Ranunculus - Synneilesis
Plant names highlighted in green have images attached, click to view.
Ranunculus ficaria cultivars
These are Lesser Celandines, which can be a bit invasive. (Just making sure you knew.)
var. aurantiacus Rich orangey fowers, leaves marked silver and black.
Ranunculus ficaria ‘Aglow in the Dark’ £3.75
Dark, dark purple-black leaves. Small bright yellow flowers.
Ranunculus ficaria ‘Elan’ £3.75
Pale yellow petals, regular double.
Ranunculus ficaria ‘Ken Aslet double’ £3.75
White, grey backed petals, regular.
Ranunculus ficaria ‘Art Nouveau’ £3.75
Unusual wavy outline to the leaves - they look almost lobed. Rarely seen. Thanks to Ruth Boundy. Regrettably listed as ‘Modern Art’ in past years due to a snowdrop-influenced slip of the brain.
Ranunculus ficaria ‘Ragamuffin’ £3.75
A seriously weird mutant, a full double in which the ‘petals’ are thick and leafy in texture, yellow and dark green. Strangely attractive.
Ranunculus ficaria ‘Witchampton’ £3.75
Silver mottled leaves, ordinary yellow flowers.
Ranunculus ficaria ssp. chrysocephalus £4
A gigantic, yellow flowered celandine, giving the impression of a (not very) small Caltha, but flowering in early spring. Thanks to Olive Mason, who gives it garden room among the very choicest snowdrops and aconites, where it seeds around benignly. ‘Pulls up easily if it gets in the way’ she reassured me.
Rodgersia ‘Buckland Beauty’ £5
Big bold leaves, flowers a strong clear pink, going over to dark red. One of the very best.
Rodgersia ‘Kupfermond’ £6
A very good, recent German variety, not often seen. Long, upstanding inflorescences of pink flowers; bold coppery tinged foliage.
Rodgersia pinnata ‘Jade Dragon Mountain’ £6
Spinners’ selected clone from Roy Lancaster’s collection L1670. The flowers are in a dense head on really dark stems, and age from cream as the buds open through pink to red. A first rate plant.
Rodgersia pinnata ‘Superba’ AGM £5
Bold foliage, bronzy pink when young, red tinted later, and bright reddish pink flowers on red stems. Very lovely, for moist soil in sun or part shade. Take note, ye who care, these are divisions, not the variable seedlings so commonly offered.
Rohdea japonica ‘Talbot Manor’ £5
Thick, upstanding evergreen leaves in Aspidistra fashion, rather variably white striped. For humusy shade. Reputedly capable of producing boring flowers and nice berries. Some plants, as Sarah says, are rare for all the right reasons. I reckon it’s a man’s plant…
Romanzoffia tracyi £3.75
Tidy cushions of dark, shiny round green leaves all through winter and spring. Lots of pure white flowers in spring. Summer dormant. Easily spread by lifting its small tubers when dormant. It comes from moist cliff habitats on the Western seaboard of the USA, and appreciates a moist, well drained soil in at least partial shade. Easy, and like nothing else.
Romulea bulbocodium var. leichtliniana £3.75
Shamefully neglected little Mediterranean irid, flowering in spring and increasing at the corm. This form has yellow centred white flowers, dark veined on the backs (important since the flowers open only in the sun). Summer dormant of course.
Romulea bulbocodium late £3.75
A more typically violet flowered form from Rannveig Wallis, useful and distinctive in its very late flowering, April or May.
Rudbeckia triloba AGM £4.50
Our favourite Rudbeckia by a long way, and quite unlike the familiar fulgida types. A much branched plant to 1m, covered in small yellow, brown centred daisies in late summer to early autumn. Generally a good perennial, but easy from seed if you do lose it after flowering.
