Thursday, August 1, 2013

Latin redux

In my last post I shared that I had become fascinated lately with species terms that have a generalized meaning. That is, the species term is used to describe a certain quality that a plant has (and that it shares with other plants). I started off with a dozen species terms and gave examples. Here's a few more. I'm also posting photos of my garden for those who want to skip ahead to those.

"greggii"  -- named after Dr. John Gregg who discovered it. Main example is the great many Salvia greggiis that are widely available. Glad to have that question answered!
"heterophyllus" -- with variable leaves. ("Phyllus" always refers to leaves). Notably the CA native penstemon, P. heterophyllus.
"hirta" -- hairy. One common example would be Rudbeckia hirta, which has pronounced hairs on the stems. I suspect that hirta also gives us hirsute.
"humilus" -- low growing. The first plant that comes to mind is Sarcococca humilus, the lower growing species of Sweet box.
"laciniatus" -- deeply cut into tapered lobes. Thus Rudbeckia lacianata, known as cutleaf rudbeckia.
"latifolium" -- wide-leaved. I have a Eriogonum latifolium in my garden, the lovely silver leaves indeed being a bit wider than other species.
"maculatus" -- spotted. Brings to mind one of my favorite native annuals, Nemophila maculata, also known as Baby Five Spot for the purple spots that dot the perimeter of each leaf.
"mollis" -- soft or with soft hairs. Thus Alchemilla mollis, also known as Lady's Mantle, and which features downy foliage. Also, Hamamelis mollis (Chinese witch hazel), which has softly hairy leaves.

Okay, now the photos! My garden is definitely in mid summer mode, with a mix of summer annuals, summer blooming shrubs and the beginning of summer/fall vines.

Gold stars all around for anyone who recognizes this flower. It's Centaurea 'Black Sprite,' a montana cultivar. Pretty fab and yes that's no optical illusion, the flowers really are that black (okay, deep, deep burgundy). Took forever to bloom but I expect a summer long show.

One of the Haiti metal sculptures made from recycled oil drums. This photo doesn't really capture the detail as much as I'd like (brown background + sun) but it gives an idea.

Trachelium caerulea. One of my favorite plants, this guy began blooming two weeks after I planted it (not showing even any buds). A real fave for butterflies. For purple lovers only!

It's Rudbeckia season and here's a rust-colored hirta hybrid called Autumn Colors. Those of you who read my column know I just did a column on perennial rudbeckias but there's nothing wrong with enjoying these annual types.

Dorychium hirsutum. Speaking of the meaning of species names, here's a variation of hirta. That's obvious with the softly hairy leaves of this trailing perennial. And that grayish-green foliage is simply lovely.

Rudbeckia 'Prairie Sun.' This Black-eyed Susan has one of the biggest flowers and a lovely two-tone of orangey-gold and chartreuse.

Crocosmia. Weed or welcome guest, you choose. This vigorously self-seeding bulb will pop up everywhere and will, just for good measure, produce tons of little bulbs at its roots. Here the bright orange tones contrast nicely with the refreshing and tropical foliage of Alpinia 'Zerumbet.'  That would be Shell ginger to you and more photos of this, my favorite foliage plant, will follow.

Grevillea 'Moonlight.' Still not widely known among gardeners, who may rightly be drawn to all the other fabulous (and more colorful) grevilleas, this is still my favorite. Huge flower cones and that indescribable cream color make it very showy in my mind. Now in its second year in the ground, it looks to be ready for a spectacular show this year.

Salpiglossis 'Kew Blue.' Don't know about the 'Blue' part but the royal purple tones of this Painted Tongue are hard to beat.

I was recently up in Nelson B.C. (highly recommended) and came across a shop that had all manner of interesting little garden nicknacks.  I found two stones, including this one, that made me laugh so I bought them. It's nestled among my Yerba Buena.

I don't think the plant here, the vigorous Stachys albotomentosa (better known as the 7-Up plant for having that fragrance), needs any encouragement to grow! Good sentiment and a thought we've all had, if not yelled, at certain recalcitrant plants!

Bromeliad. Love the spotting on this bromeliad, which makes it easy to enjoy even if it never flowers.

Begonia Angel Wings. Or so the tag said but I think the grower was confusing the type of begonia (Angel Wing types that typically have spotted leaves) from the actual variety. No matter, here the close-up of the simple flower seems to dangle in space in front of the spotted leaf behind it.

Oakleaf hydrangea. Among the many fabulous things about this plant, almost too many to list, there's also the matter of its lovely orange stems.

Canary Creeper. Here's a close-up of the lovely nasturtium with the distinctively shaped flowers, said to resemble a canary. As in other years I've trained it to grow in and out of some lattice board. 

Plumbago auriculata. Can you say Robin's egg blue, boys and girls? I knew you could. And yes I'll drag out that old chestnut, "so many plumbagos, so little space ..." That said, be prepared for a battle if you ever need to dig this out, which I'll eventually have to do.

Hibiscus cisplinatus. One of my favorite hibiscus, in part because of the delicate pink veining and then the large, vivid stamens.

Begonia sutherlandii. Sweet and charming and that color, sort of an orange creme, adds to this low growing begonia's charm. Thanks to Sherrie at Cal Flora for introducing me to this guy.

1 comment:

  1. I have been looking for a nursery in Bolingbrook, IL but I doubt there flowers are anywhere near as beautiful as yours. I love the color and variety you have. It's fantastic.


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