December 13, 2017

One Big, Happy Family

One might think of orchids as exotic plants, growing lushly in a tropical setting. And one would be right - to a point. The orchid family, Orchidaceae, is one of the two largest families of flowering … [Read more...]

On the Hoof

Early settlers are often to blame for the introduction of species to the New World, and such is the case for Tussilago farfara, a European native that is now found far and wide in North America, … [Read more...]

Behold the Kakabeak

On a lone island in a New Zealand harbor there grew a legume. This evergreen shrub, Clianthus puniceus, is a rare plant, commonly known as kakabeak. That name stems from its arresting clusters of red … [Read more...]

One Big Corpse Flower

Flowers come in all shapes and sizes, although the size of Amorphophallus titanum would be enough to stop anyone in their tracks. The inflorescence of the curiously named "corpse flower" can top 10 … [Read more...]

‘Banquet’ Setting

If one is starving for the awe-inspiring power of a peony, look no farther than that of the tree peony 'Banquet.' This impressive plant is a 4-foot-tall lutea hybrid tree peony that sports what are … [Read more...]

Tall and Mellow

Few flowers are as impressive as the stately hollyhock, some varieties of which can reach 9 feet in height. Native to Asia and Europe, Alcea is a genus of about 60 species in the mallow family. The … [Read more...]

Gesundheit

The brilliant yellow rays of this flower are not surprisingly those of a Helenium, H. autumnale to be precise. Best known as sneezeweed, this perennial is a prodigious bloomer of daisy-like flowers … [Read more...]

Not a Stepping Stone

The looks of Sagina subulata belie its preferred growing conditions of dry, sandy or gravelly soil by creating a lush groundcover of rich green. This European native is generally known as Irish moss … [Read more...]

That Stings

Urtica dioica has six subspecies, two of which occur in New England and only one of which is native. Urtica dioica ssp. gracilis is native and can be identified because both the male and female … [Read more...]

Curly Top

Allium senescens subsp. glaucum is an ornamental onion, blossoming later in the year than most of its relatives. Its common names are numerous, ranging from German garlic to curly chives to pink curly … [Read more...]