Archive for the 'native' Category

Fothergilla gardenii | Fothergilla

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Fothergilla gardenii | Fothergilla

CHARACTER
Native to MD, southeastern US and coastal plain, often found in pine forests and bogs. This 5′ tall rounded shrub has very cool cotton ball fluffy blooms that bring naturalizing interest to any border or foundation, and last for a nice long month. Spreads on its own by succoring if given a little space. Makes a nice companion for other natives, azaleas and rhododendrons. Fothergilla has crinkly bright green leaves reminiscent of witchhazel. Beautiful to lighten understory shadey spots. Plant something dense or dark for contrast behind to make it stand out since its appeal can be too subtle otehrwise.
CARE
Move B&B or in container. Does well in acid soil home. Trouble free, no pests.
NOTES
Has a variety of great fall colors
RELATED VARIETIES | CULTIVARS | EXTRA INFO
‘Blue Mist’ more delicate, with cooler blueish or smokey foliage, possibly not as hardy
‘Mt Airy’ From Cincinatti, another blue with abundant blooms

Fothergilla gardenii | above photo: Jennifer Benner

Fothergilla gardenii | above photo: Jennifer Benner

ZONES HARDINESS | SUN OR SHADE ….. 5 – 8 | full sun to part shade
GROWTH RATE ….. slow
HEIGHT / WIDTH ….. 5′ to 6′, sometimes not as large
PLANT SHAPE & BRANCHING ….. Loose, mounded in general, with angular zig-zag branching
LEAF FORM & SHAPE ….. 1″-2.5″ obovate, thick and crinkly, leaves look almost exactly like Hamamelis
LEAF ARRANGEMENT ….. simple, alternate
LEAF COLOR ….. Deciduous | dark green to blueish, turning bright yellow, orange or scarlet in fall
FEATURES, BUDS, FLOWERS, FRUIT
FLOWERS | 1″ white, fragrant honey scented, puffy filament balls, sometimes appearing before leaves
STEM | greenish to light brown, angular
NATIVE HABITAT
SOIL does well in moist to dry and slightly alkaline
Native MD to FL and west to TX
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MO Botanical Gardens / Fothergilla

Dave’s Garden / Fothergilla gardenii

Paghat’s Garden / Fothergilla gardenii

Aesculus x carnea | Red Horsechestnut

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Aesculus x carnea | Red Horsechestnut

CHARACTER
One of the most popular trees in England, according to Dirr. One of it parents, Aesculus pavia | Red Buckeye, is a native (id with rattlesnake like nuts pods) and so well suited to Mid-Atlantic planting. Dirr goes on to explain that this somewhat mysterious hybrid is the result of chromosomal doubling somewhere along the line. What ever the cause, the Red Horsechestnut is tidy looking small tree, a naturalizer with palmately compound leaves and wonderful extra large pink spire blooms (the florets are actually white, yellow and pink all at the same time). ‘Briotti’ is especially nice with deeper, redder, larger panicles of flowers in earluy May. Nice for DC Townhouse garden patios.
CARE
Prune in early spring.
NOTES
Adaptable to different soil types, tough-ish. Nuts are good food for deer and squirrels.
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RELATED VARIETIES | CULTIVARS | EXTRA INFO
‘Briotti’ Blood red blooms, up to 12″ tall
‘Ft. McNair’ a recent introduction from Ft. McNair in Washington, DC
Aesculus hippocastanum | Common Horsechestnut 50′ tall for parks, too big for residential
Aesculus parviflora | Bottlebrush Buckeye great native shrub with cool bottlebrush white blooms
Aesculus pavia | Red Buckeye native giant shrub or clumping tree, rattlesnake nut pods

ZONES HARDINESS | SUN OR SHADE ….. 4 – 7 | full sun to full shade
GROWTH RATE ….. medium
HEIGHT / WIDTH ….. 30′-40′
PLANT SHAPE & BRANCHING ….. Rounded, multi-branched
LEAF FORM & SHAPE ….. 3″to 6″, 5 leaflets with long petiole
LEAF ARRANGEMENT ….. palmately compound, opposite, doubley serrate
LEAF COLOR ….. Deciduous | dark green, lustrous and leathery

