Archive for February, 2007

Ilex opaca | American Holly

image Ilex opaca matte leavesIlex opaca | American Holly

STRENGTHS
Native to MD, a woodland naturalizer. If you see a holly in the wild, it’s likely this one. Sturdy and easy, I like it much better than the standard Chinese Holly. Has a nice pendulous banches. id an I. opaca by its flat matte green leaves with 1 to 3 spikes. Adds winter interest with large red berries that ripen in fall and persist to April. Requires plenty of space. Songbirds, especially Robins are almost fanatical.

image Ilex opaca image Ilex opaca berries

CARE
Winter burn can occur. They have quite a few pests but they’re so tough there’s usually no problem.
NOTES
Dioecious – needs male nearby for females to berry. Take care when spiney leaves drop on the ground.


RELATED VARIETIES | CULTIVARS | EXTRA INFO
‘Warren’s Red’ available, heavy fruiting 15′ tall
‘Xanthocarpa’ has gorgeous yellow berries 40′ – 50′/15′ – 40′

ZONES HARDINESS | SUN OR SHADE ….. 5 – 9 | full sun to part shade
GROWTH RATE ….. medium
HEIGHT / WIDTH ….. 20′-30′/7′ to 15′
PLANT SHAPE & BRANCHING ….. Loose, rounded; many horizontal and ascending branches, pendulous

image Ilex opaca tree
LEAF FORM & SHAPE ….. 1.5″-3″ obovate, impressed veins, obtusely serrated, thin, light
LEAF ARRANGEMENT ….. simple, alternate
LEAF COLOR ….. Deciduous | dark green, turning bright yellow in fall
FEATURES, BUDS, FLOWERS, FRUIT
FLOWERS | small white in spring
BERRIES | beautiful bright orange red
NATIVE HABITAT
SOIL does well in moist to dry and slightly alkaline
Native MD to FL and west to TX

Duke / Ilex opaca

BBC Gardening / Ilex opaca

Dave’s Garden / Ilex opaca

Cheasepeake Bay / American Holly

image Ilex opaca 'Xanthocarpa' yellow berries

Ilex opaca, originally uploaded by 3 John 1:4.

Ilex opaca, originally uploaded by intheburg.

Betula nigra ‘Heritage’ | River Birch

image Betula nigra against plain house image Betula nigra against plain house image Betual nigra against stone house

image Betula nigra exfoliating bark

Betula nigra ‘Heritage’ | River Birch

STRENGTHS
Fabulous exfoliating bark on multiple tall trim trunks giving year round interest. Bark color can be white to warm brown, cinnamon red. Fine textured folliage provides shade and dappled light in summer. As the name suggests, this tree can grow right in water and loves river banks. Might be a good candidate for landscapes with standing water issues. ‘Heritage’ is extremly heat tolerant for Birchs. Nice for close to the house.

CARE
Best not to prune in spring – sap bleeds. Needs lots of water. In the South has trouble with wood borrers, don’t use any but ‘Heritage’ or ‘Duraheat’ in Mid-Atlantic. Can get powdery mildew but not a big problem and goes away with care and season.
NOTES
Lots of leaf drop, will need to rake frequently. Deer may like them.
RELATED VARIETIES | CULTIVARS | EXTRA INFO
‘Duraheat’ very similar to ‘Heritage’ but even more heat tolerant, branches to ground
Betula papyrifera | Paper Birch zones 2 – 6 (use only west of Barryville, VA), new branches are red, bark is like chocolate shavings
Betula Pendula | European White Birch pendulous branches, no pealing bark

ZONES HARDINESS | SUN OR SHADE ….. 3 – 7 | sun to part shade
GROWTH RATE ….. medium to fast
HEIGHT / WIDTH ….. 30′/30′ (species up to 70′)
PLANT SHAPE & BRANCHING ….. Upright, pyramidal to oval, multi-stemmed, dense
LEAF FORM & SHAPE ….. 2″ to 3.5″, diamond shape, softly serrated
LEAF ARRANGEMENT ….. simple, alternate
LEAF COLOR ….. FALL yellow, SUMMER deep green

image Betula nigra bark, trunks

FEATURES, BUDS, FLOWERS, FRUIT
FLOWERS | catkins, birdfoot shape
BARK | huge papery, peeling strips
SEEDS | attract birds

