Author name: Stephen Ryan

Horticulturalist, nurseryman, collector, prolific writer and award-winning radio broadcaster and TV host. Owner of Dicksonia Rare Plants nursery and open garden Tugurium. ABC patron of Royal Hortocultural Society Victoria & friends of Geelong Botanic gardens President Plant Trust.

Elegia capensis

The South African Thatching Rush is a truly spectacular foliage plant. Its fluffy stems grow to about 1.5metres and are elegant adornments to the garden or as cut foliage which lasts and lasts in water. It loves a damp site and is obviously ideal next to a pond but unlike so many bog plants it …

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Arum, palaestinum

This is a very hardy winter growing tuberous plant from the Middle East with handsome bright green foliage and large burgundy-black flowers in early spring. The flowers smell of manure for the first day or so making it an ideal practical joke plant (just smell the lily!). I use it in my perennial border for …

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Cydonia sinensis

This was until recently known as Pseudocydonia sinensis or the mock Chinese quince and it has to be the best small tree that one could have! It has attractive pink blossom in late spring that in summer become large egg shaped yellow -green fruit which can be used for jelly or as I found out …

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Firmiana simplex

A rarely used deciduous  tree comes from China and Japan and its huge leaves make a tropical statement without the tree its self being tropical. It will grow in anopen aspect and tolerate a range of different soils so there can only be one excuse for its lack of representation in Australian gardens, no one …

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