Gigantic perennials weeds (see comments) of Buffalo

As promised, here are some oversized leafy plants I’ve been seeing in and around various local gardens. I don’t have information on all the cultivars; sometimes the gardeners don’t know what they have—and they’re often the most successful ones.

In addition to the various hosta (a thriving example of S&S above), darmara, and podophyllum, we have a lot of gardeners experimenting with exotics, making such plants as musa and colocasia staples in the summer garden.

But the most interesting (and largest) plant I’ve seen lately is this agave, which is not perennial here, but has grown in the cactus house in the Botanical Gardens for some years. It is set to bloom this summer (probably at the end of July), lacking just a few more feet of growth before it bursts forth with whatever. We’re all very interested to see what happens. The stalk starting rising through a glasshouse window in April and had to survive some very bitter temps that month.

Posted by on June 24, 2007 at 5:33 pm, in the category Uncategorized.
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10 responses to “Gigantic perennials weeds (see comments) of Buffalo”

  1. Ellis Hollow says:

    I think I recognize that top one. Have several about to flower – pretty little pinkish one, right? Interesting seed head that the dogs love if you don’t deadhead it? Carolyn over at Sweet Home and Garden Chicago had one too: http://sweethomeandgardenchicago.blogspot.com/2007/06/mystery-plant.html

  2. I have been enjoying my large leaf plants. Petasites is one but I don’t recommend it. I planted mine over ledge rock and that has slowed its spread. My Rhubarb has kept coming back with bigger and bigger leaves each year. I also have a several Bananas that I take outside each year for a tropical touch. Two of them actually had fruit inside last year. Not bad for Connecticut.

  3. The top one looks like a dock to me. Something I’d definitely grub out before it seeded.

  4. Jim says:

    If we’re bragging about size, (which does matter, I’m told) I’ve got a big one for you.

    It’s horseradish. I’ve been growing it in my front perennial bed for years. It’s about five feet tall with narrow dark green bumpy leaves. It’s not very wide, so it stands tall amongst the typical perennials most recognize. No significant flower, but impressive leaves. And one of the most asked about plants in the garden.

    Jarred some horseradish from it years ago. THAT was an experience. Still waiting for the nose hairs to grow back. Fresh horseradish is nuclear.

  5. Brooke says:

    What about castor bean plant? They have nice big foliage. We call them “mole plants” here in the south, and they are well over head high.

  6. Matilija says:

    Here in southern California big-leaved plants are generally BIG plants like palms, bananas, giant strelitzia, and magnolia grandiflora. I envy people who can grow hostas, and even that dock looks pretty good to me, so lush and tender. In my quest for big leaves in the border, I’ve set out a rubber plant on the north side of the house, vowing to cut it to the ground whenever it gets taller than me. Hope I don’t live to regret it.

  7. angie says:

    A common Burdock being sold at a nursery? You’re kidding, right? Are you sure this nursery is reputable? Wait until someone gets a hairful of burrs and see how well they like that growing in their flower beds.
    They are great to use for hypertufa though. I have at least a 1/2 million of them growing out back….you can have them for FREE.

  8. Eliz says:

    Who said anyone was selling it? Did I miss something?

  9. Jim, horseradish is SUCH a beautiful plant! I’m always stunned by it when I see it. But how do you keep it from taking over the joint?

  10. Jim says:

    I’ve not had a problem with it taking over at all. It’s stayed in pretty much the same clump for the last few years. I know it’s supposed to spread, but it hasn’t.