Friday, March 7, 2014

My favorite plant this week: Uncinia uncinata 'Rubra'

For a relatively small plant, Uncinia uncinata 'Rubra,' has definite presence in the garden.  I'm currently on the hunt for more to add to my new garden bed but the only variety I've found available so far is far duller in color. 'Rubra' positively glows.







The pictures above were taken in the gloom of a foggy morning, yet they still look as though the sun is shining through the leaves.  It picks up the orange coloration of nearby plants, like Abelia grandiflora 'Kaleidoscope,' creating a nice echo.  Mine have been in the ground over 4 months now but they're slow-growing and still shy of their predicted size of 12 inches (30 cm) tall and 15 inches (38 cm) wide.

This grass-like sedge, which also goes by the name of hook grass and bastard grass*, is endemic to both New Zealand and Hawaii.  It grows in full to partial sun but requires regular water.  It's reported to be hardy to 15F (-9C) and deer resistent, neither of which I can personally attest to.  I was warned by other bloggers that it can be a rampant reseeder but, to date, I have no evidence to suggest that - as things stand I'd love to have more of these plants to spread around.  At present, I wait as the plant sits on my wish list with Annie's Annuals & Perennials.

Uncinia uncinata 'Rubra' is my contribution to Loree's weekly favorite plants meme at danger garden.  Please visit her site to see her pick of the week, as well as to find links to other gardeners' selections.

*I was unable to uncover an explanation for this epithet.

10 comments:

  1. A gorgeous grass! It's been hardy for me but the lowest temperatures we've had since I planted it was 19 degrees.

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  2. It does glow! I've got one in a container which was moved into the "greenhouse" when our severe cold hit, it looks to be fine. I think I'll plant it in the ground come spring (just around the corner!!!) that will be the true test...

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  3. I love it, it goes so well with orange flowers which I love; at the moment that means orange primroses and apricot violets.

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  4. I was at Annie's on Sunday and they had a half a table full of these, so you should be able to get some right now. Sue

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    1. thanks for the heads-up, Sue. Annie's hasn't got any available for mail order but maybe your sighting means that'll change soon. I've got the Uncinia on my wish list. I think I got the first batch at Roger's, an Orange County nursery that sells Annie's plants, so I can check with them too.

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  5. I planted one of these in the ground our first year here, and it died over the winter on a raised berm. It really does glow, though.

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  6. Don't look too far Kris - I've oodles of seedling popping up in my garden. Even the bed that regularly floods! Odd that it should choose there as the parent plant didn't like the drier position I offered it! Looks good in the group shot.

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    1. Maybe the plant is a more aggressive reseeder in moist soil, Angie. I've yet to see any sign of seedlings but, then, maybe I just need to give the plants I have more time...

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  7. Oh, lovely! It just made my wish list, too! Beautiful - and it is perfect paired with your yellow ground cover.

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  8. Lovely grass that looks curious too! I like the way it self seeds as well and the little seedlings looks cute!

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