Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Sophora prostrata 'Little Baby’ is my favorite plant in the garden this week…

It takes a pretty cool plant to overcome a silly name like Sophora prostrata 'Little Baby’ but I think this one manages.

My plant crushes seem to fall into a few distinct groups. There are the marginally hardy exotics, the spiky ones, the big leaves, and the little (barely can be seen) leaves on tiny wiry plants. That last group is where this sophora belongs (Muehlenbeckia astonii and Pittosporum divaricatum being two other examples). Plus I’ve never met a Sophora I didn’t love…

Because this one is so easy to overlook its best situated where your eyes naturally land on it.

One of my plants bloomed last year, but I can’t seem to find a photo of the flower. Luckily it looks like I’ll be enjoying another couple this year…

My first plant came from Cistus, the second was purchased at the 2012 Portland Chinese Garden Plant Sale, but I can’t remember from which nursery! Here’s the Cistus description: “A smallish shrub from New Zealand with narrow wiry stems growing in a zigzag fashion, bearing pretty leaves with tiny leaflets. Golden orange pea flowers are produced late in the season. Best in full sun, lean soil and not much fertilizer. Most we've seen reach 4 ft or so in a Rastafarian tangle. Frost hardy in USDA zone 8, possibly into zone 7.”

And the general stats:
  • Shrub hardy in zones 8 – 11
  • Eventually 4-5 ft tall
  • Likes full sun with poor, well drained soil
  • Yellow/orange flowers in late spring
  • Evergreen (if you look close)…

Why do I love this plant? Because of the yellow gold stems and the geometric shapes they naturally form, the bright green leaves are like small ornaments on those stems.

All material © 2009-2013 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.

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