Friday, May 25, 2012
I have grown this plant in my front border for 7 or 8 years. It sat there all that time, a mound of these strappy green leaves which always looked the same. A week ago, after I got home from a long trip I noticed something different about it. What was that giant whitish thing coming out of the top of the plant? Could it be that it was going to bloom? It is hard to tell from the picture, but this is a gigantic bloom stalk. The plant itself, without the bloom, is massive, being about 5 or 6 feet tall and as much around. The bloom stalk is several inches in diameter.
For those dying to know what plant this is, it is Nolina "La Sibirica". I have loved nolinas ever since I discovered they were absolutely hardy in our climate. I grow 2 species in my front border--this one and Nolina nelsonii. They made it through our cold spell the winter before last, which killed so many plants in so many gardens here, without a whimper. I have grown them from very small plants into quite large ones and they have never complained. They grow in my front border which is never watered and which is the home range of a herd of deer. They are a year round evergreen presence.
One question which I and others have is whether the plant will die after blooming. That would be a bummer. According to information found on the internet, nolinas , unlike agaves, are not supposed to die after blooming. However, my sister grew this plant, and it bloomed and then died, so we shall see.
For those wishing to try gowing nolinas, they are not easily found. You can get them from Cistus Nursery on Sauvie Island, near Portland, from Yucca Do, which is a mail order nursery in Texas, and from Plant Delights Nursery, which is a mail order nursery in North Carolina.