Saturday, December 8, 2012

Foxtail Lily

Eremurus

A genus of perennials, with strap-shaped leaves which die down after the early summer display of starry flowers which are borne on a tall feathery spike.
The Foxtail Lilies prefer a protected sunny sites on fertile, well drained soil that is mulched during the winter. The flower stalks on taller species may need to be staked. The fleshy and brittle roots do not like disturbance, so only old and overcrowded plants should be divided.
Additional offsite articles on Eremurus ( Highly Recommended )

http://www.mrsgreenfingers.co.uk/eremus.htm

* photo taken on May 2011 in Howard County, MD


Recommended videos found on internet

Eremurus elwesii
A very large perennial, reaching a maximum size of 13 x 3.3 ( rarely over 6 ) feet, that is native to grasslands in northern Iran where it is very rare.
The leaves are up to 2 feet in length.
The fragrant flowers are yellowish-green or salmon-pink with a green center.
Hardy zones 4 to 8.

'Albus'
Pure white flowers, otherwise identical.

Eremurus himalayaicus
A vigorous perennial, reaching a maximum size of 10 x 3.3 ( usually under 6 ) feet, that is native to Turkestan.
The leaves, up to 4 feet x 2 inches in size, die down before flowering.
The white flowers are borne on very showy, dense spikes, up to 3 feet x 4 inches, during late spring.
Hardy zones 4 to 8 ( possibly 3 on very protected sites ) in full sun on just about any well drained soil.

Eremurus olgae
A perennial, reaching up to 6.5 x 3.5 feet in size, that is native to Turkestan.
The very showy pink or white flowers are borne during a 2 month period from early to mid summer.
Hardy zones 6 to 9.

Eremurus robusta
A vigorous perennial, reaching a maximum size of 10 x 4 feet, that is native to Turkestan.
The leaves, up to 4 feet x 2 inches in size, die down before flowering. The foliage is bright green at first, turning to blue-green.
The pink flowers are borne on very showy, dense spikes, up to 4 feet in length.
Mature clumps may bear up to 800 flowers on a single stovk.
Much hardier than other species, north to zone 4 or 3. It prefers sandy, well drained so

Eremurus stenophyllus
A perennial, reaching a maximum size of 5 x 3 feet. A single plant may bear up to 12 or more flower spikes at a time.
The slender leaves are up to 12 inches in length.
The yellow ( later deepening to orange ) flowers, up to 1.6 inches across, are borne on spikes up to 18 inches in length, during early summer.
Hardy zones 6 to 9.

Eremurus turkestanicum ( Turkestan Foxtail Lily )
A perennial, reaching a maximum size of 5 x 3 feet, that is native to dry mountain grasslands in central Asia.
The slender leaves form a basal rosette.
The yellowish-green flowers are borne on a tall spike.
Hardy zones 5 to 8 in full sun on very well drained, sandy soils.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Caricature Plant


Graptophyllum pictum
A medium-size tropical shrub, reaching up to 8 x 4 feet, that is also grown as a summer annual ( up to 4 feet ) in cooler climates. It is great for use in planters in temperate climates.
The leathery leaves are up to 7 inches in length. The attractive multi-color foliage is the main reason this plant is grown.
Hardy zones 10 to 12 ( tolerating as low as 25 F though defoliating around 35 F ), thriving in sun or shade on just about any well drained soil that is consistently moist during summer. It is very heat tolerant but generally not drought tolerant except for very well established plants. They can be cut back hard if needed. It is fast and easy to propagated from softwood cuttings placed in water.

* photos taken on Aug 30 2012 in Columbia, MD

Cape Marigold

Osteospermum
Also called Dimorphoteca, these are not the true Marigold ( Tagetes ) though are distant relatives. They are used for edging, massing and planters. The very showy flowers have additional value in attracting butterflies.
Most species require full sun and are hardy zones 8 to 10. They thrive on well drained soils and are very drought and salt tolerant. Insects and diseases do not often attack these plants. Propagation is easy from seed sown after threat of frost has passed or cuttings taken during summer. The seeds should be sown on surface or covered very lightly and kept moist until germinating. Young plants should be pinched to encourage dense habit.
A highly recommended external site on these great plants is
www.osteospermum.com/

* photos taken on May 17 2012 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on Dec 6 2015 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on May 22 2012 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on Aug 31 2015 in Columbia, MD


Osteospermum barberae
A moderate growing, succulent perennial, reaching a maximum size of 3 x 3 ( usually much lower ) feet.
The bright purple, pink or white ( with dark eye ), daisy-like flowers are borne mid spring to late summer.
Hardy zones 4 to 9 in full sun.

'Purple Mountain'
A low, spreading, succulent perennial, reaching a maximum size of 10 inches x 3 feet.
The bright purple, daisy-like flowers are borne mid spring to late summer.

