A. sikokianum/longevity and offsets

Donna Maroni dmaroni at EMAIL.UNC.EDU
Fri May 24 02:21:02 CEST 2002

Various people said things that I'd like to comment on:

> Does A. sikokianum have any particular problems making it short-lived? I'm
> aware of one or two relatively large planted colonies that have been....

I've had a half dozen in the ground for at least 6 years now.  And in the
last couple of years, I've planted out about 15 more.  Those six original
ones just keep making bigger leaves year after year.  This year, one of
them had a trifoliate leaf a couple of feet across; it stopped a
horticulturally knowledgeable visitor in his tracks.

> I also have found that when ever I get a really huge bloom on a plant
> and let it set seeds I never see the plant again.  I suspect that they
> overdo things and haven't strength enough to grow a new tuber.  I now
> cut off the heads of any flower that sets seeds, most of the flowers
> don't.

That plant that made the gigantic leaf this year has always been the
biggest of the lot.  It has set seed for several years in a row and
doesn't appear to have suffered any set-back or decline as a result.
And, it seems to have set seed again this year.

> > Didn't I read here lately that A. sikkokianum won't produce offsets?
> > Only way to get more plants is by seed.

> Petra's great article in Fine Gardening suggests that A. sikokianum
> doesn't produce offsets.

I think that one of my six originals (not the giant, but another sizeable
one) produced offsets this year--at least that is what I think accounts
for the three blooms in that spot this year.  I was wondering if that
means I ought to dig it up and separate the offsets.  I think I won't just
because (a) I'm a lazy gardener and (b) I don't really need more A.

Biggest problem that I have with A. sikokianum is that it always emerges
too early.  A couple of time each spring, I must run around covering them
to protect against a freeze (well, I'm lazy, but not so lazy as to let
them turn to mush before they've even had a chance to unfurl their
leaves).  A few years ago, Carlo Balistrieri made fun of me in this
context and suggested I could erect one of those retractable stadium roofs
to cover them.  I'm giving it serious consideration, Carlo.

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