Plant of the Week: Gunnera Manicata

This one is a true in the time of dinosaurs plant. I saw it a few weeks ago in a Mendocino garden and I almost had a horticultural heart attack. The rough textured leaves were impressive and golden light shining through them on that afternoon pretty much rushed it to the top of my favorite plants I have ever seen list. The leaves are able to grow up to 4 feet in diameter and the rough textured leaves, spiky skin, and protruding panicles (the flowers)  give it a distinctive and sturdy feel.

Gunnera Manicata can be found of the Island of Arran in Scotland. It is said that the locals pick the giant leaves and use them for umbrellas the night before the highland games! If you would like to have your own shady magical hiding space I highly recommend this plant, just make sure you have enough space, the one I experienced was a massive plant and over 8 feet tall. They also prefer damp conditions, so they are often seen residing by ponds.

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