10 Reasons You Need Tasslerue in Your Garden

| 9/7/2015 11:08:00 AM

Tags: shade gardening, groundcover, ornamental plants, perennials, Barry Glick, West Virginia,

Trautvetteria Flowers Ornamental Groundcover 

1. You love the rare and unusual plants.

2. You want to grow plants that none of your friends have ever even heard of.

3. You want to be the envy of all your neighbors.

4. You don't have the time or desire to baby or pamper plants.

5. You have a small amount of shade or dappled sunlight.

6. You like BOLD foliage.

7. You're passionate about growing native plants.

8. You want an alluring "Conversation Plant" for your garden visitors to chat about.

9. You're a resident of Planet Earth.

10. - 100. Well, there are probably over 100 reasons that you should be growing Trautvetteria caroliniensis, but the main reason that you aren't growing it is because you've probably never heard of it, let alone had someone offer to share some with you.

All that's about to change. Read on, read on.

How to Grow Shade-Loving Tasslerue

Also known to some as "Tasslerue," this easy-to-grow member of the Ranunculaceae (Buttercup) family makes quite the dramatic statement in the shade garden. In the wild, it prefers moist to sometimes wet soils, but it does well in average garden soil, as long as your soil doesn't completely turn to dust. I've found that a mulch of double ground hardwood bark keeps just about any soil from drying out and ultimately morphs into rich organic matter.

This garden treasure does well in deep shade, but even better in bright shade to dappled sunlight. Trautvetteria is considered hardy in Zones 5 to 8 and I'd venture to say that's a conservative estimate as I've had them overwinter just fine all the way down to 0 in unprotected pots with no snow cover!

Folks on the other end of the spectrum report that it does well even in southern Florida — and why not, it's a native down there. Actually it's native to over half of the states in the U.S. (I would suggest full shade if you live in Zones 8-10, though.)

Groundcovers aren't required to be low-growing, short plants. The attractive foliage of a Trautvetteria colony makes this plant a great groundcover plant with about 12 to 18 inches of height and an equal spread. In flower, the sturdy stems can reach skyward up to 48 inches.

The long-lasting, pure white, early- to mid-summer-blooming flowers have an interesting, somewhat indescribable, pleasant fragrance.

The Genus name honors Ernst Rudolf von Trautvetter (1809-1889), a Russian botanist and former director of the Botanical Garden in St. Petersburg. Trautvetteria is a monotypic Genus as T. caroliniensis is its only species.

Trautvetteria caroliniensis is quite rare in the wild. In fact, it almost brought me that proverbial 15 minutes of fame. You should read the entertaining story that I wrote for Native Plants Journal about that episode.

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