Friday, December 30, 2011

Decaisnea

Decaisnea fargesii
A moderate growing, multi-stemmed, upright, large shrub, reaching up to 20 x 20 feet, that is native to western China. It is one of 2 species of plants in the Decaisnea genus which is part of the larger Lardizabalaceae family.
The bold pinnate leaves, up to 3.3 feet in length, are composed of 13 to 25 large, oval leaflets, up to 6 inches in length.
The foliage is deep blue-green. The foliage turns yellow during autumn.
The yellowish-green, bell-shaped flowers are borne on pendulous panicles, up to 20 inches in length. They are not fragrant.
The flowers are followed by very showy, metallic-blue, finger-sized pods, up to 6 x 1 inches in size, borne on clusters of 3. The pods ripen during autumn and persist well into winter when they are very showy. The seeds are black.
Hardy zones 6 to 9 in full sun to partial shade on just about any moist, fertile, well drained soil. Very easy to grow once it is established, pests and diseases rarely occur. It is recommended to protect young plants from cold sweeping winter winds ( building a temporary burlap enclosure may help ).
Propagation is easily done by opening up the pods and sowing the black seeds.
They do not grow well in containers and are difficult to transplant and it is often easier just to seed them in their permanent setting.

* historical archive photos


Decaisnea insignis
Very similar, except with golden-yellow fruit.

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