Plants of the Week: June 13

Plants of the Week: June 13

Guest Author: Summer Intern Payton Fulton

Acer palmatum ‘Dissectum Ornatum’ (threadleaf Japanese maple) is a beautiful woody tree in the Sapindaceae family. This tree is perfect for small gardens or growing in a container—best grown in well-drained soil in partial shade to protect from leaf scorch. Acer palmatum ‘Dissectum Ornatum’ is an ancient Japanese maple variety that has been cultivated in Europe for several centuries. 

The leaf color has three beautiful, distinct phases. In Spring, leaves emerge as a cross between bronze and red; in late summer, the color turns slightly greener, and in autumn, the leaves turn vibrant red-orange. Consider taking a stroll to visit our picturesque specimen, located near Wharton Hall that has graced the arboretum for almost 100 years. Your eyes will be appreciated by its form and grace. Photo credit: P. Fulton

Asclepias tuberosa (Butterfly Weed) is a herbaceous perennial in the Apocynaceae family. It has beautiful clusters of bright orange flowers throughout the summer. Asclepias tuberosa is a great nectar source for bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds. This plant is beneficial in a garden as it stabilizes soil by reducing erosion and improving water retention. Asclepias tuberosa grows in dry areas of the garden, making it great for cottage gardens, butterfly gardens, meadows, and excellent quality for cut flowers. Give this bushy warm-season perennial a look in the Terry Shane Teaching Garden. Photo credit: P. Fulton

Catalpa speciosa, also known as Northern catalpa, is a large-sized deciduous tree with showy white flowers in the Bignoniaceae family. This tree grows up to 50-70 ft tall and 20-50 ft. wide. Flowers have bright yellow stamens and purple patterns inside. The flowering period is late spring-early summer. Leaves are vast and produce long, showy, green seed pods with a bean-like capsule. Catalpa speciosa prefers full sun and thrives in well-drained, wet, and clay soils. Flowers are greeted by hummingbirds and provide nutrition for bees in early summer. Take a chance to introduce yourself to Catalpa speciosa in the Magnolia Collection and be amazed. Photo credit: P. Fulton

Becky Robert
  • Diane Mattis
    Posted at 08:01h, 01 July Reply

    The above is an absolutely magnificent photograph of the Japanese Maple tree! Everyone needs to look up more often! My compliments to Payton for a wonderful presentation!

    • Becky Robert
      Posted at 08:11h, 01 July Reply

      Thank you Diane. All the images Payton submitted are stunning!


  • Nathaniel W.
    Posted at 00:27h, 15 July Reply

    Such a great write up by Payton and also amazing pictures as well!

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