Salvia clinopodioides? (‘Michoacán Blue’) £4
Rather dense cylindrical heads of smallish, rich blue flowers in whorls, from September. Cut back by frost, but can sprout from a tuberous rootstock underground. Best in a pot with winter protection, but survived last winter without heat. Imagine our surprise… This Mexican plant first went around in Salvia circles as ‘Michoacán Blue’: the identification as clinopodioides is, I think, still tentative.
Salvia confertiflora £5
Red-brown, hairy inflorescence of crowded orange flowers, to excellent effect, from late summer until the frosts. It’s a tenderish plant from Brazil, best planted out for the summer and overwintered in the greenhouse from cuttings taken in early summer. 1m.
Salvia corrugata £5
Dark green, tough, very deeply veined leaves, rusty beneath. Luscious dark blue flowers, best and earlier on plants overwintered, but needing protection in most areas. From Ecuador.
Salvia greggii , microphylla and x jamensis (their hybrid) forms
These share the familiar wiry bush form, eventually topping 1m, quite hardy (certainly up to bad winters in the Cotswolds - that makes Sunderland look subtropical, you Northern cynics) given sun and perfect drainage. Tidy them up in spring, once you know what’s what. A few cuttings as an insurance are always wise.
Salvia microphylla ‘Newby Hall’ £5
Scarlet flowers, combining brilliantly with the pale green leaves, and has a good hardiness record – it’s the old stalwart that used to be labelled ‘grahamii’ in British gardens.
Salvia ‘Nachtvlinder’ £5
We’re so impressed by its many, reasonably big, dark purple flowers. The name is Dutch for ‘moth’ – but maybe a bit more poetic than ‘mot’ – please tell me, someone.
Salvia ‘Peter Vidgeon’ £5
Robin Middleton’s: vigorous habit and substantial flowers of a uniform, strong, slightly lilacy pink.
Salvia x jamensis ‘Sierra San Antonio’ £5
Floriferous; large rich cream lower lip, pink tube and red upper lip and throat - the colour scheme is sliced strawberries with clotted cream. Very pretty indeed.
Salvia involucrata ‘Hadspen’ £5
Proves hardy in a sheltered position in southern English gardens. Makes a big clump of stems to 1m or more, topped in autumn by spikes of deep red-pink flowers, larger and darker than in ‘Bethellii’, with a tuft of pink bracts at the tip.
Salvia leucantha ‘Santa Barbara’ £5
A bushy plant with white wooly stems; flowers with furry purple calyces. In this form the corolla is purple too. Overwinter inside.
Salvia nemorosa ‘Carradonna’ £4
Superlative form of the classic smaller herbaceous species. Good purple flowers on very dark stems. 60cm.
Salvia pratensis ‘Indigo’ AGM £5
A tough, hardy, floriferous, entirely herbaceous species; dark violet blue in this form.
Salvia ‘Silke’s Dream’ £5
First-rate recent hybrid (darcyi x microphylla) with long spikes of orange-red flowers, summer to autumn. Reasonably hardy given sun and good drainage.
Salvia uliginosa AGM £5
Far and away from anything else listed here, this is a tall, freely running wetland species from temperate South America. The flowers are sky blue, at the end of the summer, before it dies back to ground level in winter. It’s usually hardy round here, especially if the soil isn’t too wet in winter.
Stout perennials for the border, all with smart pinnate leaves and bottle-brush flower heads late in the summer. Generally best in full sun and a moist, fertile soil. See The Plantsman for June 07.
Sanguisorba canadensis £5
Tall and stately, approaching 2m in flower with long slender white inflorescences on red stems in September.
Sanguisorba dodecandra £5
Rarely grown but attractive species from a small region of the Italian Alps. Droopy white catkins, smart rather blueish leaves. 1m.
Sanguisorba officinalis ‘Cangshan Cranberry’ £5
The first of several forms of this useful, diverse, red flowered, geographically widespread species. Collected in China by Dan Hinkley, it has ovoid flower heads on thin wiry stems to 2m on some soils, usefully late in the year, typically September to October.
