Plants of the Week: April 14

Plants of the Week: April 14

Prunus x incam ‘Okame’

Tender and bright, Prunus x incam ‘Okame’ sends out its lush inflorescences, dense on branches and appearing from afar as a single cloud of pink along the Cherry Border. ‘Okame’ petals are a faint watercolor pink with brushes of darker hues at the base and tip. The flowers, which hang in clusters from the branches, are cradled in waxy calices that fade from lipstick-red to pale green.  This cultivar is a resultant cross of the Fuji cherry Prunus incisa and the Taiwan cherry Prunus campanulata; both are native to Eastern Asia. Photo credit: R. Robert

Rhododendron mucronulatum

R. mucronulatum hides quietly on the edge of Cedar Lane, nearly disappearing under the clouds of pink that are rushing from the Cherry Border. Though deciduous (rare for rhodies), the colors pop against the faint background of the developing landscape. Saturated with fading washes of bright mauves and magentas that blend from afar, the flowers stand out to the eye; not at first revealing the dark speckles along the throat or the long graceful stamens and pistil that curve as if beckoning pollinators. The common name is Korean Rhododendron; this species is native to Eastern Asia. Photo credit: J. Bickel


Magnolia stellata ‘Centennial’

Stationed happily in the Scott Arboretum Magnolia collection, M. stellata ‘Centennial’ boldly shares its dramatic flowering display. Walking toward this tree I felt as though I was approaching a thick cumulus cloud in the summer sky; the entire tree was dense with bright, snow-white blossoms the size of tea saucers that sat heavily on the branches. While most of the flowers of this cultivar appear a luminous shade of white, some of the tepals have a light brush of pink along the underside making an attractive accent for the careful observer. Photo credit: M. Gessel

John Bickel
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