Saturday, December 27, 2014

Dogbane

Apocynum androsaemifolium ( Spreading Dogbane )
A rhizomatous, rounded, bushy but herbaceous perennial, reaching up to 4 feet, that is native to prairies and open woodlands in central and eastern North America ( from Fairbanks, Alaska to southwest Northwest Territories to far northeast Alberta to Norway House, Manitoba to Kenora, Ontario to Lake Nipigon, Ontario to Abitiba Canyon, Ontario to Newfoundland; south to Arizona to Arkansas to northern Georgia to Virginia ). In the Windsor/Essex County, Ontario region; it was abundant along the Canard River Valley, around Point Pelee, the Lake Erie islands, the Ohio shore as well as at Detroit during the 1800s. Its rhizomatous habit makes it great for naturalistic meadow plantings and erosion control. If also makes a great display for sidewalk planters or parking lot islands where its spread is contained.
The leathery, oval leaves, up to 3.2 x 1.8 inches in size, are smooth, deep green above, pale beneath. The foliage turns to yellow, orange or pinkish during autumn.
The fragrant, white or pale pink flowers, up to 0.3 inches long, are borne late spring through summer.
They are followed by narrow pods, up to 7 inches in length, which split open releasing the seeds.
Hardy zones 4 to 8 ( likely 1 for northeast Alberta seed source ) in full sun to partial shade on just about any acidic to neutral, well drained soil. The white milky sap and all other parts of this plant are poisonous for people and animals to eat.

* photos taken on July 14 2016 in Tobermory, ON

* photos taken on July 16 2018 @ Wye Marsh, Midland, ON


Apocynum cannabinum ( Indian Hemp )
A perennial, reaching up to 5 x 4 + ( usually half ) feet in size, that is a widespread native of meadows and open woods in North America ( from central British Columbia to southwest Northwest Territories to Kenora, Ontario to Thunder Bay, Ontario to Fort Albany, Ontario to southeast Quebec to Newfoundland; south to California to central Texas to northern Florida ). In the Windsor/Essex County, Ontario region; it was abundant at Point Pelee, the Lake Erie islands as well as the Ohio shore during the 1800s. It was also moderately common at Detroit at that time. The extensive root system has been known to reach up to 13 feet deep and 20 feet in radius spread. It is found on sand dunes, rock outcrops, prairies and dry open deciduous woodland in the wild. The pointed, narrow-oblong leaves, up to 6 ( typically 3 ) inches in length, are bright green. They are borne on reddish stems.
The white flowers, up to 0.5 inches wide, are borne on cymes all summer long.
Hardy zones 3 to 8 in full sun to partial shade on just about any well drained soil. The white milky sap and all other parts of this plant are poisonous for people and animals to eat.

* photos taken @ National Zoo, Wash, DC on Aug 3 2014

* photos taken on June 17 2016 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on Aug 20 2016 in Olney, MD

* photos taken Aug 2016 @ Patuxent Research Refuge, Laurel, MD

* photos taken on July 2 2019 @ Patuxent Wildlife Refuge, Laurel, MD

* photo taken on July 21 2019 @ London Town Gardens, Edgewater, MD

* photos taken on July 20 2020 in Columbia, MD

Friday, October 10, 2014

Dame's Violet

Hesperis matronalis
A short-lived perennial, reaching up to 4 feet, native to open forest mountains from central Europe to Siberia; south to northern Turkey to central Asia. It is locally naturalized in northeastern North America as far north as Cape Croker and Haliburton, Ontario.
The toothed, ovate leaves, up to 8 inches in length, are deep green. The young leaves, stem tips and tender seedpods can be eaten as greens after being lightly boiled.
The fragrant pink ( rarely white or bright purple ) flowers, up to 1 inch wide, are borne during early summer.
Hardy zones 2 to 8 in partial shade on moist soil. Extremely cold hardy, it is known to thrive as far north as Fairbanks, Alaska, Whitehorse, Yukon and Yellowknife, Northwest Territories.

* photos taken on May 3 2012 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on May 2014 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on May 3 2017 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on May 14 2019 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on May 14 2019 in Ellicott City, MD

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Rue

Ruta

Ruta graveolens
A woody-based perennial, reaching up to 4 x 3 feet in size, that is native to southeast Europe ( from Bulgaria south to Greece ).
The grayish foliage is aromatic. The double-pinnate leaves are composed of obovate leaflets up to 0.35 inches wide. The foliage can cause dermatitis if skin is exposed to sunlight.
If seeds are allowed to develop, the foliage will often turn yellow.
The flowers are borne during summmer.
Hardy zones 4 to 9 in full sun on dry, well drained soil. Propagation is from cuttings taken during late summer or seed sown early spring.

* photos taken on July 10 2013 in Ellicott City, MD

* photos taken on Oct 22 2013 in Towson, MD

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

* photos taken on Sep 19 2014 in Towson, MD

* photo taken on Sep 25 2016 near Reisterstown, MD


'Blue Beauty'
Reaches up to 3 x 3 feet, with blue, lacy foliage.

* photo taken on May 27 2017 @ Meadowlark Botanical Gardens, Vienna, VA

Friday, September 5, 2014

American Umbrella-Leaf

Diphylleia cymosa
A rhizomatous, dense, clumping perennial, reaching up to 3.3 x 3 + feet in height, that is native to woodlands in the Blue Ridge Mountains of the eastern U.S. ( eastern Tennessee, southwest Virginia; south to far northern Georgia and western North Carolina ). It is related to Podophyllum.
The toothed, peltate leaves, up to 22 inches wide, are deep green.
The white, bowl-shaped flowers, up to 0.8 inches wide, are borne on terminal cymes mid to late spring.
They are followed by blue berries, up to 0.6 inches wide.
Hardy zones 4 to 7 in partial to full shade on just about any moist to wet, humus-rich soil. Native to mount

* photos taken by Mark A. Garland @ USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database


Diphylleia grayi ( Sakhalin Umbrella-Leaf )
Similar to the above but native to high mountain forests in Sakhalin and northern & central Japan.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Chameleon Plant

Houttuynia cordata ( Chameleon Plant )
A very fast growing, rhizomatous perennial, reaching up to 24 ( rarely over 15 ) inches in height, that is native to swampy woods and ditches from Nepal to China to Japan; south to mountains of Java.
The scented, heart-shaped leaves are up to 3 x 2.3 inches in size. The foliage is mid-green above, purplish beneath. The foliage is valued both fresh and cooked in the same way as spinach in China and Korea.
The white flowers, up to 0.5 inches wide, are borne during early summer.
Hardy zones 5 to 8 in partial shade on moist soil. Cut back hard during late fall. Propagation is from division or root cuttings during autumn. Due to its invasive spread potential, it is recommended to keep this plant in a contained area.

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

* photos taken on June 11 2018 in Odenton, MD


'Chameleon'
Attractive foliage splashed in white, pink and red, otherwise identical to species.

* photo taken on June 1 2014 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on Aug 24 2014 in Columbia, MD