Sunday, November 14, 2010

Rostrinucula

Rostrinucula dependens

A shrub related to the Mint ( but not invasive ), it is one of 2 species in the Rostrinucula genus native to central China from Shaanxi Province, south to Yunnan.
It forms an attractive suckering mounding, arching shrub reaching up to 8 x 10 feet.
Mixing with Ephedra gerardiana forms an interesting combination.
The leaves are up to 4 x 1.6 inches in length. They are green in summer turning to dull yellow late in fall.
The flowers are borne in long, lavender weeping catkins up to 12 x 0.6 inches in mid to late autumn.
The stems are burgundy red.
Hardy zones 7b to 10. On the east coast it grows as far north as Washington D.C. in sheltered locations and on the west coast as far north as Seattle and Vancouver though not far inland. If it does freeze to the ground cut it back to a few inches above the ground before new growth begins in spring.
It loves hot sunny sites and light, well drained soil.
Propagation can be from offsets as well as cuttings taken in the first half of summer which root easily. It is very easy to grow from seed.

* photo taken on October 17 2010 @ U.S. National Arboretum, D.C.

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