Plants of the Week: May 23
Actinidia kolomikta can be seen framing an entrance into Mertz Hall. The deciduous twining vine can reach 15 to 20 feet and more. Several sources state that male plants create more vivid displays of random variegation of pink and white around the leaf apex. Being dioecious, both sexes are needed for the small kiwi-like berries to develop. Leaves change to solid green as the season progresses. Interestingly, the vine is especially attractive to cats.
Nectarscordum siculum ssp. bulgaricum, also known as Sicilian honey garlic, produces a large umble of numerous hanging, bell-shaped, greenish-white flowers tinged with pink and purple. A group can be seen in flower in the Nason Garden where they receive full sun in a well-drained site. The late spring bloomer makes an ideal cut flower.
Baptisia ‘Purple Smoke’ is a chance hybrid between B. australis and B. alba. The lupine-like flowers open smokey purple with a darker eye. Charcoal gray stems add further interest. The baptisias are in full bloom and can be appreciated around Kohlberg Hall and around the Scott Arboretum office.
Rosa ‘Harrison’s Yellow’ is one of many roses in bloom at the Dean Bond Rose Garden. ‘Harrison’s Yellow’ is a free-growing, upright form reaching 6’ in height. A multitude of sulfur-yellow, loosely double flowers cover the plant in mid-May.