NATIVE HABITAT
SOIL prefers really moist, even totally wet, ok in clay. Native in US

image Betula nigra in a row

OH State / Betula nigra

Daves’s Garden / Betual nigra

NC State / Betula nigra

MO Botanical Gardens / Betula nigra

River Birch – Betula nigra, originally uploaded by sisudave



Nandina domestica ‘Purple Passion’ | Heavenly Bamboo

image Nandina domestica 'Purple Passion' doubly pinnate leaves

Nandina domestica ‘Purple Passion’ | Heavenly Bamboo

STRENGTHS
Evergreen (Reddish of even purplish, actually) and easy. Very dense and full with delicate compound leaves. ‘Gulf Stream’ has the fullest folliage of its relatives. This plant is related to Barberries not Bamboo, is not aggressive in Mid-Atlantic, but does grow from rhizomes. Does well in sun or shade, warmest color comes in sunnier locations. Beautiful and tough, it has a naturalizing effect in the garden. Also nice in containers. Nice in drifts and to soften architure.

CARE
No serious pests or disease. Appreciates moisture but very adaptable to variety of conditions. Species can become leggy, but correctable with prunning
NOTES
In southerly locations Nadina sp. can become more aggressive. Has been somewhat overused since it is not difficult to grow or maintain, so careful use is the right way to go. The bright berries are beloved by birds and attract mockingbirds, cedar waxwings, and robins while the flowers are attractive to bees.

RELATED VARIETIES | CULTIVARS | EXTRA INFO

‘Firepower’ 2′ to 3′, use only for short term punch, looks ragged after 5 yrs, crinkly leaves, rounded leaves and growth habit
‘Moon Bay’ 2′ to 2.5′, new, user-friendly, tight compact, branches grow up and out, angular, good choice
‘Harbor’s Dwarf’ 1.5′ to 2′, dense low almost a ground cover feel
‘Gulf Stream’ 4′ to 6′ brand new from Monrovia, fantastic color, has best of species qualities, I prefer this because it isn’t as dense as some others

image Nandina domestica 'Purple Passion' leaves

ZONES HARDINESS | SUN OR SHADE ….. 6 – 9 | sun to shade
GROWTH RATE ….. fast
HEIGHT / WIDTH ….. 2′ to 4′/2′ to 4′ (species is 4′ to 6′)
PLANT SHAPE & BRANCHING ….. multi-stemmed, dense and grassy
LEAF FORM & SHAPE ….. 12″ to 24″ (36″) long, lance shaped leaflets 1/2″ to 1″
LEAF ARRANGEMENT ….. bi-pinnately and sometimes tri-pinnately compound, alternate
LEAF COLOR ….. Evergreen | new growth is bronze, in summer developes into lovely blue-green

131595258_abcfaa7bcd.jpg

FEATURES, BUDS, FLOWERS, FRUIT
FLOWERS | huge pannicles of small, white blooms, not showy
BERRIES | Red berries, showy
NATIVE HABITAT
SOIL prefers moist, good for urban setting, tollerant of pollution, moderately salt tollerant
Native to Japan and China

Dave’s Garden / Nandina domestica

Cryptomeria japonica | Cryptomeria

image Cryptomeria japonica

Cryptomeria japonica | Cryptomeria

STRENGTHS
Evergreen. Fantastical needles and branchlets that resemble exploding spiral fireworks. Green fills the entire body of the tree. Any size and shape available, many with bright chartreuse colors. One of the rare evergreens to grow happily in shade. Sacred in Japanese gardens appearing at many shrines.

CARE
Little or no maintenance required, pollution sensitive. Keep soil moist, suffers in dry periods, likes humidity.

