Saturday, December 8, 2012

Foxtail Lily

Eremurus

A genus of perennials, with strap-shaped leaves which die down after the early summer display of starry flowers which are borne on a tall feathery spike.
The Foxtail Lilies prefer a protected sunny sites on fertile, well drained soil that is mulched during the winter. The flower stalks on taller species may need to be staked. The fleshy and brittle roots do not like disturbance, so only old and overcrowded plants should be divided.
Additional offsite articles on Eremurus ( Highly Recommended )

http://www.mrsgreenfingers.co.uk/eremus.htm

* photo taken on May 2011 in Howard County, MD


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Eremurus elwesii
A very large perennial, reaching a maximum size of 13 x 3.3 ( rarely over 6 ) feet, that is native to grasslands in northern Iran where it is very rare.
The leaves are up to 2 feet in length.
The fragrant flowers are yellowish-green or salmon-pink with a green center.
Hardy zones 4 to 8.

'Albus'
Pure white flowers, otherwise identical.

Eremurus himalayaicus
A vigorous perennial, reaching a maximum size of 10 x 3.3 ( usually under 6 ) feet, that is native to Turkestan.
The leaves, up to 4 feet x 2 inches in size, die down before flowering.
The white flowers are borne on very showy, dense spikes, up to 3 feet x 4 inches, during late spring.
Hardy zones 4 to 8 ( possibly 3 on very protected sites ) in full sun on just about any well drained soil.

Eremurus olgae
A perennial, reaching up to 6.5 x 3.5 feet in size, that is native to Turkestan.
The very showy pink or white flowers are borne during a 2 month period from early to mid summer.
Hardy zones 6 to 9.

Eremurus robusta
A vigorous perennial, reaching a maximum size of 10 x 4 feet, that is native to Turkestan.
The leaves, up to 4 feet x 2 inches in size, die down before flowering. The foliage is bright green at first, turning to blue-green.
The pink flowers are borne on very showy, dense spikes, up to 4 feet in length.
Mature clumps may bear up to 800 flowers on a single stovk.
Much hardier than other species, north to zone 4 or 3. It prefers sandy, well drained so

Eremurus stenophyllus
A perennial, reaching a maximum size of 5 x 3 feet. A single plant may bear up to 12 or more flower spikes at a time.
The slender leaves are up to 12 inches in length.
The yellow ( later deepening to orange ) flowers, up to 1.6 inches across, are borne on spikes up to 18 inches in length, during early summer.
Hardy zones 6 to 9.

Eremurus turkestanicum ( Turkestan Foxtail Lily )
A perennial, reaching a maximum size of 5 x 3 feet, that is native to dry mountain grasslands in central Asia.
The slender leaves form a basal rosette.
The yellowish-green flowers are borne on a tall spike.
Hardy zones 5 to 8 in full sun on very well drained, sandy soils.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Caricature Plant


Graptophyllum pictum
A medium-size tropical shrub, reaching up to 8 x 4 feet, that is also grown as a summer annual ( up to 4 feet ) in cooler climates. It is great for use in planters in temperate climates.
The leathery leaves are up to 7 inches in length. The attractive multi-color foliage is the main reason this plant is grown.
Hardy zones 10 to 12 ( tolerating as low as 25 F though defoliating around 35 F ), thriving in sun or shade on just about any well drained soil that is consistently moist during summer. It is very heat tolerant but generally not drought tolerant except for very well established plants. They can be cut back hard if needed. It is fast and easy to propagated from softwood cuttings placed in water.

* photos taken on Aug 30 2012 in Columbia, MD

Cape Marigold

Osteospermum
Also called Dimorphoteca, these are not the true Marigold ( Tagetes ) though are distant relatives. They are used for edging, massing and planters. The very showy flowers have additional value in attracting butterflies.
Most species require full sun and are hardy zones 8 to 10. They thrive on well drained soils and are very drought and salt tolerant. Insects and diseases do not often attack these plants. Propagation is easy from seed sown after threat of frost has passed or cuttings taken during summer. The seeds should be sown on surface or covered very lightly and kept moist until germinating. Young plants should be pinched to encourage dense habit.
A highly recommended external site on these great plants is
www.osteospermum.com/

* photos taken on May 17 2012 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on Dec 6 2015 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on May 22 2012 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on Aug 31 2015 in Columbia, MD


Osteospermum barberae
A moderate growing, succulent perennial, reaching a maximum size of 3 x 3 ( usually much lower ) feet.
The bright purple, pink or white ( with dark eye ), daisy-like flowers are borne mid spring to late summer.
Hardy zones 4 to 9 in full sun.

'Purple Mountain'
A low, spreading, succulent perennial, reaching a maximum size of 10 inches x 3 feet.
The bright purple, daisy-like flowers are borne mid spring to late summer.

Osteospermum ecklonis
A fast growing, shrubby perennial in mild climates ( annual in colder climates ), it can reach a maximum size of 5 x 4 feet though typically about half that. It is rare in its native South Africa while considered invasive in some parts of Australia.
The flowers, up to 3 inches across, are white ( blue beneath ) with a light blue disc.
Hardy zones 9 to 12 ( possibly 8 against protected south facing walls ). In mild climates where it is a perennial, it should be cut back hard yearly to encourage dense habit.

Osteospermum 'Lavender Mist'
A clumping, groundcover perennial, reaching up to 1 x 4 feet.
The flowers are lavender.
Hardy zones 5 to 8

Four of Clock Flower

Mirabilis jalapa
A tuberous rooted, bushy, herbaceous perennial, reaching a maximum size of 6.5 x 4 ( rarely over 4 ), that is native to subtropical to tropical parts of the Americas. In cooler climates it stays closer to 2 x 2 feet.
The heart-shaped leaves, up to 6 x 3.5 inches in size, are deep green.
The fragrant, yellow, purplish-pink to red, trumpet-shaped flowers, up to 2 x 2 inches , are borne throughout the summer. The flowers each open during late afternoon, lasting into the following day. The short life of each flower is made up for by their continual abundance.
Hardy zones 8 to 11 in full sun on just about any fertile, well drained soil. Propagation is from division during early spring or seed sown during spring.

* photo of unknown internet source

* photos taken on July 25 2015 @ Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario


Mirabilis multiflorus
A very dense, broad, mounding perennial, reaching up to 1.5 x 6 feet.
The attractive leathery foliage is mid-green. The snooth-edged, oval leaves are up to 3 inches in length.
The very abundant, intense purple-pink, funnel-shaped flowers are borne over a long season lasting from mid-summer to late autumn or first hard frost.
Hardy zones 4 to 8 in full sun to partial shade on dry, well drained soil. It is very drought tolerant due to its massive deep taproot. Slow to establish but very long-lived. It is not eaten by rabbit or deer.