Deinanthe bifida

19 Sep

Deinanthe bifida (17/08/2014, Kew Gardens, London)

Deinanthe bifida (17/08/2014, Kew Gardens, London)

Position: Dappled shade to shade

Flowering period: Summer

Soil: Moist, well drained

Eventual Height: 50cm

Eventual Spread: 40cm

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

Family: Hydrangeaceae

Deinanthe bifida is a deciduous herbaceous perennial with a clump forming habit. Its mid green leathery leaves are elliptic with serrate margins, a two pointed leaf tip, up to 20cm long and 12cm broad. Its white flowers are bisexual and sterile and appear as terminal corymbs.

Deinanthe bifida Flower (17/08/2014, Kew Gardens, London)

Deinanthe bifida Flower (17/08/2014, Kew Gardens, London)

Deinanthe bifida, commonly known as False Hydrangea or Two Lobed False Hydrangea, is native to Japan. In its native habitat it grows in cool alpine forests.

The etymological root of the binomial name Deinanthe is derived from the Greek deinos meaning ‘extraordinary’ and anthos meaning ‘flower’. Bifida is derived from the Latin meaning ‘split in two’.

The landscape architect may find Deinanthe bifida useful as part of a woodland planting scheme.

Deinanthe bifida Leaf (17/08/2014, Kew Gardens, London)

Deinanthe bifida Leaf (17/08/2014, Kew Gardens, London)

Ecologically, Deinanthe bifida flowers are attractive to some pollinating insects.

Deinanthe bifida prefers moist, fertile, humus rich, well-drained soils. It tolerates most pH of soil. It dislikes dry soils.

Deinanthe bifida requires little maintenance.

Ensete ventricosum ‘Maurelii’

18 Sep

Ensete ventricosum 'Maurelii' (17/08/2014, Kew Gardens, London)

Ensete ventricosum ‘Maurelii’ (17/08/2014, Kew Gardens, London)

Position: Full sun to light shade

Flowering period:

Soil: Moist, well drained

Eventual Height: 5m

Eventual Spread: 4m

Hardiness: 10a, 10b, 11, 12

Family: Musaceae

Ensete ventricosum ‘Maurelii’ is a fast growing evergreen herbaceous perennial with an upright habit. Its mid green leaves are elliptic with entire margins, purple on their undersides, up to 3m long and 55cm broad. Its yellow/ green trunk is classified as a pseudostem and may achieve a length of up to 2.5m. Its white flowers, have red/ pink bracts, are male and female, appear on the same plant are up to 1m long. This main pat of the plant will die after flowering. Its fruit is similar to the edible banana. Its roots are rhizomes.

Ensete ventricosum 'Maurelii' Leaf (17/08/2014, Kew Gardens, London)

Ensete ventricosum ‘Maurelii’ Leaf (17/08/2014, Kew Gardens, London)

The species Ensete ventricosum, commonly known as Abyssinian Banana, Ethiopian Banana or False Banana, is native to east tropical Africa. In its native habitat it grows on mountainous high rainfall forests.

The etymological root of the binomial name Ensete is derived from the vanacular name for this plant in Abyssinia. Ventricosum derived from the Latin ventriculus meaning ‘belly’.

The landscape architect may find Ensete ventricosum ‘Maurelii’ useful as a bedding plant in tropical/ lush style planting schemes.

Ecologically, Ensete ventricosum ‘Maurelii’ is of little value to UK wildlife.

The Royal Horticultural Society has given Ensete ventricosum ‘Maurelii’ their prestigious Award of Garden Merit in 2012.

Ensete ventricosum 'Maurelii' Stem (17/08/2014, Kew Gardens, London)

Ensete ventricosum ‘Maurelii’ Stem (17/08/2014, Kew Gardens, London)

Ensete ventricosum ‘Maurelii’ prefers moist, humus rich, fertile, well-drained soils. It tolerates most pH of soil. This plant dislikes dry soils.

Ensete ventricosum ‘Maurelii’ requires regular feeding during its growth period during the summer months. In the UK it will be necessary to move the plant to a sheltered position during the winter months, when the temperature is likely to fall below 2ºc. If in a pot they may be moved to a sheltered position and treated a s a house plant. Alternatively the plant may be dug up, the leaves removed and stored in a cool dry place.

Castanea crenata

17 Sep

Castanea crenata (17/08/2014, Kew Gardens, London)

Castanea crenata (17/08/2014, Kew Gardens, London)

Position: Full sun to dappled shade

Flowering period: Late spring

Soil: Moist, well drained

Eventual Height: 15m

Eventual Spread: 10m

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

Family: Fagaceae

Castanea crenata is a deciduous broad leaf tree with a rounded habit. Its mid green leaves are ovate to lanceolate with toothed serrate margins, up to 19cm long and 5cm broad. Its leaves turn yellow/ bronze before they fall in autumn. Its monoecious flowers are catkins and up to 20cm long. Its female flowers then develop into spiny cupules which are up to 7cm across and contain edible chestnuts.

