Dahlia - Dryopteris
Plant names highlighted in green have images attached, click to view.
Dahlia dissecta F&M 191 £4.50
Whatever next? Little known except among species-Dahlia nuts, this species is distinctive for its airy, finely cut, rather stiff textured foliage. The flowers are essentially white (single, of course, what were you thinking of?) with perhaps the faintest hint of lilac, and rather on the lines of the more familiar, leafier merckii in shape. Modest amounts of frost are not in themselves a problem – it’s the combination with winter moisture that gets them. This species wants to be really dry in winter, so lift the tubers in the traditional way, or grow in a pot which dries right out over winter in the greenhouse. Collected in Hidalgo Province, Mexico.
Deinanthe bifida £4.50
Strange and lovely herbaceous Hydrangea relative. White, waxy, weirdly shaped flowers . The rough, pale green leaves have a characteristic broad notch at the apex. 50cm tall, humus rich soil in shade.
Delphinium ‘Alice Artindale’ £5
Not the only double Delphinium, but a unique, celebrated and scarce one. The blue flowers are so lovely on bud, with all the doubling retained within the normal tubular shape, only later opening to a full fuzzy double. The colour varies with weather and stage of the flower through all moods of sky blue, often with a peculiar iridescent quality. Tall, extremely so on fertile ground, and best given a bit of support before they look like they need it. I believe it’s the only survivor of a number of pre-war doubles, and is a fuller double than the usual modern ones. Slug food, like all the others, so protect this treasure from the slimy fiends.
Delphinium ‘Pink Petticoat’ £5
A short (rarely over 50cm for us), well-formed clear pink double, not as full as the previous, but tidy nonetheless. This combination of features is extremely uncommon, as is the plant itself.
Dicentra cuccularia ‘Pittsburg’ £3.75
A woodland species with low, finely cut grey green leaves, and little white, orange tipped flowers in spring.
Dierama ‘Coral Bells’ £4.50
Warm pink flowers in summer, from silvery bracts. 1m. Like all these, for a sunny place which doesn’t dry out in the summer.
Dierama ‘Guinevere’ £4.50
A vigorous, pure white flowered garden hybrid with typical arching habit. Divisions of established plants.
Dierama ‘Puck’ £4.50
A nice hybrid of the dracomontanum persuasion, but a little taller and more vigorous, and rather pinker in flower. 50cm.
Dierama trichorhizum £4
A Drakensberg species with a lovely open habit and usually pink to mauve flowers. We’ll be completely straight with you: these are still unflowered, from South African seed and, being dieramas, there is a possibility that they will prove to be hybrids.
Dietes bicolor £4.50
Dietes are clumping rhizomatous evergreens, related to Moraea and hence to Iris. With one mad exception, they are African – all are a touch to tender to grow unprotected in all but the mildest UK gardens; unheated protection in winter, full sun outside from late spring to autumn works for us. This species has stunning cream flowers with three big brown basal blotches.
Dietes grandiflora £4.50
Another lovely one: the flowers are superficially iris like, white with some little violet and yellow bits. The flowers are much bigger and longer lasting than those of the similar-looking iridioides.
Diphylleia cymosa red marked form £5
Beautiful Podophyllum relative with red-stained leaves in spring. White flowers. Height to 50cm. Woodsy position.
Disporum longistylum ‘Green Giant’ £5.50
Clumps of tall, strong, upright, olive green stems with similarly coloured leaves and little clusters of long, bell shaped green-white flowers in late spring. The leaves die very slowly and gracefully, with many subtle and interesting colours. For moist, humusy shade. A Dan Hinkley selection.
Disporum longistylum ‘Night Heron’ £5.50
The same, but very different... The purple flush to the leaves throughout the growing season is very distinctive, and varies pleasantly with conditions, adding to its subtle beauty.
Dryopteris x australis £6
This natural hybrid (celsa x ludoviciana) male fern from the American northeast is sterile so rarely makes it into the nursery trade. The 1m lanceolate fronds are strongly upright even into mid-summer. A very striking thing.
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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