Category Archives: Exotic

Eleutherococcus sieboldianus ‘Variegatus’ (Five-Leaf Aralia)

I am using the Latin name as the title of this post–and boy is it a mouthful! I have read that Eleutherococcus sieboldianus ‘Variegatus’ is sometimes called five-fingered or five-leaf aralia. It is a little bit of an obscure plant, and maybe for that reason I will categorize it as “exotic” (something that I can’t do that often). I spotted this shrub at the nursery and loved the variegated foliage and thorns (yes I like thorns for some reason). I see online that it does bloom, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen it blooming (we’ve had it two years now).

five-leaf aralia - Eleutherococcus sieboldianus 'Variegatus' five-leaf aralia - Eleutherococcus sieboldianus 'Variegatus' five-leaf aralia - Eleutherococcus sieboldianus 'Variegatus'five-leaf aralia - Eleutherococcus sieboldianus 'Variegatus' five-leaf aralia - Eleutherococcus sieboldianus 'Variegatus' five-leaf aralia - Eleutherococcus sieboldianus 'Variegatus' five-leaf aralia - Eleutherococcus sieboldianus 'Variegatus'

 

Warty Barberries and Crucifixion Thorns

We have two evergreen warty barberries (Berberis verruculosa) in the front yard next to three crucifixion thorns (Colletia hystrix–also called “anchor plants”). I’m putting both types of plants in the same post because they are close together and thus share photographs. We bought the five pokey plants to keep the neighbors’ dog out of our yard, but then the neighbor went and built a chicken coop fence (I guess he got the hint). We’re not too found of the chicken coop fence, but the plants are growing to cover it nicely.

The warty barberries bloomed at the end of April. I think the crucifixion thorns have bloomed in the past, but I don’t remember off of the top of my head when they bloom, and I am not sure if they did bloom this year.

Warty barberries: Berberis verruculosa:

warty barberry - Berberis verruculosa warty barberry - Berberis verruculosa warty barberry - Berberis verruculosa warty barberry - Berberis verruculosa2014 Miscell 1278 warty barberry

Crucifixion thorns: Colletia hystrix:

crucifixion thorn - anchor plant - Colletia hystrix crucifixion thorn - anchor plant - Colletia hystrix

Both types:

crucifixion thorn - anchor plant - Colletia hystrix and warty barberry - Berberis verruculosa crucifixion thorn - anchor plant - Colletia hystrix and warty barberry - Berberis verruculosa crucifixion thorn - anchor plant - Colletia hystrix and warty barberry - Berberis verruculosa

Did we need all five pokey plants? Probably not. Also, when I (very enthusiastically) picked out these plants, I didn’t think about what it would be like weeding around them.

Iochroma ‘Royal Queen’

Iochroma ‘Royal Queen’ was purchased at the garden show in February. It is not completely hardy in our area, so it was planted in a pot that can be moved around if especially cold weather is expected. Sometime in perhaps March the iochroma became quite windblown and lost all of its blossoms and some of its leaves. Since then it has improved quite nicely. The plant was marked as “hummingbird candy,” but I am not sure if the hummingbirds use it.

2013 Miscell 2353 Iochroma 'Royal Queen' 2013 Miscell 2203 Iochroma 'Royal Queen' with lobelia 2013 Miscell 2099 Iochroma 'Royal Queen' with lobelia 2013 Miscell 1778 Iochroma 'Royal Queen'

Hebe ‘Great Orme’ Blooming

2013 Miscell 2468 Hebe 'Great Orme' 2013 Miscell 2469 Hebe 'Great Orme' 2013 Miscell 2467 Hebe 'Great Orme'

Giant Hebe ‘Great Orme’ is blooming. The plant started so small and so quickly got so large. I am hoping that ‘Great Orme’ does as its description indicates, and stops at its current size. It is close to being on the sidewalk. I don’t know if it is a good idea to prune it, and I’m concerned that it would end up a weird shape. Right now it is a very nice dome, and I’d like to keep it that way. The bees love this plant (but then, they love most plants).

