Foliage Follow Up for July

Garden Bloggers' Foliage Follow Up for July, Kigali, Rwanda/enclos*ure

I thought I would give you a look at the plants surrounding the hibiscus and shrimp plants from yesterday’s Bloom Day.

Garden Bloggers' Foliage Follow Up for July, Kigali, Rwanda/enclos*ure

First, I would be grateful if anyone could identify the tropical plant with the very large leaves in the center above — and below with clover poking up through the leaves.

Garden Bloggers' Foliage Follow Up for July, Kigali, Rwanda/enclos*ure

When we arrived in Kigali, it was in a big pot on an upstairs porch, where I felt it was not getting the attention it deserved.  It was also really in the way — it’s over 4′ across.

On its left above and in the photo below is a large burgundy-colored succulent — sedum? kalanchoe? — which I also haven’t yet identified.  Does anyone recognize it Euphorbia grantii (aka Synadenium grantii), possibly the Rubra variety.  It’s also called African milk bush and is native to East Africa.

[Thanks to Alison in Australia, who wrote me with the I.D. in November 2014.]

Garden Bloggers' Foliage Follow Up for July, Kigali, Rwanda/enclos*ure

This one is about 5′ tall, but I have seen specimens in Rwanda the size of a small tree.

Garden Bloggers' Foliage Follow Up for July, Kigali, Rwanda/enclos*ure

The burgundy leaves (red, green, and pink when the backlit by the sun — above) look good almost everywhere, so I have cuttings spread throughout the garden.

Garden Bloggers' Foliage Follow Up for July, Kigali, Rwanda/enclos*ure

In the picture above, there’s one in the back of a pink section of the long flower border — or it will be pink if the small shrub roses planted there will oblige me by growing and blooming. They are supposed to push up through the beach spiderlilies (Hymenocallis littoralis).

Below is one of two original plants that were here when we moved in.

Garden Bloggers' Foliage Follow Up for July, Kigali, Rwanda/enclos*ure

In the same planting bed with my two mystery plants are burgundy cannas, variegated liriope, yellow daylilies, and some lamb’s ear that I grew from seed from my parent’s garden in Virginia.

Garden Bloggers' Foliage Follow Up for July, Kigali, Rwanda/enclos*ure

At the ends are shrimp plants, “Fairy” roses, a caladium, and a small cycad (not in the picture).

This planting bed is on the right in the photo below.
Garden Bloggers' Foliage Follow Up for July, Kigali, Rwanda/enclos*ure

I also wanted to show you one of the common mulleins (Verbascum thepus) that I grew from seed taken from my parent’s garden last year.

Garden Bloggers' Foliage Follow Up for July, Kigali, Rwanda/enclos*ure

This one (located not very artistically in the vegetable garden) is 3′ across. The other plants are only 12″.

Garden Bloggers' Foliage Follow Up for July, Kigali, Rwanda/enclos*ure

The plant is something of a roadside weed in the mid-Atlantic region of the U.S., but it can send up a yellow flower stalk to 10′ tall. The garden writer, Henry Mitchell* liked tall mulleins so much that he wrote, “O for a lute of fire to sing their merits.”

Garden Bloggers' Foliage Follow Up for July, Kigali, Rwanda/enclos*ure

Thanks to Pam at Digging for hosting Garden Bloggers’ Foliage Follow Up the 16th of every month.


*in The Essential Earthman.

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14 thoughts on “Foliage Follow Up for July

  1. I’m a mullein fan too and finally planted three in my garden last spring. Two are blooming now and are HUGE! I don’t know the IDs of your mystery plants, but I enjoyed all the images.

  2. Hi, Cindy –
    Your garden is beautiful! I am not familiar with any of these plants. They do not grow in the DC area. I am really fond of plants with interesting foliage, and the textures on these are great!
    Cheers,
    Loi

    1. Thanks! It’s hard sometimes to know how to even start a search for the names of some of these plants. These two are not in my one guidebook on Rwandan native plants. I may try googling ‘plants with 3′ leaves’ for the first one. Sometimes I just find an identification by accident.

  3. I keep trying various searches; one day I will stumble on it by accident. I actually saw the same plant day before yesterday at a Lake Kivu hotel, and I got very excited thinking the owner could tell me the name. Unfortunately, she didn’t know either.

  4. Hi! I was wondering if you were ever able to ID the mystery plant that you called “tall burgundy succulent”. I am pretty sure I have one in my house and have no idea how to care for it.. and all of my ID efforts have turned up fruitless. your photos are actually the only time I have even found a picture of what I have..

    Otherwise, can you describe some of its growing conditions/ propagation/ or any care/environmental info you have on this plant? Thanks!!

    1. Unfortunately, I haven’t yet found anything on that plant. One person thought it was a euphorbia, which seems likely. It does have a milky sap if you break off a piece (which might make you more photosensitive if you got it on your skin). Does yours have that? And mine has never flowered.

      I’ve planted it in several places from semi-shade to almost full sun, and it does fine. When it gets too tall and lanky, I just chop it back, and after looking a bit sad for a few weeks, it grows back fine. Rwanda has both very rainy and very dry periods, and I haven’t noticed that it suffers in either (we do water a bit in the dry season), but we have very good drainage. Our temperature is normally between the high 40s F (in the north) to low 80s F.

      We have rooted cuttings by just sticking them in the soil of our vegetable garden’s raised beds or at the edge of our almost finished compost piles.

      I have seen old specimens of this plant as big as small trees, but I didn’t find them very pretty at that size. I think they look their best between 3′ and 7′.

      I need to start a serious search for the names of several plants that I can’t identify. I want to finish my plant list page before we leave the country this year.

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