Sunday, October 9, 2016

Cordyline

Cordyline

Cordyline australis ( New Zealand Cabbage Tree )
A fast growing, small to medium-sized tree that is single stemmed at first but eventually develops a densely branched, broad crown. It is native to New Zealand. Some records include: first year - 3 feet; 5 years - 13 x 5 feet; 20 years - 33 feet; largest on record - 70 x 20 feet with a trunk diameter of 5 feet. It can live up to 500 years old and the trunk can reach up to 9 feet across at the base. It has been known to reach as much as 51 feet with trunk diameter of 42 inches in Ireland.
The arching, pointed, sword-shaped leaves are up to 48 x 5 ( rarely over 40 x 3 )inches in size.
The fragrant, starry, creamy-white flowers are borne on wide panicles during late spring into summer.
They are followed by berries that range from white to blue.
Hardy zones 8 to 11 ( tolerating as low as 0 F ). It tolerates both wet conditions and temporary drought.

'Red Star'
Reddish-purple foliage.

* photos taken on Aug 15 2015 @ Druid Hill Park, Baltimore, MD

* photos taken on Sep 18 2017 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on Oct 28 2017 in Columbia, MD


Cordyline fruticosa ( Hawaiian Ti )
A tropical shrub, reaching up to 13 x 4 feet in size, that is native to tropical southeast Asia, northern Australia and the Pacific Islands. Very popular as a landscape plant in the tropics, it is sometimes used as an annual accent plant in cooler regions. Some records include: largest on record - 20 x 8 feet with a trunk diameter of 3 inches.
The leaves are up to 36 x 6 ( rarely over 30 x 4 ) inches in size.
The white to bright purple flowers are borne on clusters up to 12 inches in length. Hardy zones 9 to 12

'Rubra'
Foliage is pink at first, turning to deep red.

* photos taken on Jan 4 2011 @ Deerfield Beach, Florida

* photos taken on July 12 2016 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on June 22 2016 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on Aug 11 2016 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on Sep 17 2016 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on Sep 23 2016 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on Oct 8 2016 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on Oct 21 2016 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on June 25 2017 in Columbia, MD


Cordyline indivisa ( Mountain Cabbage Tree )
A fast growing, stocky-trunked, small tree, that is native to wet, high mountain areas in New Zealand. Some records include: largest on record - 50 x 20 feet with a trunk diameter of 8 inches; fastest growth rate - 3 feet.
The very large, sword-shaped leaves are up to 7 feet x 8 inches in size. The foliage is often flushed purple.
The creamy-white flowers are borne on branced panicles, up to 5.5 feet in length, during late spring into early summmer.
They are followed by bluish-purple berries.
Hardy zones 8 to 10, it prefers cool moist maritime climates and has reached as much as 25 feet in Ireland.

'Rubra'
Deep bronze foliage; otherwise similar to species.

Drimys

Drimys

Drimys lanceolata ( Mountain Pepper )
A columnar-shaped, evergreen large shrub, reaching up to 15 x 10 ( rarely over 12 x 8 ) feet. It is native to Tasmania.
The oval leaves are up to 5 x 2 inches in size. The foliage is red at first, turning to bright green then to very glossy deep green. The leaves are borne on scarlet-red stems.
The very fragrant, yellow-green flowers are borne late winter into early spring.
They are followed by black berries.
The red twigs create stunning contrast with the foliage.
Hardy zones 7 to 10 in full sun to partial shade. It dislikes hot humid summers but thrives in mild maritime climates such as the Pacific Northwest and the British Isles.

* photo taken on Sep 18 2016 in Elkridge, MD


'Suzette'
Reaches up to 6 x 4 feet in 5 years, eventually to about the same size as the species.
The very attractive foliage is edged and splashed creamy-white. The foliage contrasts spectacularly with the deep red stems.
Hardy zones 7b to 9.

