Archive | July, 2012

Paper Bush

16 Jul

Paper Bush (Edgeworthia chrysantha), deciduous shrub, slow to moderate growth to 5-8 ft. in height with larger spread, rounded growth havit, yellow-brown bark with large ornamental leaf scars, drooping clusters of very fragrant yellow or orange flowers in early spring, lime-green foliage is tropical looking, sun to light shade, deer resistant, good container plant.

This shrub performs the impossible: fills the late-winter garden, otherwise so bleak and uninviting, with powerful, sweet fragrance for up to 2 months! A magnificent choice for any mild-climate garden,Edgeworthia chrysantha is handsome year-round, but really comes into its own when the rest of the garden is sleeping. If you have a spot of partial shade or dappled sunlight, consider transforming it with this spectacular shrub.

Familiarly known as Paperbush Plant, this well-branched shrub often begins blooming in mid-winter, long after its foliage has fallen and its silhouette is a tracery of thick, upright branches, somewhat like a young fig tree with more spread. Each flowerhead is creamy yellow or orange, composed of masses of tiny florets to form a 1½- to 2-inch cluster. The blooms are set on the very tips of the branches, and once they open, expect them to remain for 6 to 8 weeks, releasing a fabulously sweet, intense scent.

Winter is Edgeworthia’s season of glory, but far from its only time to shine in the partly shaded garden. Spring brings large, slender leaves, often with a silvery overlay. The foliage remains lush and green through summer, then turns a soft shade of yellow for autumn before dropping. Very handsome, it is a fine backdrop for Hosta and Brunnera in the shade border, and blooms at the same time as many Camellia cultivars.

Expect Edgeworthia to reach 8 feet tall and up to 18 feet wide in the garden, given good drainage and relief from punishing afternoon sun. Related to Daphne, it is long-lived and very low maintenance, reaching about 5 feet high within as many years. Superb in the back of the border, it is also a tempting choice to site along garden pathways, where visitors can touch its foliage and marvel at the blooms.



15 Jul

Bacopa, evergreen, dense mat-like growth to 4-6 inches in height, 2-3 ft. spread, masses of small flowers in white, pink or lavender, sun to light shade, regular water, good in baskets or as groundcover.

From moist regions of South Africa. Wiry-stemmed creeper with green, roughly heart-shaped, toothed leaves. Usually sold as “bacopa“ the botanical name of water hyssop, a member of the same family. Grows 1-8 in. high and up to 3-4 ft. wide. Blooms from late spring to frost, producing small, five-petaled, golden-throated flowers mostly in white. Lavender and pink varieties also available. Use in hanging basket or as small-scale ground cover.

Chilean Lantern Tree

15 Jul

Chilean Lantern Tree (Crinodendron hookeranum), evergreen to 15 feet in height with equal spread, growth habit similar to live oak, drooping red flowers resembling lanterns  summer and fall, deep green leaves, full sun to part shade, best with regular water, train to desired shape when young, best with cool summers and high humidity.

The Chilean lantern tree is a sensational slow growing semi-hardy evergreen shrub. Originally grows as a tree, but can be pruned very easily. It will be filled with marvelous masses of fleshy rose-crimson to red lantern-shaped flowers. The lantern effect of the flowers is enhanced due to the dark foliage of the tree.

Toad Lily

15 Jul

Toad Lily (Tricyrtis hirta) winter deciduous, arching, spreading growth to 2-3 feet in height with equal spread, clusters of white flowers with purple spots bloom summer and fall, broad pointed leaves, full to part shade, regular water, great cut flower.

The star-like blossoms of this species are white with rich purple spots and purple stigmas. It blooms in late summer to mid-autumn along arching stems. These perennials are from moist woodlands and high elevations from eastern Asia to the Phillipines. They make subtle, but exotic, specimens for woodland borders.


15 Jul

Campion (Silene vulgaris), evergreen, low mounding growth to 12 inches in height with equal spread, unusual white bulbous flowers summer and fall, strap-like gray-green foliage, full sun to part shade, likes moisture, reseeds, variety “maritime” is especially nice.

