Heloniopsis orientalis

The flowers of this plant caught my eye in Japan recently – thanks to Bill Dijk who almost instantly named it for me! I have now learned this evergreen perennial likes a reliably moist soil in part shade, which would explain why I saw it growing beside water in the garden of Ginkakuji (Silver Pavilion) in Kyoto.

Spring-flowering Heloniopsis orientalis is native to Japan and Korea. Photo: Sandra Simpson

There seems to be a few colours, ranging from white to purple, and some named hybrids available. However, the plant appears not to be for sale in New Zealand!

Photo: Sandra Simpson

For those in New Zealand, English garden broadcaster Monty Don is currently exploring Japanese gardens, screening on Choice TV on Fridays at 9.30pm or watch it on demand.

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