Plants of the Week: November 21

Plants of the Week: November 21

camellia-autumn-spirit-jtb-4Camellia ‘Autumn Spirit’

November is a great time of year for fall blooming Camellia, and C. ‘Autumn Spirit’ shines as bright as ever this week. A result of a hybridization of the tea-seed-oil Camellia, Camellia oleifera and Camellia sasanqua, C. ‘Autumn Spirit’ exhibits beautifully complex, double, bright fuchsia flowers. The thick evergreen leaves are deep green and glossy. Sources say that this particular hybrid was introduced in 1982 by Camellia Forest Nursery out of Chapel Hill, NC; it can grow to between 6 and 8 feet tall. A small but lively specimen of this cultivar can be found in flower on the Swarthmore Campus behind Bond Hall. photo credit: J. Bickel



Camellia oleifera ‘Lu Shan Snow’

This cultivar was first selected at the U.S. Botanic Garden in Washington, DC from a seed lot obtained from Lu Shan Botanic Garden in China. The first seedling was planted into the U.S. Botanic Garden Camellia collection in 1949. In the late 1970s a series of heavy winters and temperatures as low as -12 killed nearly all the specimens of Camellia at the Botanic Garden save the specimens of C. oleifera, which were later used in hybridization efforts by Dr. William Ackerman to achieve cold-hardiness. C. ‘Lu Shan Snow’ has bright white flowers with a deep yellow androecium and gynoecium. The leaves are deep green, thick and evergreen. The seeds from this species are compressed into what is called “tea-seed-oil,” used in Asian cooking. This Camellia can be found behind the wooden arbor in the Terry Shane Teaching Garden. photo credit: J. Bickel



Sorbus alnifolia

Autumn is a wonderful time of year for color, and this year is no exception. Every year people look for the vibrant yellows, reds and oranges painted in the decaying leaves of the trees overhead. Neatly placed between Bond Hall and the Benjamin West House stands a stately Sorbus alnifolia, sometimes known as a Korean Mountain Ash, in its full glory this week exhibiting terrific, true tawny fall foliage accented with clusters of glaucous red berries. A member of the rose family, Rosaceae, S. alnifolia is named for the pleated, serrated leaves which loosely resemble those of an alder tree in the genus Alnus, thus Alni- and folia meaning leaf. photo credit: J. Bickel


John Bickel
No Comments

Post A Comment