Rhododendron lutescens

23 Apr

Rhododendron lutescens (16/03/2014, Kew Gardens, London)

Rhododendron lutescens (16/03/2014, Kew Gardens, London)

Position: Dappled shade

Flowering period: Spring

Soil: Moist, well drained, acidic

Eventual Height: 3m

Eventual Spread: 4m

Hardiness: 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a

Family:  Ericaceae

Rhododendron lutescens is an evergreen shrub with a loose bushy habit. Its dark green leaves are lanceolate with entire margins, up to 9cm long and 2.5cm broad. Its leaves are bronze in colour when the first appear. It yellow flowers are funnel shaped, up to 2.5cm across, appear terminally or in the leaf axils in groups of up to 3. The fruit of the plant is a capsule which is up to 1cm across.

Rhododendron lutescens Flower (16/03/2014, Kew Gardens, London)

Rhododendron lutescens Flower (16/03/2014, Kew Gardens, London)

Rhododendron lutescens, commonly known as Lutescens Rhododendron, is native to south central China. In its native habitat it grows in damp mixed woodlands.

The etymological root of the binomial name Rhododendron is derived from the Greek rodon ‘a rose’ and dendron ‘a tree’. Lutescens is derived is from the Latin lutea meaning ‘yellow’ and the epithet escens meaning ‘like’.

The landscape architect may find Rhododendron lutescens useful as an evergreen spring flowering shrub suitable for soils with an acid pH. As it prefers to be located in dappled shade, it is suitable for woodland planting schemes.

Rhododendron lutescens Leaf (16/03/2014, Kew Gardens, London)

Rhododendron lutescens Leaf (16/03/2014, Kew Gardens, London)

Ecologically,  Rhododendron lutescens is of little ecological value in the UK. Its nectar is poisonous to bees.

Rhododendron lutescens prefers moist, humus rich, well-drained soils. It prefers an acid to neutral pH of soil.

Rhododendron lutescens requires little maintenance. Pruning should be carried out after flowering but before the new buds form.

Camellia cuspidata

22 Apr

 

Camellia cuspidata (16/03/2014, Kew Gardens, London)

Camellia cuspidata (16/03/2014, Kew Gardens, London)

Position: Dappled to full shade

Flowering: Spring

Soil: Moist, well-drained, acidic

Eventual Height: 3m

Eventual Spread: 3m

Hardiness: 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b, 10a

Family: Theaceae

Camellia cuspidata is an evergreen flowering shrub with a bushy habit. Its dark green leathery leaves are elliptic with serrulate margins and a cuneate tip, paler on the underside, up to 7cm long and 3cm broad. Its new leaves appear reddish in colour. Its single white flowers have protruding yellow stamen are up to 3cm across and appear along the branches, particularly at the ends.

Camellia cuspidata Flower (16/03/2014, Kew Gardens, London)

Camellia cuspidata Flower (16/03/2014, Kew Gardens, London)

Camellia cuspidata, commonly know as Camellia,is native to south China. In it native habitat it grows as an understory plant in forests. This plant should be positioned in a site sheltered from cold, dry winds and early morning sun as buds and flowers may be damaged by cold winds and late frosts.

The etymological root of the binomial name Camellia is derived from and named after the botanist George Kamel. Cuspidata is derived from the Latin cuspidatim meaning ‘with a point’, in reference to its leaves.

The landscape architect may find Camellia cuspidata useful an evergreen, spring flowering shrub which will tolerate shaded conditions and acidic soils.

Camellia cuspidata Leaf (16/03/2014, Kew Gardens, London)

Camellia cuspidata Leaf (16/03/2014, Kew Gardens, London)

Ecologically, Camellia cuspidata is of little wildlife value in the UK.

Camellia cuspidata prefers moist, humus rich, fertile, well-drained soils. It prefers neutral to acidic soils.

Camellia cuspidata requires little maintenance. If necessary, pruning should be carried out after flowering.

Ranunculus ficaria ‘Brazen Hussy’

21 Apr

 

Ranunculus ficaria 'Brazen Hussy' (16/03/2014, Kew Gardens, London)

Ranunculus ficaria ‘Brazen Hussy’ (16/03/2014, Kew Gardens, London)

Position: Partial to full shade

Flowering period: Spring

Soil: Moist, well drained

Eventual Height: 15cm

Eventual Spread: 45cm

Hardiness: 4a, 4b, 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b

Family: Ranunculaceae

Ranunculus ficaria ‘Brazen Hussy’ is a deciduous herbaceous perennial with a clump forming habit. Its glossy black/ bronze green leaves are cordate with entire margins, up to 5cm long and 3cm broad. Its leaves die down during the dryer summer months. Its yellow flowers are up to 25mm across and appear on stalks above its leaves. Its roots are tuberous which aids its slow spread.

Ranunculus ficaria 'Brazen Hussy' Flower (16/03/2014, Kew Gardens, London)

Ranunculus ficaria ‘Brazen Hussy’ Flower (16/03/2014, Kew Gardens, London)

The species, Ranunculus ficaria, commonly known as Lesser Celandine, is native to Europe and west Asia. In its native habitat it grows in woodlands in damp shady locations. The species is considered an invasive weed in many parts of the USA.

The etymological root of the binomial name Ranunculus is derived from the Latin rana

The landscape architect may find Ranunculus ficaria ‘Brazen Hussy’ useful as an attractive ground cover plant for shady areas. This plant should be used in combination with other perennials as its leaves die down during the summer months. This plant is not attractive to deer.

Ranunculus ficaria 'Brazen Hussy' Leaf (16/03/2014, Kew Gardens, London)

Ranunculus ficaria ‘Brazen Hussy’ Leaf (16/03/2014, Kew Gardens, London)

Ecologically, Ranunculus ficaria ‘Brazen Hussy’ flowers are attractive to pollinating insects.

