Horticulture Staff

Thu
21
2017

What’s Blooming 9/21/2017

Globe Amaranth – Gomphrena spp. 

 

Gomphrena haageana ‘QIS™ Carmine’

What is not to love about gomphrena? It’s an easy to grow, low maintenance, disease resistant summer annual that can survive on little water and will tolerate a range of soil types. It blooms prolifically from the beginning of summer and into the fall, forming an attractive mound of color that is difficult to miss.

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Wed
23
2017

What’s Blooming 8/23/2017

Eaton’s Aster – Symphyotrichum eatonii

 

Every year during the final weeks of summer, we look forward to seeing the asters bloom. They are a sure sign that fall is on the way, but a reminder that there is still so much color left to see before the gray days of winter. In our Idaho Native Plant Garden, you will find Eaton’s aster in full bloom. It is a native of the western states, and one of dozens of asters native to North America.

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Mon
31
2017

What’s Blooming 7/31/2017

Goldhill Golden-aster – Heterotheca jonesii x villosa ‘Goldhill’

 

One of the many things to love about the Plant Select program is their collection called Plant Select Petites. These are tough plants that are adapted for gardens in the Intermountain West, just like all the other plants in the program. The difference is that the Petites are selected specifically for small spaces. They are perfect for troughs, containers, rock gardens, and anywhere else that a small plant is needed. The Plant Select Demonstration Garden at Idaho Botanical Garden features several Plant Select Petites, one of which is Goldhill golden-aster.

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Thu
15
2017

What’s Blooming 6/15/2017

Spanish Foxglove – Digitalis thapsi ‘Spanish Peaks’

 

Idaho Botanical Garden is home to one of Plant Selects many demonstration gardens located throughout the Intermountain West. On display in our demonstration garden are plant varieties that are perfectly suited for creating sustainable gardens in the Treasure Valley. Many of those plants are in bloom now, one of which is Spanish Peaks foxglove.

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Mon
24
2017

What’s Blooming – April 24, 2017

April showers bring more April flowers. Brave the rain and come see the most recent blooms at Idaho Botanical Garden as April draws to a close. Here’s hoping for a sunnier, drier May.

Imperial Fritillary (Fritillaria imperialis) – English Garden

Saskatoon Serviceberry (Amelanchier alnifolia)  – Lewis and Clark Native Plant Garden

Arrowleaf Balsamroot (Balsamorhiza sagittata) – Lewis and Clark Native Plant Garden

Japanese Wisteria (Wisteria floribunda ‘Texas Purple’) – English Garden

Uintah Mountain Penstemon (Penstemon uintahensis) – Summer Succulent Garden

Mountain Goldenbanner (Thermopsis montana) – Lewis and Clark Native Plant Garden

Rhubarb (Rheum rhabarbarum) – Vegetable Garden

Koreanspice Viburnum (Viburnum carlesii) – English Garden

Red-flowering Currant (Ribes sanguineum) – Lewis and Clark Native Plant Garden and Western Waterwise Garden

Antelope Bitterbrush (Purshia tridentata) – Lewis and Clark Native Plant Garden

 



Wed
5
2017

What’s Blooming – April 2017

Idaho Botanical Garden is on the verge of bursting into full bloom. So many things are already flowering, and there is much more to come. Below are just a few of the things blooming now throughout the Garden. Stop by today to see these, and visit often as spring unfolds to see all the rest. Happy Spring!

Prairie Smoke (Geum triflorum) – Lewis and Clark Native Plant Garden

Yellowbells (Fritillaria pudica) – Lewis and Clark Native Plant Garden

Western White Trillium (Trillium ovatum) – Lewis and Clark Native Plant Garden

Redbud (Cercis canadensis) – Children’s Adventure Garden

Oregon Grape Holly (Mahonia aquifolium) – Throughout the Garden

Magnolias (Magnolia spp.) – English Garden

Forsythia (Forsythia × intermedia) – Throughout the Garden

Common Lomatium (Lomatium dissectum) – Lewis and Clark Native Plant Garden

Canada Wild Ginger (Asarum canadense) – Lewis and Clark Native Plant Garden

Marsh Marigold (Caltha palustris) – On the border of the Rose Garden

 



Mon
26
2016

What’s Blooming 9/26/2016

Bluebeard – Caryopteris spp.

