5 Rare Plants That Will Make Your Garden Stand Out

While rare plants can be tricky to grow they will add extra interest to your garden. In fact being difficult is part of the fun in that it provides a challenge to see if you can succeed. And when you do you will have some amazing plants to show off to your gardening friends. These five rare plants are described in an article by Ciscoe Morris which I found on the Seattle Times website.

ADD AN EXCITING dimension to gardening by collecting rare and unusual plants.
<em>Roscoea</em> hybrid seedling (Courtesy Sue Milliken)
Roscoea hybrid seedling (Courtesy Sue Milliken)
I love to show off my garden to visitors, and it?s especially fun when a rare plant stumps fellow garden enthusiasts. When I find a plant that?s new to me, I immediately begin researching all about my new treasure to learn where it?s from and what its needs are.

?I?ll admit I?ve lost quite a number of rare plants over the years, but the challenge is half the fun. Many of the rare plants I collect are only semi-hardy, and the key to keeping them around long-term is to plant them early enough in spring to give them time to establish deep roots and thick stems before cold fall weather sets in.
<em>Podophyllum difforme</em> ?Starfish Form? (Courtesy Sue Milliken)?Podophyllum difforme ?Starfish Form? (Courtesy Sue Milliken)

Much as I love basking in the envy of my gardening friends, the main reason I love growing rare plants is that most of them are incredibly beautiful, or have fascinating shapes and/or textures. One of the truly cherished rarities in my garden is Sinopanax formosanus, a relative of Schefflera and Fatsia. The stems and undersides of the shallowly lobed, thick leaves are coated with golden furry indumentum. New leaves emerge silvery white, contrasting beautifully with the shiny, dark-green mature foliage. Hardy to only about 10 degrees, these shrubs do best in full sun and well-drained soil. They can grow to more than 30 feet in their native Taiwan, but aren?t expected to grow anywhere near as tall in our cool Northwest climate.

See more at Seattle Times
Feature photo: Dan Hinkley