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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Persian Shield



Strobilanthes dyerianus, better known as "Persian Shield", features iridescent, colorful leaves of purple, green and silver. I've always grown it in a container, where it starts out slow but eventually gets very tall (about 2-3 ft.) by mid-summer. This plant loves the heat but wilts easily and it prefers semi-shade during the hottest part of the day. Unfortunately, it is very tender and turns to mush after the first frost. Cuttings can be taken and I read that it can be treated as a houseplant, although I haven't tried this. In containers, it looks nice with ferns, coleus, impatiens, caladiums or begonia. In the ground, I would use it with tropical-type plants like canna, elephant's ear and gingers.

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26 comments:

  1. That is quite the color Phillip! My eyes are dancing... perhaps the name shield comes in to play here. Seriously a daring plant and in its way stunning. The leaves have that quality of some bird feathers.

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  2. Wow this plant is awesome - never seen one this bright before!

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  3. I really like this plant but the one in the picture is amazing. The foliage is almost glowing with colour! Judging from the comments I specimen like this may be relatively rare.

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  4. I love the Persian Shield but can't keep it from dying. I planted it with the lavender lantana. I think it makes a pleasing combination.
    I do think I'll try it again next yr. They say the 3rd times the charm.

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  5. Quick, quick! If there hasn't been frost on it, pick great bouquets of it and keep inside in bright light. It will root and you can keep it like keeping coleus.

    One of my favs. Pinch little pieces off the leggy pieces in spring and root them.

    I plant them in the ground for summer. They are hardy here, but I take cuttings in fall just to make sure.

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  6. Hi Phillip~~ A great shot of a great plant. I know this sounds cliche but with foliage like this, who needs flowers?!

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  7. Oh wow, beautiful foliage and I had never heard of this one. I *love* your blog and so happy I discovered it, as your gardens are totally amazing! I really hope I can find Persian Shield here in Virginia.

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  8. You've captured its colour perfectly.

    I think Nell Jeans comment says it all. I guess if you can take cuttings and get it through you'll have a head start for next year and even bigger plants.

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  9. Phillip, this is one of my favorite garden plants. Sometimes if we have a mild winter, mine will survive. I, too, have taken cuttings in the fall, and they root quite easily. This year I have one in a container on the front porch; let's see if that one makes it through the winter.

    Jan
    Always Growing

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  10. I agree, it is a marvelous potted plant for our temperate zone. I have also pressed the leaves and used them in an art collage. They keep their color and are pretty on the back too.

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  11. What a stunning photo of a wonderful plant. I haven't grown it myself, but it would look awesome with other "Victorian" plants like canna and esp. elephant's ear. (Hmmm... my container is coming together for next year!)

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  12. Phillip that's a gorgeous photo.

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  13. I have always loved these! it is one of those plants that I say I'm going to get, and never do. Then I see it somewhere and remember that I wanted to get one! LOL!!! I need to make note of that this year! They are gorgeous in mixed containers.

    We had a pretty chilly night here last night, so I can imagine it was a good 10 degrees cooler there possibly

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  14. I remember seeing these in the nursery this summer, but didn't know much about them. I'm going to try them next summer on my deck, love the color.

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  15. Holy cow, what spectacular colour! And the form is so lovely, too -- a sure winner!

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  16. That is, hands down, the best photo I've ever seen of Persian Shield.

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  17. Phillip, What a fantastic photo...It's a great plant and the color just jumps off the monitor. gail

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  18. I grew this once and can't imagine it as a houseplant. Seems like it might get rather large?? Although I must admit, mine didn't get as big as the tag said they would. I think it adds a beautiful and different color to the garden. btw, congrats on being on Horticulture's top 20 blog list!

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  19. Phillip I keep forgetting about this plant some how .. maybe because I don't have a lot of annuals when I concentrate on the perennials so much. But every time I see a picture of it , well it takes my breath away with its beauty .. especially your picture here .. it is gorgeous !
    I swear I have to remember this for now on .. I'm writing it down this time !
    Joy : )

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  20. Phillip, that's the best photo of Persian shield I've ever seen. It does love the heat, doesn't it?~~Dee

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  21. oh my goodness that is a gorgeous photo!!

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  22. Phillip you asked about the soil conditions at my place -- it's about 18" of sandy loam over a clay base, and quite acidic, 4.5-5.0.

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  23. That image of your plant is dazzling.
    Simply beautiful.

    Aanee
    Dublin Florist

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  24. We had one just like it, color and all, and have never seen another in any nursery ever. Going to try to find them online this yr and try the clipping idea to hold into it for future yrs. :)

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  25. Does anyone know if the slugs like them?

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