What’s in a (plant) name?

When September rolls around, it’s time to plant! 🙂

Up north, I’d go nuts tracking down unique bulbs, then race the clock to get them in-ground before the sneaky first frost arrived.  Here it’s a bit more leisurely: if something doesn’t grow (or look) as expected, you can replace it with something else a few months later.  I’m constantly moving plants around and taking chances with the exotic and unusual. My latest experiment is this variegated form of the standard Amicia Zygomeris, a woody perennial from Mexico with a downright crazy common name: Gotta Pea:

Gotta Pea John's Big Splash,

I’m not just any Gotta Pea….I’m John’s Big Splash!

As you might have guessed, A. zygomeris is a moderately hardy member of the pea family (zones 7b-10.) It has heart shaped leaves and unusual half-moon stipules gradating from purple to green.

Amicia Zygomeris, 9/3/13

In autumn, clumps of yellow flowers open along short racemes, as seen in this botanical drawing:


Seven years ago, John Tuite, a nurseryman from England, noticed a variegated shoot growing among his standard Gotta Peas. In his own words, “I am especially interested in propagating plants that develop variegation or a different colour break and have introduced several new plants over the years if they prove to keep their distinctive foliage reliably when grown in the garden over time

Tuite propagated and nurtured his single plant into several more, which he passed along to Bob Brown, a friend and variegation specialist from Cotswold Garden Flowers. Their propagation efforts continued, with consistently “splashy” markings on the foliage:

A. Zygomeris John's Big Splash, 9/3/13

According to John, my plant (and others in the U.S.) were supplied by Bob, who is also responsible for naming the new variety, “Gotta Pea, John’s Big Splash.”

Now you know what’s in a name!

Pretty clever…and memorable, yeah?! 🙂

Until next time….

🙂 🙂 🙂




13 thoughts on “What’s in a (plant) name?

  1. Love it! I can’t stop laughing. It looks like it will be a good looking plant that you’ll want to point out to visitors in your garden, but good luck with getting out it’s name withoit cracking up. Your guests may laugh so hard they will pee in their pants.

    • I probably should have chosen a more catchy title though! Not many people have read it (I’ve just taken a quick look at the stats) Thank you for being one of them! It really IS funny, isn’t it?!

  2. This IS funny…and a cute little plant, too! Sorry I’ve been awfully lax about keeping up with reading my friend’s blogs…and sometimes I read and just don’t seem to have the energy to comment on the spot. I’m looking at my time being freed up a bit in a couple weeks. I miss you!

    • Awww….you are so sweet!
      It sounds like your real life has been incredibly busy! I do remember what that was like up north…you really never know when the first frost will hit and feel compelled to get sooooooo much accomplished outside before that happens!
      Like all that raking…omg..my old house was shrouded in enormo trees (150 yr old massive oaks) and if we didn’t keep up with the raking many times the first snow would come in early November and what a disaster! disgusting wet decomposing leaves hanging around the sidewalks/driveway etc until spring!
      So I hear you when you say blogging has to take a back seat! 🙂

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