Incarvillea delavayl is known as hardy gloxinia or Chinese trumpet flower. It is frequently sold as flowering ferns, but we know ferns don’t flower and I think they are called this because of the fern like leaves.
I got some roots at Canada Blooms in 2015. I love to try out different plants and see how they grow. Labelled as flowering ferns and listed as perennial in our area you could be easily fooled. I was skeptical. After checking it out online the perennial part is listed under the USDA zone 5 and up. Here in my part of Ontario we are Canadian zone 5b which is the equivalent of USDA 4b so I am going to treat them as tender perennials and dig them each year.
The long fleshy tap roots remind me of the 4 o’clock roots which need to be dug each year in our area.
I started them off inside and quickly had fern like growth appearing. They were hardened off outside during the end of May and already had started to get blooms before they were planted into the big pot. Blooms appear in late spring or early summer.
We had frost at the very end of May but they did survive.
The pretty trumpet like blooms were numerous. They grow well in full sun to partial shade and prefer well drained soil. I snipped off the blooms when they were finished and was rewarded with another flowering stalk and lots more blooms.
I left some to form seed heads, which were long and when split open contained lots of seeds. I will try potting up some seeds and see how they grow this spring.
This was another successful growing experiment last year and I hope the roots and seeds grow well this year. The roots were dug at the end of the growing season, before the first frost, and stored in the well cupboard which is a dark, dry, coolish cupboard under the stairs in the basement.
I’m sharing with ABC Wednesday where the letter of the week is I. I for incarvillea delavayl.
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