Friday, April 17, 2009

High End Nurseries That Keep Me Coming Back

Jeffersonia dubia

Have you seen those high-end specialty plant nurseries that must believe their arcane stock is so unique they can price their stuff at prices about two or three times higher than what others would charge for less rarefied plants? I admit, I have fallen under the spell of a few of those nurseries, and their apparent high prices are actually much higher when I look back and see the substantial attrition rate of what I bought. But yet, I go back, and Jeffersonia dubia is a perfect example of why. It's the Asian counterpart of our native Jeffersonia diphylla (Twinleaf) except that it has vividly colored flowers. When I spotted the plant pictured above this spring I was awe struck. I bought three of these Jeffersonia dubia seven years ago. Only two plants are still with me and one of those two is only barely alive. The third is thriving as the photographs suggest. That reminds me of another reason these high-end specialty nurseries are even more expensive than they seem. It is usually a good idea to buy at least three of each selection in order to increase your chances of finding that "sweet spot" where it will thrive. Why, for example is one of my Jeffersonia thriving while the other two, planted in what seemed to be comparably suitable environs are dead or dying? At least now if someone tells me they tried Jeffersonia dubia without success I can smugly say, "It's doing great for me."

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