Snowball Viburnum

12 Jul

Viburnum Snowball (Viburnum opulus ‘Roseum’) deciduous, moderate growth to 10-15 feet in height with an equal spread, rounded growth habit, clusters of large, white flowers in spring, maple leaf-shaped foliage turns red in the fall, sun to light shade, deer resistant.

Viburnum is a large, diverse group of plants with generally oval, often handsome leaves and clusters of typically white, sometimes fragrant flowers. Blossoms are usually followed by single-seeded, often brilliantly colored fruit much appreciated by birds. Many viburnums are grown for their flower display, a few for their showy fruit. Many evergreen types are valuable as foliage plants. Here are some that do well in the Bay Area.

Viburnum davidii

Compact mound to 3–4 ft. high and wide. Handsome, glossy dark green, deeply veined leaves to 6 in. long. White flowers in 3-in. clusters open from dull pinkish red buds in spring; they are not showy but are followed by an arresting show of metallic turquoise blue fruit. Grow with acid-loving plants.

Viburnum hybrids

These spring-bloomingviburnums all havecomplex ancestry.

‘Cayuga’. Deciduous. Zones2–11, 14–24. To 5 ft. tall andwide. Dark green, 1–3-in.-longleaves. White flowers openfrom pink buds.

‘Chesapeake’. Semievergreen.Zones 3–11, 14–24.To 8 ft. tall, 10 ft. wide, withwavy-edged, glossy dark greenleaves. Two-inch clusters offragrant white flowers open frompink buds; dull red fruit agesto black.

‘Conoy’. Evergreen. Zones3–12, 14–24. Dense growthto 5 ft. tall and wide. Lustrousdark green, 2–2 1/2-in. leavesare whitish beneath; take onmaroon tinge in cold winters.Slightly fragrant flowers arefollowed by long-lasting redberries. Tolerates shearing.

‘Eskimo’. Semievergreen.Zones 3–12, 14–24. Dense,compact habit to 5 ft. tall andwide. Shiny dark green leavesto 4 in. long; unscented flowersin 3–4-in., snowball-like clusters.

Viburnum opulus

To 8– 15 ft. tall and wide, with arching branches. Lobed, maplelike dark green leaves to 2–4 in. long and as wide or wider. Fall foliage color may be yellow, bright red, or reddish purple. Blooms in spring; flower heads have a lacecap look, with a 2–4-in. cluster of small fertile blossoms ringed with larger sterile blossoms. Large, showy red fruit persists from fall into winter. Takes moist to boggy soils.

Viburnum plicatum

To 8–15 ft. tall and wide; horizontal branching pattern gives plant a tiered look. Strongly veined, 3–6-in.-long, dull dark green leaves turn purplish red in autumn. Showy, 3-in., snowball-like clusters of sterile flowers look like those of V. opulus ‘Roseum’. No fruits

Viburnum plicatum tomentosum

A truly beautiful viburnum. Resembles the species but has lacecap flower heads: flat, 2–4-in. clusters of small fertile flowers edged with 1– 1/2 -in. sterile ones. Fruit is red aging to black; showy but not always profuse.

Viburnum tinus

To 6–12 ft. tall, half as wide. Leathery dark green, 2–3-in.-long leaves with edges slightly rolled under. Wine red new stems. Blooms from fall to spring; tight clusters of pink buds open to lightly fragrant white flowers. Bright metallic blue fruits last through summer. Dense foliage right to ground makes it good for screens, hedges, clipped topiary shapes. Can be trained as a small tree. Susceptible to mites; prone to mildew near ocean.

Viburnum trilobum

To 15 ft. tall, 12 ft. wide. Leaves look much like those of V. opulus; they emerge reddish tinged, mature to dark green, turn yellow to red-purple in fall. Lace­cap flowers appear in midspring. Fruit is similar to that of V. opulus but is used for preserves and jellies. Less susceptible to aphid damage than V. opulus.