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.

* historic archive photos


'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

* photo taken on Aug 9 2020 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on Sep 6 2020 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on Nov 15 2020


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

* photo taken on Sep 20 2018 in Columbia, MD


'Tricolor'

* photos taken on Aug 9 2018 in Ellicott City, 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.

* historic archive photo


'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.

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 moderately fast growing, cool-season perenial grass, reaching a maximum height of 1.5x 1 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 ). It is endangered in Alaska, Indiana and Kentucky. Extinct in Pennsylvania.
The luxuriant deep 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.