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Titanotrichum oldhamii - Growing Guide

Caring for Titanotrichum oldhamii

Oldham’s Gold Woodland Foxglove

This is a fairly recent and very splendid introduction from China and Taiwan where it grows in rock faces. It is supposedly a tropical plant related to the African violet but has actually proved to be a perfectly hardy perennial with us. In Cornwall it readily survives a mild winter but will need protection from frost elsewhere. Since it dies down in winter a leaf covering or mulch may suffice. Otherwise it is a plant for a larger pot in a frost free greenhouse. It likes a moist but well drained location.

The leaves are crinkly and dark green with a purple backing. They form a decent clump when established which may be up to 12in wide. In September and October Titanotrichum oldhamii produces spikes of golden yellow foxglove like flowers. The spikes are about 1ft in height and are particularly stunning at this late stage of the year. Long after all other foxglove flowers are of course over.

The centres of each individual ‘foxglove’ flower are a vivid red and the flowers open progressively from the base.

Propagation from side shoot cuttings is difficult but the seed is easily collected and germinates quickly in the spring. Regeneration is also by tiny bulbils that develop beside the plant and can readily be potted up and grown on in the greenhouse until more mature.

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