Wednesday Vignette — Pale Indian Plaintain

Set featured imageDSC_1543

Pale Indian Plantain (Cacalia atriplicifolia) is not something you are going to run across at your local garden center. It is a Midwestern native found in rocky woodlands, thickets and wet meadows throughout Illlinois, “conspicuous but uncommon” according to Swink and Wilhelm. I obtained a few from my friend Victor and scattered them about just to see what they would do, this being the only one to bloom this year.

DSC_1544

What a lovely thing it has turned out to be, conspicuous to be sure, and not just in flower. Leaves and stems are thick and leathery. Leaves are blue-gray in color while the stems and petioles display a purple cast. Creamy white flowers exude an aroma like vanilla.

DSC_1550

Forgive the blur — I haven’t quite mastered the macro feature of my camera.

A couple years back I rolled a hollow log into this bed that consists of nothing more than a jumble of Bittersweet clambering up an electric pole. There is an old gate and chair hiding in the jumble, along with Kitty.

DSC_1467

Prairie Dropseed (Sporobolus heterolepsis) and Foxglove Beardtongue (Penstemon digitalis) are nearby companions. Alas, the snowplow almost demolished the old log last winter.

DSC_0659

It appears that deadheading will extend the bloom. Right now I am content to watch the show.

Advertisements

4 thoughts on “Wednesday Vignette — Pale Indian Plaintain

  1. Fabulous! Thanks for the tour! Wish I could smell it, though. I looked for the “scratch and sniff” option on my computer screen but couldn’t find it. LOL Katrina

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I really like the Pale Indian Plantain – also a great name, is it the Indian or the Plantain that is pale? Anyway, an attractive plant, and I like the companions you’ve chosen for it. I should see if Prairie Moon has it.

    Like

    • Wish I could remember where I put them all, as I believe I had about 6-8 of them. I did find the foliage in one location quite low to the ground so I suspect that you need them to mature to get flowers or perhaps have a wet year. I don’t believe they are biennial.

      It is fun to learn about natives — there are just so many of them!

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s