|One of 2 Arthropodium cirratum sited in the partial shade of the bed outside our living room windows|
|The other plant in the same bed|
These plants have done well everywhere I've put them. They even grew well and flowered in poor soil under the hot, dry conditions of our back slope. I eventually dug those 3 plants up, divided them, and moved them to serve as groundcovers in dry shade conditions under trees; however, as even Agave attenuata are struggling to establish on that slope, I have to give the Renga Lilies an A for effort.
|This is one of the plants I divided last year, now planted in dry shade under an Arbutus - other than some snail damage, it's adapted well, although I'm not sure it'll bloom this year|
Although the plants can tolerate nearly full sun, I think they do best with morning sun and afternoon shade. Two of these plants sit in my sunny side yard next to Acanthus mollis 'Summer Beauty' but I didn't intentionally place them in full sun. I added them when the 60 foot Eucalyptus tree was still in place in the adjacent bed, providing shade. I've left them there because I think they look good with the Acanthus but, by comparison with the plants grown in more shade, the foliage is sun-bleached. Despite the somewhat challenging conditions, the plants are huge and loaded with flower spikes.
|The foliage of the Renga Lily in the sunny bed here is more chartreuse in color but the plant appears healthy|
In my garden, the flowers appear in spring. The flower spikes appear en masse but take their time to open. The six-petal white flowers have pinkish purple and yellow stamens. They reportedly make a good cut flower, although I haven't used them that way (yet).
The plant grows from a bulb but it's evergreen in my garden. The foliage is attractive year-round and it requires very little maintenance. It grows to 3 feet (1 meter) tall and wide. Reports of its cold hardiness vary. According to Annie's, it's hardy to 15F (-9C). In contrast, Dave's Garden says it's hardy to 40F (4.5C), although a commentator on that site claimed it was hardy for him in USDA zone 8, which corroborates Annie's projection. My garden hasn't experienced freezing conditions so I can't offer a personal testimonial.
The plant hails from the coastal scrub and cliff areas of New Zealand, where it was cultivated by the native Maori people. The rhizomes, when cooked, were eaten as food and the plant also had medicinal uses, although I was unable to find any specifics on this. It's vulnerable to snails and slugs but little else. None of the plants have been dug up by raccoons in my garden, which is a testimonial in itself.
Arthropodium cirratum is my contribution to Loree's favorite plants meme at danger garden. Please visit her to see her favorite choice this week and to find links to other gardeners' favorite selections.