Bottlebrushes Blooming

Two of the bottlebrushes have bloomed recently. See this post and this post for previous bottlebrush posts.

green bottlebrush: Callistemon viridiflorus

green bottlebrush: Callistemon viridiflorus

green bottlebrush: Callistemon viridiflorus

green bottlebrush: Callistemon viridiflorus

green bottlebrush: Callistemon viridiflorus

green bottlebrush: Callistemon viridiflorus

green bottlebrush: Callistemon viridiflorus

green bottlebrush: Callistemon viridiflorus

dwarf bottlebrush: Callistemon citrinus 'Little John'

dwarf bottlebrush: Callistemon citrinus ‘Little John’

dwarf bottlebrush: Callistemon citrinus 'Little John'

dwarf bottlebrush: Callistemon citrinus ‘Little John’

dwarf bottlebrush: Callistemon citrinus 'Little John'

dwarf bottlebrush: Callistemon citrinus ‘Little John’

dwarf bottlebrush: Callistemon citrinus 'Little John'

dwarf bottlebrush: Callistemon citrinus ‘Little John’

Edelweiss

2013 Miscell 1728 edelweiss - Leontopodium alpinum 'Matterhorn' 2013 Miscell 1777 edelweiss - Leontopodium alpinum 'Matterhorn' 2013 Miscell 1992 edelweiss - Leontopodium alpinum 'Matterhorn'

Isn’t the edelweiss (Leontopodium alpinum ‘Matterhorn’) interesting? I found it at the garden show and was rather excited. It seems that the flowers are not really blossoms, but are part of the leaf system. I am imagining it growing in the Alps… wildflower-like. I was thinking about moving it into the ground – I was formerly pretty decided upon doing that – but I can’t make up my mind. It would need a special spot where it was not overcrowded by anything bigger… perhaps for this year I will leave it in its pot (although spots are getting claimed).

Crucifixion Plants

These are some of the stranger items in the yard: Colletia hystrix, also called crucifixion plant or anchor plant. There are three, and I think they are just quite odd enough to merit the “exotic” category. I guess the difficulty in finding information is a good indication.

I think I missed photographing these when they were in bloom….

The crucifixion plants are located by the barberries. Once the neighbor realized that we were trying to keep his dog out with barberries and crucifixion plants, he put up the hate fence, otherwise known as the chicken coop. Oh, maybe you can’t actually see it in these pictures. Check out the barberry post.

2013 Miscell 1884 crucifixion plant - Colletia hystrix 2013 Miscell 1885 crucifixion plant - Colletia hystrix 2013 Miscell 1886 crucifixion plant - Colletia hystrix

Planted May

This does not cover everything planted in May, because earlier plants are in this post. Possibly I am forgetting something, but we are solidly into June now so it is time I post this. I talked about most of the plants in other posts (purchase posts), so I will just include photographs here.

hypoestes

hypoestes

Juncus effusus 'Curly Wurly'

Juncus effusus ‘Curly Wurly’

Juncus effusus 'Curly Wurly'

Juncus effusus ‘Curly Wurly’

Juncus inflexus 'Blue Mohawk'

Juncus inflexus ‘Blue Mohawk’

Juncus inflexus 'Blue Mohawk'

Juncus inflexus ‘Blue Mohawk’

Juncus inflexus 'Blue Mohawk'

Juncus inflexus ‘Blue Mohawk’

Bergenia 'Magic Giant': elephant's ears or pigsqueak

Bergenia ‘Magic Giant’: elephant’s ears or pigsqueak

Brunnera macrophylla 'Variegata'

Brunnera macrophylla ‘Variegata’

monkshood: Aconitum cammarum 'Stainless Steel'

monkshood: Aconitum cammarum ‘Stainless Steel’

purple lobelia: Lobelia x gerardii

purple lobelia: Lobelia x gerardii

Lobelia x speciosa 'Compliment Deep Red'

Lobelia x speciosa ‘Compliment Deep Red’

Lobelia x speciosa 'Compliment Deep Red'

Lobelia x speciosa ‘Compliment Deep Red’

California fuchsia: Zauschneria californica

California fuchsia: Zauschneria californica

Lavender 'Betty's Blue'

