Lagerstroemia ‘Tuscarora’

24 Oct

Lagerstroemia 'Tuscarora' (28/09/2014, Kew Gardens, London)

Lagerstroemia ‘Tuscarora’ (28/09/2014, Kew Gardens, London)

Position: Full sun

Flowering period: Late summer to early autumn

Soil: Moist, well drained

Eventual Height: 6m

Eventual Spread: 6m

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

Family: Lythraceae

Lagerstroemia ‘Tuscarora’ is a deciduous shrub or small tree with a bushy habit. Its dark green, glossy leaves are elliptic with entire margins, up to 7cm long and 3cm broad. Its leaves turn shades of yellow to red before they fall in autumn. Its grey bark is smooth and exfoliates with age. Its red/ pink flowers appear as 40cm long terminal clusters. Its brown fruit appear as round seed capsules, are up to 12mm across and persist into the winter.

Lagerstroemia 'Tuscarora' Flower (28/09/2014, Kew Gardens, London)

Lagerstroemia ‘Tuscarora’ Flower (28/09/2014, Kew Gardens, London)

Lagerstroemia ‘Tuscarora’, commonly known as Crape Myrtle, is a cross between Lagerstroemia faurei and Lagerstroemia indica.

The etymological root of the binomial name Lagerstroemia is named for Magnus von Lagerston of Goteborg (1696 – 1759), a friend of Linnaeus. Tuscarora is likely to be named after the Native American people of that name.

The landscape architect may find Lagerstroemia ‘Tuscarora’ useful as a large specimen shrub. Once established this shrub is drought tolerant. This shrub is tolerant of atmospheric pollution. It has a very good resistance to powdery mildew.

Ecologically, Lagerstroemia ‘Tuscarora’ flowers are attractive to pollinating insects.

Lagerstroemia 'Tuscarora' Leaf (28/09/2014, Kew Gardens, London)

Lagerstroemia ‘Tuscarora’ Leaf (28/09/2014, Kew Gardens, London)

Lagerstroemia ‘Tuscarora’ prefers moist, fertile, well-drained soils. It prefers a neutral to acid pH of soil, although it will tolerate alkali pH of soil but its leaves may become chlorotic and the autumn leaf colour may not be as dramatic.

Lagerstroemia ‘Tuscarora’ requires little maintenance. Pruning should be carried out in spring before growth begins.

Telekia speciosa

23 Oct

Telekia speciosa (28/09/2014, Kew Gardens, London)

Telekia speciosa (28/09/2014, Kew Gardens, London)

Position: Full sun to dappled shade

Flowering period: Late summer to early autumn

Soil: Moist, well drained

Eventual Height: 1.8m

Eventual Spread: 1m

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

Family: Asteraceae

Telekia speciosa is a deciduous perennial with a clump forming habit. Its mid green leaves are ovate with double serrate margins, up to 30cm long and 20cm broad. Its yellow daisy like flowers have orange centres, are terminal and up to 8cm across. Its fruit are sunflower like and readily self seed. Its roots have rhizomes which aids its slow spread.

Telekia speciosa Flower (28/09/2014, Kew Gardens, London)

Telekia speciosa Flower (28/09/2014, Kew Gardens, London)

Telekia speciosa, commonly known as Ox Eye Daisy or Yellow Ox Eye, is native to central Europe, central and south Russia and the Caucasus. In its native habitat it grows at forest margins and glades. Telekia speciosa is synonymous with Buphthalmum speciosum.

The etymological root of the binomial name Telekia is named after Count Sámuel Teleki de Szék (1739-1822) chancellor of Transylvania. Speciosa is from the Latin meaning ‘spectacular’.

The landscape architect may find Telekia speciosa useful as part of mixed herbaceous planting scheme.

Telekia speciosa Leaf (28/09/2014, Kew Gardens, London)

Telekia speciosa Leaf (28/09/2014, Kew Gardens, London)

Ecologically, Telekia speciosa flowers are attractive to pollinating insects. Its seed are attractive to bids and some mammals.

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

Telekia speciosa requires little maintenance.

Semiarundinaria fastuosa

22 Oct

Semiarundinaria fastuosa (28/09/2014, Kew Gardens, London)

Semiarundinaria fastuosa (28/09/2014, Kew Gardens, London)

Position: Full sun to dappled shade

Flowering period: N/A

Soil: Moist, well drained

Eventual Height: 8m

Eventual Spread: 2.5m

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

Family: Poaceae

Semiarundinaria fastuosa is an evergreen bamboo with a clump forming, upright habit. Its dark green leaves are ovate with entire margins, up to 20cm long and 5cm broad. Its mid green culms may turn burgundy red in autumn. Its flowers appear as panicles and as with most bamboos the plant will die after flowering. Its roots are rhizomes which aids its slow spread.

