Saturday, August 3, 2013

Culver Root


Veronicastrum sibiricum ( Siberian Culver Root )
Very similar to Veronicastrum virginica, except for having broader leaves ( up to 6 x 2 inches ) and blue flowers on thicker spikes. It is native from eastern Siberia to Sakhalin; south to northern China to Japan. Hardy zones 3 to 8.

* photo taken on Jul 18 2017 @ Dominion Arboretum, Ottawa, ON

Veronicastrum virginica ( American Culver Root )
Also called Veronica virginicum. A perennial, forming an impressive large clump, up to 7 x 4 feet, that is native to rich woods and swamps in northeastern North America ( from southeast Manitoba to International Falls to Michigan's Upper Peninsula to southern Ontario to western New York State to southern Maine; south to far eastern Oklahoma to central Mississippi to central Georgia ). In the Windsor/Essex County, Ontario region; it was abundant at Detroit, the Detroit River islands, the Ojibway Prairie in Windsor as well as the Ohio shore during the 1800s. Slow to establish, taking a few years but worth the wait.
The sharply-toothed, lance-shaped leaves, up to 6 x 1 inches in size, are arranged in whorls of 4 to 7 around the stems. The foliage is deep green.
The small white flowers are borne on long wands, up to 10 inches in length, from mid-summer into early autumn.
The flowers attract butterflies and honey bees.
Hardy zones 3 to 8 in full sun to partial shade on moist to wet, acidic, fertile, well drained soil. Too much shade will cause plants to be spindly and flop over. Lack of drainage during winter may cause loss of plants.
Pest and disease problems do not normally occur, though rare cases of mildew and leaf spot are known.
Propagation is from seed or division during fall or spring. New plants are best installed during spring before active growth begins.

* photos taken on July 1 2010 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on Aug 5 2017 @ Brookside Gardens, Wheaton, MD

* historic archive photo

Pure white flowers, otherwise identical.

* photo of unknown internet source

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

Reddish-purple flowers; otherwise identical to species.

Reaches up to 6 feet with lilac-pink flowers borne in long racemes up to 15 inches in length.
Attractive deep green foliage.

'Lavender Tower'
Lavender flowers

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

'Lilac Carina'
Lavender-blue flowers.

* photo taken on July 1 2011 in Columbia, MD

Reaches a maximum size of 7 x 4 feet with pale pink flowers borne in long spikes form mid-summer into early autumn.

* photos taken on Aug 2 2013 in Stratford, Ontario

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