PVC Bulletin July 2006






Potomac Valley Chapter

North American Rock Garden Society



Volume 8, Number 4


July  2006


This bulletin is a bimonthly publication of the Potomac Valley Chapter, NARGS

Jim  McKenney, Editor jimmckenney@jimmckenney.com 301-770-1867


Calendar, 2006  

The Calendar is currently empty: our next meeting will probably be sometime in September, 2006, but the details have yet to be decided. Watch this web site for those details. The editor will run a marquee with the basic details.


Next Deadline August 15, 2006


New Members

Welcome to the following new members:

Lee Benton  -- Lorton, VA

Anne Bunai--Olney, MD

Fee Wah Cheung--Silver Spring, MD

Patricia Goins--Fairfax, VA

John and Dona Hardi--Falls Church, VA

Ford Jones--Falls Church,VA

Mary Pierce--Alexandria, VA

Judith Pont--Kensington, MD

Phyllis Rittman--Fairfax, VA

Gloria Robinson--Strasburg, VA

Marilyn Semmes--Bethesda, MD

Martha Smith--Washington, DC




Kitagawia terebinthacea, a New Plant for Our Area


On May 27 we took 17 seedlings of Kitagawia terebinthacea to the plant exchange.  We haven't grown it before or seen it in our area.  The seeds were furnished by the Denver Botanic Garden.  I requested them because I remembered the plant from a talk that Panayoti Kelaidis of DBG gave to our chapter in early 2005.  The plant's unusual name and the fact that Panayoti had mentioned it as an especially good grower in Denver stuck in my mind.  The seeds germinated easily under a mist system with bottom heat.


At the time we brought the seedlings to the exchange, I didn't have cultural information, so I was unable to provide suggestions for growing the plant.  I have since written to Panayoti and received some useful tips, and I have also done some research here at the Smithsonian. 


Kitagawia was described as a genus of five Asian species of Apiaceae (formerly Umbelliferae -  carrot or parsley family) in 1986 by the Russian botanist Michael Pimenov.  The genus was named for the Japanese botanist Masao Kitagawa, who was a specialist on this family of plants. "Terebinthacea" means "resembling terpentine." [I thank my colleague Stan Shetler for translating parts of the original paper, which was in Russian.]


In the Flora of the U.S.S.R. vol. 17 (1951; English translation 1974) Kitagawia terebinthacea is called  Peucedanum terebinthaceum.  It is described as a perennial with stems 40-80 cm (16-32 in.) tall. The leaves are divided, as is typical of members of this family.  The flat-topped inflorescences are 7-15 cm (3-6 in.) across, containing numerous, tiny white flowers.  (The 10 collections of this plant in the U.S. National Herbarium, Smithsonian Institution, have inflorescences about half that size, but only one specimen is from Russia.).  The species grows in meadows, among shrubs, in pine and broad-leaved forests and on stony slopes in Russia where it flowers in July and August and fruits in September.  It also occurs in China, Korea and Japan. 


Here are the recommended growing conditions from Panayoti: "Kitagawia seems to grow just about anywhere. We have it in full sun (dryish scree) with daphnes and aubrieta and full shade along with Astilbe and ferns. It seems to do just about equally well in either site, which is to say I think it will grow anywhere for you. It's only flaw is that it's monocarpic, mostly biennial. But it does self sow moderately (for us) and is a welcome garden denizen. Original seed [came] from Alexandra Bertukenko."


So there you have it.  The plant is medium-sized, might grow anywhere, and it flowers at  the height of summer.  It is a perennial in its native haunts, but seems to flower once and then die in Denver.  Let's hope it doesn't seed around too much here.  If it turns out to be a great garden plant, remember where you got it.  If it's a weed, don't!  This is an experiment, so please let me know how Kitagawia does for you and I'll report our collective experience.                                                                              Bob Faden


Cardiocrinum cathayanum flowers again in the Potomac Valley

Jim Dronenberg and Dan Weil have done it again: one of their Cardiocrinum cathayanum flowered this year. Dan photographed many stages of the development of the plant and then put together a very nice slide show of these images. They can be viewed at:






Other images, Editor Photos

Use this link to see the twenty-five images of the Fadens' work at Simpson Park 

Use this link to see  37 images on the Image Page PVC Bulletin July 2006