FEATURES, BUDS, FLOWERS, FRUIT
FLOWERS | beautiful, pink, white and yellow 6″ to 8″ tall and 4″ wide panicle turn into Buckeyes (nuts)

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NATIVE HABITAT
SOIL needs well drained, pH adaptable, grows well in Mid-Atlantic
Native to Europe, possibly developed in Germany

UCONN plant database / Aesculus x carnea

Salisberry Arboretum / Aesculus x carnea

Flickr / search for Aesculus x carnea

Cercis canadensis | Eastern Redbud

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Cercis canadensis | Eastern Redbud

CHARACTER
Native to MD and the East Coast piedmont, a truely charming tree that is at home in the woodland garden or a more formal setting. Driving in the Shanandoah or even just on I-95 they appear in the understory like a mysterious purple veil caught in the evergreens as the signal spring is really here. Glorious in full bloom, with the snowpea-like bloom sitting very close (on only 1/2 inch pedicel) to the branches even the large ones. The bark is smooth dark steel gray, they can be single stemmed or less often multi and assume a vase shape with a broad top. Redbuds have heart shaped leaves that emerge after the blooms. They bloom at the same time as American Dogwoods which make great garden companions. Closely related is the slightly more exotic Chinese Redbud, which has blooms basically ON the branches.

CARE
Is very adaptable to a variety of soil conditions, acid to alkaline, except exceedingly wet. Stress can do harm, so is best to pay some attention to it by adding organic material and regular watering. Canker can be an issue if tree becomes weakened. Pests are usually nothing to worry about.

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NOTES
Deer aren’t particularly interested

RELATED VARIETIES | CULTIVARS | EXTRA INFO
‘Alba’
White blooms, so bright and peaceful
‘Forest Pansy’ leaves melow to a dark burgandy, “leaves emerge a shimmering, screaming red” says Dirr
‘Silver Cloud’ has mottled green, white purple and pink leaves, best in shadier sites
Cercis chinensis | Chinese Redbud
ZONES HARDINESS | SUN OR SHADE …..
4 – 9 | full sun to part shade
GROWTH RATE …..
medium, 7 to 10 inches in 5 yrs, faster with proper water and care
HEIGHT / WIDTH ….. 20′-30′/25′ to 30′
PLANT SHAPE & BRANCHING ….. Vase shaped, single or multi-stemmed, sometimes reaching
LEAF FORM & SHAPE ….. 3″-5″ heart shaped
LEAF ARRANGEMENT ….. simple, alternate
LEAF COLOR ….. Deciduous | emerge redish, turning bright green, a bit tired looking by end of summer, turning nice fall yellow before they dropFEATURES, BUDS, FLOWERS, FRUIT
FLOWERS | small pinkish purple in March to April, coming right off branches, cool effect
FRUIT | legume pod, brownish black 2″ to 3″ long
NATIVE HABITAT
SOIL does well in moist, organic soil
Native NJ to FL and west to TX, and Mexico
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LINKS

dogwood*designer/flickr/Cercis canadensis

MO Botanical Garden / Cercis canadensis ‘Forest Pansy’

NC State / Cercis canadensis

Dave’s Garden / Cecis canadensis

Salix babylonica | Weeping Willow

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Salix babylonica | Weeping Willow
CHARACTER
Native to MD, a graceful woodland naturalizer, great in wet lowlands. Willows are water lovers and perfect if you have a soggy spot you’d like to plant in. It will absorb a lot. Its long yellow tendrils will touch the ground. Adaptable to almost all soil conditions and happy in sun or shade. It has a dreamy power and most people feel good when they get near one.

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CARE
Tougher than Liriodendron tulipifera, but still suseptible to wind and ice storms. They grow easily by basically putting a cutting right in the ground and will rejuvinate from a stump if knocked to the ground – I have seen this happen right at the end of my street. Don’t suffer from pests.
NOTES
Extract from Willow bark is one componant of aspirin. Don’t plant near underground septic tanks or pipes since willows seek out water. Dioecious, males are showy. I was advised by a great landscape contractor never to use this in residential landscape unless it is off in a field because you can’t ever get rid of them but they break often since they are week wooded. Best to put them in a view where they won’t be disturbed, but if they are it won’t matter.