Sanguisorba officinalis early form £5
June flowering, about 1.6m tall with ovoid maroon inflorescences and well textured pinnate leaves. Passed around in the UK as stipulata which, bluntly, it is not. I rate it highly.
Sanguisorba officinalis ‘Martin’s Mulberry’ £6
A very fine tall officinalis, self supporting and tidy. Midseason dark red globby heads.
Sanguisorba officinalis from Mongolia £5
The first to flower, normally from early May, and short at under 1m, this rather delicately textured plant was collected as seed in Mongolia by Paul ‘Edulis’ Barney.
Sanguisorba officinalis ‘Red Thunder’ £5
Medium height, floriferous, in later summer.
Sanguisorba ‘Pink Tanna’ £4.50
Taller than ‘Tanna’, around 60cm, but wiry and with the same running habit. Clear pink, upright, slender flower spikes in early summer. A hybrid from Coen Jansen.
Sanguisorba tenuifolia var. parviflora £5
Very like the previous plant, but the leaflets are even narrower and held more or less horizontal even when the plane of the leaf is inclined steeply upwards. This all sounds rather technical but the effect is very beautiful.
Sanguisorba tenuifolia var. purpurea £5
A nice plant, but to optimists the name implies really dark purple flowers. They are purple, but at the red-pink end of that difficult colour. 1m-ish. Late flowering with us.
Saruma henryi £4
Very hairy light green leaves and a long succession of soft yellow Asarum-like flowers (spot the anagram.) Ideal for a reasonably well drained soil in light shade. One of those irritating plants that will seed around a bit but doesn’t germinate when sown in a pot.
Sauromatum gaoligongense £5
Bold, arisaema-like aroid, very late into growth and horticulturally similar to the better known S. venosum. Bold pedate leaves, with attractive pale, almost glaucous green petioles heavily blotched purple. Long, horizontal, spotty spathes before the leaves in spring: stinky.
Saxifraga fortunei ‘Black Ruby’ £4
Dark, almost black foliage; red-pink flowers in autumn. Height 20cm, for moist soil in shade.
Saxifragafortunei ‘Conwy Snow’ £3.75
White flowered mini-fortunei selected by Keith ‘Aberconwy’ Lever.
Saxifraga fortunei ‘Mount Nachi’ £4
Another nice (and normal-sized) form, with bronzed foliage, brown even, and good sized inflorescences of contrasting white flowers.
Saxifraga fortunei ‘Wada’ £4
Larger copper tinted leaves, and taller in flower, reaching 50cm.
Saxifraga nipponica ‘Pink Pagoda’ £4
Evergreen hairy leaves in low mounds. Lots of pink flowers in 30cm inflorescences. For moister shade.
Schizostylis - see Hesperantha
Scilla autumnalis £3.75
Our native, violet flowered Autumn Squill. From cultivated stock originating on the South Devon coast. Flowers in high summer here. For rock garden etc where it seeds around benignly.
Scilla hohenackeri BSBE 811 £3.75
30cm winter grower with impressive puplish blue flowers with reflexed tepals, in early spring, like greilhuberi but better. Makes a good clump. Hardy, from Kurdistan.
Scilla hyacinthoides £6
Quite a large bulb, with a basal rosettes over wuinter and a slender spike of light blue flowers on top of a very tall stem, in spring. Dryish summer dormancy. From an old Archibald collection in Turkey.
Scilla lingulata S&F253 £3.75
The 10cm spikes of light blue flowers emerge with, not before the rosette of tongue shaped leaves, in September. A tightly clumping bulb. Leave in one pot for several years - a good dense colony looks a treat.
Scilla persica £3.75
Lots of small soft blue flowers in a big airy spike to 30cm tall. More delicate than the imposing heads of peruviana, but still one of the large species.
