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


Apocynum cannabinum ( Indian Hemp )
A perennial, reaching up to 5 ( usually half ) feet in height, 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

Friday, October 10, 2014

Hesperis matronalis ( Dame's Violet )
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

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


'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

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Mullein

Verbascum
A genus of mostly biennials. They are deer resistant. Most Mullein prefer full sun on sandy, very well drained soil. Winter wetness can be fatal. Mulleins thrive along the seashore as well as in gravelly places such as along railway tracks. They are very tolerant of drought and alkaline soils.

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

* photo taken @ Smithsonian Inst, Wash., DC on Aug 25 2014

* photos taken on June 2 2016 in Columbia, MD


Verbascum blattaria ( Moth Mullein )
A perennial, reaching up to 6 x 1.5 feet, that is native to temperate Eurasia. It is locally naturalized in North America to as far north as Lion's Head, Ontario and Quebec City, Quebec. It is found on roadsides and upland pastures in the wild.
The crinkled, glossy deep green leaves form a basal rosette.
The white to pale yellow flowers are borne during summer.
Hardy zones 6 to 8 in full sun on dryish, well drained soil. Propagation is from seed.

'Albiflorum'
The flowers are pure white with a purple center.

Verbascum bombyciferum
A short-lived perennial, reaching up to 4 x 3 ( rarely 6 ) feet, that is native to Turkey and Asia Minor.
The huge, felted, ovate leaves, up to 18 inches in length, are silvery-white as are the stems. The basal leaves are evergreen.
The bright yellow flowers, up to 2 inches across, are borne during mid-summer.
Hardy zones 5 to 9 in full sun on dry, sandy, well drained soil. Propagation is from seed, division during spring or root cuttings during winter.

'Arctic Summer'
A spectacular vigorous form, with golden-yellow flower plumes reaching up to 8 feet in height.

Verbascum chiaxii ( Nettle-Leaved Mullein )
A thick, clump-forming perenial, reaching up to 5 x 2 ( rarely over 3 ) feet in size, that is native to Europe.
The ovate leaves are hairy, glossy deep green.
The bright yellow flowers are borne during mid-summer.
Hardy zones 5 to 8 in full sun on alkaline, very well drained soil. Very easy to grow.

'Alba'
White flowers, otherwise identical.

Verbascum dumulosum
A low growing, bushy, biennial or perennial, reaching up to 1 foot in height, that is native to Turkey.
The fuzzy ovate leaves are gray.
The yellow ( centered red ) flowers are borne all summer long.
Hardy zones 7 to 9 ( 6 against south facing wall ) in full sun on sandy, well drained soil.

Verbascum 'Helen Johnson'
An evergreen perennial reaching up to 4 x 2.5 ( rarely over 2 ) feet.
The ovate leaves are downy grayish-green.
The pinkish flowers are borne on upright spikes all summer long.
Hardy zones 5 to 8.

Verbascum 'Jackie'
An evergreen perennial reaching up to 3 x 2.5 ( rarely over 2 ) feet.
The ovate leaves are downy grayish-green.
The pale pink ( with purple eye ) flowers are borne on upright spikes all summer long.
Hardy zones 5 to 9.

Verbascum nigrum ( Dark Mullein )
A perennial, reaching up to 3 x 2 feet.
The ovate leaves are deep green.
The yellow flowers are borne mid-summer into early autumn.
Hardy zones 3 to 8 in full sun on alkaline, very well drained soil.

Verbascum olympicum ( Olympic Mullein )
A short-lived perennial, reaching up to 10 x 3 ( rarely over 6 ) feet, that is native from Greece to Turkey.
The pointed, narrow leaves are grayish-white and woolly. The stems are also woolly and grayish-white.
The bright yellow flowers are borne summer into autumn.
Hardy zones 6 to 8 in full sun. Propagation is from seed.

* historic archive photo


Verbascum phoeniceum ( Purple Mullein )
A perennial, reaching up to 6.5 x 2 feet.
The pointed leaves are mid-green.
The flowers are usually in shade of pink or purple but may also be white. The blooms appear during early summer lasting about 2 weeks.
Hardy zones 3b to 8

Gainsborough'
Bright yellow flowers.

;'Mont Blanc'
Silvery foliage and pure white flowers.

