H. 'Monashee Blue Cup'
A Canadian introduction by John Montgomery of Monashee Perennials (now called Ambrosia Gardens) in Vernon, BC. Think of this as a small version of 'Abiqua Drinking Gourd'. Supposedly will grow to about 18" x 12" with small rounded, cupped, frosty blue foliage. Good substance too! While you cannot see it very well in this picture, the leaves on this particular plant do not really appear to come from a crown but rather from a rhizome. Next season will tell me more hopefully. There was no information on the label with regard to growth habit, wait-n-see is all we can do.
This close-up shot gives a little better idea of why I feel it is showing a rhizomatous growth habit. Surely does not look as if those petioles are coming from a crown with all that lateral growth. Talking about growth, the grower of this plant sure was liberal with the time-release fertilizer.
By October 21st senescence is well under way and in the process presents us with a brief period of some fascinating colours before they're all mush.
Take a leap forward in time and we're now on March 15th, 2008. I think you can understand I'm a little excited about seeing this variety come back up again for this second season in our yard. This early in the season it doesn't look as if it'll be much bigger than what we saw from it last year, but, the whole growing season is still ahead of us, so let's not panic. All I'll say at this point is that it does not appear to have the same vigour we see out of 'Guacamole' for example.
It's nice to see it's a reasonably early riser as you saw above and it looks on April 3rd as if this may grow to at least 5 shoots this year from last year's 3, which may very well lead to a division in June or thereabouts.
A month later, May 2nd, and it's going great guns, with all of the shoots showing a nice size to them. Nice to see, for sure. It'll be very tempting to do a division this year but it'll also be nice to get a hint of what it will look like as a a more mature plant. I'll be vascilating on that subject for a while, I have no doubt.
Two and a half weeks later it has filled out rather nicely. With this kind of vigour I think you'll understand why the going back and forth over whether or not to divide is over: it was divided. And in the process of dividing it the notion expressed in the first paragraph about a rhizomatous growth habit was dispelled. It simply gave that initial appearance because it was planted slightly too deep in the pot. I divided it because it's still quite uncommon and could be utilized as a trade subject next year, perhaps even this summer. The process ended up giving me 2 divisions roughly the same size as what I started out with last year, one smaller one with only 2 shoots and one with naught but a smallish piece of crown with some roots and one dormant bud, which appears to be swelling already.
We started 2009 with 3 potted plants, all with multiple shoots. Comments I may have made early on with respect to growth habit are certainly not true: it is proving to be quite vigorous, with a couple of them with 5 shoots. The largest one of these will find its way into a much larger pot in order to get a better idea of its mature size potential and to hopefully see more of that cupping it's reported to have. There have been hints of cupping, but nothing quite like 'Abiqua Drinking Gourd' which it apparently is supposed to remind you of.
We had a nice handful of seedpods from a couple of these divisions, all OP, and a couple of those seedpods were germinated in spring 2010. While we didn't have the germination rate we got with the 'Sea Octopus' seeds, we ended up with about a dozen or so. These are some of them, all green at this stage. Stay tuned to see if they develop the blue of its parent, at the moment they're just too small.
It's year 5 for this variety in our yard. Over that time frame it has been divided several times and we're finally seeing the cupping that gave rise to its name in the first place.
One of the 2010 OP seedlings started to show signs of serration by summer 2011 and by late June 2012 it has grown quite nicely into a plant with multiple shoots and clear signs of serration. I'm quite excited by this one and look forward to be able to grow it into maturity. I have given it the garden name "Monashee Sawmill" for the time being. It may not appear to have quite the same blue bloom as its parent, but that may well be due to the fact the seedling was grown mostly in full sun to maximize its growth. Once it's a little more mature I'll gave it more shade and see if it comes close to the parent's colouration.
Not surprisingly, seeing as it's an uncommon Canadian introduction, Hugo's Database does not add much more information.