PRUNING
The compact habit can necessitate pruning of new growth, entangled branches and overlapping shoots. This provides space for light and air to reach the desired foliage, and reduces the liklihood of fungus and insect problems. Pinch back new growth, as clipping with scissors results in browning tips. The plant tends to thicken at intersections between trunk and branches, so unwanted upper branches should be removed promptly to avoid loss of trunk taper. The Cryptomeria is most often styled as a formal upright, or forest planting. Cryptomeria should be pruned mid-spring through the end of summer. Do not work on Cryptomeria during winter.
NOTES
Some people have pollen allergies to these.

RELATED VARIETIES | CULTIVARS | EXTRA INFO
‘Yoshino’ popular and available blue green form that bronzes in cold weather, handsome 40’ tall

Kim Tripp’s top 10: ‘Ben Franklin’ 40’, ‘Black Dragon’ compact, ‘Elegans’ feathery bush, ‘Elegans Aurea’, ‘Elegans Nana’, ‘Globosa Nana’ neat 3’, ‘Grasilis’, ‘Lobbii’ columnar/pyramidal, ‘Sekkan-sugi’ yellow-gr 20’, ‘Yellow Twig’

ZONES HARDINESS | SUN OR SHADE ….. 5 – 8 | prefers full sun but takes some shade
GROWTH RATE ….. medium
HEIGHT / WIDTH ….. 50’ to 60’ / 20’ to 30’
PLANT SHAPE & BRANCHING ….. Soft pyramidal, erect, wide spreading branches with many excited branchlets, graceful
LEAF FORM & SHAPE ….. Needles persisting 4 – 5 years, short awl shaped, rubbary
LEAF ARRANGEMENT ….. Short spiraling, slightly twisting
LEAF COLOR ….. Evergreen | light to bluish green

FEATURES, BUDS, FLOWERS, FRUIT
BARK | beautiful reddish brown peeling off in long strips
CONES | terminal, globular, ½”, drk brown

NATIVE HABITAT
SOIL Prefers fertile well-drained
Eastern North America, down to GA
It is also often used in sakei.

www.conifers.org/Criptomeria japonica

wikipedia/Criptomeria japonica

japanese cedar

IMG_5738.JPG

light green folliage above compliments the Arborvitae and Ilex opaca in this planting, nice!

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above planted in a woodland style garden

IMG_5739.JPG

Callicarpa dichotoma | Beautyberry

image Callicarpa dichotoma

Callicarpa dichotoma | Beautyberry

STRENGTHS
Striking profusion of shiny purple berries that appear after June bloom. Rich color develops in September. Good companion with yellow aster or daisy. Tolerant of variety of soil conditions and locations. Limbed up, makes nice weeping arches.

CARE
Need to prune back in Feb, March or April, selectively to avert branch competition. Pick one of two equal sizes to remove.

NOTES
No serious diseases or insects. Low maintenance. Plant in protected sites. Flowers bloom on old wood.

image Callicarpa dichotoma folliage
RELATED VARIETIES | CULTIVARS | EXTRA INFO
var albifructus is an attractive white form
Callicarpa americana related species, berries redder

ZONES HARDINESS | SUN OR SHADE ….. 5 – 8 | full sun to moderate shade
GROWTH RATE ….. fast
HEIGHT / WIDTH ….. 4’ to 6’/ 8’ to 12’
PLANT SHAPE & BRANCHING ….. Loose, rounded, multiple branching
LEAF FORM & SHAPE ….. 1” to 3” obvate, serrated except at base and apex
LEAF ARRANGEMENT ….. simple, opposite
LEAF COLOR …..
Summer | medium blue-green
Fall | faintly lavendar or yellow

image Callicarpa dichotoma weeping

FEATURES, BUDS, FLOWERS, FRUIT
FLOWERS | Flowers delicate white and pink, pretty but not showy
BERRIES | beautiful bright purple

NATIVE HABITAT
SOIL prefers moist, high organic matter
Native to japan

NC State / Callicarpa dichotoma
Dave’s Garden / Callicarpa dichotoma
MO Botanic Garden / Callicarpa dichotoma

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