Drimys winteri ( Winter's Bark )
A medium-sized tree that is native to Chile and Argentina. Some records include: largest on record - 100 x 33 ( rarely over 40 ) feet with a trunk diameter of 4 feet; fastest growth rate - 3.5 feet. It is known to have reached as much as 69 feet with a trunk diameter of 3.3 feet in Ireland.
The smooth-edged, oblong leaves are up to 12 x 3 ( rarely over 8 ) inches in size. The aromatic, leathery foliage is glossy deep green above, bright bluish-white beneath.
The fragrant, creamy-white flowers, up to 1.5 inches wide, are borne up to 20 on an umbel during mid-spring into early summer.
They are followed by purplish-black berries.
The very aromatic bark is smooth and reddish-brown.
Hardy zones 7 to 9 in full sun to partial shade on moist, fertile, well drained soil on a site protected from excessive winds. It dislikes hot humid summers and thrives well only in maritime climates such as the Pacific Northwest and milder parts of the British Isles. It is propagated from seed sown in containers upon ripening during autumn then kept in a cool greenhouse or cold frame to protect from freezing during the first winter. It can also be propagated by taking half hardened cuttings during summer.

'Pewter Pillar'
Upright in habit, reaching up to 20 x 20 feet.
The glossy mid-green foliage is silvery-white beneath.
The white flowers are borne on clusters during late winter.
Hardy zones 7 to 10.

* photos taken on Aug 26 2016 in Elkridge, MD


Buffalo Grass

Buchloe dactyloides
A low perennial lawn grass that reaches a maximum height of 6 ( rarely over 4 ) inches uncut, that is native to the Great Plains of North America ( from Saskatchewan to Manitoba to southern Wisconsin; south to central Arizona to southern Texas to central Illinois ).
The foliage is gray-green from late spring through mid autumn, turning beige for the remainder of the year. It is a warm season grass.
Hardy zones 3 to 9 in full sun, it is tolerant of heat and drought ( overwatering and fertilizeing can actually cause disease and insect problems ).

Tall Wheatgrass

Elytrigia elongata 'Jose Select'
Vigorous and stiffly upright, reaching up to 5 x 3 feet. The species is native from Turkey to Russia but has naturalized in western Canada and Russia.
The sturdy, tan-yellow seed stalks are very ornamental and do not get flattened by snowfall.
Hardy zones 3 to 9 in full sun on just about any well drained soil including clay or limestone.

Quaking Grass

Briza media
Forms a moderate growing, deep green foliage clump up to 1 foot. It is evergreen in mild climates.
The puffy, oat-like, flower plumes reach up to 2.5 feet in height.
Hardy zones 4 to 8 in full sun on well drained soil. Drought tolerant. Can be divided during early spring or autumn.

Tall Oat Grass

Arrhenatherum elatus
A grass, reaching up to 5 feet in height, that is native to Europe but has naturalized in parts of North America to as far north as Montreal, Quebec.
The leaf blades are up to 0.3 inches wide.

Velvet Grass

Holcus mollis ( Velvet Grass )
An evergreen spreading, groundcover grass.
It bears very pale purple flower spikes during summer.
Hardy zones 7 to 9 ( 5 & 6 on protected sites ) in full sun to partial shade.

'Albovariegatus'
Reaches up to 8 inches in height with foliage variegated white.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

June Grass

Koeleria

* photo taken by Dr. Nick V. Kurzenko @ CalPhotos


Koeleria glauca ( Large Blue Hair Grass )
A mounding, clumping grass, reaching up to 15 x 1.2 feet, with blue-gray foliage that turns tan-colored during autumn.
The green ( ripening to tan ) flower plumes appear during early summer.
Hardy zones 5 to 9 in full sun

Koeleria macrantha ( Prairie June Grass )
Also called Koeleria glauca. A cool season perenial grass, reaching a maximum height of 1.5 feet, that is native to grasslands in southern Canada and the U.S. ( from southwest Yukon to Great Slave Lake, Northwest Territories to far northeast Alberta to The Pas, Manitoba to Winnipeg, Manitoba to Michigan; south to California to Louisiana to northern Kentucky )
The luxuriant blue-green foliage emerges early during spring but turns to golden-brown and goes dormant during mid summer.
The showy white seedheads appear during early summer.
Hardy zones 3 to 9 ( likely 2 for northeast Alberta seed source ) in full sun on sandy well drained soil. It is very drought tolerant.

