Friday, July 27, 2012

Indigofera amblyantha in China Valley

I love this plant but whats to be done with it? Flowers all summer, but wants to be 12 feet across and 8 feet high.

Lagerstroemia x 'Yuma', another USNA Crapemyrtle

I walk past this plant every morning coming into the headhouse; today the flowers were wonderfully backlit. This one is obviously medium sized and spreading. The flowers are pleasant and the bark is good.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Tasty fruit of the Mayapple, Podophyllum peltatum

It's in the Berberidaceae and it's not poisonous....go figure. Actually, the green fruit is poisonous and possibly the rind of ripe fruit. The inside is delicious and is reminiscent of a passion fruit both in taste and appearance. Apparently there was once an attempt to rid the Asian Collections of this native understory ground cover. That was before my time, or technically, between my times. We just live with it now. I was weeding Canada thistle today and came upon a colony with ripe fruit. I've eaten it before so I knew it was delicious, but I was curious to see what kind of information was online. I shouldn't have been surprised to see that the #2 hit on eating mayflowers was a blog that I follow with pleasure. She treated the subject so well that I'm just going to offer a link.

Emmenopterys henryi flowering at the US National Arboretum

I've been waiting for blue sky to photograph this but apparently this is a blue as it gets. It's been flowering almost two weeks. It flowered heavily two years ago, then skipped last year. 'That's not enough information to tell us whether it's alternate blooming or just requires an inordinate amount of heat to set buds. We'll just have to keep watching.

The naked ladies are up and about....woo woo

Lycoris squamigera

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Ensete (Musella) lasiocarpa....the flower finally opened

Yes, I have always loved the base and roots of Jewelweed, Impatiens capensis

Hedychium ........ 'Tara'

Stefan, I believe, planted this Zone 7 hardy ginger in the Korean Island bed maybe 5 years ago. It's just coming into its own. There is no end of dispute regarding its classification so you fill in your own specific epithet. We label it H. densiflorum 'Tara' as I recall. If you're bored though, google Hedychium 'Tara' and read the discussions.

I like the fact that the inflorescence doesn't bloom sequentially. Pretty much every bract has an attractive flower. Plus it's fragrant, faintly.

Viette's Daylily, Food, and Wine Festival

Daylilies from the top down: 'Cherryglow hybrid'; 'Elegance'; 'Late Splendor'

We went back this year for, I think the third time though it's been a few years. Viette's is a nursery with an interesting history. Another time. The food was good and the wine was impressive. I tasted frm most of the vineyards and a few vintages were truly good. That sounds petty didn't used to encounter wines of that quality from the east coast. At least at festivals. We really came for the daylilies though.

My photograph is from the festival back across the pond, through the daylily beds and to the nursery proper and the family residence barely visible at the far right. (of Andre and Claire) They have been hybridizing perennials, with an emphasis on daylilies for a long time.'Elegance' was the most impressive daylily that I noticed; its flowers have been measured at 11.5 inches across! Wow. I heard myself describing it at work Monday and I didn't do right by it. It is a "not white" flower, but the yellow and green in the throat....well, it's beautiful. I like the subtlety of color in the other two. That's difficult to see because of the lighting and my casual photography. Their flowers are above average as well though nowhere near the size of 'Elegance'.  I didn't photograph any reds though they had a lot of good ones. Rain seemed to do much more damage to reds than the others. Clearly much of their breeding is to refine and improve the reds; there were some very impressive plants.

At the nursery they had hundreds of potted daylilies but these were in their trial beds, new plants that weren't yet in any/heavy production. There was a procedure for ordering but I've forgotten it. I'm sure it's on their website.