Saturday, June 6, 2009

Jurrasic Park

I first saw "Rice Paper Plant" when I was touring Ryan Gainey's garden a few years ago, thinking how awesome and tropical it looked, just popping up here and there in different parts of the garden. It has just enormous leaves, something like Fatisa japonica, but with a lighter color and texture. At the height of summer, it is about five feet tall here in Atlanta. When I inquired that day, Ryan commented that it was "quite easy to grow."

I next saw this fabulous plant at Lisa Bartlett's garden. In her trademark "meek and mild" way , Lisa enthusiastically offered to give me a couple of shoots. On the day I was going back to get the actually shoots, Lisa said (only half in jest) that she would like my request for Tetrapanax papyiferus IN WRITING! When I asked why, she smugly said, "You'll know in a year or two....."

It's now been more than a year......

Fortunately I still think it's an awesome plant, and gives a really amazing architecture to the garden. It is in the category of Alice's cleome, however, in that it tends to be a little rambunctious. Definitely one of those that you want to keep on top of, but worth the added attention. My two shoots are now thirty......sort of like when little children ask for a pet bunny......


  1. Hmm well its still a wonderful focal point for any garden. I think I might stay away from this though if its that "rambunctious... At least for now :D.

  2. I have the variety that is sometimes listed as Steroidal Giant. It is everything you said, only the leaves can reach close to 3' wide.