Firmiana simplex

3 Sep

Firmiana simplex (15/08/2015, Kew Gardens, London)

Firmiana simplex (15/08/2015, Kew Gardens, London)

Position: Full sun to partial shade

Flowering period: Summer

Soil: Moist, well drained

Eventual Height: 15m

Eventual Spread: 10m

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

Family: Malvaceae

Firmiana simplex Leaf (15/08/2015, Kew Gardens, London)

Firmiana simplex Leaf (15/08/2015, Kew Gardens, London)

Firmiana simplex is a deciduous tree with a rounded habit. Its mid green leaves are palmately 5 lobed, up to 30cm long and 30cm across. Its greenish bark is smooth. Its fragrant yellow/ white flowers appear terminally are borne in panicles. Its fruit are pea sized leathery capsules and attached to a leafy carpel.

Firmiana simplex Flower (15/08/2015, Kew Gardens, London)

Firmiana simplex Flower (15/08/2015, Kew Gardens, London)

Firmiana simplex, commonly known as Chinese Parasol Tree or Wutong, is native to east China, Japan, Taiwan and Vietnam. This tree is considered an invasive species in parts of North America. Firmiana simplex is synonymous with Hibiscus simplex.

Firmiana simplex Flower Detail (15/08/2015, Kew Gardens, London)

Firmiana simplex Flower Detail (15/08/2015, Kew Gardens, London)

The etymological root of the binomial name Firmiana is named after Karl Joseph von Firmian (1716-1782), an Austrian statesman. Simplex is from the Latin meaning ‘simple’.

The landscape architect may find Firmiana simplex useful as a small tree with large dramatic leaves and fragrant flowers. It should be noted that this tree may readily self seed given the right conditions.

Firmiana simplex Bark (15/08/2015, Kew Gardens, London)

Firmiana simplex Bark (15/08/2015, Kew Gardens, London)

Ecologically, Firmiana simplex flowers are attractive to pollinating insects, including bees.

Firmiana simplex prefers moist, fertile, well-drained soils. It tolerates most pH of soil.

Firmiana simplex requires little maintenance.

DAVIS Landscape Architecture

Landscape Architecture

Fraxinus excelsior ‘Pendula’

2 Sep

Fraxinus excelsior 'Pendula' (15/08/2015, Kew Gardens, London)

Fraxinus excelsior ‘Pendula’ (15/08/2015, Kew Gardens, London)

Position: Full sun

Flowering period: Spring

Soil: Moist, well drained

Eventual Height: 15m

Eventual Spread: 15m

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

Family: Oleaceae

Fraxinus excelsior 'Pendula' Leaf (15/08/2015, Kew Gardens, London)

Fraxinus excelsior ‘Pendula’ Leaf (15/08/2015, Kew Gardens, London)

Fraxinus excelsior ‘Pendula’ is a deciduous tree with a weeping/ spreading habit. Its mid green leaves are up to 35cm long, pinnate, compound, with up to 13 leaflets. Its leaflets are lanceolate with serrate margins, up to 12cm long and 3cm broad Its distinctive buds are black. Its trunk may achieve a diameter of up to 2m. Its bark is smooth on young trees becoming vertically fissured with age. Its dark purple hermaphrodite flowers do not have petals, appear in clusters and appear before the leaves. Its fruit is a sumara and up to 4.5cm long.

The species, Fraxinus excelsior is commonly known as Ash, European Ash or Common Ash, is native to most of Europe (including the UK, excluding the extreme north and south west), northern Turkey and the Caucasus. Fraxinus excelsior ‘Pendula’ is commonly known as Weeping Ash.  Ash die-back has affected a large number of threes in eastern and northern Europe, this is caused by the fungus Chalara fraxinea.

Fraxinus excelsior 'Pendula' Fruit (15/08/2015, Kew Gardens, London)

Fraxinus excelsior ‘Pendula’ Fruit (15/08/2015, Kew Gardens, London)

The etymological root of the binomial name Fraxinus is from the ancient Latin name for this tree. Excelsior is from the Latin meaning ‘ever upward’. Pendula is derived from the Latin pendeo meaning ‘to hang’.

The landscape architect may find Fraxinus excelsior ‘Pendula’ may be used as an unusual parkland specimen tree. This tree is tolerant of urban pollution.

Fraxinus excelsior 'Pendula' Bark (15/08/2015, Kew Gardens, London)

Fraxinus excelsior ‘Pendula’ Bark (15/08/2015, Kew Gardens, London)

Ecologically,  Fraxinus excelsior ‘Pendula’ is attractive to birds and mammals for its seed.

Fraxinus excelsior ‘Pendula’ prefers moist, deep, fertile, well-drained soils. It tolerates most pH of soil. It is usually found on calcareous substrates.

Fraxinus excelsior ‘Pendula’ requires little maintenance.

DAVIS Landscape Architecture

Landscape Architecture

Pyrus pyraster

1 Sep

Pyrus pyraster (15/08/15, Kew Gardens, London)

Pyrus pyraster (15/08/15, Kew Gardens, London)

Position: Full sun to partial shade

Soil: Moist, well drained

Flowering period: Early spring

Eventual Height: 12m

Eventual Spread: 12m

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

Family: Rosaceae

Pyrus pyraster is a deciduous tree with a conical habit becoming more rounded as it matures. Its mid green leaves are elliptic with serrulate margins, up to 8cm long and 4cm across. Its leaves become orange/ red in Autumn before they fall. Its grey bark is deeply fissured and plated. Its white / pink hermaphroditic flowers are borne in corymbs. Its brown/ green fruit is a hard pomme and up to 35mm across. Its roots are fibrous with a deep tap root.

Pyrus pyraster Leaf (15/08/15, Kew Gardens, London)

Pyrus pyraster Leaf (15/08/15, Kew Gardens, London)

Pyrus pyraster, commonly known as Wild Pear, is native to central and eastern Europe. In its native habitat it grows in very dry rocky locations as well as wet woodland edges where it can out compete other plants in extreme conditions.

The etymological root of the binomial name Pyrus is the classical name for the pear tree. Pyraster is from the Latin piris meaning ‘pear tree’ and -aster meaning ‘somewhat similar’.

The landscape architect may find Pyrus pyraster useful as a small, flowering specimen tree which is attractive to wildlife. This tree is tolerant of atmospheric pollution.

Pyrus pyraster Bark (15/08/15, Kew Gardens, London)

Pyrus pyraster Bark (15/08/15, Kew Gardens, London)

Ecologically, Pyrus pyraster flowers are attractive to pollinating insects. Its fruit is attractive to birds and mammals.

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

Pyrus pyraster will require different methods of pruning depending on the stock used as well as how it is grown. Useful tips on the care of pear trees can be found in this Pear Growing Guide.

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Landscape Architecture

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