'Pink Domino'
Rose-pink flowers.

Verbascum 'Southern Charm'
A perennial, reaching up to 2.5 x 2 feet with a compact habit.
The foliage is mid-green.
The flowers can be either creamy-white, peach or rosy-pink. It often reblooms after deadheading. Hardy zones 5 to 8. If sown during very early spring, it may bloom during the first summer.

Verbascum thapsus ( Flannel Mullein )
A short-lived perennial, reaching up to 6.5 x 1.5 feet, that is native to temperate Eurasia. It is naturalized as far north in North America as Juneau, Alaska to Edmonton, Alberta to Kapuskasing, Ontario to Gaspe region of Quebec to Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. It is found on sandy wastelands, roadsides and open woods.
The basal leaves, up to 18 ( rarely over 12 ) inches in length, are felted, grayish-white.
The yellow flowers, up to 1 inch wide, are borne mid-summer into early autumn.
Hardy zones 3 to 7. Propagation is from division or seed.

* photos taken on May 3 2015 in Ellicott City, MD

* photo taken on Jul 27 2015 in Bayfield, ON

* photo taken on Oct 19 2015 in Howard Co., MD

* photos taken on July 16 2016 in Bayfield, ON

False Hellebore

Veratrum
A genus of coarse perennials arising from thick rootstocks that are native to temperate regions around the Northern Hemisphere.
They prefer full sun to partial shade on moist soils.
All parts of plant are poisonous. They are deer and rabbit resistant but can be prone to slugs. Propagation is from ripened seed or division done during autumn or early spring.

* photo taken by J.E. Schwartz @ USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database


Veratrum album ( European White Hellebore )
A rhizomatous, upright perennial, reaching up to 6.5 x 5 + feet, that is native from Europe through northern Asia to far eastern Russia and Japan. It is usually found in moist mountain forests in the wild.
The broad-elliptical leaves are up to 12 x 6 inches in size. The very attractive foliage is glossy bright green.
The greenish-white flowers, up to 1 inch wide, are borne on panicles, up to 2 feet in length, during early to mid-summer.
Hardy zones 3 to 6 in full sun to partial shade on moist, deep, fertile, well drained soil.

* historic archive photo


Veratrum californicum ( California False Hellebore )
A perennial, reaching up to 6 x 5 + feet in height, that is native to western North America ( Washington State to western Montana; south to southern California to central New Mexico ).
The cupped leaves, up to 16 x 8 inches in size, are glossy green. The occur along the entire length of the stems up to the flowerhead.
The greenish-white flowers are borne on large heads.
Hardy zones 5 to 8. Propagation is from seed or division.

* photos taken by Jean Pawek @ CalPhotos

* photo taken by Paul Fair @ USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database

* photo taken by C.A. Kutzleb @ USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database

* USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database

* historic archive photo


Veratrum nigrum ( Black False Hellebore )
A large, rhizomatous perennial, reaching up to 4 + feet, that is a widespread native to temperate Eurasia.
The very attractive broad-elliptical leaves are luxuriant mid-green.
The small, very dark brown flowers, up to 0.3 inches wide, are borne on panicles up to 3 feet in length.
Hardy zones 6 to 8 in full sun to partial shade on moist, deep, fertile, well drained soil, it is tolerant of deep shade.

* historic archive photo


Veratrum viride ( Green False Hellebore )
A perennial, reaching up to 6.5 x 2 feet. It eventually clumps out like Hostas. It is native to moist woodlands and swamps in western North America ( from Bethel, Alaska to Fairbanks, Alaska to western Northwest Territories; south to northern California to Wyoming ) as well as northeastern North America ( from northeast Ohio to Quebec & Labrador; south to the Smoky Mountains to Maryland & Delaware ).
The ovate leaves, up to 13 x 6 inches in size, are strongly ribbed. The luxuriant bright to mid green foliage turns to deep yellow during autumn.
The abundant, yellowish-green flowers, up to 1 inch wide, are borne on panicles up to 24 inches long, during early to mid summer.
Hardy zones 2 to 8 in partial shade on a site protected from wind. It does not enjoy extreme heat or hot humid summers.
Phamacology: All parts of this plant are poisonous.

* photos taken on Apr 21 2015 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken by Jean Pawek @ CalPhotos

* historical archive photo