Friday, August 12, 2011

The Biggest Disappointments

Sometimes it doesn't pay to get your hopes up, does it?  As my own example for tomorrow's inaugural "Thirteenth Tribulations" blog party, I'll give you a look at a plant that I had the most tremendous hopes for.  Early this spring, the yellow-foliaged plant pictured at the right popped up in one of my beds and I couldn't remember planting anything like it for the life of me.  I was able to identify it later from my plant maps as Coreopsis tripteris ‘Lightning Flash’ (introduced in 2007), which I had planted in 2009 but don't remember seeing at all in 2010.  All spring and early summer it grew up, keeping the delicious yellow foliage until a few weeks ago.  The picture is from April 27th, but the clump eventually got over 3 feet tall and kept that yellow hue to the foliage, a fine counterpart to the bluish Panicum it was planted near. 

Well, at least it kept the yellow hue until it got ready to bloom.  At about the 3 foot height, this beautiful plant turned a nondiscript green and disappeared into the border. I was still hoping for a spectacular bloom from it, but alas, the pretty yellow flowers, pictured up close at the left as they began to bloom last week, are lost from a distance as you can see below to the right.

Talk about your letdowns. None of the published descriptions of  'Lightning Flash' that I could find suggested that it would have a disappointing bloom, although the Kemper Center website suggested that it is "perhaps better known for its foliage than for its yellow flowers."  The plant IS drought tolerant and needed no extra water in full sun, so I'm not going to throw it out of the border, but it has left me wanting.  I'm hoping that all those buds that remain open simultaneously to give me one last, large peep show.  I never expected such an exhibitionist plant would turn so shy as it flowered. 

1 comment:

  1. We never know, do we? Next year just keep cutting the foliage before it blooms to keep that lovely yellow.


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