I'm headed to Tennessee for a week to visit the Smoky Mountains. The trip will focus on wildflower photography, napping and pancakes. I hope you have a great week too! Please share Floridata with your friends and be good and grow. Jack
Our newest Plant Profile is of the notorious Japanese knotweed (Fallopia japonica), a large, fast-growing perennial species that was imported into the US as an ornamental species in the late 1800's. Since then the plant has spread across the continent, disrupting a wide range of plant communities in all but the southernmost states. Japanese knotweed is extremely persistent and nearly impossible to eradicate. Read more about this weedy species that is found in USDA Zones 3-8.
Back home in Tallahassee, Florida the feijoas (Feijoa sellowiana) are blooming this month. Also called pineapple guava, this evergreen shrub produces egg size edible fruits and the waxy flower petals are edible too!
Dwarf fothergilla (Fothergilla gardenii) is a deciduous shrub that is a native of the southeastern United States. It features showy bottlebrush-shaped flower clusters in early spring and in fall the leaves turn brilliant shades of yellow, orange and red. It prefers a woodsy setting and due to its small stature it is a good choice for smaller yards and gardens. Click here for more on this charming little shrub for Zones 4-8.
The gumi (Elaeagnus multiflora) is sweet, slightly astringent and totally tasty. Birds like gumi too. Click to download a large of version (800x600) of these gumi fruits for a closer look. Here are some links to more unusual woody species with edible fruits:
The opium or bread poppies (Papaver somniferum) bloom at this time of year. The opium poppy is an annual that must reseed itself each season so the ground must remain exposed and not mulched over. If you don't smother the seeds and the poppies will return year after year! Click to download a large version (800x600) of the pretty purple poppy to display on your computer desktop.
I moved most of my lilies (Lilium hybrids), including the 'Sorbonne' oriental lilies in this picture, to a bed closer to the house where I can better protect them from the stupid, despicable deer. Unless they were traumatized when I transplanted them, most should bloom in about a month. Click to download a large version (800x600). Here are links to profiles more spring flowering bulbs (tubers, corms, etc.) that you can plant now for flowers this season:
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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There is a pawpaw (Asimina triloba) tree growing at the edge of a pond on the path where I walk my dog every day. It's in full bloom now and covered with small bell-shaped flowers that hang straight down from the branches.
I took this "ant's eye" view of one of the blossoms. They are small and leathery and kind of weird but very beautiful and very interesting. The ones that manage to mature into fruit will be very delicious. Visit the Pawpaw Profile's Image Gallery to download these and other images in large format (800x600px).
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The blanketflower (Gaillardia pulchella) and its hybrids are rugged plants with blazingly colorful daisylike flowers. Blanketflower thrives in hot, sunny situations and is a favorite of meadow gardeners. Click here to read more about blanketflower and check out the links in this list for other sun-loving flowers:
The showy little Jack-in-the-pulpit (Arisaema triphyllum) is a showy little woodland "spring ephemeral" wildflower whose natural range extends from Ontario to central Florida. It blooms in spring around the time the trees are leafing out. I was lucky to find some in bloom when I visited the Smoky Mountains last week. Read more about this petite perennial beauty for natural and woodland gardens in USDA Zones 4-9. Here's a list of a few other woodland wildflowers to look for at this time of year:
Bear's breeches (Acanthus mollis) produces large flower stalks in spring but it is more famous for its large leaves. Acanthus foliage is reproduced in the ornamentation of classical Greek artwork and in the capitals of Corinthian order columns. Some of these shade loving species have showy flowers but these are nice to grow just for the attractive foliage:
Pink-flowered bleeding hearts (Dicentra spectabilis) are more common, but this white form is also readily available at garden centers. The handsome foliage is a bonus. Click to download a large version (800x600).
The Abyssinian banana Ensete ventricosum is a tropical plant that resembles a palm in form but isn't a member of the Arecacea (palm) family. It also isn't a banana which it resembles even more and to which it is closely related. Also called ensete, this tropical perennial is native to Ethiopia where the root stem is sometimes chopped, fermented and eaten as a not very delicious food. Here are more palmlike species that we include in Floridata's Palm list in order to make them easy to browse:
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