HORTUS

Tetrapanax papyrifer ‘Rex’

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This beauty (The very biggest leaf in this picture) is Tetrapanax ‘Rex’. Not only does it have a Jurassic name, but it has a Jurassic appearance too, with leaves that burst from their powdery bronzed unfurled state and expand themselves to eventual metre wide monsters. Leaves are a vaguely matt green and retain the bronzy bloom throughout their youth and on their stems in a perfect shade of freshly sprayed prom queen.

Tetrapanax ‘Rex’ are a hardy enough lot here in Southern Ireland, dropping their leaf in winter, but bursting forth again come Spring from a nice thick stem that lengthens with every passing year, eventually giving the plant a height of up to 7 metres, though probably smaller in these parts. If you’re a bit of a sucker for a proper meaty foliage plant, Tetrapanax ‘Rex’ is a bit of an essential addition, being a member of the Araliaceae, sure why wouldn’t it be!

Give them a nice bit of space and some mulch and then leave them to it. We have ours at the back of a wide, South facing border where they fill a corner and compete with Macleaya cordata and Echinops ritro.

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