Monthly Archives: May 2016

Tue
31
2016

What’s Blooming 5/31/2016

Red Hot Poker – Kniphofia uvaria

 

FullSizeRender (9)

The common names of plants can often be misleading or nonsensical. However, looking around town at the blooming Red Hot Poker, also known as Torch Lily, the plant seems suitably named. A native of South Africa, Kniphofia uvaria has quickly become a garden staple throughout the world thanks to its striking blooms, love of heat and sun, and its drought tolerance.

Read the article »



Wed
25
2016

What’s Blooming 5/25/2016

Black Beauty Elderberry – Sambucus nigra ‘Gerda’

 

black beauty elderberry 2

A Black Beauty elderberry in full bloom is a sight to behold. Black Beauty is a trademarked name for Sambucus nigra ‘Gerda’. It, unlike the straight species, has foliage and young stems that are shades of purple. The leaves are dark, sometimes black in appearance. They are large and divided into 5 – 7 distinct leaflets. The tiny flowers are pink and white and are organized into a flattened, wide inflorescence called a corymb. They give off a lemon scent. Flowering occurs late spring into early summer, after which large clusters of fruits begin to form. The ripe fruits are highly desirable to birds.

Read the article »



Mon
16
2016

What’s Blooming 5/16/2016

Streambank Wild Hollyhock – Iliamna rivularis

 

iliamna rivularis flowers

This eye-catching, Idaho native is a member of the mallow family (Malvaceae). As its common name implies, it mainly occurs along stream banks and in wet meadows at elevations ranging from the foothills to subalpine zones. It varies in height depending on its location, but is typically between 3 to 6 feet tall. It sends up numerous flower stalks that are loosely populated with large pink to rose-purple (sometimes white) flowers. Its large lobed and toothed leaves resemble the leaves of maple trees or grape vines. The flowers, fruits, and seeds are similar in appearance to its cousin, hollyhock (Alcea sp.), which explains the other half of its common name. In the wild, forest fires encourage the seeds of Iliamna rivularis to germinate.

Read the article »



Tue
3
2016

What’s Blooming 5/3/2016

Lilacs – Syringa vulgaris

 

lilac

Sense memory in the springtime garden can be strongly influenced by the nostalgic perfume of lilac.  Does the scent of lilac in the air take you back to your study abroad in Paris?  Whitman’s elegy When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloomed, mourning the death of President Lincoln may come to an English major’s mind.  I think of the corsage made of lilacs Tress Parke wore to the high school graduation of her granddaughter, Louise, and smile at the memory of a more innocent time.

Read the article »