30 July 2008

Looking for Seeds of Maxus radicans 'motley mazus'





A reader wrote today in response to a February blog entry, "Stepables has a new variety of mazus radicans "motley mazus". It has a varying array of dark foilage with white blooms and can tolerate heavier foot traffic. I am very interrested in mass planting this but it is cost prohibative thru this source. Do you know if this plant is available by seed? I am having difficulty finding information via the web for this." Thank you ~ Bruce
I love a research question so I hit the search engines. Here is what I found.
The native range for Mazus miquelii Makino distribution:USA (MA, ME, MI, NC, NJ, NY, PA, WV). County distributions for the following U.S. states are available at PLANTS:MI, NC, NY, PA, WV. That info is from the USDA.
Missouri Plants' site says Mazus is "Native to eastern Asia. Other info. - This little introduced species is rare in Missouri but will most certainly spread with time. The small flowers are quite striking and the plant is sometimes grown as a rock garden ornamental. It grows easily from seed and many seeds are produced with each fruit. Many flying insects are attracted to the flowers."
Easy to start from seed - encouraging information.
B & T Seeds may have Mazus radicans seeds available from a source but you have to fill out a want list form at this link.
Plants for a Future says its leaves are edible but no info on seed sources. But at the Pfaf site I learned that Mazus is in the plant family, Scrophulariaceae along with Foxglove, Snapdragon, Eyebright, Hyssop, Toadflax, Monkey Flower, Lousewort, Beardtongue, Penstemon, Figwort and Mullein, among others.
At the Perennial Club I found that it's common name is Freckled Mazus. Here is their info
Mazus radicans, Common name : Freckled Mazus
"Freckled Mazus is a beautiful groundcover for any sunny to partly shaded area with moist or even wet soil. Plants form a low creeping mat of bronze-spotted leaves, studded with small lavender-mauve flowers in late spring. Perfect for planting between flagstones or using as a lawn substitute. Evergreen in mild winter regions. Plants are easily divided by ripping apart into pieces and replanting each small bit with roots attached. Tolerates hot, humid summers."
Mazus radicans is listed as available on the 2007/08 seedlist of the Scottish Rock Garden Club. If you contact them and join, you could get seed through a members' trade.
Other than that, there seem to be no seeds at any of the common and obscure seed sources I know about. Most of the references say that the plants produce quite a bit of seed. You may have to bite the bullet and purchase a couple of plants in order to have seed and fill your garden slowly.
Arrowhead Alpines has the plants for $5.50.
By the way, this is not actually a new plant. The plants were written about as early as 1927 at the Royal Society of New Zealand.
Thanks for the search challenge. Maybe another reader has an idea about where to find the seeds.

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