Osteospermum ecklonis
A fast growing, shrubby perennial in mild climates ( annual in colder climates ), it can reach a maximum size of 5 x 4 feet though typically about half that. It is rare in its native South Africa while considered invasive in some parts of Australia.
The flowers, up to 3 inches across, are white ( blue beneath ) with a light blue disc.
Hardy zones 9 to 12 ( possibly 8 against protected south facing walls ). In mild climates where it is a perennial, it should be cut back hard yearly to encourage dense habit.

Osteospermum 'Lavender Mist'
A clumping, groundcover perennial, reaching up to 1 x 4 feet.
The flowers are lavender.
Hardy zones 5 to 8

Four of Clock Flower

Mirabilis jalapa
A tuberous rooted, bushy, herbaceous perennial, reaching a maximum size of 6.5 x 4 ( rarely over 4 ), that is native to subtropical to tropical parts of the Americas. In cooler climates it stays closer to 2 x 2 feet.
The heart-shaped leaves, up to 6 x 3.5 inches in size, are deep green.
The fragrant, yellow, purplish-pink to red, trumpet-shaped flowers, up to 2 x 2 inches , are borne throughout the summer. The flowers each open during late afternoon, lasting into the following day. The short life of each flower is made up for by their continual abundance.
Hardy zones 8 to 11 in full sun on just about any fertile, well drained soil. Propagation is from division during early spring or seed sown during spring.

* photo of unknown internet source

* photos taken on July 25 2015 @ Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario


Mirabilis multiflora ( Colorado Four O'Clock )
A very dense, broad, mounding perennial, reaching up to 1.5 x 6 feet, that is native to the southwestern U.S> ( from central California to central Nevada to southeast Colorado; south to the Baja Peninsula to southwest Texas ).
The attractive leathery foliage is mid-green. The snooth-edged, oval leaves are up to 3 inches in length.
The very abundant, intense purple-pink, funnel-shaped flowers are borne over a long season lasting from mid-summer to late autumn or first hard frost.
Hardy zones 4 to 8 in full sun to partial shade on dry, well drained soil. It is very drought tolerant due to its massive deep taproot. Slow to establish but very long-lived. It is not eaten by rabbit or deer.

* photo taken on Aug 24 2017 @ U.S. Botanic Garden, Wash. DC.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Isu Tree

Distylium
A small genus of evergreen shrubs and trees, related to Loropetalums and the Witch Hazels, that is native to eastern Asia.

Distylium myricoides ( Blue Leaf Isu Tree )
A moderate growing, gracefully arching, layered, spreading, evergreen shrub, reaching up to 12 x 8 feet. that is native to mountain evergreen forests in China. Some records include: 5 years - 3 x 7 feet; 8 years - 5 x 8 feet. It makes an excellent substitute for the overabundant Otto Luyken Cherrylaurel.
The narrow, oblanceolate, leathery, eucalyptus-like leaves are up to 4.5 x 1.6 inches in size. The foliage is glossy blue-green.
The puffy deep red flowers are borne during early spring.
The flowers are followed by a woody capsule.
Hardy zones 7 to 9 in full sun to partial shade on acidic to neutral, fertile, well drained soil.

'Lucky Charm'
A low, spreading form, developed by Piroche Plants in British Columbia, that reaches a maximum size of only 5 x 8 ( rarely taller than 3 ) feet. It is great for massed plantings and slopes.

Distylium racemosum ( Isu Tree )
A dense, upright, evergreen, large shrub to large tree, reaching a maximum size of 60 ( rarely over 20 ) feet, that is native to Korea, southern Japan and neighboring parts of China. Some records include: 30 years - 20 feet; largest on record - 100 x 50 feet with a trunk diameter of 4 feet. It makes a great evergreen hedge or windbreak in the southeastern U.S. Long lived, it can persist as long as 600 years.
The oval leaves are up to 5 x 2 ( rarely over 3 x 1.5 ) inches in size. The thick foliage is glossy deep green.
The small, deep red flowers are borne in clusters up to 3 inches, during late spring.
The fruits are small, brown woody capsules.
Hardy zones 6b to 9 in full sun on moist, acidic, light, fertile soil though it does tolerate heavy clay. It is very heat and drought tolerant; it thrives in the southeastern U.S. It is pest, and disease free and generally easy to grow. Distyliums are considered to be deer resistant. They are easily transplanted from containerized plants. Pruning is generally not needed, however tip pruning after flowering and during early summer will encourage denser habit. Propagation is easy from cuttings.

Hybrids
These are the hybrids between Distylium myricoides & D. racemosum. Care is the same as Distylium racemosum.

‘Blue Cascade’
Compact, sreading and weeping in habit, reaching up to 3 x 8 feet in 5 years, eventually 4 x 10 feet possible.
The foliage is bronze-purple at first, turning to deep blue-green.
The red flowers are borne from the leaf axils during late winter.
Hardy zones 7 to 9 ( reports of 6 ) in full sun to partial shade.

