Phoenix Perennials and Specialty Plants


The Phoenix Perennials E-Newsletter
January 2007

Hello from Phoenix Perennials!

I hope everyone is already having a Happy New Year! At Phoenix Perennials we're doing our best to make that a reality, at least in terms of your gardening life!

With the turn into the new year things are already getting busy for us at Phoenix. This month we'll be putting up a new greenhouse that will become a dedicated shade house. As you may have noticed shade is at a premium at our hot, sunny nursery. The new shade house will greatly improve our cultivation of shade perennials and intriguing woodland treasures. We can't wait!

This year we'll receive shipments from all over the world including Europe, the US, Canada, India, Japan and South Africa! All will be flying in shortly to the nursery from their respective corners of the globe. Below you'll find a sneak peak of some of the unusual and exciting perennials we'll have from Japan.

Preparations are well underway for our annual opening weekend and the Hellebore Hurrah! which will see a mind-boggling assortment of hellebores including at least seven different kinds of double hellebores. (Does that sentence make you feel weak in the knees?) You can see one of them below. Hellebores, whether double or single, are a marvelous plant for the early spring garden. Easy to grow and very ornamental. Whether you're a card-carrying member of the hellebore fan club or still unfamiliar with this superlative group of perennials, make sure you don't miss the Hellebore Hurrah! Mark your calendars.

In other news, we're hiring. Please see the advertisement below if you or someone you know might be interested in working at Phoenix Perennials in 2007.

With that I bid you a happy January and look forward to seeing you in less than two months at the nursery.

Cheers, Gary and the Phoenicians

In this Issue
1. Sneak Peak #1: Exciting Perennials from Japan
2. The Hellebore Hurrah!
3. Phoenix Perennials is Hiring


Sneak Peak #1
Exciting Perennials from Japan

This year we will receive what we hope will be the first of many imports of rare and exciting perennials from Japan. The Japanese have a long history of gardening, a keen interest in intriguing garden plants, and a wealth of Japanese natives growing across the diverse topographies and climates of the islands of Japan.

Here are some highlights that we'll be offering in 2007.

Glaucidium palmatum - Japanese Wood Poppy - Star of the early spring garden, this famous Japanese woodlander has large, silky, pale purple-pink blossoms over attractively textured foliage. It is a hard to find and highly prized plant for the shade garden. The flowers resemble a single peony or pink buttercup which speaks to the confusion in its taxonomy. Previously placed in either the Buttercup or Peony families, Japanese Wood Poppy has most recently been placed in its very own family. Best in moist but well-drained soil in cool shade.

Cacalia delphinifolia - Cacalia - This under-appreciated shade plant from Japan has beautiful shiny maple-shaped leaves. The mound of foliage is topped by a three foot tower of frizzy white flowers in August. Offers interesting foliage contrast to hostas and other shade perennials. Light to deep shade.




Calanthe tricarinata - Hardy Calanthe Orchid - One of the hardiest calanthes with spikes of yellow-green flowers with a burgundy, red, yellow and white lip in spring. The lip of the flower is elaborately frilled which helps explain the Japanese name "sarumen" calanthe meaning "monkey face." Foliage is evergreen in milder climates but can go dormant in colder areas. Rare but easy to grow. Virus-free plants from flasked seedlings.

Jeffersonia dubia - Asian Twinleaf - This famous woodland rock garden plant from Korea has long been cultivated in Japan. The pretty up-facing light mauve flowers emerge in early spring and are followed by attractive two-lobed leaves. It is easy to grow in light to full shade in gritty, gravelly, humusy or leafy (i.e. light and well drained) soil where it will form large clumps.



Disporum smilacinum 'Kogane Tsuki' - Fairy Bells - This species hails from the woodlands of Korea and Japan but you won’t find this form in the wild. ‘Kogane Tsuki’ has shockingly rich yellow foliage with green stripes and streaks merging at the end of each leaf. It only grows to about four inches tall but makes tight colonies. Each stem produces one or two drooping cup-shaped white flowers in mid to late spring.



Polygonatum odoratum 'Byakko' - Solomon's Seal - The leaves of this stunning variegated solomon’s seal are white on the lower half and green on the tips. The colour is best in light shade with some morning sun and is better expressed on larger plants. The name means "white tiger." This plant was once fairly common in Japan where fields of it were grown for the cut flower trade. It nearly disappeared from cultivation and is now making a slow, pricey comeback. The flowers are sweetly fragrant.

Tricyrtis macrantha var. macranthopsis - Weeping Golden Toad Lily - Famed UK plantsman Brian Mathew believes that of all the tricyrtis species this plant and its related species have “the most fascinating and beautiful flowers." In September and October, the long arching stems of dark green glossy leaves are topped with large deep yellow bells, speckled red inside. Great planted at the top of a shady wall where the flowers can be viewed from below.



Tricyrtis ‘Kohaku’ - Toad Lily - This bold toad lily has an arching habit and very large cup-shaped flowers that are beautifully marked. A vigorous and very unusual hybrid originally bred for the cut flower trade in Japan at least 15 years ago.






Opening Weekend
The Hellebore Hurrah!
Celebrating early spring and all things Hellebore
March 2nd, 3rd & 4th, 2007

Brace yourselves fellow gardeners for the most exciting selection of hellebores I've ever seen! Hopefully you'll be impressed too! We'll have at least seven different kinds of double hellebores including the rich raspberry-coloured 'Kingston Cardinal' pictured below. We'll also have a nice selection of companion plants great for early spring. Mark your calendars!

Helleborus 'Kingston Cardinal'

If you are unable to attend the Hurrah there will certainly be more hellebores available afterwards. If you would like to make sure you acquire a desired plant(s) you can call the nursery between February 12th and March 1st and give us your order and your credit card information. We will select a nice specimen for you on March 2nd and hold it for you until you can pick it up.


Phoenix Perennials is Hiring

Are you or someone you know interested in working with plants in a fun, challenging and exciting nursery environment?

We are now hiring for the 2007 season. We are looking for individuals with a positive attitude, an excellent work ethic, and a love of plants. We will consider applicants from gardening newbies right up to seasoned pros for positions in both the production and retail sides of the business.

Please prepare a cover letter and resume and send to
Interviews will begin soon so don't delay.

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So many of our new visitors come to us through word of mouth. If you like what we're doing at Phoenix Perennials, please consider telling your gardening friends about us.

If you have any other questions please contact us at

Phoenix Perennials and Specialty Plants Ltd.
One of the largest and most exciting selections of perennials in the Lower Mainland
Specializing in distinct perennials, fragrant shrubs, hardy subtropicals and the botanically intriguing

3380 No. 6 Road, Richmond (Between Bridgeport and Cambie)

Please visit our web page for information on the nursery, driving directions and a map.
We are near the south end of the Knight Street Bridge and very easy to get to from all of the surrounding municipalities and beyond.

Seven Days a Week 10am-5pm
March 2nd, 2007 through October 31st, 2007

Copyright Phoenix Perennials and Specialty Plants Ltd. 2007

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