Useful information

Jeffersonia

Based on the materials of the magazine

Garden & Kindergarten No. 4, 2006

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Jeffersonia dubia

The graceful plants of the genus Jeffersonia (Jeffersonia). This genus was named after the third President of the United States, Thomas Jefferson, and originally included two species. One of them, Jeffersonia double-leafed (Jeffersonia diphylla), common on the Atlantic coast of the United States, and the other is Jeffersonia dubious (Jeffersonia dubia) - lives in the Russian Primorye and in the north-east of China. Both species are typical forest plants associated with rich soils. But morphologically, they are very different from each other, and at present, the species widespread in Asia, is distinguished into a special genus of beetroot (Plagiorhegma).

Jeffersonia is doubtful - a squat or even carpet plant with thin, highly branched roots. It blooms in early spring in late April - early May before leaves appear. On peduncles 5–10 cm high, flowers bloom with five to six petals of a rare color in nature - delicate lilac with a pinkish or bluish tint. Each flower is small, but in a clump they are quite numerous and create an unusually colorful spot of color. The only drawback of this plant is the short flowering period (about a week). But don't regret it. Having enjoyed such a colorful show that you will live with pleasant memories for a whole year. Moreover, the plant is not whimsical at all - it blooms stably and regularly, regardless of weather conditions. The leaves are also a very pleasant surprise. They are dense, leathery, cordate at the base, with a notch at the top. Young leaves are violet-red, later turn green with a bluish tinge. Leaves adorn the plant until late autumn, and die off in the winter. Seeds ripen in late May - early June in elongated capsules. The boxes are opened in the upper part with an oblique slit, which is why the new name of the plant occurs. The seeds do not last long and should be sown shortly after the fruit is ripe. In suitable shady places, dubious Jeffersonia often gives self-seeding. The plant is very easy to cultivate, transplants well at different times and multiplies easily by division. Forms dense compact rugs over time. One of the best types for miniature compositions with small plants.

Jeffersonia diphylla

Jeffersonia two-leaved, unlike the previous species, is a powerful, slightly sprawling bush. An adult plant reaches 50 cm in height. The root system is compact with numerous thin filamentous roots. Flowers on peduncles up to 30 cm tall. It blooms in the middle - second half of May, when the leaves are not yet fully formed. The flowers are whitish, small, with eight petals. It also blooms for a short time, about a week. But its extraordinarily beautiful leaves give this plant a special charm. The leaf blade consists of two lobes connected by a narrow constriction at the point of attachment to a long (40–50 cm) thin petiole. Each lobe is decorated with teeth, and in general, the leaf blade resembles the wings of a butterfly. The leaves are green, in autumn they are painted in bronze tones. Fruits are capsules in the form of small horns or jugs with a lid.

The seeds are like small peas. Ripen around late July - early August. As soon as the seeds are ripe, the lid opens, the jug bends over and the seeds spill out. Therefore, it is important not to miss the moment of seed ripening, but it is best to collect them before opening the capsule. Jeffersonia bifold can produce self-seeding. It is better to sow seeds fresh soon after ripening, and they often sprout in the second year. As a rule, seed germination is quite high. Seedlings in the first year develop rather slowly, but on the whole they are amazingly tenacious. Young individuals bloom in the third or fourth year.The plant is quite unpretentious and, under favorable conditions, can live in one place for decades without losing its decorative effect. It is possible to propagate Jeffersonia two-leaved by division, but it is more preferable to grow from seeds to obtain mass material. This Jeffersonia looks unusually decorative in compositions with finger glaucidium, outstanding in beauty and similar in habit.