Macleaya microcarpa 'Kelway's Coral Plume'
Native to China and Japan, this is a giant plant for the back of the border that can reach 2 metres in a single growing season.
The robust hollow stems are erect and do not require staking despite the height. These stems were once used in China as a primitive kind of flute although the sap can cause irritation so don't try this at home.
It spreads by thick underground rhizomes but is easily controlled by cutting through any unwanted roots with a sharp spade.
Although quite adaptable to garden conditions the plants prefer a deep, moderately fertile soil that is moist but well-drained.
Primarily grown for its blue-green, vine-like leaves, the flowers are very attractive too. These are large pendant plumes that turn from pink to a pleasing bronzy brown and twinkle in the sunlight.
Cut the whole plant to the ground in autumn as It will disappear with the first frosts and emerge in early summer.
A striking ornamental for the larger garden.
Photo: Blackstem Plants
White, pinkish brown
Moist but well-drained
Full sun, partial shade