Monday, September 24, 2018

Fall Plant Sale Preview: Chinese foxglove

Rehmannia elata growing near the peony collection in the
Culberson Asiatic Arboretum. Photo by Beth Hall.
By Annie Yang
Duke Class of 2020

Rehmannia elata is commonly called Chinese foxglove for its resemblance to foxgloves, but this herbaceous perennial is actually a member of a completely different family, Orobanchaceae.  Although this plant is native to China, Chinese foxglove thrives in the warmer climate of North Carolina and is a lovely addition to local gardens.

Rehmannia elata grows best in loose, moist, and well-drained soils. It prefers part shade, especially appreciating the morning sun and afternoon shade during hot summer days, and it also tolerates almost full shade. Once established, it is also drought resistant. However, be sure to protect Chinese foxglove from freezing temperatures during the winter with a good layer of mulch. Rehmannia elata is also generally pest free, attracting only the occasional slug or snail.

Unlike true foxgloves, Chinese foxglove will repeat bloom for 3-4 months, usually unfurling its bell-shaped petals from May to September, with the heaviest bloom around June and July. Rehmannia elata is generally low maintenance, but if you want to see it keep blooming, you’ll have to remove its spent flowers. However, this little bit of work is well worth it. Its attractive rosy purple color is sure to brighten up any shade garden!

Date: Saturday, Sept. 29, 2018
Time: 9 a.m.-noon
Member benefits: Duke Gardens members get 10% off all purchases, plus access to the members-only previews sale from 8-9 a.m., and a full list of plants in advance! Join online or on site beginning at 7:30 a.m.
Parking: Free.
Pets not permitted. Please see Duke Gardens' pets policy here.
Wagons + boxes: Our supply is limited; please bring your own if possible, and you'll have more time to spend gathering beautiful plants.
Your support helps Duke Gardens to provide summer internships to aspiring horticulturists from across the nation.
Please see our event page for more information, and we'd love for you to spread the word by sharing the event on Facebook and inviting your friends.
Thank you!

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