George W. Clarke, Portland Oregon
Photo by Arthur Headlum
Though the Pacific Northwest is not exactly Arboreum Country, the series to which this fine plant belongs, some of us have tried occasionally to make it so. Some seven or eight years ago I obtained some selfed seed from a source in Scotland and proceeded to start them on their way. For three years or so the young plants were given winter protection of a sort. Then one fall with the blind hope of the foolhardy, I planted in full sun about two dozen sturdy plants. They prospered the first winter, but suffered in the ensuing summer's sun. The passage of another growing season saw a great improvement in these plants as they became acclimated to their newer environment. The next winter was vicious and all but four or five plants died. These have managed to carry on fairly well but are somewhat dwarfed from their full exposure. Another plant, grown from the beginning in a container with winter protection is now six feet tall and doing well.
Those who have seen their deep blood-red blossoms and interesting leaf conformations can easily understand why we try our hand with these border-line plants. 'Noyo Chief' a closely allied clonal form, is now often seen around here and does make it most winters in our better protected areas.