Ranunculus ficaria ‘Brazen Hussy’ prefers moist, humus rich, well-drained soils. It tolerates most pH of soil.

Ranunculus ficaria ‘Brazen Hussy’ requires little maintenance. Large clumps may be divided in spring or early autumn.

Torquay to Teignmouth Coastal Woodland Walk, Devon

18 Apr

Last weekend I went on a trip to Devon in south west England. The highlight of the trip was a 9 mile coastal walk from Torquay to Teignmouth. A significant portion of the walk was within a coastal woodland which hugged the cliff edge. I was struck by the beauty of the various unmanaged native ground cover plant associations along the route.

Torquay Coastal Woodland Walk, Devon - Woodland Path

Torquay Coastal Woodland Walk, Devon – Woodland Path

Torquay Coastal Woodland Walk, Devon - Woodland Path Steps

Torquay Coastal Woodland Walk, Devon – Woodland Path Steps

Torquay Coastal Woodland Walk, Devon - Hedera helix Green Wall

Torquay Coastal Woodland Walk, Devon – Hedera helix Green Wall

Torquay Coastal Woodland Walk, Devon - Primula vulgaris with mixed plants on Bank

Torquay Coastal Woodland Walk, Devon – Primula vulgaris with mixed plants on Bank

Torquay Coastal Woodland Walk, Devon - Hedera helix Ground cover with Polystichum setiferum

Torquay Coastal Woodland Walk, Devon – Hedera helix Ground cover with Polystichum setiferum

Torquay Coastal Woodland Walk, Devon - Hedera helix Ground cover with Asplenium scolopendrium

Torquay Coastal Woodland Walk, Devon – Hedera helix Ground cover with Asplenium scolopendrium

Torquay Coastal Woodland Walk, Devon - Hedera helix Ground cover with Asplenium scolopendrium

Torquay Coastal Woodland Walk, Devon – Hedera helix Ground cover with Asplenium scolopendrium

Torquay Coastal Woodland Walk, Devon - Hedera helix Ground cover with Iris foetidissima and Primula vulgaris

Torquay Coastal Woodland Walk, Devon – Hedera helix Ground cover with Iris foetidissima and Primula vulgaris

Torquay Coastal Woodland Walk, Devon - Ranunculus ficaria Ground cover with Primula vulgaris

Torquay Coastal Woodland Walk, Devon – Ranunculus ficaria Ground cover with Primula vulgaris

Torquay Coastal Woodland Walk, Devon - Allium ursinum Groundcover

Torquay Coastal Woodland Walk, Devon – Allium ursinum Groundcover

Torquay Coastal Woodland Walk, Devon - Hyacinthoides non-scripta 'Alba' Ground cover

Torquay Coastal Woodland Walk, Devon – Hyacinthoides non-scripta ‘Alba’ Ground cover

Torquay Coastal Woodland Walk, Devon - Plant arrangement on rock

Torquay Coastal Woodland Walk, Devon – Plant arrangement on rock

Prunus subhirtella ‘Pendula Rubra’

17 Apr

 

Prunus subhirtella 'Pendula Rubra' (16/03/2014, Kew Gardens, London)

Prunus subhirtella ‘Pendula Rubra’ (16/03/2014, Kew Gardens, London)

Position: Full sun

Soil: Moist, well drained

Flowering period: Spring

Eventual Height: 8m

Eventual Spread: 8m

Hardiness: 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b

Family: Rosaceae

Prunus subhirtella ‘Pendula Rubra’ is a deciduous tree with a weeping habit. Its dark green leaves are ovate with serrate margins, up to 10cm long and 5cm broad. Its leaves turn yellow/ orange/ red in autumn before they fall. Its pink single flowers are up to 13mm across and appear in clusters of up to five. Its fruit is a cherry like, ovoid, black fruit.

Prunus subhirtella 'Pendula Rubra' Flowers (16/03/2014, Kew Gardens, London)

Prunus subhirtella ‘Pendula Rubra’ Flowers (16/03/2014, Kew Gardens, London)

Prunus subhirtella ‘Pendula Rubra’, commonly known as Weeping Cherry, is native to Japan. The species is believed to be cultivated with no records of it in the wild. Prunus subhirtella ‘Pendula Rubra’ is synonymous with Prunus pendula ‘Pendula Rubra’

The etymological root of the binomial name Prunus is from the classical name of the plum tree. Subhirtella is derived from the Latin hirtus ’hairy’ referring to the leaves and young wood. Pendula is derived from the Latin pendeo meaning ‘to hang’. Rubra is from the Latin meaning ‘red’.

Prunus subhirtella ‘Pendula Rubra’ is useful to the landscape architect for its autumn colour, spring flowers and architectural weeping habit.

Ecologically, Prunus subhirtella ‘Pendula Rubra’ flowers are attractive to pollinating insect.

Prunus subhirtella 'Pendula Rubra' Bark (16/03/2014, Kew Gardens, London)

Prunus subhirtella ‘Pendula Rubra’ Bark (16/03/2014, Kew Gardens, London)

The Royal Horticultural Society have given Prunus subhirtella ‘Pendula Rubra’ (Prunus pendula ‘Pendula Rubra’) their prestigious Award of Garden Merit in 1993.

Prunus subhirtella ‘Pendula Rubra’ prefers moist, fertile, well-drained soils. It tolerates most pH of soil. This tree dislike wet soils.

Prunus subhirtella ‘Pendula Rubra’ requires little maintenance. If necessary pruning should be carried out after flowering, from April to July to minimise the risk of Silver leaf infection.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 190 other followers

%d bloggers like this: