Friday, August 7, 2020

Plant of the Week: Sanguisorba 'Lilac Squirrel'

After a rare--for August--rainy morning yesterday, most of the taller perennials are bowed over from weight of the raindrops. Especially annoying is the Phlox paniculata and if its flowers weren't so delectable to the swallowtail butterflies, I might be tempted to cut it all back. 

Sanguisorba hakusanensis 'Lilac Squirrel' isn't leaning as badly. And it is my plant of the week! Check out the flowers and you'll see why it is called 'Lilac Squirrel'.
 
 
This winter-hardy perennial (Zone 4a to 9b) starts out as a 12 inch wide basal clump with dark green, serrated, pinnate leaves.  

The green leaves belong to 'Lilac Squirrel'.  The leaves edged in white, to S. 'Dali Marble'


Starting in July, flowering stems rise to 4 or 5 feet (in my garden) and produce "bodacious pink boas" as Digging Dog Nursery in California calls them. 


 Aren't they fun? The typical height of the flowering stems is purported to be 24 inches so maybe it's my cramscaping that fuels their need to reach higher.


As you can see below, the "boas" eventually fade to a tawny color, at which point can be clipped off. 


Planted in a full sun or a mostly sunny spot, this plant will perform better with moist, freely draining soil. With its simple met needs, it will increase in size and "flower" production each year. I believe they make cute cut flowers too although I haven't attempted it.