Archive | May, 2012

Marmalade Bush

27 May

Marmalade Bush (Streptosolen jamesonii), evergreen vining shrub, spreading to mounding growth 4-5 feet in height, easily trained to 15 ft. when treated as a vine, large clusters of yellow to orange flowers spring to fall, full sun, regular water, tip prune for bushy growth.

The Marmalade Bush is an evergreen, perennial bush from South America. It has a spreading habit and can be allowed to spill over a wall or hanging planter, or pruned to a neat, upright shape. Even without blooms it’s an attractive plant, with glossy, bright green foliage that has a ribbed appearance. The flowers appear almost all year long here in the Bay Area, with the heaviest show from spring through autumn. The 5-petaled blooms start out yellow or light-orange when they first open, then deepen to a darker-orange and red as they mature. Butterflies and birds love this plant.



18 May

Cassava (Manihot esculenta), tropical semi-woody perennial shrub or small tree, fast growth to 10-15 feet in height, narrower spread, may become deciduous, large palmate dark green foliage, grown throughout the world for edible roots, plant in full sun to shade, drought tolerant, deer resistant.

Cassava is a tall semiwoody perennial shrub or tree with big palmately compound leaves. It resembles a castor bean plant (Ricinus communis). The dark green leaves are a foot or more across and have 5-9 lobes. The petioles (leaf stems) are very long, up to 24 in (61 cm) long and they are red as are the stems. Plants can grow more than 20 ft (6.1 m) tall in frostfree regions, but where they die back and regrow in spring they rarely get more than 10 ft (3 m) tall. The tuberous edible roots are 8-30 in (20-76 cm) long and 1-3 in (2.5-7.6 cm) in diameter. They grow in outward pointing clusters from the base of the stem just below the soil surface. There are several named cultivars available. The primitive “bitter cassavas” contain large amounts of cyanide and need a great deal of processing to make their roots edible. The modern “sweet” cultivars require only peeling and cooking.

False Artemisia

18 May

False Artemisia (Cotula), evergray perennial, mounded growth to 4-6 inches in height with a 12 to 18 inch spread, thin wiry stems bear bright yellow button-like flowers in summer, full sun, drought tolerant.

From South Africa. Slowly spreading rhizomes carry short silky tufts of finely toothed leaves forming a silver-grey carpet. Doesn’t mind  poor  soil.

Featherleaf Rodgersflower

15 May

Featherleaf Rodgersflower (Rodgersia pinnata ‘Elegans’), deciduous 3-5 ft. in height with an equal spread, mounded growth habit, rose pink flowers on 2-4 foot stalks in summer, very large deep green leaves, rich soil, regular water to boggy conditions, part shade.

Native to China, Japan. Large plants with imposing leaves and clustered tiny flowers in plumes somewhat like those of astilbe; bloom in early to midsummer. Primary feature is handsome foliage, which often takes on bronze tones in late summer. Plants spread by thick rhizomes, need rich soil. The various species hybridize freely. Dormant in winter; provide winter mulch in cold climates. Showy in moist woodland or bog gardens.

Rodgersia aesculifolia

To 6 ft. tall, 3 ft. wide. Leaves are divided like fingers of hand into five to seven tooth-edged, 10-in. leaflets; they are similar to those of horsechestnut (Aesculus). Shaggy brown hairs on flower stalks, leaf stems, major leaf veins. White flowers.

Rodgersia pinnata

To 4 ft. tall, 2 1/2ft.wide. Leaves have five to nine 8-in. leaflets. Red flowers.

Rodgersia podophylla

To 5 ft. tall, 6 ft. wide. Coppery green leaves divided into five 10-in.-long leaflets. Creamy flowers.

Black Cow Parsley

15 May

Black Cow Parsley (Anthriscus sylvestris ‘Ravenswing’), semi-evergreen, 3-5 feet in height with a 2-3 ft. spread, clumping, large clusters of small creamy white flowers in summer, fine-cut fern-like foliage develops a purple black coloration, full sun to part shade, rich soil, regular water.

Esteemed for its dark coloring, Cow Parsley offers a layered 18 in. mound of luscious, plum-colored, fernlike foliage. In early summer, branched stems produce airy umbels defined by small white flowers and pink bracts. A rich blend of opulent purple leaves can be achieved when you associate this beauty with Aster ‘Lady in Black’ and Berberis ‘Golden Ring’. Keep the blooms trimmed back to ensure an attractive habit.

Silver Spear

15 May

Silver Spear (Astelia), evergreen, slow spreading, 2-3 feet in height, long 2 inch wide green leaves, inconspicuous green flowers, sun to light shade, regular water, striking foliage plant.

Grown for their silky, silvery,strap-like foliage, these increasingly popular evergreen perennials offer a handsome contrast to low, mounding plants or billowing grasses. They make astriking centerpiece in a bigcontainer or a perennial border.Small spring flowers are borne in branched clusters on female plants but are not as showy as the berries that follow. Plants must have excellent drainage; they grow best in rich, acidic soil that is high in organic matter.

Astelia chathamica has shiny, silvery sword-like leaves that are 3–4 ft. long and 2–4 in. wide, forming a clump 4 ft. tall and 6 ft. wide. Small, cream-colored flowers are borne in clusters 20 in. tall; berries are orange.

Holly Fern

15 May

Holly Fern (Cyrtomium falcatum ‘Rochfordianum’), evergreen fern, becomes deciduous with frost, 3-4 feet in height, graceful arching stems with large, dark green, leathery leaflets, part shade to shade, consistent moisture.

Handsome, evergreen fern for use in containers, as a groundcover or for borders in shady locations. Stiff, erect dark green shiny fronds of holly-like leaflets having coarsely fringed margins.