Thursday, June 19, 2008

Ladyslipper Sadness

Last year my heirloom plant of Cypripedium pubescens developed some kind of fungus. In asking around I learned that this species can get overgrown and susceptible to disease. As I hadn't divided mine it's not too surprising what happened. All of the top growth turned black and died back. On digging up the plant to replace the soil and treat with fungicide I discovered the center of the clump was dead through the rhizomes. Desperate to save this plant I divided it as advised and planted it in half a dozen different places around my garden. The original plant, seen above as it was in 2004, had over thirty blooming growths on it.
Following our record snowfall winter it looks like among the five sites I planted it where it survived there are about a dozen growths. One bloomed this year. The flower was much smaller than they have been in the past, but I hope it's a sign the plants will survive and thrive once they get used to their new locations.

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