Bottlebrush Grass

Hystrix patula
Also called Elymus hystrix. A perennial ornamental grass, reaching up to 3 feet, that looks great when used in groups. It is native to moist woods or grassy slopes in the eastern North America ( from southeast Saskatchewan to Thunder Bay, Ontario to Sault Ste Marie to Haliburton, Ontario to southern Quebec to Nova Scotia; south to eastern Oklahoma to northern Alabama to far northern Georgia to central North Carolina ). In the Windsor/Essex County, Ontario region; it is noted as occurring locally at Point Pelee, the Lake Erie Islands and on the Ohio shore during the 1800s. It was abundant at Detroit, Michigan during that time.
The foliage is green during summer, turning to brown during early autumn.
The flower plumes appear during summer.
Hardy zones 3 to 8, thrives on dry soil in partial to full shade.

Reed Grass

Glyceria maxima
An erect, rhizomatous perennial grass, reaching up to 7 feet. It is native to wetlands of Eurasia from the British Isles to central Asia & northwest China.
The leaves are up to 0.8 inches wide.
Hardy zones 4 to 7 on wet soil.

'Variegata' ( Variegated Manna Grass )
Reaches up to 2 feet with bright yellow-green foliage that is variegated creamy-white.

Orchard Grass

Dactylis glomerata 'Variegata'
A dense clumping grass, reaching up to 2 feet with white striped leaf blades up to 16 x 0.5 inches in size. It is semi-evergreen or sometimes even evergreen if cut back in August. The species is native to most of temperate Eurasia including central Asia. The species has naturalized in North America as far north as Grand Prairie and Athabasca in Alberta, the north shore of Lake Superior and Sudbury, Ontario. The species is planted for hay and pasture and has naturalized in parts of North America.
The flower panicles, up to 5 feet in height, are up to 10 inches in length.
Hardy zones 2 to 7 in full sun to partial shade on just about any fertile, well drained soil. Propagation is from division during early spring.

Wood Millet

Milium effusus
A clumping perennial, reaching up to 2 x 1 foot, that is native to Eurasia and eastern North America ( Saskatchewan to Thunder Bay, Ontario to Wawa, Ontario to Newfoundland; south to Illinois to New Jersey though also found further south to North Carolina in the Appalachian Mountains ). In the Windsor/Essex County, Ontario region; it was only noted as occurring on the east side of Point Pelee during the 1800s through may have gone unnoticed elsewhere before the mass deforestation during the 1880s. It is found in moist upland deciduous woods in the wild.
The attractive pale green plumes are borne early to mid summer.
Hardy zones 4 to 8 in full sun to partial shade on moist, humus-rich, well drained soil. Do not cut plants back severely ever.
Clumps can be divided during early spring.

'Aureum'
Bright yellow foliage; otherwise identical.

Common Reed

Phragmites australis
Reaches up to 13 ( rarely over 10 ) feet, often forming widespreading, dense, pure stands. It has naturalized throughout southern Canada and the the U.S. though is highly localized in the southeast. Extremely vigorous, its runners can spread up to 16 feet per year. A single rhizome may send shoots out from every node and reach up to 20 feet in a single season. Repeated cutting will weaken the plant however spraying in wetlands any time water is present ( basically any time other than extreme drought ) is NOT recommended anytime ever.
The lance-shaped leaves are up to 24 x 2.5 inches in size. The young shoots can eaten as a vegetable either either raw or boiled until tender.
Attractive flower panicles up to 12 inches in length, appear during late summer. Hardy zones 3 to 10 in full sun on moist soil. Very easy to grow and long lived, it rarely gets damage from any pest or disease.
In eastern Europe, up to 100 000 tons of pulp are produced annual from this plant on the Danube Delta. It cannot be used alone to produce paper alone but is mixed with 80 percent wood pulp. Common Reed thrives in polluted water, especially water that is contaminated with fertilizer runoff or sewage. It can be used to clean up contaminated sites.
It Germany, it is used as a biological sewage plant where the roots supply the bacteria that handle the sewage oxygen all while releating chemicals that kill bacteria.
OUtside its native range, Phragmites can damage wetlands. It is slow to decompose and stands can quickly accumulate alot of dead vegetation matter and become a fire hazard. It frequently invades shorelines, wetlands and ditches and can crows out native vegetation. It invades via seed or pieces of broken off rhizomes that take root. The roots of Phragmites release an acid that stunts or kills surrounding vegetation. The stalks are rigid and tough, wildlife has a hard time natigating through. Turtle and bird nesting habitat is decreased.