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RELATED VARIETIES | CULTIVARS | EXTRA INFO
Over 250 species of Salix, hard to tell apart
Salix matsudana‘Contorta’ | Dragon’s Claw (above) the name says it all, twisted branches, curly leaves
Salix caprea | Pussywillow this is only one of a few salix called “pussywillow”, some are upright, some are weeping

ZONES HARDINESS | SUN OR SHADE ….. 2 – 9 | full sun to full shade
GROWTH RATE ….. fast
HEIGHT / WIDTH ….. 30′-40′/same
PLANT SHAPE & BRANCHING ….. Large arching branches, with extremely flexible “whips” stems
LEAF FORM & SHAPE ….. 2″-5″/ .5″-1″ spear shaped
LEAF ARRANGEMENT ….. simple, alternate
LEAF COLOR ….. Deciduous | light lime green or yellow
FEATURES, BUDS, FLOWERS, FRUIT
FLOWERS | in sp, male catkins white fluffy

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NATIVE HABITAT
SOIL does well in moist to wet, any type
Native MD and the rest of America
MO Botanical Garden / Salix matsudana ‘Tortuosa’

Brooklyn Botanic Garden / Willow Key

Mahonia aquifolium | Oregon Grape Holly

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Mahonia aquifolium | Oregon Grape Holly

CHARACTER
A unique evergreen with shiny burgandy, pinatley compound leaves that look prehistoric and add great texture in the garden. Woodland naturalizing shrubs with branches that grow out in horizontal tiers. Although its leaves have an agressive appearance, learning a bit about it makes Mahonia shine in a new light. Oregon Grape Holly is more petite than its sister, Mahonia baelei but can be used in similar ways. Fragrant lemon yellow flowers (not the nicest) appear in late winter and burst into blueberry colored and then blue-black berries that dangle like grapes. Looks great in mass plantings and works well with grasses, coreopsis and ferns. Is often seen masking residential ac compressors, a stressful and rigorous job for any plant. Fantastic in deep shade in the deep South. It is a nice source of food for wildlife, too.


CARE
You don’t need to pull the volunteers that sprout in the spring. Most won’t last. Prune selectively on “THE 3 YEAR CYCLE”, prune 1/3 off of 1/3 of your plants each year. If you have 3 plants, each year prune 1/3rd of the branches off 1 of them. Keep moist with plenty of mulch.

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NOTES
A relative of Barberries and Nandina (if you can believe it). It may not flower if it doesn’t get at least a couple hours of sun each day, though. Best position is one that gives 2-4 hours of morning sun. One of the only plants that can tolerate the heat of an ac unit nearby. Choose plants based on color, some are not as attractive as others. Not happy in cold. Used by Native Americans to treat lots of ailments. Popular with herbalists to treat psoriasis.

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‘King’s Ransom’ above, a toughy!

RELATED VARIETIES | CULTIVARS | EXTRA INFO
Variegated forms available, most cultivars are the bugandy color but sp seems to be dark green.
‘King’s Ransom’ a new cultivar with maroon matte leaves, interesting, compact
Mahonia bealei | Leatherleaf Mahonia very similar to M. aquifolia but matte green and larger
Mahonia japonica | Japanese Mahonia available, almost identical to M. bealei, Dir says differences are not manifest, especially since individual plants are many times hybrids anyway.

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ZONES HARDINESS | SUN OR SHADE ….. 7 – 9 | part sun to (prefers) full shade
GROWTH RATE ….. slow
HEIGHT / WIDTH ….. 3′ to 5′/same
PLANT SHAPE & BRANCHING ….. Erect, rounded, horizontal branches, some stems shoot up tall
LEAF FORM & SHAPE ….. 7 to 12 leaflets, rigid and leathery, ovate, each leaflet is 1″ to 3″ long, 1″ to 2″ wide, terminal is largest, prominant spines
LEAF ARRANGEMENT ….. alternate, pinately compound
LEAF COLOR ….. Evergreen | many shades, drk green to bugandy and maroon
FEATURES, BUDS, FLOWERS, FRUIT
FLOWERS | fragrant lemon yellow panicles in April, can be quite attractive or just too neon, depends on the plant.
BERRIES | beautiful blueberry blue turning black
NATIVE HABITAT
SOIL does well in moist, slightly acid
Native to China introduced in 1845

