Thursday, March 12, 2009
Poncirus Trifoliata Ahead - Proceed with Caution
The Hardy Orange (Poncirus Trifoliata) is blooming and it is quite a lovely sight in the garden. Shooting up into the sky about 12 feet, it continues to make me a little uneasy. I mean really, would you want to get into a wrestling match with this guy?
Last week, I cut a huge limb off of this plant and mind you, I took my time and was very careful. I kept having visions of falling into it and impaling myself in its vicious thorns.
Hardy Orange is somewhat of a novelty plant - the pretty white blossoms appear in early March and in the fall you get the beautiful fruit that looks like small oranges. After the leaves fall, the thorny structure makes an interesting focal point in the winter garden. I think it would be a wonderful specimen for a Japanese garden but oddly, I don't think I've ever seen one.
This is a fairly carefree plant with one irritant - seedlings pop up all under it, often in thick clumps. I just take a shovel and scoop them up and I try to pick the oranges off the ground before they rot. Not a plant for everyone (and surely not for a garden where children would be playing) and a plant that must be treated with respect!