* photo taken by Robert H. Mohlenbrock. Midwest wetland flora
* photos of unknown internet source

* photo taken on Dec 1998 west of Leamington, Ontario

* photo taken on Sep 18 2016 @ Patuxent Research Refuge, Laurel, MD


Phragmites pseudodonax ( Giant Common Reed )
A massive grass, reaching up to 30 feet, that should only be used in large open areas where there is room.
Hardy zones 4 to 10

'Variegatus' ( Variegated Common Reed )
Lower growing, reaching a maximum of 8 feet with golden-yellow variegation.
Hardy zones 4 to 10 in full sun.

Rush

Scirpus

* photo taken on July 14 2016 in Tobermory, Ontario

* photos taken on Sep 18 2016 @ Patuxent Research Refuge, Laurel, MD


Scirpus americanus
Also called Scirpus pungens. Reaches up to 4 feet in height. It is native to central and eastern North America ( from Saskatchewan to Newfoundland; south to Kansas to Louisiana to south Florida ). It was abundant at Detroit, Michigan during the 1800s.
Thrives in full sun on moist to swampy sites.

Scirpus atrovirens ( Black Bulrush )
A clumping perennial, reaching up to 6 feet. It was abundant at Detroit, Michigan as well as the Ohio shore during the 1800s.
Thrives in full sun on wet to swampy sites.

Scirpus cyperinus ( Woolgrass )
A broad-spreading, clumping perennial, reaching up to 5 feet, that is native to most of central & eastern U.S. from Manitoba to Newfoundland and south. It is a widespread native of North America ( from Vancouver, British Columbia to Grande Cache, Alberta to Lake Athabasca, Saskatchewan to Prince Albert, Sask. to central Manitoba to Moosonee, Ontario to Gaspe region of Quebec to Newfoundland; south to central Oregon to western South Dakota to central Florida ). It is found in freshwater marshes and swamps in the wild where it often forms large colonies.
Hardy zones 3 to 8, thriving in full sun on moist to wet sites.

* photo taken by Robert H. Mohlenbrock @ USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database

'Leaf River Selection'

* Photos courtesy of USDA NRCS.

Scirpus tabernaemontana ( Bulrush )
A slow rhizome spreading, clumping perennial, reaching up to 10 x 7.5 ( rarely over 6 ) feet in size, that is native to marshland in most of Eurasia, northern Africa and North America ( from central Alaska to central Yukon to southwest Northwest Territories to Sandy Lake, Ontario to Moosonee, Ontario to Labrador & Newfoundland and south through most of the U.S.).
The very architectural stems are extremely vertical. They are luxuriant mid-green.
The tiny brown flowers are borne during early summer.
Hardy zones 1 to 9 in full sun in acidic to neutral, wet soil to shallow water. It can become invasive on some sites where it is best grown in containers. Propagation is from division during early spring.

* photo taken on Sep 15 2013 in Columbia, MD

* photo of unknown internet source

* photos taken on Sep 18 2016 @ Patuxent Research Refuge, Laurel, MD


'Albescens'
A vaariegated form, reaching only up to 3.5 feet in height.
It looks great at the edge of ponds.

'Zebrinus' ( Zebra Rush )
A perennial rush, reaching up to 6 ( usually under 3 ) feet with foliage that is deep gray-green and creamy-white banded.
Hardy zones 6 to 9 on moist to wet soil.