Lavender ‘Betty’s Blue’

variegated lacecap hydrangea: Hydrangea macrophylla 'Mariesii Variegata'

variegated lacecap hydrangea: Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Mariesii Variegata’

leatherleaf fern: Polypodium scouleri

leatherleaf fern: Polypodium scouleri

wallflower: Erysimum linifolium 'Variegata'

wallflower: Erysimum linifolium ‘Variegata’

dwarf bottlebrush: Callistemon citrinus 'Little John'

dwarf bottlebrush: Callistemon citrinus ‘Little John’

dwarf bottlebrush: Callistemon citrinus 'Little John'

dwarf bottlebrush: Callistemon citrinus ‘Little John’

pineleaf penstemon: Penstemon pinifolius 'Nearly Red'

pineleaf penstemon: Penstemon pinifolius ‘Nearly Red’

Hebe pimeleoides 'Quicksilver'

Hebe pimeleoides ‘Quicksilver’

pussytoes: Antennaria dioica 'Rubra'

pussytoes: Antennaria dioica ‘Rubra’

Heuchera cylindrica (native)

Heuchera cylindrica (native)

Campanula 'Dickson's Gold': bellflower

Campanula ‘Dickson’s Gold’: bellflower

Salvia roemeriana 'Hot Trumpets'

Salvia roemeriana ‘Hot Trumpets’

Parahebe catarractae 'Delight'

Parahebe catarractae ‘Delight’

Parahebe olsenii

Parahebe olsenii

Phlox paniculata 'Peppermint Twist'

Phlox paniculata ‘Peppermint Twist’

sweet William: Dianthus barbatus 'Dwarf Double Mix'

sweet William: Dianthus barbatus ‘Dwarf Double Mix’

sweet William: Dianthus barbatus 'Dwarf Double Mix'

sweet William: Dianthus barbatus ‘Dwarf Double Mix’

African daisy: osteospermum

African daisy: osteospermum

Dianthus 'Passion'

Dianthus ‘Passion’

Dianthus 'Passion'

Dianthus ‘Passion’

Campanula glomerata 'Emerald' and columbine: Aquilegia vulgaris 'Winky Purple and White'

Campanula glomerata ‘Emerald’ and columbine: Aquilegia vulgaris ‘Winky Purple and White’

Campanula glomerata 'Emerald'

Campanula glomerata ‘Emerald’

Campanula glomerata 'Emerald'

Campanula glomerata ‘Emerald’

Dianthus 'Candy Floss'

Dianthus ‘Candy Floss’

catchfly: Silene dioica 'Clifford Moor'

catchfly: Silene dioica ‘Clifford Moor’

rock cress: Arabis caucasica 'Variegata'

rock cress: Arabis caucasica ‘Variegata’

English daisy: Bellis perennis 'Habanera White with Red Tips'

English daisy: Bellis perennis ‘Habanera White with Red Tips’

English daisy: Bellis perennis 'Habanera White with Red Tips'

English daisy: Bellis perennis ‘Habanera White with Red Tips’

creeping phlox: Phlox subulata 'Candy Stripe'

creeping phlox: Phlox subulata ‘Candy Stripe’

sea campion: Silene uniflora 'Druett's Variegated'

sea campion: Silene uniflora ‘Druett’s Variegated’

Shrub Row Plants

I recently weeded the shrub row, so took some pictures of the plants. They are not very big yet – most were planted last year – and they are not blooming. Once they are in bloom, I will post pictures in separate entries. I figured that since they are not blooming, I might as well plop them all together here.

The shrub row was designed partially as habitat for the birds, and also to block out the neighbor’s ugly fence. It will be a few years before either of those aims are achieved, but the plants look great regardless.

The fragrant osmanthus (Osmanthus fragrans) did not bloom last year, but it supposed to have a wonderful fragrance (hence the name). I hope it blooms this year!

fragrant osmanthus: Osmanthus fragrans

fragrant osmanthus: Osmanthus fragrans

The indigofera (Indigofera amblyantha) doesn’t look like much at the moment, but has really sweet delicate blossoms later on. I took a picture of a few leaves to try to convey the delicateness of the plant, but I am not sure that it worked. EDIT: since I took this picture it has leafed-out some.

