Plant of the Month

Hydrangea arborescens ‘Riven Lace’

June 29 2017 RHR 010

A common garden plant in the Eastern United States, Hydrangea arborescens is often bred to display large, heavy inflorescences seen in H. arborescens ‘Annabelle’ or ‘Invincibelle Spirit’, though ‘Riven Lace’ is an exception in that the inflorescences most closely resemble the characteristics of Hydrangea arborescens in the wild: tea-saucer sized corymbs with a few exaggerated bracts dotting the perimeter.

Native to the moist woodlands of the Eastern United States, H. arborescens generally prefers moist conditions in partial shade. Well drained soils are a must, though it will not stand drought conditions. Flowers of this species will emerge on new wood, …

Continue reading »

Yellow Magnolias

Magnolia 'Gold Star' (7) JWCIntroduced and named in 1978, Magnolia ‘Elizabeth’ was a breakthrough in the quest for a yellow-flowering magnolia. While ‘Elizabeth’ is creamy white with subtle hints of yellow, the cultivar opened the door for subsequent introductions that feature bright yellow, golden-yellow, and orange flowers.

While Magnolia ‘Elizabeth’ is creamy white with subtle hints of yellow, the cultivar opened the door for subsequent introductions that feature bright yellow, golden-yellow, and orange flowers. photo credit: J. Coceano

While Magnolia ‘Elizabeth’ is creamy white with subtle hints of yellow, the cultivar opened the door for subsequent introductions that feature bright yellow, golden-yellow, and orange flowers. photo credit: J. Coceano

Patented by the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, ‘Elizabeth’ is a hybrid between M. acuminata and M. denudata. The hardiest of the magnolia species, M. acuminata can …

Continue reading »

Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Amethyst’

hydrangea-quercifolia-amethyst-jtb-3

Hydrangea quercifolia is a multi-stemmed suckering shrub that can reach heights of 6 to 8 feet. Native to the Southeastern United States, it was first described by colonial Pennsylvania native botanist John Bartram, who remains the botanical authority on the species. According to sources, the genus name comes from the Greek roots hydro- meaning “water” and –aggeion meaning “vessel.” The specific epithet comes from the Latin for oak Quercus, and folia meaning leaf due to the deep lobed shape and pointed vein tips. The Royal Botanical Garden Plant Finder reference accounts for nearly 20 different cultivars available for H.

Continue reading »