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Calamagrostis x acutiflora ‘Karl Foerster’

22 Jul

Calamagrostis x acutiflora 'Karl Foerster' (02/07/2016, Kew Gardens, London)

Calamagrostis x acutiflora ‘Karl Foerster’ (02/07/2016, Kew Gardens, London)

Position: Full sun to partial shade

Flowering period: Summer

Soil: Moist, well drained

Eventual Height: 1.5m

Eventual Spread: 75cm

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

Family: Poaceae

Calamagrostis x acutiflora ‘Karl Foerster’ is a deciduous perennial grass with an upright, clump forming habit. Its mid green leaves are strap shaped and are up to 90cm long and 15mm across. Its pink/ purple flowers appear in the form of dense feathery spikes which are up to 35cm long. Its flowers are followed by light brown seeds which persist on the plant during the winter months. Its roots are rhizomes which aids its spread.

Calamagrostis x acutiflora 'Karl Foerster' Flower (02/07/2016, Kew Gardens, London)

Calamagrostis x acutiflora ‘Karl Foerster’ Flower (02/07/2016, Kew Gardens, London)

Calamagrostis x acutiflora, commonly known as Feather Reed Grass, is a cross between  Calamagrostis arundinacea and Calamagrostis epigejos.

The etymological root of the binomial name Calamagrostis is from the Greek Kalamos meaning ‘reed’ and agros meaning ‘field’. Acutiflora is derived from the Latin acutus meaning ‘cut to a point’ and flora in reference to the Roman Goddess of flowering plants.

The landscape architect may find Calamagrostis x acutiflora ‘Karl Foerster’ useful as part of a prairie type planting scheme. Due to its tollerance of dry and wet soils it is suitable for use in ‘rain gardens’.

Calamagrostis x acutiflora 'Karl Foerster' Leaf (02/07/2016, Kew Gardens, London)

Calamagrostis x acutiflora ‘Karl Foerster’ Leaf (02/07/2016, Kew Gardens, London)

Ecologically,  Calamagrostis x acutiflora ‘Karl Foerster’ seeds are attractive to some birds during the winter months.

Calamagrostis x acutiflora ‘Karl Foerster’ prefers moist, fertile, well-drained soils. It tolerates most pH of soil. This grass will tolerate wet soils.

Calamagrostis x acutiflora ‘Karl Foerster’ requires little maintenance. Large clumps may be divided in spring.

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Landscape Architecture

Eriophorum vaginatum

16 May

Eriophorum vaginatum (23/04/2016, Kew Gardens, London)

Eriophorum vaginatum (23/04/2016, Kew Gardens, London)

Position: Full sun to partial shade

Flowering period: Late spring to early summer

Soil: Wet, poorly drained

Eventual Height: 60cm

Eventual Spread: 30cm

Hardiness: 2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4a, 4b, 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b

Family: Cyperaceae

Eriophorum vaginatum is an evergreen herbaceous perennial with a clump forming, upright habit. Its dark green leaves are grass like and up to 10mm across. Its wind pollinated white flowers appears singularly as a masses of cotton at the ends of its leaves. Its seeds, attached to the cotton mass are dispersed by wind. Its roots emerge from rhizomes.

Eriophorum vaginatum Flower (23/04/2016, Kew Gardens, London)

Eriophorum vaginatum Flower (23/04/2016, Kew Gardens, London)

Eriophorum vaginatum, commonly known as Hare’s Tail Cotton Grass, Tussock Cotton Grass, Sheathed Grass, is native to the temperate to Arctic portions of the northern hemisphere, including the UK. In its native habitat it grows in bogs and acidic wetlands.

The etymological root of the binomial name Eriophorum is derived from the Greek meaning ‘wool bearing’. Vaginatum is derived from the Latin vagina menaing ‘sheath’ and the epithet atum meaning ‘possessing’.

Eriophorum vaginatum Leaf (23/04/2016, Kew Gardens, London)

Eriophorum vaginatum Leaf (23/04/2016, Kew Gardens, London)

The landscape architect may find Eriophorum vaginatum useful as a native plant for planting in boggy or at the edges of water bodies.

Ecologically,  Eriophorum vaginatum foliage is attractive to some herbivores.

Eriophorum vaginatum prefers moist, fertile, poorly drained soils. It prefers an acid pH of soil.

Eriophorum vaginatum requires little maintenance.

DAVIS Landscape Architecture

Landscape Architecture

Stenotaphrum secundatum ‘Variegatum’

15 Feb

Stenotaphrum secundatum 'Variegatum' (16/01/2016, Kew Gardens, London)

Stenotaphrum secundatum ‘Variegatum’ (16/01/2016, Kew Gardens, London)

Position: Full sun

Flowering period: Late summer to autumn

Soil: Moist, well drained

Eventual Height: 15cm

Eventual Spread: 90cm

Hardiness: 9b, 10a, 10b, 11

Family: Poaceae

Stenotaphrum secundatum ‘Variegatum’ is an evergreen sub tropical to tropical grass with a mat forming habit. Its dark green leaves have cream variegation along their length, are lanceolate to ovate with entire margins, up to 12cm long and 12mm across. Its brown to green flowers and appear on one sided spikes. Its roots have stolons which aids its spread.

The species, Stenotaphrum secundatum, commonly known as Buffalo Grass, Buffalo Turf, St Augustine Grass and Charleston Grass, is native to sub tropical and tropical North America. In its native habitat it grows as a monotypic ground cove plant. Stenotaphrum secundatum ‘Variegatum’ is commonly known as Variegated Buffalo Grass.

The etymological root of the binomial name Stenotaphrum is derived from the Greek stenos meaning ‘narrow’ and tafros meaning ‘ditch’. Secundatum is derived from the Latin menaing ‘bent’.

The landscape architect may find Stenotaphrum secundatum ‘Variegatum’ useful as an effective ground cover grass suitable for use on internal planting schemes. It may also be planted as a houseplant into pots where its runners can be allowed to cascade down the sides of the pot.

Ecologically, Stenotaphrum secundatum ‘Variegatum’ is of little value to UK wildlife.

Stenotaphrum secundatum 'Variegatum' Leaf (16/01/2016, Kew Gardens, London)

Stenotaphrum secundatum ‘Variegatum’ Leaf (16/01/2016, Kew Gardens, London)

The Royal Horticultural Society have given Stenotaphrum secundatum ‘Variegatum’ their prestigious Award of Garden Merit in 1993.

Stenotaphrum secundatum ‘Variegatum’ prefers moist, fertile, well-drained soils. It tolerates most pH of soil.

When maintaining Stenotaphrum secundatum ‘Variegatum’ as a houseplant its soil should be watered regularly. Watering should be reduced during the winter months. Its preferred active growing temperature rages from between 16ºc to 30ºc, although it will tolerate a temperature as low as 0ºc. Feeding with weak fertiliser solution should be carried out once a month during the growing season.

DAVIS Landscape Architecture

Landscape Architecture

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