Archive for July 2016

Plants of the Week: July 25

Perovskia atriplicifolia.DCA5

Perovskia atriplicifolia

Before entering the front door of the Wister Center, one will likely notice a strikingly beautiful mass of Perovskia atriplicifolia herbaceous subshrub in full-bloom.  Also called Russian sage, Perovskia atriplicifolia is perennial, produces spikes of fragrant, blue blooms during midsummer, and can rapidly grow a bit over 5 feet tall. Perovskia atriplicifolia is native to steppes and high mountains, likes full sun and actually prefers nutrient-poor soil; for that reason, Russian sage is being considered as a candidate in phytoremediation efforts.

Similar to other members of the Lamiaceae family, Perovskia atriplicifolia produces essential oils with a variety of …

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Franklinia alatamaha

Franklinia alatamaha JTB [2]This July marks the 240th anniversary of the signing of the United States Declaration of Independence, cutting ties with the tyrannical imperial monarchy that was Great Britain in an effort to create a new independent nation of the unified 13 colonies.  Because of this anniversary, it seems apropos to talk about a plant that has ties to some important characters from that period in American history.

Franklinia altamaha; 91-190A

Franklinia grows as single-trunk or, sometimes, a suckering multi-stem shrub with a loosely pyramidal crown. photo credit: D. Mattis

The history of the discovery Franklinia alatamaha is tied to the history of two Philadelphia …

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July 18: Plant of the Week

Lagerstroemia cv. Natchez Hybrid Crapemyrtle2_editedres72

Lagerstroemia ‘Natchez’ Hybrid Crapemyrtle

Lagerstroemia ‘Natchez’ is a hybrid crapemyrtle that grows along the path from the McCabe Library to Mertz Hall. Its parent plants are L. faurieri, a specimen that was first collected in a mountain forest of Kurio, Yakushima, Japan, and L. indica ‘Pink Lace.’ This particular cultivar can be identified by its flaking bark that varies from a pale tan to reddish brown hue. It lives about 34 years, grows to 30 feet tall, and is an interesting addition to the garden. In fall, the leaves change to a yellow to reddish yellow. If planted in …

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