Semiarundinaria fastuosa Leaf (28/09/2014, Kew Gardens, London)

Semiarundinaria fastuosa Leaf (28/09/2014, Kew Gardens, London)

Semiarundinaria fastuosa, commonly known as the Narihira Bamboo or Temple Bamboo, is native to Japan. In its native habitat it grows in open woodlands and damp places. This bamboo has become naturalised in parts of the UK.

The etymological root of the binomial name Semiarundinaria is derived from the Latin semi meaning ‘half’ and arundo  meaning ‘reed’ and the suffix -aria which signifies ‘belonging to’. Fastuosa is from the Latin meaning ‘proud’.

The landscape architect may find Semiarundinaria fastuosa useful as a hedging or screening bamboo. This bamboo is tolerant of maritime exposure.

Ecologically, Semiarundinaria fastuosa is of little benefit to UK wildlife.

Semiarundinaria fastuosa Stem (28/09/2014, Kew Gardens, London)

Semiarundinaria fastuosa Stem (28/09/2014, Kew Gardens, London)

The Royal Horticultural Society has given  Semiarundinaria fastuosa their prestigious Award of Garden Merit in 1993.

Semiarundinaria fastuosa prefers moist, humus rich, well-drained soils. It tolerates most pH of soil. It dislikes dry soils.

Semiarundinaria fastuosa requires little maintenance.

Helianthus salicifolius

21 Oct

Helianthus salicifolius (28/09/014, Kew Gardens London)

Helianthus salicifolius (28/09/014, Kew Gardens London)

Position: Full sun

Flowering period: Late summer to early autumn

Soil: Moist, well drained

Eventual Height: 3m

Eventual Spread: 1m

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

Family: Asteraceae

Helianthus salicifolius is a deciduous herbaceous perennial with an upright clump forming habit. Its mid green leaves are lanceolate with entire margins, up to 20cm long and 1cm broad. Its yellow flowers are disk shaped with brown centres and up to 6cm across. Its roots have rhizomes which aids its slow spread.

Helianthus salicifolius Flower (28/09/014, Kew Gardens London)

Helianthus salicifolius Flower (28/09/014, Kew Gardens London)

Helianthus salicifolius, commonly known as Willow Leaved Sunflower, is native to south central USA. In its native habit it grows in on open grass land.

The etymological root of the binomial name Helianthus is derived from the Greek helios meaning ‘sun’ and  anthos meaning ‘ flower’. Salicifolius is derived from the Latin meaning ‘Willow leaved’.

The landscape architect may find Helianthus salicifolius useful as a large, late flowering herbaceous perennial.

Helianthus salicifolius Leaf (28/09/014, Kew Gardens London)

Helianthus salicifolius Leaf (28/09/014, Kew Gardens London)

Ecologically, Helianthus salicifolius flowers are attractive to pollinating insects. Its seed are attractive to some birds.

Helianthus salicifolius prefers moist, fertile, well-drained soils. It tolerates most pH of soil.

Helianthus salicifolius requires little maintenance. Large clumps may be divided in late autumn or early spring.

Betula alleghaniensis

20 Oct

Betula alleghaniensis (28/09/2014, Kew Gardens, London)

Betula alleghaniensis (28/09/2014, Kew Gardens, London)

Position: Full sun to partial shade

Flowering period: Late spring

Soil: Moist, well drained

Eventual Height: 20m

Eventual Spread: 8m

Hardiness: 3b, 4a, 4b, 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b

Family: Betulaceae

Betula alleghaniensis is a fast growing deciduous tree with an upright conical habit. Its mid green leaves are ovate with serrulate margins, up to 10cm long and 5.5cm broad. Its leaves turn yellow before they fall in autumn. Its trunk may achieve a diameter of up to 80cm. Its smooth bark is yellow/ bronze to grey with horizontal lenticels and flakes in horizontal strips. Its monoecious flowers are in the form of catkins, are wind pollinated, up to 6cm long and appear before its leaves. Its fruit is a cylindrical aggregate, these disintegrates upon maturity.

Betula alleghaniensis Leaf (28/09/2014, Kew Gardens, London)

Betula alleghaniensis Leaf (28/09/2014, Kew Gardens, London)

Betula alleghaniensis, commonly known as Gray Birch, Yellow Birch or Swamp Birch, is native to east North America. In its native habitat it grows on stream banks, moist soils and forested slopes.

The etymological root of the binomial name Betula is the old Latin name for the Birch tree. Alleghaniensis my be named after the Allegheny region of north east USA. Reader feedback would be welcome.

The landscape architect may find Betula alleghaniensis useful as a tree with open habit and attractive autumn leaf, and bark colour.

Betula alleghaniensis Bark (28/09/2014, Kew Gardens, London)

Betula alleghaniensis Bark (28/09/2014, Kew Gardens, London)

Ecologically, Betula alleghaniensis leaves provide a valuable source of food for moths and butterflies.

Betula alleghaniensis prefers moist, well-drained soils. It tolerates most pH of soil. It will tolerate wet soils.

Betula alleghaniensis requires little maintenance.

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