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Plant Buggy Sales - September 27, 2013

Fall is for planting!  So come on out and see what we have for sale this week on our Plant Buggy outside the Bobby G. Wilder Visitor Center.  Remember it is cash or check only and we don't have change.  Most plants are $5 with a few $10 ones thrown in as well. Our staff and volunteers continue to propagate some of our favorite plants to offer our visitors.  Here is a selection of a few of the plants on the trailer this week.

Aster ageratoides 'Ezo Murasaki' - An outstanding Japanese selection of Asian aster. It has incredible medium-purple, frost-resistant fall flowers. It forms a low mat of foliage and spreads quickly by underground stolons. Be prepared, because it will fill a large area in the garden in short order.

Simply stunning in fall, makes a great ground cover in sun to part shade.

Callicarpa japonica 'Shiji Murasaki' - A heavily variegated form of beautyberry with green leaves splashed and speckled white. New growth emerges pink and young stems are pink. Unlike the typical Japanese beautyberries, this form seems to grow somewhat upright and is heavily branched with none of the arching characteristics usually seen. Flowers are pinkish and so far we have seen no fruit set. Our plant has been surprisingly vigorous for the amount of variegation and has not burned in full sun with minimal irrigation. Grows best in sun to shade conditions, reaching an ultimate size of about 6'.

Heavily variegated foliage is surprisingly sun tolerant.

Clethra barbinervis - Whether you call it Japanese pepperbush or Japanese summersweet, you will admire it for its sweetly-scented white flowers, produced in summer, and the richly exfoliating bark specimens attain with age.  Grow as an upright, open shrub or a small flowering tree in sun to shade.

Masses of white summer flowers are sweetly fragrant.

Gardenia jasminoides 'Shooting Star' -  ‘Shooting Star’ is a compact cultivar of gardenia noted for its winter hardiness and large, fragrant, single white flowers up to 3” in diameter in late spring. Its glossy, evergreen leaves will add beauty to your garden all year long.

Hydrangea serrata 'Ô amacha Nishiki' - A lovely small lacecap hydrangea with flowers that tend toward the pink rather than blue.  The foliage is heavily dusted with creamy white which helps light up the shade garden.

Pink lacecaps and speckled variegation make this plant a winner.

Magnolia maudiae - Enjoy the intoxicating fragrance of pristine white flowers in late winter on this evergreen magnolia. Flowers are large (4"-6") and it has been described in bloom as "one of the greater surreal experiences of horticulture."  Plant in a location that has protection from cold north winds.

Pristine white winter flowers backed by evergreen foliage are a delight in the garden.


Sinningia 'Bananas Foster' - From May until frost you will enjoy this delightful hardy gloxinia in your garden. True to its name, it produces dozens of 2" pale yellow tubular flowers. It is very drought tolerant and perfect for a rock garden or other sunny location.  It is such a very cool and desirable plant.

Tubular yellow flowers on red stems last all summer long.

Sphaeralcea 'Shell Pink' - This lovely globe mallow is widely touted as an annual plant but has been perfectly hardy for us over the last five years in a well-drained, sunny spot.  The hibiscus relative makes a spreading plant with silvery leaves and pink flowers.  It will look great in containers or hanging baskets as well as in the garden but may not be hardy in a pot.

Pink hibiscus-type flowers are quite lovely.

Other plants on the cart this week include:

XFatshedera lizei 'Curly'Amsonia hubrichtii,  Sedum emarginatum 'Eco-Mt. Omei'Buxus sempervirens 'Vardar Valley'Ruellia simplex 'Chi Chi'Hippeastrum 'Scarlet Baby'Sinningia tubiflora

Follow me at @jcramark because life is too short for boring plants.

The new JCRA Plant Buggy for onsite sales.

Check out all the happenings, see more images, and learn more at the JC Raulston Arboretum where we are Planting a Better World.

Pic of the Day - Hydrangea serrata (Chicory variegated)

Subtle, speckled variegation and delicate lacecap flowers make this a winner. The JC Raulston Arboretum Lath House is home to a wealth of interesting plants many of which are too new to have actual cultivar names yet.  This hydrangea hails we assume from one of our favorite nurseries (Chicory Nursery) in Japan where rows and rows of interesting plants line shelves.  We received it from another source and think this plant is hard to beat.  It is a small Hydrangea serrata with leaves heavily speckled with white.  Dainty lacecap flowers which vary from pink to blue depending on soil alkalinity and availability of aluminum in the soil (blue if aluminum is available and the soil is acidic enough for it to be in solution).  Even non-variegated plant lovers can appreciate the subtlety of this plant.  Grow in some shade in a moist, well-drained soil.

Follow me at @jcramark because life is too short for boring plants.

The heavily speckled variegation looks great with the soft pink flowers.


Pic of the Day - Hydrangea macrophylla 'Perfection'

Fully double flowers make this mophead type hydrangea really stand out. Bigleaf hydrangeas are mainstays of the shade garden where the large, glossy green foliage provides a lush look and the showy flower heads light up the garden.  This recent introduction from Ball Horticultural Co. called Hydrangea macrophylla 'Perfection' is proving to be a show-stopper in the landscape.  Large flower heads composed of dozens of fully double florets with pointed petals are held on sturdy stems.  It is one of the first double flowered forms that is also a pretty good re-bloomer for us with waves of flowers occurring over the summer if old heads are removed.  It seems to want to be pink and I haven't seen a true blue, even in very acid soils it tends to be a purplish hue.  This is a relatively compact plant to 3' tall and a bit wider, perhaps as much as 5' wide over time.  Grow in part shade in a moist, well-drained soil.

A young plant flowering on new growth from last season's wood.


Pic of the Day - Hydrangea arborescens 'Abetwo'

20130609-133543.jpgThis form of the eastern US native smooth hydrangea lives up to its trade name of Incrediball with huge mophead flower clusters in late spring to early summer. The 10" flower clusters open lime green before quickly turning white and are held erect on very sturdy stems. Unlike most of the Asian hydrangeas, smooth hydrangeas flower on new growth and so can be cut to the ground each winter. They make great garden plants from the deep south to very cold climates. Grow in part shade or full sun with supplemental summer irrigation.