Saturday, May 23, 2015

Dream catcher

Can I just say, this plant is rocket-propelled!? This is 'Dream catcher,' a beauty bush aka Kokwitzia amabilis. Never heard of it until someone gave me not one, but two, maybe three years ago. They hadn't done much growing till this year, when they suddenly had a spurt up and out. This prompted me to look at the plant tag, which is in there somewhere and which indicates that this late-bloomer can reach heights of six to nine feet. Gulp. It's an extraordinary looking plant with golden leaves that look chartreuse here and remind me of pointed holly foliage. And it does sort of look like the webbed Native American dreamcatcher. This 'Dream catcher' likes full sun to part shade; in my garden, it's in filtered shade, which apparently is what it likes best. It has height, it has color and what plant geeks call "architecture." It has so much architecture, in fact, it may soon overshadow my house.

Dream catcher

Rosa 'All Ablaze' blazes cherry red in Burke Brothers' Tuscany exhibit, accenting classic Italian elements with bright flowers. (Ron Tarver / Staff photographer)
Rosa 'All Ablaze' blazes cherry red in Burke Brothers' Tuscany exhibit, accenting classic Italian elements with bright flowers. (Ron Tarver / Staff photographer)

Can I just say, this plant is rocket-propelled!? This is 'Dream catcher,' a beauty bush aka Kokwitzia amabilis. Never heard of it until someone gave me not one, but two, maybe three years ago. They hadn't done much growing till this year, when they suddenly had a spurt up and out. This prompted me to look at the plant tag, which is in there somewhere and which indicates that this late-bloomer can reach heights of six to nine feet. Gulp. It's an extraordinary looking plant with golden leaves that look chartreuse here and remind me of pointed holly foliage. And it does sort of look like the webbed Native American dreamcatcher. This 'Dream catcher' likes full sun to part shade; in my garden, it's in filtered shade, which apparently is what it likes best. It has height, it has color and what plant geeks call "architecture." It has so much architecture, in fact, it may soon overshadow my house.

About this blog
Ginny Smith, a Philadelphia native, joined the Inquirer at 1985. After stints as both reporter and editor in the city and suburbs, she’s been happily writing – and learning - about gardening full time since 2006. She’s won two silver medals of achievement from the national Garden Writers Association and in 2011, Bartram’s Garden honored her with its Green Exemplar award for her stories about “the region’s deeply rooted horticultural history, cultural attractions and bountiful gardens.” She plays in her own – mostly - bountiful garden in East Falls. Reach Virginia A. at vsmith@phillynews.com .

Virginia A. Smith Inquirer Staff Writer
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