Friday, December 30, 2011

Fernbush

Chamaebatiaria millifolium
An upright, rounded, semi-evergreen shrub, reaching up to 8 x 8 feet, that is native to western North America ( from central Oregon to central Idaho; south to central California to central Arizona ).
The bipinnate leaves are up to 3.2 inches in length, The attractive, fine textured foliage is downy olive green. In zone 7 and warmer, it is evergreen.
The white flowers, up to 1 inch wide, are borne on showy spikes during summer. The flower racemes resemble that of the lilac.
The flaky bark is reddish.
Hardy zones 4 to 9 ( possibly 3 for central Idaho seed source ) in full sun on well drained soil. Clay and drought tolerant. Deer resistant.
Remove old flowerheads during early spring to clean up bush.

* photos taken by Jean Pawek @ CalPhotos

* historic archive photo


Spiraenthus schrenkianus
Also part of the Rosacaea family and is closely related to Chamaebatiaria.
It is a very attractive, dense, medium-sized, deciduous shrub, reaching a maximum size of 6.5 x 13 feet. It is native to Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan and is extremely endangered in the wild.
It is an ancient relict, having survived since the The Eocene epoch, which lasted from 56 to 33.9 million years ago. It has much potential for large scale use in stabilizing sand dunes and well as being a quality ornamental shrub for dry continental climates.
The narrow, fernlike, linear leaves, up to 5 x 0.2 inches in size, are bright green.
The pink flowers are borne on long, dense panicles, up to 8 inches in length, during mid-summer. The flowering season lasts from 3 to 5 weeks.
Hardy zones 6 to 8 ( 5 on protected sites ) in full sun on very well drained soil. It is extremely drought tolerant and also very heat tolerant. It may be propagated from seed only.

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