Sunshine Farm and Gardens: Rare and Exceptional Plants
Sunshine Farm and Gardens
Rare and Exceptional Plants for the
Discriminating Gardener and Collector

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` Tolmiea menziesii 'Taffs Gold'
Tolmiea menziesii 'Taffs Gold'
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Even if this plants namesake wasn't a dear friend of mine, I would be it's proponent.

A native to the West Coast of the US, this Saxifragaceae family member is a hardy perennial that has the unique habit of forming new plants in the axils of its leaves. This phenomenon is known as the ability to form gammaceous plantlets.

It's a close relative to Tellima and Heuchera.

It was discovered by Stephen Taffler, from the window of a speeding New York City taxicab as he rushed to JFK airport, no doubt behind schedule as usual, to catch a flight back home to England. As the vehicle rounded a corner "Taff" commanded the driver to STOP, the driver probably though that chain smoking "Taff" was having a heart attack and stopped immediately leaving a half inch of rubber on the ground.

What "Taff" had spotted was some golden variegation on a plant sitting on the shelf of a flower plant street vendor a hundred yards away, what an eye for detecting even the slightest variegation this man has.

"Taff" bought the plant and smuggled it back to the UK in his coat pocket.

It's been popular in the UK for many years now and is just starting to be seen here.

Most books list the hardiness as zone 6, but with a little mulch, you can grow it in zone 5. And with all of the new plants that it produces, it's very easy to bring a piece inside for the Winter in zones colder than 5. In fact many people grow it as a house plant.

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Last modified February 25, 2020