en­hair, fern-like fo­liage is trans­formed to gold with the tall flower stems tow­er­ing above, now adorned with pretty seed cases. It forms a basal clump of fine maid­en­hair fo­liage from which the flower stalks al­most mag­i­cally emerge. Even­tu­ally, af­ter it has formed a grace­ful frame­work, the buds emerge at the tips of each stem. At first they’re green and in clus­ters, but soon they sep­a­rate, each flower sus­pended from its own slen­der, wiry stem and chang­ing to lilac. The buds are slen­der too, and each one un­folds into a per­fect para­sol and the creamy-white an­thers, which dan­gle from the pen­du­lous sta­mens, com­plete the quiv­er­ing charm.

Thal­ic­trum takes on au­tum­nal hues

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