Pied Beauty

Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844-1889)

Glory be to God for dappled things—
For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow;
For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;
Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches' wings;
Landscape plotted and pieced—fold, fallow, and plough;
And all trades, their gear and tackle and trim.

All things counter, original, spare, strange;
Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)
With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim;
He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change:

Praise him.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Foliage Friday: Variegated Aspidistra

Variegated Cast Iron Plant
Or Aspidistra elatior variegata.  I have a thing for variegated plants, particularly white shades.  I have been so pleased with this variegated Aspidistra, which was the centerpiece in a summer arrangement with caladiums, pink sweet potato vine and pentas. 

Aspidistra elatior variegata
Some gardeners around here look down their noses at Aspidistra.  It's common, they sniff.  Overused.  Uninteresting.  But perhaps they haven't seen the striking variegated version.  Just as tough as the solid green "Cast Iron Plant," variegated aspidistra performs well in light shade and can burn if scorched by the hot rays of the afternoon sun.

Fancy in white stripes
It's rather slow-growing, which makes it a perfect addition to a container garden.  Although it's well-adapted to our zone 9A winters, frost can burn new growth.  I admit, I've never had this problem, since mine is growing under the protective canopy of a live oak.  Aspidistra is very drought-tolerant once established and if you can bear to cut the pretty variegated leaves, you can use them in bouquets indoors.  The leaves last a long time in vases.  The only trouble I've ever had with aspidistra?  Snails.  In this world, I'll never escape them.

1 comment:

  1. Our flower arrangers even have category at the flower shows just for aspidistra leaves, so they tell me ;>)