A Native Plant Crown Jewel

In advance of the monsoon predicted for the upcoming days, I headed out to the yard to plant some things that have been hanging around waiting for my inspired moment.

Several years ago, we lived in Northern Virginia in Fairfax County and I had a pretty nice perennial garden that had grown over the twenty years that I had been tending it. When we left, I brought a few of the plants with me – including the petit daffodils that were a gift from my husband and some amsonia. The amsonia had been transplanted once, but when we were told that they might be in the way of power lines that needed to be constructed for our new house, I pulled them up once again and put them in a large clay pot. Where they sat, patiently waiting, until today.

I was afraid that I had really killed them off, because I had not seen their shoots coming up as Spring approached. But about a week or so ago, they popped up, much to my delight. So, today was the day to plant them.

I had a spot all picked out in the yard. They will spread quite a bit, which is okay by me, but I wanted to put them in a spot where they could feel free to do so. I gathered up my gardening tools and went out to prepare the ground for them. As I put my rake into the dirt, I spotted them…. the native plant crown jewels….two ladyslippers – one just coming into bloom !!

Ladyslipper Native Plant

Ladyslipper Native Plant

Ladyslipper in bloom

Ladyslipper in bloom

My heart literally skipped a beat!! I knew that ladyslippers can grow here, but I had not dared to hope that I would see one on our property. And looking closely – there are two of them!! They are remarkable plants and beautiful to behold. They are also VERY picky about their terrain and nearly impossible to transplant. Had I planted the amsonia there, it would have completely overrun the poor ladies in no time.

So, the amsonia is now planted – a great distance from the ladyslippers. Hopefully it will like its new spot and will grow and spread. As for the ladyslippers – we’re putting a fence around the area to ensure they are left undisturbed so that they can continue to be enjoyed every spring.

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2 thoughts on “A Native Plant Crown Jewel

  1. That’s amazing that they transplanted since they are not known for their success in being transplanted. They are the provincial flower of PEI. I found a large patch in a wooded area last spring and photographed both the pink and white ones.

  2. Hey Barbara, Hope to resolve any confusion about this post… I didn’t transplant the ladyslippers – they are virtually impossible to transplant as they are very particular about their terroir. It was the amsonia that I transplanted, now for the second time, and hopefully successfully.

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