Scirpus validus ( Great Bulrush )
Also called S. tabernaemontana & Schoenoplectus tabernaemontani. A fast spreading rush, reaching up to 10 ( rarely over 6 ) x 3 feet and is native to swamps as well as fresh or bracken water marshes in North America ( from British Columbia to Haliburton, Ontario to Quebec to Newfoundland; south to Oklahoma to Louisiana to Georgia ). It can be found in water up to 16 inche deep and can spread rapidly.
The grassy foliage is bright green.
The seeds are of excellent food value for wildlife.
Hardy zones 3 to 9 in full sun on wet to swampy sites. Salt tolerant. The roots can be harvested during fall and winter and eaten as a vegetable or made into flour. New shoots can be peeled and eaten raw or boiled.

* photos taken by Jennifer Anderson @ USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database

Kangaroo Grass

Themeda triandra
A perennial grass reaching up to 5 feet, that is a widespread native of Africa, Asia and Australia. The foliage is green.
The flowers during summer produce large red-brown spikelets on branched stems.
This barely known grain may have great potential to improve nutrition, boost food security, foster rural development and support sustainable agriculture. It is already being used as a grain in Africa.

Eastern Gamma Grass

Tripsacum dactyloides
A beautiful, native perennial grass that has potential as a grain crop. Its seed is high in protein and can be ground to flour and used in the making of bread.
The Eastern Gamma Grass, reaching a maximum size of 5 x 5 ( record of 10 ) feet, and is native to moist soil in eastern North America ( Nebraska to Michigan to Massachusetts; south to Texas to Florida ).
The sprays of green foliage gives a fountain-like effect to the landscape.
The broad, deep green foliage is evergreen in mild climates, deciduous in cold winter climates. It turns to bronze and red during autumn.
Hardy zones 5 to 9 in full sun to partial shade on moist soil. It is tolerant of flooding in floodplains but not swamps. Great for containers. It is often used for foraging livestock.

'Pete'

* Photo courtesy of USDA NRCS.

Sea Oats

Uniola paniculata
A very attractive, fast growing, rhizomatous perennial grass, reaching up to 7 feet, that is widely planted along the east coast to stabilize sand dunes which it does with its network of dense roots. It is native to coastal sand dunes in the southeastern U.S. ( from Texas to Maryland & Delaware; south to south Florida ).
This grass is rare and protected in much of its native range.
The leaf blades are up to 16 x 0.3 inches in size. It is evergreen in mild climates.
The white flower panicles are up to 18 inches in length.
The edible seeds are a tasty treat.
Hardy zones 8 to 11 ( 6 & 7 for Maryland / Delaware seed source ) in full sun. It is drought and very salt tolerant.

* photos of unknown internet source

Couch Grass

Agropyron repens
Originally native to Europe and now naturalized all over North America, this is one of the worlds worst weeds. A single plant may reach up to 4 feet in height and spread up to an inch per day, forming a mat up to 10 feet across in a single growing season.
The creeping underground shoots are even known to penetrate blacktop. A 2 year plant may have as many as 300 miles or more of total root length. This plant is very difficult to exterminate, with any fragment of root that breaks off being capable of producing a new plant.
Couch Grass growing around desirable trees or shrubs should be sprayed with Roundup and killed. Couch Grass not only competes with nutrients and water but the roots also release a natural herbicide that inhibits the growth of neighboring plants. This chemical may even persist after the Couch Grass has been removed.

Rattlesnake Fern

Botrychium virginianum
Reaches up to 2 feet in height. It is a widespread native of rich deciduous woodlands in North America ( from the Aleutian Islands to Fairbanks, Alaska to southwest Northwest Territories to Fort McMurray, Alberta to central Manitoba to near Moosonee, Ontario to Newfoundland; south to far northern California to northern Nevada to north-central Colorado to central Texas to northern Florida ). In Ontario, it occurs north to at least Grand Bend. It was very abundant in rich woods throughout the Windsor/Essex County region, the Lake Erie Islands and Ohio shore before 1900.
The fronds are up to 1 foot wide.
Hardy zones 4 to 8 ( likely 2 for Fort McMurray, Alberta seed source ) in partial to full shade on moist, well drained soil.

* photos taken on June 23 2013 @ U.S. National Arboretum, Washington, DC

* photo taken on Aug 1 2016 in Howard Co., MD

* photo taken on Aug 20 2016 in Olney, MD