Garden Plants

Chimaphila maculata

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As we reach fall foliage peak here in the Delaware Valley, it is a great time to take a walk in our native woodland the Crum Woods. While exploring the trails, you may discover the native gem Chimaphila maculata, spotted wintergreen, tucked under the colorful fallen leaves.

This small evergreen perennial is conspicuous during this time of year with its white and green mottled leaves against the yellows, reds, and browns of fall. This delicate groundcover is often found in dry oak-heath forests.

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Here you can see the brown capsules that persist until the next flowering season. photo credit:

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Fritillaria meleagris

fritillaria-meleagris-rhrWith the official start of fall, gardeners are thinking about spring and planting their bulbs. Beyond the traditional tulips, daffodils, and crocus, there are many unique spring-blooming bulbs to experiment with in your garden including Fritillaria meleagris.

While Fritillaria meleagris is a member of the lily family, it’s neither a true lily nor daffodil.  photo credit: R. Robert

While Fritillaria meleagris is a member of the lily family, it’s neither a true lily nor daffodil. photo credit: R. Robert

Checkered lily, Guinea hen flower, snake’s head fritillary, snake’s head daffodil….Fritillaria meleagris may be known by many common names, but there’s nothing common about this bulb.   While it is a member of the lily family, it’s neither a true lily …

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Phegopteris decursive-pinnata

phegopteris-decursive-pinnata-rhrAs summer comes to a close, many plants have been performing all season long and have begun to look tired. An exception to that expectation is the shade-loving, groundcover alternative fern. Ferns add great texture and structure the understory of your tree canopy. A selection still looking good under the Metsequoia Allée is the Japanese beech fern.

Japanese beech fern (Phegopteris decursive-pinnata syn. Thelypteris decursive-pinnata) displays a very unique blend of lance-shaped fronds in both upright and arching positions.  This vigorous spreader forms runners, but is never a thug.  Referring to it as a groundcover would be pretty …

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