Louis Raymond experiments in his own gardens like

a mad scientist, searching out plants that most people have

never seen before & figuring out how to make them perform.- The Boston Globe

…Louis Raymond ensures that trees can grow in Brooklyn…

or just about any other place where concrete consumes

the dirt and skyscrapers shield the sunshine.- USA Today


NEW Trips to Take!

Myrtle's easy when the conditions are right.


NEW Plants to Try!

Louis tries to capture the exact words to describe the fleeting but deep pleasures to be found in these Summer-into-Autumn incredibles.


New Gardening to Do!

Allergic to bees? You can still have an exciting garden, full of flowers and color and wildlife.


Plant Profiles

Today in the Garden of a Lifetime: Seedheads of Palm-leaved Ligularia



The smoldering orange-yellow daisies of palm-leaved ligularia mature to fluffy tan seedheads that pick up the parchment of the small but profuse euonymus fruits in the background.  Inch-wide spheres, the seedheads look like tiny microphones wearing wind-baffles—or a tribute to one of Phyllis Diller's wigs.


Or, at four feet high, maybe just the seedheads of amazingly tall dandelions.  Just like those of the ubiquitous weed, the slender seeds of Ligularia palmatiloba easily become airborn with a slight breeze, or the merest jostle of the seedhead.




The head in the center of the picture below is already half dispersed, showing the orderly structure of the seed head.  As they ripen, the tawny filaments at the end of each seed stiffen at an angle, forming a conical ruff that forces the seeds apart from one another.  Ripened as they are into an orderly spherical array, with each seed equidistant from its neighbors, each has the best chance to catch the wind, or the coat of a passing animal (four-footed as well as two), or the fluttering wing of a bird.




What a better world it would be if these ligularia seeds had even a fraction of a dandelion's ability to self-sow.  Harvested carefully and brought indoors, the tall stems and their fluffy seedheads make an unusual Winter bouquet.


We'll revisit the euonymus fruits regularly this Fall. 




They are now just in the first act of their performance; later, the parchment layer will split to reveal bright orange berries. 



Here's how to grow palm-leaved ligularia.


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