Plants of the Week: December 19

Plants of the Week: December 19

crocus-speciosus-science-center-1-jwcPeople are often in awe at the sight of fall-blooming bulbs. Is this the handiwork of climate change they ask? Many spring-blooming bulbs have fall-blooming relatives. Crocus and Galanthus are two genera that come to mind. A planting of Crocus speciosus was recently added to a bed of Sporobolus heterolepis near the Science Center. Considered the easiest to naturalize, most floriferous, and least expensive of the fall crocus, C. speciosus bears elegant, goblet-shaped violet-blue to lilac blooms. Flowers appear in September to January depending on climate. Bulbs are shipped in the autumn and need to be planted immediately upon arrival. As the case with most bulbs, purchase as many as you can afford and have space for. Photo credit: J. Coceano



Bald cypress, Taxodium distichum, is a long-lived tree reaching heights of 50’ and more. Despite looking akin to other needled conifers, Taxodium is in fact deciduous (hence “bald” cypress) ‘Peve Minaret’ is a dwarf variety growing less than 6’ in ten years. Columnar in habit, each branch grows vertically creating a castle-like minaret. This quirky cultivar makes an ideal specimen for those with limited space or an addiction to conifers. Photo credit: J. Coceano


Malus ‘Adirondack’ is considered by many to be a near perfect crabapple. According to the U.S. National Arboretum’s website “Five hundred open-pollinated seedlings of Malus halliana were artificially inoculated with fire blight under control conditions. Of the sixty surviving seedlings, several showed field resistance to scab, cedar-apple rust, and powdery mildew when exposed to natural inoculum from heavily infected, susceptible plants during eleven years of field trial. ‘Adirondack’ was selected from this seedling population in 1974 by Donald R. Egolf and released in 1987.” ‘Adirondack’ is a small-statured, upright, disease-resistant crabapple boasting a multitude of carmine-pink flower buds which then open to rosy-white five-petaled flowers. Abundant, bright orange-red to peachy-pink, hard, ½” fruits persist until early winter, then are relished by birds after softened by a hard freeze. Photo credit: J. Coceano

Josh Coceano
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