Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Chimeras- Tame Beasties in the Garden

We all remember the wonderful mythical beasts where two species melded into one – The head of a woman on the body of an eagle (a Harpy) or the man-bull Minotaur. But did you know that this can really happen in the plant kingdom?
When two different species interbreed, they are called a Chimera, just as the intermingled monsters used to be named. But the plant versions are hardly monsters, but charming additions to our gardens.
Two such chimeras are Fatshedera – a cross between Fatsia and Ivy (Hedera) and Heucherella – a cross between Coral Bells (Heuchera) and Foam Flower (Tiarella).

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