"Saruma henryi: From Western China, this close relative of the Asarums is not often found in cultivation. Gorgeous felty, heart-shaped leaves are purplish when they first unfurl in spring. These are followed by subtle, soft yellow flowers which continue to appear, often until late fall. Extremely choice. 18". " Blue Meadow Farm catalogue 2003.
It is hard to believe I got this plant from one of my all-time favorite nurseries a decade ago. Alice and Brian McGowan ran an amazing nursery in Montague, MA for the first ten years of my gardening career. At the time, I had no idea how lucky I was. They had unusual annuals, perennials and woody plants that I had never heard about but it seemed any time I read about some spectacular plant, they carried it. This plant is a favorite. It looks great all season long. Excellent foliage and form. It even has politely self-seeded in unexpected shady spots in the garden. I have divided it over the years and have some handsome stands of it in the woodland garden. It has been quite happy in the dryish shade there. Blue Meadow Farm closed in 2005. I wish I had bought more of their plants. I still use the catalogue as a resource. Brian now works as the Assistant Director of Horticulture at Wave Hill in the Bronx and I often run into him there when I visit. Our loss here in New England was Wave Hill's gain.