 

caryopteris clandonensis 2

Plants that bloom late in the summer and into fall are particularly important in the garden. Not only do they offer continuous color and interest as other plants fade, but they provide essential nectar and pollen resources to bees, butterflies, and other beneficial insects as they prepare for migration and hibernation. One such late season bloomer is Caryopteris.

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Wed
14
2016

What’s Blooming 9/14/2016

Firecracker Vine – Ipomoea lobata

 

mina lobata 2

After months of growth, Ipomoea lobata is finally coming into its own. Commonly known as firecracker vine, Spanish flag, or exotic love vine, this annual, ornamental vine can be a real showstopper when it finally reaches full bloom.

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Wed
7
2016

What’s Blooming 9/07/2016

Mexican Sunflower – Tithonia rotundifolia

 

mexican sunflower 6

Mexican sunflower is a real presence in the garden. Closely related to the sunflower genus (Helianthus), Tithonia rotundifolia matches many sunflowers in its size and showiness – reaching up to six feet tall and four feet wide in a single season and producing dozens of large, orange to red flower heads. The flowers occur from mid-summer into the fall and are similar in appearance to many other flowers in the aster family. It is native to Mexico and Central America, but is easily grown as an annual in cooler climates.

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Wed
31
2016

What’s Blooming 8/31/2016

Joe Pye Weed – Eutrochium purpureum

 

joe pye weed 1

Native to wooded slopes, wet meadows, thickets and streams of the eastern and northern United States, Joe Pye weed is better known as a garden plant in England than here in its homeland. Stunning in size (4-7’ tall) Joe Pye weed is an impressive plant of the aster (Asteraceae) family whose stout, arching stems are awhirl with large serrated leaves and topped with domes of small flowers rich in nectar and pollen.

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Wed
24
2016

What’s Blooming 8/24/2016

Rocky Mountain Bee Plant – Cleome serrulata

 

Cleome serrulata

At first glance Rocky Mountain bee plant might appear to be an import from an alien planet. The big pink blooms, with long seed capsules dangling down like legs, atop a spindly stalk are unlike many other plants. So why do we have this plant at the Idaho Botanical Garden? Well, despite its otherworldly appearance Rocky Mountain bee plant is a North American native. It can be found growing from British Columbia all the way down to Arizona and New Mexico.

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Thu
18
2016

What’s Blooming 8/18/2016

Hardy Hibiscus – Hibiscus moscheutos

 

hibiscus 1

Hibiscus moscheutos has the tropical appeal of other Hibiscus species but is surprisingly well-adapted to survive in cold climates. For this reason it is commonly known as hardy hibiscus. Another common name, swamp rose mallow, refers to the wet environments where it is found growing naturally. Its native range spans from Texas eastward to the Atlantic coast and then north into Ontario, Canada. It is a robust, woody perennial in the mallow family (Malvaceae) that reaches up to 7 feet tall and 4 feet wide. Its flowers can be the size of a dinner plate, and its large overlapping petals come in a range of colors from white to pink to deep red, often with a maroon or crimson center. The pistil and stamens form a central column that is prominently displayed. Each flower only lasts a day or two, but new flowers open each day throughout the bloom period which runs from July to September.

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Thu
4
2016

What’s Blooming 8/4/2016

Globe Thistle – Echinops ritro

 

echinops 1

In the Children’s Adventure Garden, a mass of planting of globe-shaped, blue-purple flowers draws a crowd. In the heat of the day, nearly every flower head is occupied by at least one bee, if not three or four. Human visitors are also lured in, not only to observe the swarm of pollinators but also to admire such a unique bloom. The view is other-worldly.

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Thu
28
2016

What’s Blooming 7/28/2016

Desert Willow – Chilopsis linearis

 

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The common name for Chilopsis linearis, desert willow, might first appear to be an oxymoron, as we often associate willows with water. However, Chilopsis is only “willow” in name and appearance. True willows are in the genus Salix. Chilopsis, on the other hand, is a monotypic genus – a genus that contains only one species. In this case, that species is Chilopsis linearis.