Castanea crenata Leaf (17/08/2014, Kew Gardens, London)

Castanea crenata Leaf (17/08/2014, Kew Gardens, London)

Castanea crenata, commonly known as Japanese Chestnut, is native to Japan and South Korea. In its native habitat it grows in deciduous woodland. This species of Castanea is mostly resistant to Chestnut Blight. Castanea crenata is synonymous with Castanea japonica.

The etymological root of the binomial name Castanea is derived from the Latin name for Chestnut. Crenata is derived from the Latin crena meaning ‘serration’, in reference to its leaves.

The landscape architect may find Castanea crenata useful as an attractive specimen tree. This tree should be thoughtfully sited as its fruit may cause a litter problem. Once established this tree is drought tollerant.

Castanea crenata Fruit (17/08/2014, Kew Gardens, London)

Castanea crenata Fruit (17/08/2014, Kew Gardens, London)

Ecologically,  Castanea crenata fruit are attractive to some birds and mammals.

Castanea crenata prefers moist, fertile, well-drained soils. It tolerates most pH of soil. It will tolerate poor soils and very acidic soils.

Castanea crenata requires little maintenance.

Quercus acutissima

16 Sep

Quercus acutissima (17/08/2014, Kew Gardens, London)

Quercus acutissima (17/08/2014, Kew Gardens, London)

Position: Sun to light shade

Flowering period: Spring

Soil: Moist, well drained

Eventual Height: 30m

Eventual Spread: 30m

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

Family: Fagaceae

Quercus acutissima is a deciduous tree with a pyramidal crown that rounds with age. Its shiny mid green leaves are narrowly elliptic with saw tooth serrated margins, up to 20cm long and 6cm broad. Its leaves turn yellow/ brown in autumn before they fall. Its trunk may achieve a diameter of 1.5m. Its grey bark is deeply furrowed when mature. Its flowers are wind pollinated catkins. Its fruit are acorns which are up to 3cm long and 2cm broad.

Quercus acutissima Leaf (17/08/2014, Kew Gardens, London)

Quercus acutissima Leaf (17/08/2014, Kew Gardens, London)

Quercus acutissima, commonly known as the Sawtooth Oak, is native to China, Korea and Japan. In its native habitat it grows in mountainous deciduous forests.

The etymological root of the binomial name Quercus is derived from the Latin name for an Oak tree; some authorities derive the word from Celtic, quer, fine and cuez, a tree. Acutissima is derived from the Latin acutus meaning ‘cut to a point’.

The landscape architect may find Quercus acutissima useful as a tree for planting in the urban environment as it is tolerant of compaction and atmospheric pollution. Once established this tree is drought tollerant.

Quercus acutissima Bark (17/08/2014, Kew Gardens, London)

Quercus acutissima Bark (17/08/2014, Kew Gardens, London)

Ecologically, Quercus acutissima acorns are eaten by birds and mammals.

Quercus acutissima prefers moist, fertile, well-drained soils. It tolerates most pH of soil.

Quercus acutissima requires little maintenance.

Calycanthus occidentalis

15 Sep

Calycanthus occidentalis (17/08/2014, Kew Gardens, London)

Calycanthus occidentalis (17/08/2014, Kew Gardens, London)

Position: Full sun to partial shade

Flowering period: Summer

Soil: Moist, well drained

Eventual Height: 3m

Eventual Spread: 3m

Hardiness: 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b, 10a

Family: Calycanthaceae

Calycanthus occidentalis is a deciduous shrub with a bushy habit. Its dark green glossy leaves are ovate with entire margins, up to 20cm long and 8cm broad. Its leaves may turn yellow before they fall in autumn. Its red hermaphrodite fragrant flowers are borne solitary and up to 5cm across. Its roots produce suckers which aids its slow spread.

Calycanthus occidentalis Flower (17/08/2014, Kew Gardens, London)

Calycanthus occidentalis Flower (17/08/2014, Kew Gardens, London)

Calycanthus occidentalis, commonly known as the California Allspice or Western Sweetshrub, is native to south west USA. In its native habitat it grows in dappled woodland shade and river banks.

The etymological root of the binomial name Calycanthus is derived from the Greek kalyx meaning ‘a covering’ and anthos meaning ‘ flower’. Occidentalis is from the Latin meaning ‘from the west’.

The landscape architect may find Calycanthus occidentalis useful as an attractive flowering specimen shrub suitable for a dappled shade location. It may also be planted and cut as a hedge.

Calycanthus occidentalis Leaf (17/08/2014, Kew Gardens, London)

Calycanthus occidentalis Leaf (17/08/2014, Kew Gardens, London)

Ecologically,  Calycanthus occidentalis flowers are pollinated by small beetles.

Calycanthus occidentalis prefers moist, fertile, well-drained soils. It tolerates most pH of soil. It dislikes dry soils.

Calycanthus occidentalis requires little maintenance.

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