1.30.2009

Fab Foliage Friday



After spending the last few Fab Foliage Fridays in the luminous company of assorted silver- and gold-leaved splendors, I'm heading over to the dark side. I've always loved deep, mysterious garnet and burgundy hued plants for their sense of mystery, the feeling of impenetrable depth they add to a planting, and for the easy way they have of associating with hot colors or, for that matter, any color at all. One of my top picks in this part of the palette is tropical smoke bush (Euphorbia cotinifolia). It's among the darker brethren of this leafy fraternity, and is especially beauteous when sunlight shines through the leaves--they almost glow, like molten lava. And then, there's the way raindrops bead up on the leaves, like jewels. It's a tender tropical plant, but easy to overwinter dormant--I've seen it growing in the tropics and even there it loses all its leaves during the "winter"--I just put mine down in the basement.

8 comments:

patientgardener said...

I have noticed that I am developing a weakness for dark foliage. One of my favourites is the Sambuscus nigra

Steve Silk said...

Hi Patientgardener--colorful foliage adds so much to a garden and its contribution is good for the whole season. I gotta have dark leaved plants! Another goodie is Physocarpus 'Diablo', sometimes seen as 'Monlo.' It's the darkest hardy shrub I know.

Teza said...

How refreshing to see gardener's focusing on foliage. I garden predominantly in shade, and have to rely more on foliage than flowers...... but it lasts much longer in the long run. I have a preference for Berberis 'Helmond Pillar' dark burgundy, purple foliage on a shrub that is typically shaped like an exclamation point! A rare but rewarding addition to the garden.

lostlandscape said...

Great choice--I really like this euphorbia. It's only year #1 for me with the plant, and here in San Diego it still has its leaves. I wouldn't be surprised if they start to go soon, though. What really seems to make it look bad is if I don't give it as much water as it likes in the summer. Talk about dropped leaves...

Steve Silk said...

Hi Teza--I like Helmond's Pillar too, I have a trio of them rising up out of a flat, groundcovering mat of gold veronica. Leaves are what a garden is all about-that's what you've got from one end of the season to the other-the flowers just come and go.

Steve Silk said...

Lostlandscape--hmm, thats interesting. I guess the point is that, whether it is caused by cold, dryness, or whatever, Euphorbia cotinifolia withstands a leafless dormancy. Can't wait for mine to wake up again.

Wayne Stratz said...

truly fab! I too love that color in a leaf.

Greg Scheller said...

I'm really fond of stag horn ferns / terrific collection of them at Disney's Animal Kingdon and a much smaller group of them in my back yard - I've had one of them since the 70s