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Wed
20
2016

What’s Blooming 7/20/2016

Dahlias

 

dahlia 3

Native to Mexico and Central America, dahlias are tuberous rooted perennials in the aster (Asteraceae) family. Years after its discovery, the first dahlia was taken to Europe. Although it adapted well to European soils, it did not dependably survive winters. In the 19th century, botanists in the Netherlands began to experiment, and from a pair of dahlias came the majority of dahlias found for sale today.

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Tue
12
2016

What’s Blooming 7/12/2016

Purple Prairie Clover – Dalea purpurea

 

FullSizeRender

Throughout the Idaho Botanical Garden you may notice certain plants covered in small metal cages made of chicken wire. Curious visitors often ask what we use these cages for, and the answer is: for protection. It really is a problem we have brought on ourselves. While human members see the staggering variety of plants we have here at the garden as a tapestry to be admired, our resident critters see a veritable smorgasbord of tasty treats. One particularly appetizing plant that needs extra protection is Purple Prairie Clover, Dalea purpurea. Without fortification, this plant would surely have succumbed to our rabbit population years ago, the young shoots being especially desirable for their high protein content. Luckily the clover has become more established over the years, and now appears to be at the point where it is not as appetizing, having woodier, thicker stems, and thus in less need of protection.

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Wed
6
2016

What’s Blooming 7/06/2016

Texas Red Yucca – Hesperaloe parviflora

 

hesperaloe 6

It may surprise you that a plant native to central Texas and northern Mexico thrives in Idaho, but it’s true. Hesperaloe parviflora has a condensed native range deep in the heart of Texas, where it tolerates extremely high temperatures and very dry soils. When grown in regions where temperatures drop below zero in the winter and snow piles up around it, it tolerates that too. It’s a tough Texas plant.

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Wed
22
2016

What’s Blooming 6/22/2016

Oceanspray – Holodiscus discolor

 

IMG_1444

As we enter the heat of summer, flowers in many parts of the garden are slowly succumbing to the rising temperatures. However, one plant that is flourishing in the Lewis and Clark Native Plant Garden is oceanspray, Holodiscus discolor. A member of the rose family, oceanspray is a northwest perennial shrub that grows 4-5 feet tall with an arching habit. In summer the shrub is covered in green, deeply lobed leaves and sprays of fragrant white flowers. The plentiful, creamy blooms provide a bounty of food for native pollinators. 

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Tue
14
2016

What’s Blooming 6/14/2016

Butterfly Milkweed – Asclepias tuberosa

 

butterfly milkweed 1

Butterfly sightings have become common in the garden these past few weeks. Butterflies are among the most charismatic of insects and are easy to attract to a garden. The key is to provide a wide variety of flowering plants that produce abundant nectar. One such plant is Asclepias tuberosa. Its common name, butterfly milkweed, demonstrates just how appealing to butterflies it is.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Wed
27
2016

What’s Blooming 4/27/2016

Owens Valley Penstemon – Penstemon confusus

 

penstemon confusus 4

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.

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Thu
21
2016

What’s Blooming 4/21/2016

Curly Leaf Sea Kale – Crambe maritima

 

crambe martima 1

One of our horticulture missions at Idaho Botanical Garden is to showcase plants that are suitable for gardens and landscapes in the Treasure Valley. That is why we maintain various waterwise and native plant gardens. The plants in these gardens are acclimated to our soils and our hot, arid summers. One such garden is our Plant Select Demonstration Garden. Plant Select is a collaborative organization between Denver Botanic Gardens and Colorado State University that aims to bring ornamental plants to the horticulture industry that are reliable, attractive, low maintenance, and suitable for the high plains and intermountain regions. The horticulture staff at IBG thinks highly of the Plant Select brand, not only for their incredible selection of plants but also because their mission is so similar to ours.

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Mon
11
2016

What’s Blooming 4/11/2016

Barestem Biscuitroot – Lomatium nudicaule

 

lomatium nudicaule

Lomatiums are among the diverse suite of wildflowers that bloom in the Boise Foothills each spring. Commonly known as biscuitroot or desert parsley, Lomatium is a genus consisting of around 75 species, all of which are found in western North America. There are several species native to our region; the most common include Lomatium dissectum (fernleaf biscuitroot), Lomatium grayi (Gray’s biscuitroot), Lomatium triternatum (nineleaf biscuitroot), and Lomatium nudicaule (barestem biscuitroot).

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