Disporum longistylum

3 Jul

Disporum longistylum (23/05/2015, Kew Gardens, London)

Disporum longistylum (23/05/2015, Kew Gardens, London)

Position: Dappled shade

Flowering period: Late spring

Soil: Moist, well drained

Eventual Height: 90cm

Eventual Spread: 60cm

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

Family: Colchicaceae

Disporum longistylum is a deciduous herbaceous perennial with a clump forming upright habit. Its dark green leaves are lanceolate to elliptic with entire margins, up to 15cm long and 4cm across. Its green/ white pendulous flowers are umbellate and appear terminally. Its blue/ black fruit are spherical and up to 9mm across. Its roots are rhizomes which aids its slow spread.

Disporum longistylum Flower (23/05/2015, Kew Gardens, London)

Disporum longistylum Flower (23/05/2015, Kew Gardens, London)

Disporum longistylum, commonly known as Chinese Fairybells, is native to central south China. In its native habitat it grows in forest locations.

The etymological root of the binomial name Disporum is derived from the Greek dis meaning two’ and sporus meaning ‘seed’. Longistylum is derived from the Latin longe meaning ‘long’ and stylus meaning ‘pillar’, in reference to the style of the flower.

The landscape architect may find Disporum longistylum useful as a clump forming herbaceous perennial suitable for dappled shade location, including woodland planting schemes.

Disporum longistylum Leaf (23/05/2015, Kew Gardens, London)

Disporum longistylum Leaf (23/05/2015, Kew Gardens, London)

Ecologically, Disporum longistylum flowers are attractive to pollinating insects.

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

Disporum longistylum requires little maintenance. Its dead stems may be cut to ground level in late winter to keep a tidy appearance.

DAVIS Landscape Architecture

Landscape Architecture

Paulownia kawakamii

2 Jul

Paulownia kawakamii (23/05/2015, Kew Gardens, London)

Paulownia kawakamii (23/05/2015, Kew Gardens, London)

Position: Full sun

Soil: Moist, well drained

Flowering period: Late spring

Eventual Height: 12m

Eventual Spread: 10m

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

Family: Paulowniaceae

Paulownia kawakamii Flower (23/05/2015, Kew Gardens, London)

Paulownia kawakamii Flower (23/05/2015, Kew Gardens, London)

Paulownia kawakamii is a fast growing deciduous tree with an umbellate crown. Its mid green leaves are cordate with entire margins, hairy above and below, up to 8cm long and 6cm across. Its fragrant violet flowers have purple and yellow marks inside, are up to 5cm across and are borne as upright panicles. Its roots are deep rooting.

Paulownia kawakamii, commonly known as Sapphire Dragon Tree, is native to east China, Taiwan and Japan. In its native habitat it grows in mixed deciduous forests. This tree is classified as critically endangered according to the IUCN Red List.

Paulownia kawakamii Leaf (23/05/2015, Kew Gardens, London)

Paulownia kawakamii Leaf (23/05/2015, Kew Gardens, London)

The etymological root of the binomial name Paulownia is named in honor of Anna Paulowna, a princess of The Netherlands. Kawakamii is named after Takiya Kawakamii (1871 – 1915), a Japanese botanist.

The landscape architect may find Paulownia kawakamii is useful as an attractive spring flowering tree. Once established this tree is drought tollerant.

Paulownia kawakamii Bark (23/05/2015, Kew Gardens, London)

Paulownia kawakamii Bark (23/05/2015, Kew Gardens, London)

Ecologically,  Paulownia kawakamii flowers are attractive to pollinating insects.

Paulownia kawakamii  prefers moist, fertile, well-drained soils. It tolerates most pH of soil.

Paulownia kawakamii requires little maintenance. Dead or damaged branches may be removed in late winter to early spring. If this tree is pollarded its new growth produces a crown with much larger leaves (up to 60cm long).

DAVIS Landscape Architecture

Landscape Architecture

Wisteria floribunda ‘Alba’

1 Jul

Wisteria floribunda 'Alba' (23/05/2015, Kew Gardens, London)

Wisteria floribunda ‘Alba’ (23/05/2015, Kew Gardens, London)

Position: Full sun to partial shade

Soil: Moist, well drained

Flowering period: Late spring to early summer

Eventual Height: 9m

Eventual Spread: Up to 5m

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

Family: Fabaceae

Wisteria floribunda 'Alba' Flower (23/05/2015, Kew Gardens, London)

Wisteria floribunda ‘Alba’ Flower (23/05/2015, Kew Gardens, London)

Wisteria floribunda ‘Alba’ is a woody deciduous climber with a twining habit. Its mid green leaves are pinnate, composed of up to 13 leaflets and up to 30cm long. Its leaflets are ovate to elliptic with entire margins, up to 6cm long and 3cm across. Its leaves turn yellow in autumn before they fall. Its tendrils will twine around a support structure in a counter clockwise direction. Its fragrant white flowers are pea like, borne in long pendant racemes of up to 45cm and appear at the same time as its leaves. Its fruit are bean-like velvety green seed pods which are up to 10cm long.

The species, Wisteria floribunda, commonly known as Japanese Wisteria, is native to Japan.

Wisteria floribunda 'Alba' Flower Racemes (23/05/2015, Kew Gardens, London)

Wisteria floribunda ‘Alba’ Flower Racemes (23/05/2015, Kew Gardens, London)

The etymological root of the binomial name Wisteria is named for Kasper Wistar, a German anatomy and anthropologist professor at the University of Penn, hence the occasional spelling Wistaria, although this was not the original spelling of the name. Floribunda is derived from the Latin floridus meaning ‘flowery’ and the epithet bundus meaning ‘having the capacity for’.

The landscape architect may find Wisteria floribunda ‘Alba’ useful as a fast growing fragrant climber with attractive flowers. This climber requires a support structure for its tendrils to twine around. It should be noted that grafted specimens will flower immediately, not grafted may take several years to flower.

Wisteria floribunda 'Alba' Leaf (23/05/2015, Kew Gardens, London)

Wisteria floribunda ‘Alba’ Leaf (23/05/2015, Kew Gardens, London)

Ecologically, Wisteria floribunda ‘Alba’ will attract pollinating insects such as bees that will feed on its nectar. All parts of this plant are mildly toxic to humans.

The Royal Horticultural Society have given Wisteria floribunda ‘Alba’ their prestigious Award of Garden Merit in 1993.

Wisteria floribunda ‘Alba’ prefers moist, fertile, well-drained soils. It tolerates most pH of soil. It dislikes dry soils.

Wisteria floribunda ‘Alba’ requires biannual pruning to promote good form and free flowering. A detailed description of pruning methods for Wisteria can be found here, including step-by-step instructions on how to train the plant into a self-supporting tree standard.

DAVIS Landscape Architecture

Landscape Architecture

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