UCONN Hortnet / Mahonia aquifolia

Virginia Tech Dendrology / Mahonia aquifolia

Wikipedia / Mahonia aquifolia

Dave’s Garden / Mahonia aquifolia

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Ilex x attenuata ‘Fosteri’ | Foster’s Hybrid Hollies

image Ilex x attenuata 'Sunny Foster'

‘Sunny Foster’ above

Ilex x attenuata ‘Fosteri’ | Foster’s Hybrid Hollies

STRENGTHS
Evergreen native to MD, conical force to be reconned with. Their leaves have very long spikes, are trim and narrow mirroring general plant shape. I would choose them over Ilex cornuta since they aren’t as shiny or fake looking. They have value as durable possibility for street tree or impenetrable, trouble free hedge. Foster’s Hollies sopecies often called Topel Holly.

MY BAD ATTITUDE ABOUT HOLLIES
My bad attitude about hollies comes from the fact that many outgrow their homes and overwhelm and sometimes obliterate whatever is close by. Often planted as screens in tight spaces, when a much less burly plant would be better. Once overgrown, it is a project to remove them. They can be very nice when treated as small trees, given space and allowed to take on a more natural state. I like hollies pruned up as well to expose the branching. Of large leaved hollies, my favorite is the native Ilex opaca. I do not have a bad attitude about small leaved hollies, on the contrary. Ilex crenata or Ilex vomitoria are fabulous.

CARE
Good attention to pruning is needed to keep a nursery produced plant dense and not spindly. Watch out for spittlebugs. Occassionally gets winter burn, simply prune out.
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NOTES
Dioecious – needs male nearby for females to berry. Usually pollinated by Ilex opaca. id by plant shape and “bird foot” shaped leaf. Young leaves have more spikes, older may have only one.

image Ilex x attenuata 'Foster #2'

RELATED VARIETIES | CULTIVARS | EXTRA INFO
‘Foster #2’ available, the best one to use, almost columnar, trim and neat
‘Foster #3′ available but never use
‘Sunny Foster’ new folliage is yellow and fading to green, nice color I would consider
‘Savannah’ popular in the south, loosley pyramidal, light green foliage
ZONES HARDINESS | SUN OR SHADE ….. 6 – 9 | full sun to part shade
GROWTH RATE ….. medium to fast
HEIGHT / WIDTH ….. 20′-30′/8′ to 15′
PLANT SHAPE & BRANCHING ….. tall, conical to columnar, fairly dense
LEAF FORM & SHAPE ….. 1.5″-3″ varries greatly in serration.
LEAF ARRANGEMENT ….. simple, alternate
LEAF COLOR ….. Evergreen | medium green, semi-glossy
FEATURES, BUDS, FLOWERS, FRUIT
FLOWERS | small yellow to white in spring
BERRIES | heavy fruiting, arrives early stays late
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NATIVE HABITAT
SOIL does well in moist to dry
Native MD to FL and west to TX
MOBOT / Ilex x attenuata ‘Fosteri’

VA Tech Dendrology / Ilex x attenuata

image Ilex x attenuata 'Foster #2'

Ilex vomitoria | Yaupon Holly

image Ilex vomitoria 'Yawkeyi'

above ‘Yawkeyi’ @ US Arborretum

Ilex vomitoria | Yaupon Holly

STRENGTHS
Evergreen and lovely with dainty small leaves with softly arching branches. Native to MD, multitude of uses in natural or formal gardens. I am a new and enthusuastic fan of this holly. Can be used as substitute for Japanese Holly (Ilex crenata, evergreen with black berries) because more adaptable and disease resistant. Tremendous number of cultivars available, use for informal screens and hedges, takes pruning well, looks wonderful in mass and foundations and even topiary and espaliers. The epithet “vomitoria” is indicative of the fact that eating the berries will make you sick. Native Americans made tea from berries, also containing high caffeine content that made them vomit in order to “cleans” impurities from body and soul. Ok.

CARE
No serious problems, prune selectively to keep natural informal shape.

