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Disporopsis pernyii
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Hi, bet you thought you'd never see a "Glick Pick of the Week" again huh? Well it's not like I've been sitting on my butt watching Seinfeld reruns. Yes, I've even given up my only luxury, Seinfeld. Why??? Because it's Spring and it's INSANE!!! Not that it's ever not INSANE here. You know, 68,000 Hellebore stock plants to pollinate and almost 500,000 Hellebore seedlings to pot up and visitors and lectures and plants to photograph and stories to write and plant sales to attend and and and, well, why should I whine about it,

Anyway, I'm gonna try and get back on the stick, whatever that means, and let you know about some of the cool plants that are popping up around here, so welcome back to the "GPOW", a somewhat less verbose, but still enlightening version, perhaps.

This "GPOW", Disporopsis pernyii, is a very easy to grow plant in the, well already we're gonna get into some controversy here, Liliaceae or Convallariaceae family depending on who you talk to. If you want to see the classification for familial traits for the Convallariaceae family, go to http://lpc-

I've been growing it since 1992, when Elizabeth Strangman of Washfield Nursery in Kent England gave me two plants. She referred to one as having a striped flower and one a pure white. Well to be quite frank, I can't say that I've paid that close attention to the differences and although we've kept them separate in Tissue Culture, we've mixed them in the 2" pots. What I have seen is an interesting plant with very dark green, glossy, almost waxy foliage that grows to about 6"- 12" and gently arches. Under this gentle arch in mid Spring appear several pure white pendulous bells. They last for a seemingly long time and as they become pollinated, turn into dark pendulous berries that are also quite attractive.

I grow it in full shade and although I would be stretching the truth or telling you a downright lie if I said that it was completely deerproof, I'm hoping that they ate it last year because they were so close to some savory Hostas.

They're vigorous growers producing several new offsets in a year and make about a 12" clump in a couple of years. You could easily divide a clump and have a huge colony. I've never tried growing it from seed, but that's most likely another easy option for propagation.

Good companion plants include close relatives, - Streptopus roseus and - Dipsorum maculatum (after all Disporopsis means like Disporum) Maianthemum canadense and Hostas.

Just the facts M'am:
Kingdom -
Phylum - Anthophyta
Class - Monocotyledonae
Order - Liliales
Family - Liliaceae or Convallariaceae
Genus - Disporopsis
Species - pernyii
Common name, genus - (See Dr Jim Waddick's comments below)
Common name, species - (See Dr Jim Waddick's comments below)
Native of - China
Height - 6"- 8"
USDA Hardiness Zone - zone 5 at least, probably 4, maybe 3
Light preference - Full shade to part sun
Soil preference - Average
Moisture preference - Average to moist
Bloom time - Mid Spring
Bloom color - White
Foliage - Dark green, waxy, supple
Spread - 8" - 12"
Height - 6" - 12"
Uses - Front of the shady border
Medicinal uses - None that I know of, how bout you?

Dr. Jim Waddick, of Kansas City Missouri, author of Iris of China with Zhao Yu-Tang and published by Timber Press - and Bananas You Can Grow, with Glenn Stokes - which, by the way, just won The Garden Writers Association Of America's prestigious 'Quill & Trowel" award as one of the top garden books of 2000 adds the following comments:

"You know most of these new Chinese plants don't have common names yet, and I am not a big fan of common names. Hard enough to recall the 'real' name, but some enterprising nursery owner needs to start making up some logical names. Tony A has done this with quite a few plants. I suggest you check out what he has called this and continue this. Maybe something Like 'Chinese Fairy Bells' or such. I think there is a need for good reasonable new common names - some of interest to either AHS or PPA even. You might inquire with both on how this is being handled." Also, "You might mention that this essentially or nearly evergreen in milder climates- It sure tries to be even here (Kansas City MO), thought has melted by the end of winter, stems hold up through some pretty rough frosts in early winter. I brought this back to the US in 1989 and have a number of other related Disporum, Disporopsis, Polygonatum etc - love em'."

THANK YOU JIM for your contribution!

A complete set of back issues of "Glick Pick of the Week" is available for the asking. If you would like me to send them, or if you would like to, first see the list, send me an email. Also, if you're getting more than one copy of this weekly mailing, or would like to subscribe a friend, or for some crazy reason, to unsubscribe, let me know.

2001 Barry Glick and Sunshine Farm & Gardens

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Last modified February 25, 2020