After weeks of delay due to freezing temps and rain, I finally was able to get out and garden on Saturday. I even planted a little container garden of nasturtium and calendula for Mom's condo balcony. Spring at last! Please visit Floridata often, tell your friends about us and be good and grow. Jack
Our newest plant profile is on false indigo (Amorpha fruticosa), a large fast-growing shrub that is found growing over much of North America from southern Canada to the Mexican border. False indigo likes moist soils and is found growing in open wetlands and on the margins of lakes and streams. Showy flowers attractive to butterflies, handsome foliage and fast rate of growth make false indigo and excellent choice in informal mixed shrub borders or for naturalizing in wildflower/shrub gardens. Read the profile now » for more on this showy American native that is hardy in Zones 4 to 9.
The fringetree (Chionanthus virginicus) is a native American deciduous shrub that blooms at this time of year. Compared to when I lived here decades ago, fringetrees are being planted all over the Cincinnati area, from commercial and municipal landscapes to home gardens and it is easy to understand why! Birds and butterflies love the Grancy Greybeard (as we call it down South), its flowers are fragrant and it is low maintenance as well as drought tolerant.
Here are some other spring-blooming shrubs:
'Mrs. G.G. Gerbing' is one of the Southern Indica azaleas (Rhododendron spp.) has huge flowers against handsome evergreen foliage. It is a robust grower and was obtained from a stem mutation (called a "sport") of a 'George L. Taber' azalea (below). Click here to download a large version (800x600).
The helicoptering seeds produced by the silver maple (Acer saccharinum) are maturing now here in Kentucky. Spinning to earth, the heavy seed end causes the samara to dive head first into the turf grass or other vegetation ensuring that it comes in contact with the soil (or as close as possible). Download a large version of this image - visit the sugar maple Image Gallery for others.
These are the foliage and flowers of the 'Bloodgood' cultivar of the Japanese maple (Acer palmatum). This very popular small tree has beautiful burgundy leaves that turn even more colorful in autumn.
Amur maple (Acer ginnala) is a bushy shrub or small deciduous tree with long, slender arching branches that is blooms at this time of year just as the leaves are emerging. Amur maple is a popular landscaping plant in very cold climates. In Canada, Amur maple finds use as a durable shrub and hedge plant. In some regions like New England (among others), Amur maple is an invasive weed. Always check locally to insure that you're not planting a potential problem. Read more » about the Amur maple.
More maple species to read about at Floridata:
There are a lot of the double flowered 'Cheerfulness' daffodil (Narcissus spp.) growing around my neighborhood. This beauty has golden yellow centers that darken to a peach color as the flower matures. For more on spring flowering bulbs, read Ray's articles about The Daffodils and history of The Tulips then check out Floridata's profiles of these and other spring-blooming favorites:
The Hawaiian Islands are home to an array of native plant species that has attracted the attention of botanists, naturalists, horticulturists and world travelers ever since Europeans first visited the islands near the end of the 18th century. Read more »
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Great white trillium (Trillium grandiflorum) is a spring blooming perennial wildflower that is native to the forests of eastern North American. Composed of three whorled leaves, three white petals and three sepals, this wildflower is beloved for its simple, elegant beauty. Read more about this superstar of springtime wildflowers for woodland gardens and other shady spaces in USDA Zones 4-8. Here's a list of a few other woodland wildflowers to look for at this time of year:
Native cross vine (Bignonia capreolata) grows all over my North Florida neighborhood. They bloom in April, the vines becoming garlands of bright blossoms draped over, up and through the pines and baldcypress trees around my pond. This vine and nearby trumpet creeper vines (Campsis radicans) are two of the main reasons that my place is a favorite hummingbird hangout. Here are links to some of my favorite spring-flowering vine profiles:
Hummingbirds are fast and furious adding action and drama to the garden. They are my favorite birds and are hugely entertaining when observed from the comfort of a lawn-chair with a cool refreshment in hand. The trumpet creeper (Campsis radicans) is one of the best plants for attracting hummers. It is a large aggressive vine and not recommended for small spaces but the hummingbirds love it because it blooms throughout the summer. Here are some links to a few more species that can help transform your garden into a home for hummers:
Cardinal flower's (Lobelia cardinalis) blossoms are designed for easy (hummingbird) access!
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