Saturday, February 09, 2008

Variegated Tapioca

Variegated Tapioca
Manihot esculenta 'Variegata'
(MAN-ee-hot) (es-kew-LEN-tuh)

A double header from this years archives as I continue to copy and back up the original files. I haven’t grown either of these plants personally so there won’t be a lot of cultivation advice. This first plant I saw growing in a friend’s garden and even though a few of the leaves are going by (it was fall) you can see how nice this plant looked. It is a very tender perennial (USDA Zone 10) that can grow to 4 to 6 feet although in this Westchester County garden it got to about 3 feet. It is a relative to the plant that we get the Tapioca for pudding from. It looks like it would make a nice container plant. Variegated Tapioca was picked as a Texas Superstar and here is a link to more information on the plant:

Variegated Tapioca, Texas Superstar

Redflower False Yucca
Hesperaloe parviflora
(hes-per-AL-oh) (par-VEE-flor-uh)
Synonym: Red Yucca

This second plant I saw growing at Wave Hill and thought that it must only be hardy to Zone 7 but learned that it is hardy to USDA Zone 5. Although if I was planting it in Zones 5 or 6 I would definitely try and pick a warm spot in the garden. Not for everyone or every garden I found that it added kind of a nice tropical flair to the Wild Garden. The flower racemes, which I was experimenting with a shallow depth of field on, were colorful and airy. This slow growing native of the Chihuahuan desert is considered an evergreen perennial. It can form clumps 3 feet wide and gets about 3 feet tall. It does like a little water during long dry periods. I will have try some at the Estate.

1 comment:

SandyCarlson said...

Very nice. As ever, I stand in humble awe of your fine photography and your knowledge of these plants. God bless.