Aconitum episcopale

31 Oct

Aconitum episcopale (28/09/2014, Kew Gardens, London)

Aconitum episcopale (28/09/2014, Kew Gardens, London)

Position: Full sun to partial shade

Flowering period: Late summer to early autumn

Soil: Moist, well drained

Eventual Height: 4m

Eventual Spread: 2m

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

Family: Ranunculaceae

Aconitum episcopale is a deciduous, herbaceous perennial with a scrambling/ climbing habit. Its dark green leaves are ovate-pentagonal, deeply lobed with up to 5 segments and up to 7cm long and 10cm across. Its stems are twining which enables this plan to climb. Its pale blue flowers are hood shaped, up to 25mm.

Aconitum episcopale Flower (28/09/2014, Kew Gardens, London)

Aconitum episcopale Flower (28/09/2014, Kew Gardens, London)

Aconitum episcopale, commonly known as Climbing Monkshood, is native to south central China. In its native habitat it grows at woodland margins and grassy slopes. All parts of this plant are extremely toxic.

The etymological root of the binomial name Aconitum is from the ancient Greek name for this plant and is loosely translated as ‘unconquerable poison’. We are unclear of the derivation of Episcopale, reader feedback would be welcome.

The landscape architect may find Aconitum episcopale useful as a climbing plant with pale blue flowers in early autumn. Care should be taken when locating this plant due to its poisonous nature, including via skin.

Aconitum episcopale Leaf (28/09/2014, Kew Gardens, London)

Aconitum episcopale Leaf (28/09/2014, Kew Gardens, London)

Ecologically,  Aconitum episcopale flowers are attractive to pollinating insects.

Aconitum episcopale prefers moist, fertile, well-drained soils. It tolerates most pH of soil. It dislikes wet soils.

Aconitum episcopale  requires little maintenance. To keep a tidy appearance old flowering stems may be removed in spring. Large clumps may be divided in late autumn to late winter.

Pyrus betulaefolia

30 Oct

Pyrus betulaefolia (28/09/2014, Kew Gardens, London)

Pyrus betulaefolia (28/09/2014, Kew Gardens, London)

Position: Full sun to light shade

Flowering period: Spring

Soil: Moist, well drained

Eventual Height: 7.5m

Eventual Spread: 5m

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

Family: Rosaceae

Pyrus betulaefolia Leaf (28/09/2014, Kew Gardens, London)

Pyrus betulaefolia Leaf (28/09/2014, Kew Gardens, London)

Pyrus betulaefolia is a deciduous tree with a broadly pyramidal habit. Its glossy mid green leaves are ovate with serrate margins, up to 7cm long and 4cm broad. Its leaves turn red/ purple in autumn before they fall. Its white hermaphrodite flowers are up to 3cm across. Its green/ yellow fruit is a spherical pome and matures is autumn.

Pyrus betulaefolia, commonly known as Birch Leafed Pear, is native to east Asia to north China.

Pyrus betulaefolia Autumn Leaf (28/09/2014, Kew Gardens, London)

Pyrus betulaefolia Autumn Leaf (28/09/2014, Kew Gardens, London)

The etymological root of the binomial name Pyrus is the classical name for the Pear tree. Betulaefolia is derived from the name of another species of tree, Betula and the Latin folia meaning ‘leaf’.

The landscape architect may find Pyrus betulaefolia useful as an attractive spring flowering tree with interesting leaf colour in autumn. This tree is tolerant of atmospheric pollution. Once established this tree is moderately drought tolerant.

Pyrus betulaefolia Bark (28/09/2014, Kew Gardens, London)

Pyrus betulaefolia Bark (28/09/2014, Kew Gardens, London)

Ecologically, Pyrus betulaefolia flowers are attractive to pollinating insects. The fruit of this tree is attractive to some birds and mammals.

Pyrus betulaefolia prefers moist, fertile, well-drained soils. It tolerates most pH of soil.

Pyrus betulaefolia requires little maintenance.

Rostrinucula dependens

29 Oct

Rostrinucula dependens (28/09/2014, Kew Gardens, London)

Rostrinucula dependens (28/09/2014, Kew Gardens, London)

Position: Full sun to light shade

Flowering period: Late summer to early autumn

Soil: Moist, well drained

Eventual Height: 1m

Eventual Spread: 1m

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

Family: Lamiaceae

Rostrinucula dependens is a deciduous sub shrub with a bushy habit. It will die to ground level at the colder end of it hardiness zone. Its mid green leaves are oblong to elliptic with an irregularly serrulate margin, up to 9cm long and 3cm broad.  Its white/ pink/ lavender flowers appear as pendant racemes which are up to 35cm long ad 15mm in diameter.