Indigofera amblyantha

Indigofera amblyantha

Indigofera amblyantha

Indigofera amblyantha

This Eleutherococcus sieboldianus ‘Variegatus’ is a funny little plant without a common name. Yes, I see people using “five-leaf aralia,” but I am not sure about that, since it is only in the aralia family and not an aralia. It was bought for the variegated foliage.

Eleutherococcus sieboldianus 'Variegatus'

Eleutherococcus sieboldianus ‘Variegatus’

Eleutherococcus sieboldianus 'Variegatus'

Eleutherococcus sieboldianus ‘Variegatus’

Eleutherococcus sieboldianus 'Variegatus'

Eleutherococcus sieboldianus ‘Variegatus’

There is one nursery in the area that always underestimates eventual plant size on their signs and tags… the Chilean myrtles (Luma apiculata ‘Glanleam Gold’) are such a situation. There are two of them, and they are apparently going to get huge (although not very quickly, as I’m not sure that they have grown at all).

Chilean myrtle: Luma apiculata 'Glanleam Gold'

Chilean myrtle: Luma apiculata ‘Glanleam Gold’

Chilean myrtle: Luma apiculata 'Glanleam Gold'

Chilean myrtle: Luma apiculata ‘Glanleam Gold’

The variegated butterfly bush (Buddleja davidii ‘Monrell’) was a fun find, because variegated foliage is always appreciated. However, I’m a little scared to prune it down the way that many, including Ciscoe Morris, say to do, as I’m afraid that it will come up again unvariegated. As it is I’ve had to cut off unvariegated branches. So maybe it will get huge and woody instead.

Strawberry Lemonade butterfly bush: Buddleja davidii 'Monrell'

Strawberry Lemonade butterfly bush: Buddleja davidii ‘Monrell’

This locust tree (Robinia pseudoacacia ‘Lace Lady’) is right in front of the shrub row, and actually might get moved. I think right now the plant has more leaves than in these pictures. It is lacy and twisty – what more could one want? The locust might even get its own post sometime, once it is totally foliated (if it intends to do so).

Twisty Baby dwarf black locust: Robinia pseudoacacia 'Lace Lady'

Twisty Baby dwarf black locust: Robinia pseudoacacia ‘Lace Lady’

Twisty Baby dwarf black locust: Robinia pseudoacacia 'Lace Lady'

Twisty Baby dwarf black locust: Robinia pseudoacacia ‘Lace Lady’

I don’t think that the mountain laurel (Kalmia latifolia ‘Raspberry Glow’) bloomed last year. It is evergreen… and I can’t give much more assessment because I haven’t seen it in action. Mountain laurels are related to rhododendrons.

mountain laurel: Kalmia latifolia 'Raspberry Glow'

mountain laurel: Kalmia latifolia ‘Raspberry Glow’

They call Calycanthus floridus “Carolina allspice” because it is native to the east coast. It is a scented plant, and the co-gardener and I saw it for sale at a nursery several counties away. I had read about it and knew that it was scented and had attractive dark red blooms, so we picked one out that had buds but was not quite blooming. Well, I went home and read in the trusty Sunset book that one should only buy the plants in bloom, because some smell better than others. It does not smell bad exactly, it is just a really unusual smell. I think it grew on me a little… witch hazels have a sort of odd fragrance, as well.

Carolina allspice: Calycanthus floridus

Carolina allspice: Calycanthus floridus

Last year I got a book from the library about scented plants, and got it in my mind that I needed a scented rhododendron and a scented hydrangea. So when we were at the big rhododendron nursery last year we picked out a white scented one, ‘Polar Bear.’ It did not bloom last year, and it looks like it will not bloom this year. That happens sometimes with certain types of rhododendrons – it can take years and years for them to bloom. On top of it, this plant is a weird shape (I think it flopped)… but it is putting on new growth so hopefully it will turn itself into something a little more, reasonable?