* photo taken on Oct 17 2014 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on July 15 2015 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on Oct 22 2015 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on Jan 1 2016 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on Sep 13 2016 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on Dec 20 2016 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on Mar 25 2017 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on July 25 2017 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on Oct 17 2017 in Columbia, MD


‘Emerald Heights’
Fast growing, dense, rounded and upright in habit, reaching up to 10 x 8.5 feet in 5 years, eventually up to 13 x 10 feet or slightly more. Some records include: fastest growth rate - 3 feet. The layered branching gives it an exotic effect.
It is great for evergreen screening.
The attractive leathery foliage is glossy deep green.
The small, red, axilliary flowers are borne during late winter.
Hardy zones 7 to 9

* photo taken @ Smithsonian Inst, Wash., DC on Aug 25 2014

* photos taken on Sep 3 2012 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on May 2 2017 in Odenton, MD

* photos taken on Aug 28 2017 in Odenton, MD

* photo taken on Oct 15 2017 in Odenton, MD


‘Vintage Jade’
A moderate growing, low, groundcover form, reaching up to 4 x 11 feet. Some records include: 5 years - 2 x 8 feet. Vintage Jade is great for covering large areas.
The foliage is glossy deep green.
The deep-red flowers are borne late winter.
Hardy zones 6b to 9 in full sun to partial shade.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Porcelain Berry

Ampelopsis
A genus of deciduous vines that are related to Grapes. They are mostly known for attractive foliage as well as the berries that are produced in climates with hot summers. These plants should NOT be used be used in the humid mid-Atlantic and southeast U.S. where they may turn into noxious weeds and take over natural habitat. They are far less vigorous in Canada, New England and the Pacific Northwest...seeds typically do not ripen and germinate where the growing seasons are shorter.

Ampelopsis aconitifolia ( Monkshood Vine )
A very fast growing vine, reaching up to 40 feet high, that is native to northern China. Some records include: fastest growth rate - 17 feet.
The fine-textured, pinnate or palmate leaves are up to 5 inches across.
The tiny flowers are followed by yellow to orange berries.
Hardy zones 2b to 8 in full sun to partial shade on fertile, well drained soil.

Ampelopsis arborea ( Peppervine )
A very fast growing, tendril-climbing vine, reaching up to 30 feet, that is native to eastern North America ( from Missouri to southwest Ohio to Maryland; south to Mexico to southern Florida ).
The ferny bipinnate leaves are composed of deeply-toothed or lobed, pointed leaflets. The foliage is luxuriant deep green, turning to orange or red during autumn.
Hardy zones 7 to 9 in full sun to partial shade on just about any fertile soil. It is drought tolerant and also sand or wet soils.

* photos taken on June 30 2013 @ U.S. National Arboretum, DC


Ampelopsis brevipedunculata ( Porcelain Berry )
A vigorous, tendril-climbing, twining, woody vine, reaching a maximum height of 66 feet. Porcelain Berry is native to eastern Russia, China, Korea and Japan. Some records include: fastest growth rate - 20 feet. It has potential to become an invasive weed in much of the eastern U.S. and either should not be used in some areas or replaced with the cultivar 'Elegans'
The 3 to 5 lobed, heart-shaped leaves, up to 6 x 5 inches in size, are smooth, deep green.
The tiny, pale green flowers are borne during late summer.
They are followed by small bright blue berries up to 0.3 inches wide. Plants can bear fruit as early as the second year in growth.
Hardy zones 3 to 8 in full sun to partial shade on fertile, well drained soil.

* photo taken on Aug 3 2014 @ National Zoo, Washington, DC

* photo taken on Aug 15 2014 at Maryland Zoo, Baltimore, MD


'Elegans'
Much slower growing and controllable, with attractive variegated foliage. Prefers moist soil and partial shade. Cut back hard every 2 years.

* photo taken on Aug 3 2012 in Bayfield, Ontario


Ampelopsis cordata ( Heartleaf Peppervine )
A fast growing vine, reaching up to 8 x 23 feet in 10 years if growing on a fence. Some records include: growth rate - 4 feet. It is native to the southeastern U.S. ( from north-central Kansas to southeast Nebraska to central Illinois to southern Ohio to central Maryland; south to central Texas to northwest Florida to central South Carolina ).
Hardy zones 5 to 8, it is partially hardy as far north as Ottawa, Ontario where it grows as a herbaceous perennial.

* USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database


Ampelopsis megalophylla
A very vigorous vine with huge double-pinnate leaves, up to 24 x 30 inches, composed of leaflets up to 6 x 2.5 inches. The foliage is glossy deep green. The fall color is often very attractive.
The fruits are glossy and purplish-black.
This western China native is hardy zones 5 to 8.