Plants of the Week – October 15

Plants of the Week – October 15

Fall color has arrived at the Scott Arboretum. Acer saccharum Green Mountain® is but one maple in full autumn pageantry. Green Mountain is a popular and well-established selection that typically grows 40-60’ tall in cultivation. Other characteristics include strong crotches, rapid rate of growth, and resistance to leaf scorch. Maples can be seen throughout the arboretum and are particularly well represented on the north end of campus. Photo credit: J. Coceano


Diospyros virginiana is a North American native deciduous tree found throughout the eastern half of the United States. Plants are typically dioecious with separate male and female trees; however some trees have perfect flowers. Edible fruits, 1-2” in diameter, ripen in fall. Persimmon fruit is very astringent when green, but upon ripening becomes sweet and may be eaten off the tree. As a rule of thumb, wait until after a frost to consume the fruit. The tree is a member of the family Ebenaceae. Photo credit: J. Coceano


Several persimmon cultivars are available with improved fruit size and quality. One such cultivar is Diospyros ‘Nikitskaya Bordovaya’. Fruits are 2 to 3 times larger than the species. The genus name is derived from the Greek words dios (divine) and pyros (wheat or grain) meaning divine fruit. This cultivar and D. virginiana can be seen off Magill Walk near the tunnel to the Swarthmore SEPTA station. Photo credit: J. Coceano


Amicia zygomeris, also known as gotta pea, is native to the mountains of Mexico. Plants, often reaching 7’ in height, are clad in glaucous green foliage. Yellow pea-like flowers appear in late summer. A variegated sport is available. Photo credit: J. Coceano

Josh Coceano
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