NewsPlant of the Month July - Plantain Lily 'Sum and Substance'
The large-leaved plantain lily 'Sum and Substance' is an impressive plant that demands our full attention in July....
What a jewel! Our plant of the month for September is a very unusual plant in that it's one of the few that blossoms from late summer through to early autumn. The most common time for plants to bloom is of course in spring, with some showing a preference for summer. But by late summer most of the plants have already bloomed. Which means that the Seven Son Flower, with its late and extremely attractive blossom is a real eye catcher! And not only that—it also has an absolutely heavenly perfume, as well as being a real insect magnet.
This very special ornamental plant's blossoms and fruits make sure that it gets noticed. The soft flowers are white with small red lobes and each has five slender petals. They hang in panicles from the current year's shoots. Although the plant blossoms late in the year (even into November!), the shrub in its pre-blossom state, which begins from as early as June, is also very pretty.
The purple-red fruits provide a delightful contrast to the blossoms. These small berries of around a centimetre in size achieve a colouring from dark purple through to light pink, and are enveloped by bright red petals.
Blossoms and fruits of the plant are also often used for decoration purposes.
The multiple-stemmed plant grows to between two and three metres in width and up to four metres in height. Its bark peels away regularly in thin layers. China is the only country where it grows naturally. In Germany it is grown in nurseries and planted in gardens and parks—especially along the borders of paths and by garden seats, due to its powerful scent.
The ideal location for this plant should be between sunny and semi-shaded, and with normal garden soil. It deals easily with dry periods—although, as with all plants, it should be given water in longer dry periods. The Seven Son Flower is frost-resistant and needs little special care.