First sign of spring! I spotted a bunch of snowdrops blooming. They're in a protected area up against a neighbor's house so they got a head start but still it won't be long - gardening season is just around the corner so visit Floridata often for ideas, tips and info on your favorite plants as well as many that might be alot less familiar. Please tell your friends about us and be good and grow. Jack
Purple sand cherry (Prunus x cistena) is a woody shrub or small tree with reddish-purple foliage that is often planted in home landscapes. In spring fragrant pink flowers are produced at the same time the leaves appear. Purple sand cherry is popular for use in home landscapes in USDA Zones 3-8 in foundation plantings, mixed hedges and specimens.
Some of the showiest spring-blooming ornamental shrubs and trees are Prunus species. One of the most famous is the Yoshino cherry (Prunus x yedoensis) that is widely planted, including Washington, D.C. which is famous for the springtime spectacle created by this and other flowering cherry species.
These Prunus species are American natives that also produce showy flowers at this time of year:
Our latest plant profile is of the flexible pine (Pinus flexilis), a species native to western North America. Limber pine is a long lived and slow growing tree that tolerates high wind and dry, rocky soils better than other pines. Read more » about this handsome evergreen tree (or large shrub) is used in landscapes as handsome specimens and in screens and windbreaks in USDA Zones 4 - 7.
The red buckeye (Aesculus pavia) is a delightful little tree (or large shrub) that is native to the southeastern United States. They bloom in spring, taking over the show as the azaleas and dogwood flowers are fading. Click here to download a large version (800x600) of this native (to the southeastern USA) beauty and visit the Red Buckeye Profile to see others.
The red horsechestnut (Aesculus x carnea) is a very showy spring bloomer and popular ornamental tree. Red horsechestnut (Aesculus x carnea) is a hybrid species resulting from a (presumed) chance cross between the shrubby red buckeye (Aesculus pavia) from SE North America, and common horsechestnut (A. hippocastanum), a much larger tree from Europe. Click here to download a large version (800x600) of this flamboyant flower and read more in the Red Horsechestnut Profile.
Here are some other spring-blooming woody ornamentals:
Mountain laurel (Kalmia latifolia) is an evergreen shrub that produces large clusters of showy cupped-shaped flowers in shades ranging from white to pink to almost crimson. Despite its name, mountain laurel also grows from the Gulf of Mexico coastal plain north to New Brunswick, Canada. A number of mountain laurel cultivars are available, many are of compact stature that fit well into smaller landscapes and all produce spectacular springtime blossoms. Use mountain laurel in partially shaded areas as specimens and mixed shrub plantings and woodland gardens in USDA Zones 4 - 9 read about it 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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Planting shrubs and trees that provide shelter and food is one of the best ways to attract birds and other wildlife to your yard. The 'Winter King' green hawthorn Crataegus viridis is a small tree that produces beautiful flowers in the spring and showy red berries in fall and into the winter when they are consumed by hungry flocks of birds.
Evergreen species, like the eastern redcedar (Juniperus virginiana), attract birds and other wildlife by producing berries that provide food while the dense foliage provides cover from predators and protected nesting sites.
Steve says you should start your own pepper and tomato plants 6-8 weeks before they will be planted out in the garden (after all danger of frost has past! :-) If you want to grow unusual or heirloom varieties you must start your own as these are not typically offered for sale as plants so Start Your Own Pepper and Tomato Plants!
Red Christmas pride (Ruellia graecizansa) is a tropical semi-woody sub-shrub that produces showy tubular flowers around the holiday season. This species is probably best know for its showy two-toned foliage that is green on the upper surface with purple on the undersides. Read more » about the red Christmas pride, a tropical beauty for USDA Zones 9 - 12, and grown indoors any where.
Other Ruellia species profiled at Floridata include:
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