'Polar Bear' rhododendron

‘Polar Bear’ rhododendron

There are two pittosporums in the yard. This one, Pittosporum tenuifolium ‘Marjorie Channon,’ is in the shrub row. It is variegated and supposedly has scented blooms, but I don’t really remember it blooming last year. The other pittosporum, which will show up in a later post, definitely has sweet-smelling white flowers which smell like orange blossoms (thus called a Japanese mock orange). This one gets pretty big, so we decided to stick it in the shrub row. It is evergreen.

Pittosporum tenuifolium 'Marjorie Channon'

Pittosporum tenuifolium ‘Marjorie Channon’

Ok the Wine and Roses (Weigela florida ‘Alexandra’). This was purchased bare-root (bare-root is always cheaper), and we didn’t realize how weird it would look when it foliated. All of the leaves are towards the top. I have since seen the same type of plant in nurseries, and I always comment “this one is not as weird looking as ours…” I think sometimes bare-root is a risky business, unless it is for something that is typically sold bare-root, like roses. The term “bare-root” means that the roots are loose, without being imbedded in a ball of soil, are typically kept in sawdust at the nursery, and the plants don’t have leaves yet. Once home, bare-root plants should be planted within a few days. Last year when we looked at this plant, I reminded the co-gardener that there had been interest in a variegated weigela, but the co-gardener figured that this one was so inexpensive that we could have both. Upon arriving home, the Wine and Roses weigela got a really great spot in the backyard. Once it turned out to look like it does, we lamented it for awhile until finally putting a much lovelier variegated weigela there instead, and moving this one to the shrub row. I think that we are going to cut it all the way down after it blooms, hoping that it will develop a more attractive shape. However, whenever we talk about not having space for something I remark “we could always get rid of the Wine and Roses.”

Wine and Roses weigela: Weigela florida 'Alexandra'

Wine and Roses weigela: Weigela florida ‘Alexandra’

I picked out this mock orange (Philadelphus ‘Snow White Fantasy’) after it had bloomed, so have not yet seen it doing its thing, but it should have nice white scented blooms.

mock orange: Philadelphus 'Snow White Fantasy'

mock orange: Philadelphus ‘Snow White Fantasy’

This evergreen viburnum (Viburnum japonicum ‘Variegatum’) is mostly for its eye-catching variegated foliage, but it should also bloom and have berries. As I recall, the blossoms were marketed as being scented, but the smell was slight. I could be confusing it with a different variegated viburnum (it will be in a future post).

Viburnum japonicum 'Variegatum'

Viburnum japonicum ‘Variegatum’

The co-gardener really wanted a doublefile viburnum, and we ended up with two last year. This one, Viburnum plicatum tomentosum ‘Summer Snowflake,’ is more upright than they typically are, and last year the blooms continued for months and months – much longer than the ‘Mariesii’ variety on the other side of the yard (which will be in a later post).

doublefile viburnum: Viburnum plicatum tomentosum 'Summer Snowflake'

doublefile viburnum: Viburnum plicatum tomentosum ‘Summer Snowflake’

Bottlebrushes

Bottlebrushes belong to the genus Callistemon, which is native to Australia. I took a few pictures after weeding, which I am including here. The new bottlebrush, as seen in this post, is not yet planted. When it is, I will add those pictures to this post.

Bottlebrushes are supposed to interest hummingbirds, but I have not seen the original two bloom, so I am not sure yet.

The green bottlebrush will have green flowers! If it blooms.

Monrovia, the grower of Callistemon citrinus ‘Little John,’ says that it only gets to three feet tall and five feet wide – much smaller than the other two.

green bottlebrush: Callistemon viridiflorus

green bottlebrush: Callistemon viridiflorus

red bottlebrush: Callistemon subulatus

red bottlebrush: Callistemon subulatus

dwarf bottlebrush: Callistemon citrinus 'Little John'

dwarf bottlebrush: Callistemon citrinus ‘Little John’

dwarf bottlebrush: Callistemon citrinus 'Little John'

dwarf bottlebrush: Callistemon citrinus ‘Little John’