Posts Tagged: Daniel Murphy

Sat
19
2018

What’s Blooming May 2018

Meadow Rue – Thalictrum ‘Black Stockings’

 

The genus Thalictrum may surprise you by just how showy and attractive it can be. Commonly known as the meadow rues, plants in this genus are found throughout the northern hemisphere and are generally adapted to cool, shady locations. While several species have miniscule, inconspicuous flowers and unremarkable foliage, others are quite the opposite. One inarguable example is a hybrid cultivar called ‘Black Stockings.’

‘Black Stockings’ describes the deep purple, nearly black stems that stand sturdy and tall above delicate, green foliage. Reaching up to four feet and beyond, the plant is topped with numerous clusters of lavender-magenta flowers that look like little fireworks. Butterflies and other pollinators can’t resist.

This a perfect addition to the back of a perennial bed or border. It is best suited to full sun or part shade and thrives in rich soil with regular water. Late spring to early summer is when you will find it in its prime. See it now, along with other late spring flowers, in the English Garden.

The nearly black stems of Thalictrum ‘Black Stockings’

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Written by IBG Collections Curator, Daniel Murphy



Thu
26
2018

What’s Blooming April 26, 2018

Koreanspice Viburnum – Viburnum carlesii

 

Viburnum is a genus of shrubs consisting of more than 150 species, most of which are found in the Northern Hemisphere. They are ecologically valuable in their native habitats, providing food and shelter to countless insects, birds, and mammals. A fair number of viburnum species have also become popular garden and landscape plants. Take a look at any viburnum, and it’s easy to see why.

One particularly attractive species is Viburnum carlesii, a deciduous shrub native to Korea and Japan and commonly known as Koreanspice viburnum. It has a natural rounded form and reaches about 6 feet tall to 6 feet wide. Like most viburnums, its form and foliage make it appealing even when it isn’t flowering or fruiting; however, its flowering stage is the moment you definitely want to experience.

Dome-shaped clusters of red-to-pink buds form at the tips of branches. As they open, pink flowers turn to white. The flowers are abundant and highly fragrant. Their scent has been described as spicy vanilla or spice cake. Their fragrance is currently filling the air in the English Garden, where additional viburnum species can be found flanking a massive and impressive bulb display. Don’t miss it.

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Written by IBG collections curator, Daniel Murphy



Fri
6
2018

What’s Blooming April 2018

Prairie Smoke – Geum triflorum

 

One of the first wildflowers to bloom in the Lewis and Clark Native Plant Garden is a low-growing plant in the rose family. Patches of fern-like leaves green up quickly in the spring, followed by a series of upright, mostly leafless stems that reach anywhere from a few inches to over a foot tall. Three bell-shaped flowers are borne atop each stem, which bend at the top to face the flowers downward.

Pink to red sepals and small, pointed bracts encase each of the flowers. The petals, which are white or light pink, are barely visible. After the flowers are pollinated, they turn to face upwards. The styles of the flowers persist and grow up to two inches long. They also become hairy, which gives the seed head a feathery appearance and explains one of the plant’s common names, old man’s whiskers.

Geum triflorum is widespread throughout western North America and occurs in dry to moist open areas in montane and subalpine regions. Where it is abundant, the collective seed heads create the appearance of a low-lying haze, hence its other common name, prairie smoke.

See prairie smoke blooming now in the Prairie Zone of Lewis and Clark Native Plant Garden.

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Written by IBG collections curator, Daniel Murphy



Thu
1
2018

What’s Blooming March 2018

Panchito Manzanita

Arctostaphylos x coloradensis

 

Panchito Manzanita ‘Arctostaphylos x coloradensis’

 

There is a plant for every season in our Plant Select Demonstration Garden. A few of the species found there, like the manzanitas, are even attractive year-round and worth visiting anytime. If there is a season you don’t want to miss them, though, it’s spring.

The Plant Select program (www.plantselect.org) has released three varieties of manzanita, two of which are found in our Demonstration Garden: Panchito and mock bearberry. Each are selections of Arctostaphylos x coloradensis, a naturally occurring hybrid between A. uva-ursi and A. patula. These manzanitas are low-growing, sprawling, evergreen shrubs that thrive in sun to partial shade. Their broad, glossy, deep green leaves and their reddish bark give them year-round interest.

In early spring they produce dozens of clusters of white and pink flowers. The flowers -characteristic of many plants in the heath family – are bell-shaped and hang from the tips of branches, calling out to early pollinators and other garden visitors.

http://plantselect.org/plantstories/colorados-hardy-manzanitas-welcome-winter-beauty/

http://plantselect.org/plant/arctostaphylos-x-coloradensis/

http://plantselect.org/plant/arctostaphylos-x-coloradensis1/

Panchito Manzanita in bloom this March at the Idaho Botanical Garden.

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Written by IBG collections curator, Daniel Murphy



Thu
1
2018

What’s Blooming 2/1/2018

Helllebores – Helleborus spp. 

 

Hellebores ‘Helleborus spp.’

This oddly mild winter has us already anticipating spring flowers. One genus you can generally rely on to be in bloom around this time of year is Helleborus. Native to Eurasia, species in this genus are commonly known as Lenten rose, Christmas rose, or (simply) hellebores. They are a popular addition to dry shade gardens, and as a result, there are numerous species, hybrids, and cultivars to choose from.

Historically, hellebores have been used medicinally due to toxic alkaloids produced in all parts of the plant. A side benefit of this is that deer and rabbits generally leave them alone. Humans should also avoid eating them and should instead appreciate them for their beautiful late winter/early spring blooms and interesting foliage. Hellebore flowers are particularly showy due to the enlarged, sometimes colorful sepals that are easily mistaken for petals. The actual “petals” are small, tubular nectaries found in a ring at the center of the sepals surrounded by a tight grouping of the flower’s sex organs.

Several varieties of hellebores can be found blooming at Idaho Botanical Garden in both the English and Meditation Gardens. We hope you will plan regular visits in the coming weeks to see all this early spring has in store.

Hellebore in bloom this winter at the Idaho Botanical Garden.

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Written by IBG horticulturist, Daniel Murphy



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
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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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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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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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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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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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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