Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Cumberland Rosemary

Conradina

Conradina canescens
A low growing, evergreen shrub, reaching up to 3 x 4 ( rarely over 2 ) feet in size, that is native to sand dunes on the Gulf Coast of the U.S. ( from southern Mississippi to northern Florida; south to central Florida )
The oppositely-arranged, needle-like leaves, up to 1 inch in length, are fuzzy gray-green. The attractive foliage is rosemary scented.
The bright lavender ( spotted purple ) flowers are borne during early spring.
Hardy zones 7 to 9 in full sun to partial shade on sandy, very well drained soil. It is very tolerant of heat and drought but overwatering can kill though some irrigation might be necessary during the first year.

Conradina etonia ( Etonia Rosemary )
An extremely rare, densely branched shrub, reaching a maximum height of 5 feet, that is native to sandy scrublands in Putnam County, Florida where less than 1000 plants remain on a total of 8 sites. Etonia Rosemary was first discovered as late as 1990.
It is threatened with extinction in the wild.
The aromatic, hairy, rosemary-like leaves have rolled edges.
The lavender ( with deeper streaks ), double-lipped flowers are borne in clusters.
They attract butterflies and honey bees.
Hardy zone 8 in full sun on very well drained sandy soil. Very drought tolerant.

Conradina glabra ( Apalachicola Rosemary )
An extremely rare shrub, reaching up to 32 inches, that is native to Liberty County in Florida only, where only 10 populations are known. It is endangered with extinction in the wild. Some of the remaining populations are within Torreya State Park ( also containing the endangered Florida Torreya ).
The aromatic, linear, needle-like leaves are up to 0.6 inches in length.
The pale lavender ( with dark purple spotting ) flowers are double-lipped.
Hardy zones 8 in full sun on sandy soil.

Conradina verticillata ( Cumberland Rosemary )
A spiny, low, spreading, evergreen shrub, reaching a maximum size of 20 inches x 4 feet, that is native to the Cumberland Plateau in Kentucky and Tennessee where it grows along streams and the upper reaches of floodplains. It is extremely rare and isolated in the wild and is listed federally as threatened. The stems form spreading mats that root as they go. It makes a great groundcover drifting over stone walls.
The aromatic, linear leaves, borne in clusters are up to 1 inch in length. The attractive, fine-textured, deep green foliage resembles Rosemary in appearance and scent. The foliage often turns to bronze during the winter.
The fragrant, lavender-purple ( with red spotting on the lower lip ) double-lipped flowers, up to 1 x 0.5 inches in size, are borne during late spring into early summer. The flowers appear on current season growth.
The stems are shaggy and red.
Hardy zones 5 to 7 in full sun to partial shade on well drained soil. Prefers sandy or rocky soils and tolerates deep sands, temporary flooding and drought. Underused but surprisingly easy to grow as a landscape plant. It is easy to propagate from cuttings dipped in mid strength rooting hormone then stuck in moist sand. It takes well to container production is a lighter potting mix is used.

* photos taken on May 16 2011 in Washington, D.C.


* photos taken @ U.S. Botanical Garden, Wash., DC on Aug 25 2014


'Snowflake'
A rare vigorous form with white flowers

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