At long last we have several clones to offer from our large (too large Sarah tells me) collection of this variable Iberian / North African species. This is a large, winter growing, more-or-less summer dormant bulb, hardy in a sunny place which dries out in summer. Flowers are many, in large, pyramidal inflorescences in spring. The larger the bulb, the bigger the inflorescence. I’d like to emphasize that these are divisions (a slow process) not open-pollinated seedlings which would be easy to raise in quantity, but very dubiously true to type.
Scilla peruviana var. elegans £5
Dark violet flowers.
Scilla peruviana ‘Hughii’ £5
Purple buds open lilac-blue.
Scilla peruviana ‘Paul Voelcker’ £10
Biscuit-coloured flowers with electric blue filaments; the inflorescences are broad but compact, on short stems. The leaves have a notable hyaline margin which I associate with North African forms of the species, although it is not at all certain that this is African. Probably a bit less hardy than the usual Iberian ones, but certainly OK under unheated glass. Totally outrageous! as our daughter would say in a dreadful American accent. Thanks to John Newbold and, in turn, to the Voelcker family. Few.
Scilla peruviana var. venusta £5
Attractive long, hanging bracts; many small light blue flowers.
Scutellare maekawae BSWJ 5557a £4
A low-growing woodland skullcap from the mountains of Honshu. The purple-blue flowers are small but plentiful, in dense clusters.
Scutellaria scordiifolia 'Seoul Sapphire' £4
Bright and cheerful, with heads of rich violet flowers. Bushy and reaching 15cm. For a more sunny position.
Sedum ‘Marchants Best Red’ AGM £4.50
Upright, with deep red foliage and pink flowers.
Sedum telephium ‘Xenox’ AGM £4
One of the most satisfactory of the big dark leaved varieties. 30cm. Reddish flowers.
Semiaquilegia ecalcarata Australian form £4
Unusual pale pink (and rather shorter) strain of the spurless mini-columbine, introduced from Aussie cultivation by Rosy and Rob Hardy. Grows and flowers as easily as the normal sort, unlike that infuriating bicolor which I swear has been genetically engineered to fail on any nursery more than 5 miles from Caernarvon...
Sempervivum ‘Bronco’ £3.75
Just to keep you on your toes, a few choice house leeks.This one has nice red tinted rosettes, pink flowers and a hearty constitution.
Sempervivum calcareum ‘Extra’ AGM £3.75
Recommended to us by Howard Wills (National Collection) as the ultimate calcareum, and we’re well impressed. Pale bluey green leaves, neatly tipped red-purple, as you’d expect, but it’s something about the neatness and crispness of the rosette’s form that sets it above its peers.
Sempervivum ‘Greyfriars’ £3.75
Red-pink tinted rosettes, but with a curious dusty grey quality to it as well.
Sempervivum ‘Othello’ £4
Huge dark red (in sun) pseudo-echeveria rosettes. Some people are amazed that it’s a sempervivum at all.
Sempervivum ‘Red Delta’ £3.75
Smaller, cobwebby rosettes, still a good red.
Serapias lingua £6
Mediterranean climate orchid with browny-purple flowers which stick their tongues out at you in early spring. Not hard to grow with a dry summer dormancy, and increasing quite quickly.
Sidalcea reptans £5
A creeping, pink flowered wetland species from the American West. Rarely seen in cultivation, where it forms a spreading patch with 30cm flower spikes in summer. Serious herbaceous groundcover.
Sidalcea 'Wensleydale' £5
An old border variety, rarely seen nowadays. The flowers aren’t huge, but they are a lovely warm colour, right at the red end of pink (or vice versa, I suppose) and there are plenty of secondary inflorescences branching off below the main spike. Thanks to Kevin Marsh for material which goes back to old plants in the garden at Bressingham, a good provenance for a plant which Alan Bloom wrote about in the 50s. I believe it’s a Canadian, not Yorkshire variety, so why the name? Must be cheese, Gromit.
Silene dioica ‘Inane’ £5
Purple leaved male (so doesn’t seed about) red campion. Very effective.
