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Great white trillium (Trillium grandiflorum) is a spring blooming perennial wildflower that is native to the forests of eastern North American. Composed of three whorled leaves, three white petals and three sepals, this wildflower is beloved for its simple, elegant beauty. Read more about this superstar of springtime wildflowers for woodland gardens and other shady spaces in USDA Zones 4-8. Here's a list of a few other woodland wildflowers to look for at this time of year:
In my Kentucky neighborhood the tree peonies, also called moulan (Paeonia suffruticosa), have just finished blooming. The spectacular blossoms didn't last but a week after being blasted with a couple strong strong wind and rain storms. I saw one with deep red flowers that I seriously need one of... Download images from the Tree Peony Image Gallery
The more familiar common or Chinese peonies (Paeonia lactiflora) beginning blooming just as the tree peonies are finishing up. The double-flowered varieties are very pretty but I like the big singles the best. Download images from the Peony Profile (click the Image Gallery button).
The Japanese plum yew (Cephalotaxus harringtonia) is an interesting evergreen shrub with several distinct forms. I saw this low-growing cultivar called 'Prostrata' planted as a shade-tolerant ground cover at the edge of a small pond where it helped keep things neat by "swallowing" litter and small pieces of debris. Here's a sample list of links to other shade-tolerant shrubs that might look good in your landscape:
At this time of year we enjoy big beautiful clusters of blossoms on three species of Hydrangea. In the photo is oakleaf hydrangea (H. quercifolia) which is blooming now in my Kentucky neighborhood. The bigleaf(aka French) hydrangeas (H. macrophylla) are blooming too - their big pompom or lacecap flower clusters in shades of blues and pinks, stand out in any landscape. Like the oakleaf, the paniculate hydrangea (H. paniculata) is an American native species, however it blooms later in the season around mid-summer (the cultivars 'Limelight' and 'Pinky-winky' are two to look for).
The false plumbago (Ceratostigma plumbaginoides) started blooming this week. This low growing perennial is every bit as pretty as the true plumbago (Plumbago auriculata ) and and is much hardier (it grows in USDA Zones 5-9). Click to download a large (800x600) version of this blue beauty for your desktop. More species to use for large-scale groundcover:
Last year I came across a huge planting of bottlebrush buckeye (Aesculus parviflora) shrubs in bloom covering a hillside at Cincinnati's Eden Park.
The Cincinnati Park Board is working to remove infestations of invasive species - mostly Japanese and Chinese honeysuckle from hillsides and replacing with spectacular plantings of native plants like the bottlebrush buckeye. Beautiful job!
Nasturtium (Tropaeolum majus) is a very easy to grow annual that hummingbirds love. As a bonus, the flowers and young leaves are edible! Here's a few of my favorite hummingbird attractors (see more in Master Plant List):
I'm slowing but surely re-formatting and reposting all of the articles from our old site - this one is from May 2004. Topics of this old Journal included blisters, biting flies and more on dung beetles. Read more about May 2004 - click here »
The Hawaiian Islands are home to an array of native plant species that has attracted the attention of botanists, naturalists, horticulturists and world travelers ever since Europeans first visited the islands near the end of the 18th century. Read more »
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