Rostrinucula dependens Flower (28/09/2014, Kew Gardens, London)

Rostrinucula dependens Flower (28/09/2014, Kew Gardens, London)

Rostrinucula dependens, commonly known as Weeping Buddleia or Weeping Rostrinucula, is native to west China.

The etymological root of the binomial name Rostrinucula is derived from the Latin rostrum meaning ‘beak, inus meaning ‘having’ and cula meaning ‘small’. Dependens is derived from the Latin dependulus meaning ‘hanging down’.

The landscape architect may find Rostrinucula dependens useful as an interesting sub shrub with late summer flowers.

Rostrinucula dependens Leaf (28/09/2014, Kew Gardens, London)

Rostrinucula dependens Leaf (28/09/2014, Kew Gardens, London)

Ecologically, Rostrinucula dependens flowers are attractive to pollinating insects.

Rostrinucula dependens prefers moist, fertile, well-drained soils. It tolerates most pH of soil.

Rostrinucula dependens requires little maintenance.

Crinodendron patagua

28 Oct

Crinodendron patagua (28/09/2014, Kew Gardens, London)

Crinodendron patagua (28/09/2014, Kew Gardens, London)

Position: Full sun to partial shade

Flowering period: Late summer

Soil: Moist, well drained

Eventual Height: 8m

Eventual Spread: 5m

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

Family: Elaeocarpaceae

Crinodendron patagua is an evergreen shrub with a dense, upright habit . Its dark green leaves are ovate with sinuate margins, up to 7cm long and 5m wide. Its white flowers are lantern shaped, pendant and up to 25mm long. Its fruit is an orange capsule with up to 5 valves.

Crinodendron patagua Flower (28/09/2014, Kew Gardens, London)

Crinodendron patagua Flower (28/09/2014, Kew Gardens, London)

Crinodendron patagua, commonly known as Lilly of the Valley Tree, is native to Chile. In its native habitat it grows in humid shady places, usually near streams.

The etymological root of the binomial name Crinodendron is derived from the Greek krinon meaning ‘Lilly’ and dendron meaning ‘tree’. Patagua is derived from the Latin meaning ‘from Patagonia’.

The landscape architect may find Crinodendron patagua useful as a large evergreen shrub with attractive flowers suitable for acidic soils. Its flowers may be damaged by a late frost, therefore a sheltered position would be favoured.

Crinodendron patagua Leaf (28/09/2014, Kew Gardens, London)

Crinodendron patagua Leaf (28/09/2014, Kew Gardens, London)

Ecologically,  Crinodendron patagua flowers are attractive to pollinating insects.

Crinodendron patagua prefers moist, fertile, humus rich, well-drained soils. It prefers an acid pH of soil. This shrub dislikes dry soils.

Crinodendron patagua requires little maintenance.

Hypericum patulum

27 Oct

Hypericum patulum (28/09/2014, Kew Gardens, London)

Hypericum patulum (28/09/2014, Kew Gardens, London)

Position: Full sun to light shade

Flowering period: Summer

Soil: Moist, well drained

Eventual Height: 1m

Eventual Spread: 1m

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

Family: Hypericaceae

Hypericum patulum is a semi-evergreen shrub with  bushy habit. Its dark green leaves are lanceolate to ovate with entire margins, up to 6cm long and 3cm broad. Its leaves turn orange/ red in autumn and through the winter months. Its yellow flowers are bowl shaped, have five petals, prominent stamens and are up to 4cm across. Its fruit is a dark brown capsule and up to 1cm long.

Hypericum patulum Flower (28/09/2014, Kew Gardens, London)

Hypericum patulum Flower (28/09/2014, Kew Gardens, London)

Hypericum patulum, commonly known as St John’s Wort, is native to China, Japan and the Himalayas region. In its native habitat it grows on open hillsides, open forests and thickets.

The etymological root of the binomial name Hypericum is derived from the Greek meaning ‘above pictures’, in reference to this plants use over shrines to repel evil spirits. Patulum is from the Latin meaning ‘wide open’.

The landscape architect may find Hypericum patulum useful as an effective ground cover, summer flowering shrub. Once established this shrub is drought tolerant.

Hypericum patulum Leaf (28/09/2014, Kew Gardens, London)

Hypericum patulum Leaf (28/09/2014, Kew Gardens, London)

Ecologically,  Hypericum patulum flowers are attractive to pollinating insects.

Hypericum patulum prefers moist, fertile, well-drained soils. It tolerates most pH of soil.

Hypericum patulum requires little maintenance.

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