NOTES
Dioecious – needs male nearby for females to berry. Dirr says “perhaps the most adaptable small leaved holly for southern gardens”.

RELATED VARIETIES | CULTIVARS | EXTRA INFO
‘Yawkeyi’ heavy fruiting yellow berries 15′ tall

image Ilex vomitoria Yawkeyi reddish new stems image Ilex vomitoria 'Stokes Dwarf' new reddish growth
ZONES HARDINESS | SUN OR SHADE ….. 7 – 10 | sun to shade
GROWTH RATE ….. medium to fast, responds well to high fertility
HEIGHT / WIDTH ….. 15′ to 20′/ narrower spread
PLANT SHAPE & BRANCHING ….. Loose, upright, rounded; can sucker and form thickets
LEAF FORM & SHAPE ….. .5″-1.5″/.25″ to .75″ oval,tapered at base, blunt at apex
LEAF ARRANGEMENT ….. simple, alternate
LEAF COLOR ….. Evergreen | dark green, no blackish glands evident on underside
FEATURES, BUDS, FLOWERS, FRUIT
STEMS | new growth is purplish red
FLOWERS | small white in spring
BERRIES | translucent, bright red, orange or yellow
NATIVE HABITAT
SOIL does well in really wet to very dry, tollerant of salt spray
Native MD, VA to FL and west to TX

image Ilex vomitoria 'Stokes Dwarf'

image Ilex vomitoria 'Stokes Dwarf'

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.

Ilex glabra | Inkberry

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Ilex glabra | Inkberry

STRENGTHS
Evergreen Native. Light airy texture with dense slender leaves and rounded habit. One of my favorite leaves. Use in borders, foundations or woodland garden near ponds or streams. Good even for tough urban territory. Can create a very nice hedge. May be used as substitute for Ilex crenata for something more unusual in a residential landscape to naturalize.

CARE
Transfer B&B if root trimmed. Heat and drought tolerant. Prune to shape in early spring just before new growth begins. Needs minimal pruning as a hedge, but may be sheared regularly to form a lower growing hedge. It can be cut back severely for rejuvenation when it begins to get leggy. Prone to breakage under heavy ice.

NOTES
Dioecious, needs male for female to produce jet black berries. Spreads by rhizomes. id: only a few uneven serrations on upper half of narrow smallish leaf, normal sp. leaves grow only on top 1/3rd of plant which can be very good for spots where visibility counts or you want to underplant. Not too expensive.
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above is ‘Densa’ at Greensprings Gardens in VA
RELATED VARIETIES | CULTIVARS | EXTRA INFO
‘Compacta’ dense 3′ to 4′/4′ to 6′ shrub (haven’t seen this one yet)
‘Shamrock’ 1/2 the normal size, compact and has leaves that grow farther down the plant than normal (50%)
‘Nordic’ an especially cold tolerant male variety that grows to 4′ tall and retains a tighter form
ZONES HARDINESS | SUN OR SHADE ….. 5 – 8 | part sun to full shade (likes shade best)
GROWTH RATE ….. slow
HEIGHT / WIDTH ….. 4’ to 8’ / 20’ to 40’ (great variation)
PLANT SHAPE & BRANCHING ….. rounded, dense, multi-stemed
LEAF FORM & SHAPE ….. spineless narrow obvate 1.5″ x ½”, sturdy.
LEAF ARRANGEMENT ….. simple, alternate
LEAF COLOR ….. Evergreen | lustrous dark green fades to olive in winter

FEATURES, BUDS, FLOWERS, FRUIT
BARK | smooth, dark greenish brown
BERRIES | jet black, showy, appears in fall gives winter interest, attracts bird
FLOWERS | hidden dainty 6 part tiny white flower with yellow center
NATIVE HABITAT
SOIL grows in wet to medium wet. Can tolerate drought, though. Adaptable to light and heavy clay.
Native to the pine flatwoods of the eastern and south-central US. Not happy with salt so stear clear of concrete.

MO Botanical Garden | Ilex glabra

VA Tech Dendronolgy | Ilex glabra

Duke | Ilex glabra



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below right Ilex glabra ‘Shamrock’, next to another colutivar on left.
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