The Best of... A discussion thread

Post Reply
User avatar
Posts: 1179
Joined: Wed Oct 31, 2007 7:33 pm
Location: Inland Cornwall UK

The Best of... A discussion thread

Post by Chad » Wed Nov 20, 2019 10:30 am

Since it is getting dark and there is not a lot of excitement to post from my garden I thought I'd start a discussion thread that EVERBODY can add to.

I'd be interested to know what people consider to be their 'standard' plants for a tropical look, their best 'special' plants [which may or may not be rare] and what they are looking to get hold of next year. I'll be particularly interested to hear from beginners and 'shy posters' as well the experienced growers.

We last ran a thread like this years ago and I suspect tastes and fashions have changed.

It will be interesting to see.

I'll start it off with three in each group.

My 'core' tropical look plants are;
Fatsia japonica. Tough and reliable with good big glossy leaves.
Musa basjoo. I actually grow Musa 'Tibet' but I can hardly tell the difference. In Cornwall I don't protect over winter: in a bad winter frost cuts them to the ground.
Fargesia sp. A well behaved bamboo genus that haven't run here. I think mine is 'Red Panda'. Bamboo aficionados will list better ones! I have other bamboo, but I'm not as fond of them.

My 'Special' ones are;
Schefflera enneaphylla. A big Schefflera with two rings of leaflets. It is the only Schefflera I have where the flowers add to the effect.
Dahlia tamaulipana. A huge herbaceous heap of leaves. It seldom flowers here: the autumn gales destroy it too soon.
Smallanthus [AKA Polymnia] maculatus. Another huge herbaceous 'daisy familly': this one with canes to 12ft spotted with purple.

My 'wish list'.
Ficus auriculata. Although seed is available from may sources, so far it has never germinated. Out of its native range it won't get pollinated. It needs a specific small wasp to the job. There is one in The Eden Project and I've contemplated a night time raid to liberate a cutting...
Dillenia indica. Although too tender to grow outside all year I like the look of the leaves. I've tried from seed and never got it to germinate. It has a delayed maturation in the seeds so I was warned to keep pots for ages. It is now 5 years and no germination. Yet?
Meryta sinclairii. This used to be quite common in cultivation but I haven't seen it for a few years and I lost mine to a harder than expected frost a few years ago in the polytunnel when I should have brought it inside. Seed is available so I should get this back this year.

Anyone else?


User avatar
Posts: 1179
Joined: Wed Oct 31, 2007 7:33 pm
Location: Inland Cornwall UK

The Best of... A discussion thread

Post by Chad » Tue Dec 03, 2019 6:35 pm

270 views and no replies! They can't all have been automated bots can they?

Was my post too complex?

Single question needed perhaps?

OK. How about 'What are you hoping to grow next year that is new to you?

User avatar
Posts: 2638
Joined: Mon Jul 11, 2011 6:39 pm
Location: halesowen. west midlands

The Best of... A discussion thread

Post by karl66 » Tue Dec 03, 2019 7:07 pm

Hi Chad, this site can be frustrating for replies!, it does seem very quiet I must admit
With me having moved house I'm just hoping everything grows as expected as I'm still learning my soil conditions and hot spots/cold area's etc,being south east facing to rear I'm hoping we'll see more light than previous west facing aspect we had beforehand.

chainsaw kid
Posts: 206
Joined: Wed Jun 20, 2018 12:00 pm
Location: ll39 1bjArthog

The Best of... A discussion thread

Post by chainsaw kid » Tue Dec 03, 2019 9:11 pm

Hi Chad,

I have been off the grid since a couple of days after you started this post but looked in this morning only to find you had no replies. I was honestly appalled. I know half a dozen of us have been trying to keep the forum going but even they did not respond! I did not want you to feel lonely and abandoned, so whilst I was working on a pretty mindless job (painting) I formulated some ideas only to log in to night to find you have changed the parameters!!!!!!! Its far to late in the day to start thinking again so you will have to make do with what I have been thinking earlier in the day. :?

Core plants.
Palms various, what ever you can grow in your area.

Eucalyptus, what ever you like except Gunnii, unless you want to commit suicide! They tend to drop branches if you so much as look at them.

Tetrapanax papyriferus, a must.

Bamboo, don't buy a runner.

Fatsia, I have 3 varietes.

Cordyline, any you can grow.

Dicksonia Antarctica, a must.

Plants I would not be with out.
Acacia baileyana (purple form). The most beautiful tree for flowering in the winter with the advantage of purple leaves in the growing season.

Crinodendron hookerianum, Super shrub.

Abutilon, every flower colour you can find.

Calicarpa bodinieri, stunning flowers and berries, but you need 2 for the berries.

Climbers to grow up and through your plants for that jungle feel.

Wisteria, try and get a different colour. I like the pink.

Lathyrus Latifolus. colour all summer long until the frosts.

Passiflra Caerulea, exotic looking but hardy.

Vitis purpurea for colour and brant to grow from tree to tree so you can swing like Tarzan! You can also make bostin Jam as they say in the black country. icon_thumright

Is that enough! If not I could start on large leaved perennials. Jas.


I forgot one of the most important plants, Banana, any, but I like the purple ones. icon_salut
Last edited by chainsaw kid on Wed Dec 04, 2019 9:14 am, edited 2 times in total.
Don't Just sit there, plant something!

The Kid.

Posts: 598
Joined: Sun Jul 08, 2018 10:38 pm
Location: London

The Best of... A discussion thread

Post by GREVILLEAJ » Tue Dec 03, 2019 11:35 pm

Hi Chad.
Surprised to read about the lack of response to this thread and I have to admit I am unintentionally guilty. I think I was let down by the fat finger syndrome as I remember submitting a long post a couple of days after your entry. Now I can't find it so I must have inadvertently deleted it. I'll keep the thread flowing by posting one heading at a time

These are pretty similar to yours, Chad. Palms both fan and feathered. I don't just have Trachycarpus and Chammies. Feather leaf represented by Phoenix and Butia with others besides.
Large leaves with Basjoo and potted examples which are pigeon holed around the garden. Alocasias placed similarly along with hardier Colocasias potted and planted.
Agaves planted, potted and pigeonholed to add succulents to the scene.

Posts: 598
Joined: Sun Jul 08, 2018 10:38 pm
Location: London

The Best of... A discussion thread

Post by GREVILLEAJ » Wed Dec 04, 2019 11:18 pm

Pseudopansx Laetus. Generous pruning allows larger, very exotic leaves.

Pseudopanax Lessonii variegata. Looks for all the world like the popular houseplants Schefflera arboricola.ñm k

Eucalyptus nitens. Juvenile leaves almost lòok metallic.

Euphorbia mellifera. Self seeds freely and serves up the purest green exotic leaves you'll ever see

Posts: 598
Joined: Sun Jul 08, 2018 10:38 pm
Location: London

The Best of... A discussion thread

Post by GREVILLEAJ » Fri Dec 06, 2019 10:35 pm

Wish list:

Colocasias elepaio*, mojito*, illustris, Hawaian range, Thailand giant.

Musas Ae-Ae, Siam Ruby*, Zebrina*

Ensetes Hiniba, Montebelardii*

Agaves ovatifolia, cream spike*

* Indicates trying again. Subjects lost over the years!

Post Reply