Welcome to the Idaho Botanical Garden Press Room. Here you’ll find the latest garden news and links to our social media resources. If you are a member of the media and need assistance, please call Warren Maxfield at 208-343-8649
Streambank Wild Hollyhock – Iliamna rivularis
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.
Lilacs – Syringa vulgaris
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.
Owens Valley Penstemon – Penstemon confusus
The western United States is lousy with penstemons. Idaho alone claims at least 43 native Penstemon species. Neighboring states claim similar numbers. It is hard to think of the West without them, which is why Idaho Botanical Garden has made it a point to showcase as many of these plants as we can get our hands on. We currently have around 60 different penstemon taxa (including varieties, subspecies, and cultivars) distributed throughout our gardens. In fact, a small handful of these penstemons are part of a nationally accredited collection through American Public Garden Association’s Plant Collection Network.