Ever grown pinellias? I hadn’t until the last couple of years but now I have three, and they’re excellent. Pinellias are members of the arum family, there are only about six species, and they’re remarkably different. They all seem easy to grow, increasing well and, while not exactly flamboyant, all are fascinating, and one is quite dramatic.
Pinellia pedatisecta, from Munchkin Nursery, is big – mine is about 3ft/90cm high with bold leaves split into up to eleven leaflets. The flowers stand up on separate stems and keep coming for weeks and weeks – months even - in partial shade. The spathe is green and from it emerges an enormously long yellow spadix.
Pinellia tripartita 'Atropurpurea', from Seneca Hill Perennials, has big bold leaves split in three- it’s effective just for its leaves - and the inside of the spathe (the cowl-like part) is maroon instead of the usual green – it looks a little sinister. It gows about 12-15in/30-38cm, the foliage spreads out widely and it thrives under a birch. And, as you can see from the picture, the yellow spadix is impressively extended.
Pinellia tripartita ‘Dragon Tails’ is small, about 12in/30 and compact with small neat foliage. But the leaves are almost completely yellow, with just a few green patches. It really gleams. The spathes are yellow and, again, the slender yellow spadix surges straight up then snakes around unnervingly. I have it part shade and it’s increasing well. A bulbil is produced at the base of almost every stalk, so it can incraase quickly, in fact the normal green one can be a nuisance. I had this on trial from the raiser, TerraNova Nurseries, but it’s available from Plant Delights.
Three great plants, I’ll be looking out for more.