Abeliophyllum distichum

20 Apr

Abeliophyllum distichum Wall Trained Shrub (29/03/2015, Kew Gardens, London)

Abeliophyllum distichum Wall Trained Shrub (29/03/2015, Kew Gardens, London)

Position: Full sun

Flowering period: Late winter to early spring

Soil: Moist, well drained

Eventual Height: 1.5m (Taller when against a wall)

Eventual Spread: 2.5m

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

Family: Oleaceae

Abeliophyllum distichum is a deciduous shrub with a bushy, scrambling habit. Its dark green leaves are up to 10cm long and 4.5cm across. Its fragrant white/ pale pink flowers are composed of four petals, are up to 1cm across and appear just before its leaves emerge. Its fruit is a winged sumara.

Abeliophyllum distichum Flower (29/03/2015, Kew Gardens, London)

Abeliophyllum distichum Flower (29/03/2015, Kew Gardens, London)

Abeliophyllum distichum, commonly known as White Forsythia or Korean Abelialeaf, is native to central Korea. It is the only plant within this genus and is close to extinction in its native habitat.

The etymological root of the binomial name Abeliophyllum is derived from Abelia (another genus of shrub) and the Greek phyllon meaning ‘leaf. Distichum is derived from the Greek distichos meaning ‘two ranked’.

The landscape architect may find Abeliophyllum distichum useful as a wall trained shrub. It prefers a sheltered location as it flower are damaged by late frosts.

Abeliophyllum distichum Emerging Leaf (29/03/2015, Kew Gardens, London)

Abeliophyllum distichum Emerging Leaf (29/03/2015, Kew Gardens, London)

Ecologically, Abeliophyllum distichum flowers are attractive to pollinating insects.

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

Abeliophyllum distichum requires pruning after flowering, this will encourages the following years flowers.

Rhododendron nobleanum ‘Album’

14 Apr

Rhododendron nobleanum 'Album' (15/03/2015, Isabella Plantation, Richmond Park, London)

Rhododendron nobleanum ‘Album’ (15/03/2015, Isabella Plantation, Richmond Park, London)

Position: Partial shade

Flowering period: Early spring

Soil: Moist, well drained, acidic

Eventual Height: 1.5m

Eventual Spread: 1.8m

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

Family:  Ericaceae

Rhododendron nobleanum ‘Album’ is a slow growing, evergreen shrub with a bushy habit. Its dark green leaves are elliptic, up to 13cm in length and 4cm broad. The white flowers of the plant are large and funnel shaped, up to 5cm across and appear in spherical clusters. The fruit of the plant is capsule like.

Rhododendron nobleanum 'Album' Flower (15/03/2015, Isabella Plantation, Richmond Park, London)

Rhododendron nobleanum ‘Album’ Flower (15/03/2015, Isabella Plantation, Richmond Park, London)

Rhododendron nobleanum ‘Album’ is derived from a hybrid between Rhododendron arboreum and Rhododendron caucasicum.

The etymological root of the binomial name Rhododendron is derived from the Greek rodon ‘a rose’ and dendron ‘a tree’. Nobleanum is named after Charles Noble (1817-1898). Album is derived from the Latin for ‘white’.

The landscape architect may find Rhododendron nobleanum ‘Album’ useful as an evergreen screening plant with attractive flowers in soils with an acid pH. As it prefers to be located in dappled shade, it is suitable for woodland planting schemes.

Rhododendron nobleanum 'Album' Leaf (15/03/2015, Isabella Plantation, Richmond Park, London)

Rhododendron nobleanum ‘Album’ Leaf (15/03/2015, Isabella Plantation, Richmond Park, London)

Ecologically,  Rhododendron nobleanum ‘Album’ does not posses much ecological value in the UK as its nectar is poisonous to bees.

Rhododendron nobleanum ‘Album’ prefers moist, humus rich, well-drained soils. It will tolerate an acid to neutral pH of soil, although it prefers an acid pH.

Rhododendron nobleanum ‘Album’ requires little maintenance. Pruning should be carried out after flowering but before the new buds form.

Shibataea chinensis

13 Apr

Shibataea chinensis (01/03/2015, Kew Gardens, London)

Shibataea chinensis (01/03/2015, Kew Gardens, London)

Position: Full sun to dappled shade

Flowering period: N/A

Soil: Moist, well drained

Eventual Height: 60cm

Eventual Spread: 1m

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

Family: Poaceae

Shibataea chinensis is an evergreen low growing bamboo with a bushy habit. Its mid green leaves are lanceolate, up to 10cm long and 25mm wide. Its culms are up to 3mm in diameter. Its roots are rhizomes which enables its slow spread.

Shibataea chinensis, commonly known as Ruscus Bamboo, is native to east China and south west Japan. In its native habitat it grows on mountain slopes and forest margins.

The etymological root of the binomial name Shibataea is named after the Japanese botanist Keita Shibata (1878 – 1949). Chinensis is derived form the Latin meaning ‘from China’.

Shibataea chinensis Leaf (01/03/2015, Kew Gardens, London)

Shibataea chinensis Leaf (01/03/2015, Kew Gardens, London)

The landscape architect may find Shibataea chinensis useful as an effective low growing, evergreen ground cover bamboo, particularly useful on banks. It may also be clipped into a low growing hedge.

Ecologically, Shibataea chinensis is of little value to UK wildlife.

Shibataea chinensis prefers moist, fertile, well-drained soils. It will tolerate most pH of soil. It will not tolerate waterlogged soils.

Shibataea chinensis requires little maintenance. Large clumps may be divided in spring.

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