Siphocranion macranthum £4.50
A clump of branching stems, to 20cm, have hairy leaves which become purple as the season goes on, looking really velvety. Bright, rich purple flowers like a narrowly tubular snapdragon, in autumn. Very distinct. For a moist-but-well-drained soil away from bright sunlight.
Smilacina see Maianthemum (at least for now… I don’t think the fat taxonomist has sung yet)
Speirantha convallarioides £4
Dark green leaves and fragrant flowers, white as white, in late spring. Less spready than Lily of the Valley, but similar in scale, and quite closely related. For humusy shade.
Spiranthes ‘Chadd’s Ford’ £5
The world’s various Lady’s Tresses orchids share the classic dense, parallel sided inflorescence of small white flowers. What they differ in in size and growability. This is at the big and growable extreme! The plant reaches 30-60cm tall when in flower in autumn: a clear half of that height bears flowers which are sometimes fragrant. It’s a wetland plant from Delaware, and thrives on a moist but not waterlogged soil, with plenty of organic matter. It increases freely, in part by plantlets which form overwinter on root tips (yes, really). There has been debate over whether it belongs in S. cernua or S. odorata. Our current understanding of the complex genetics of this group is elegantly summarized in Flora of North America, under S. cernua. The truth is – we can’t say for sure.
Stachys macrantha 'Violacea' £4
A violet-pink colour form of the big, tough, attractive herbaceous border species.
Stachys ossetica £4.50
Large, pale creamy yellow flowers; dark green textured leaves. 30cm. Very different, very beautiful. Sun and good drainage.
Stachys thunbergii £4.50
A useful and highly attractive plant - the name seems to have settled now (previously listed tentatively as ciliata). Low and spreading without rooting, rather in the manner of Diascia rigescens, it has dark green, shiny leaves and deep maroon flowers over a long season from early summer to autumn.
Stemmacantha centaureoides £4
Once settled, makes stout clumps of cornflower-like foliage, with big pink heads surrounded by brown papery bracts. For dry places in sun. The plant long known to gardeners as Centaurea ‘Pulchra Major’. Just a few.
Stipa gigantea ‘Gold Fontaene’ £5
Ordinary S. gigantea is a grand grass, with its airy, oaty flower heads lasting well into winter. This is just the same, but even taller and with slightly broader inflorescences. Has reached 2.5m with us. Sun and... space.
Symphytum 'Angela Whinfield' £4.50
A low-growing, light red flowered hybrid which spreads well but not manically. Really beautiful in bud, and pretty good the rest of the time too. From the lady herself, bashful about the name but those around her insist.
Symphytum x uplandicum 'Moorland Heather' £5
The classic monolithic hybrid in a fabulous rich deep purple, the same colour throughout the life of the flower so there’s no fussy two-tone effect. Not a runner, but an ineredicable clumper.
Symplocarpus foetidus £6
The Skunk Cabbage of the American Northeast is a real hard nut compared with the western and Asiatic Lysichiton species. Like them, it's a wet-ground plant in nature, but is certainly trickier to establish in the bog garden and for us grows well in large pots of ordinary potting compost, watered only adequately in spring and summer, fairly dry in winter. Very early into growth and flower, with snow and soil frozen hard, the spadix heats up to prevent freezing. The ground-level spathe is short and leathery, dirty green flecked red-brown. It's a fascinating and rare curiosity in cultivation, rather than a great beauty. These are divisions of a plant we've grown for years.
Syneilesis aconitifolia £4.50
White-furry umbrellas pop out of the ground in spring and open up. Runs pleasantly in a shady place, even quite dry. The flowers are utterly unremarkable, but that’s not why you grow it. It’s the Syneilesis which wants to grow!
Syneilesis palmata BSWJ1003 £4.50
Less runny than the previous, with slightly different pattern of leaf division. Still with a better constitution than the old clone which we could get nowhere with.
For all those interested in South African plants we've also put all our listings of South African
bulbs and plants onto one website we've called South African Bulbs at Desirable Plants.
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