Thursday, September 15, 2011


Mukdenia rossii

Also called Aceriphyllum rossii. A moderate growing, rhizomatous, very dense, clumping perennial reaching up to 4 feet across that is native to China ( esp. Manchuria ) and Korea. It makes an excellent shade groundcover plant that makes an excellent substitute for Pachysandra.
The tiny, white ( rarely pink ), bell-shaped flowers up to 0.2 inches across are borne in dense clusters on flowerstalks up to 18 inches in height from February to April depending on climate but usually lasting at least 2 weeks. The record reported height is 40 inches.
The thick, succulent, lobed and toothed, blue-green foliage is up to 7 x 6 inches in size. The foliage will reach a maximum height of 1 foot.
Hardy zones 2 to 7 in a cool semi-shady spot on consistently slightly dry to moist ( but not wet ), fertile, well drained soil. It is grown as far north as Vermont in the U.S. It grows best in dappled shade or morning sun that resembles its native forest environment and does not like hot, dry summers unless irrigated.
In the cooler, northern parts of its range, it will tolerate full sun.
It also looks great and is easy to grow in large containers.
Difficult to establish, but very easy to grow and long lived, once it is established.
No knows diseases and other than the occasional slug, it is rarely bothered by pests.

* photo taken on April 17 2010 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on May 1 2010 @ U.S. National Arboretum, D.C.

* photo taken on June 23 2013 @ U.S. National Arboretum, DC

* photos taken on June 1 in Ellicott City, MD

* photos taken on May 27 2017 @ Meadowlark Botanical Gardens, Vienna, VA

'Crimson Fans'
Foliage emerges bronze, quickly turning to glossy deep green and boldly tipped intense deep-red all summer, then turning entirely scarlet-red during autumn. Surprisingly heat and sun tolerant, it is reported to even tolerate reflected heat in Michigan if kept somewhat moist but not wet.

* photos taken on May 27 2017 @ Meadowlark Botanical Gardens, Vienna, VA

* photo taken on Aug 4 2021 @ U.S. National Arboretum, Washington, DC

'Nova Flame'
A hybrid between Mukdenia rossii 'Crimson Fans' & a Bergenia. It is a herbaceous perennial during winter unlike regular Mukdenia.
The very thick leaves turn intense scarlet-red during autumn.
The pink flowers appear during spring.
Hardy zones 4 to 7 in partial shade ( also tolerates full sun where summers are cool ) on just about any light, fertile, well drained soil.

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