Thursday, April 2, 2015

Missouri Maidenbush

Leptopus phyllanthoides
A moderate growing, small shrub, reaching a maximum size of 3 x 4.5 feet, that is native to limestone cliffs in the south-central U.S. ( from Oklahoma to central Missouri; south to southwest Texas to central Arkansas...with a disjunct in central Alabama where it is found on limestone glades in Bibb and Blount Counties ). Some records include: fastest growth rate - 2 feet. It is very rare to endangered in the wild.
The obovate leaves, up to 0.5 x 0.4 inches in size, are blue-green.
The greenish flowers, up to 0.5 inches long, are borne from the leaf axils during late spring through summer.
Hardy zones 6 to 8 ( est ) in full sun on just about any well drained soil. It is very tolerant of heat and drought. Barely known in cultivation...this shrub may hold great promise of greenery on difficult extremely hot parking lot islands and other commercial sites.

* photo taken on Aug 23 2014 @ U.S. Botanical Garden, Wash., DC

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