Archive for July 2015

Plants of the Week: July 27

Vitex agnus-castus Shoal Creek JTVitex agnus-castus ‘Shoal Creek’ (Chastetree)

Lamiaceae

As you approach the corner of Mertz Residence Hall, it will be hard to miss the mass of blue-grey foliage and massive blue flower spikes of Vitex agnus-castus ‘Shoal Creek’. I really enjoy this tree because of its multi-season interest and its ability to tolerate hot and dry conditions. Although winter die-back is common in Zone 5 and 6, the specimen on campus seems extremely vigorous. This plant can be limbed up as a multi-leader small tree or left alone as mounding shrub. Vitex is a wonderful option for full sun and lean soils. …

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Acer palmatum

Acer palmatum; Clothier bell tower; Rhoda MaurerAcer palmatum, often referred to as a Japanese maple, is native to Korea, China, and Japan. They’re beautiful plants, and I thoroughly enjoy how much the cultivars vary.

Acer palmatum 'Tamukeyama' displays a dome-like habit. photo credit: J. Preisendorfer-McGinnis

Acer palmatum ‘Tamukeyama’ displays a dome-like habit. photo credit: J. Preisendorfer-McGinnis

Acer palmatum displays many genetic differences. Height and shape can vary between cultivars, but the average for species plants is approximately 25 feet tall. Its habit can change depending on cultivar, but species plants are dome-like at maturity. These plants typically grow as understory trees in the wild. Acer palmatum’s leaves have five, seven, or nine pointed lobes, and the …

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Plants of the Week: July 20

Campsis grandiflora 'Morning Calm'(3)LKL

Campsis grandiflora ‘Morning Calm’

 Check out the vibrant flowers of the Isabelle Cosby Courtyard Campsis! The Campsis grandiflora ‘Morning Calm’ is great for attracting hummingbirds. This Chinese trumpet vine makes a fantastic cover for fences; however, beware: it is a vigorous self-climber and can grow up to 30 feet high! This easy maintenance plant can be propagated with soft wood cuttings. No wonder it’s a winner of the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society’s Gold Medal Plant Award for its exceptional qualities in the Mid-Atlantic. Full sun is best for this beautiful summer bloomer. This plant is available at the 2015 Scott …

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