Saturday, December 15, 2012

More Natives in Formal Garden Designs: Spring Bloomers

A double white trillium has a lot of substance. I wish this was in my garden! It is a selected native that was divided from a wild clump growing wild on private property to that property owner's home with a much more formal landscape.

These four natives have interesting leaf shapes to capture our interest after their spring flowers have gone. The geum also has a long lasting flower and seed pod to also add interest. All of these make great front of a border or nice bedding plants when used in a landscape plan. Take a tip from these plants; planting them in mass is a good way to show case their charms.

This is geum triflorum, prairie smoke. The flower bud, seen here, the flower, and the fluffy "smoke" seed head, hence the Latin triflorum meaning three-flowered.

This hepatica's color morphs from white to pink to blue, depending on soil pH and other growing conditions. Below is a picture of the same clump a couple years later.

This blood root blooms for just a handful of days once the sun shines and temps warm up to 50 degrees.

Unlike the many of the plants discussed in my last post which benefit from pinching to enhance flowering and structure; these do not send up additional flowering stalks when pinched. These all have root systems which are more corm-like rather than fibrous root systems. They are best multiplied using root division, after flowering and bloom earlier and develop more top growth when their roots become crowded. None of these are particularly dependent for their growth on a narrow pH range, so are able to grow in a variety of soils. I have seen hepatica growing in large swathes in spring woodland areas, on the edge of open ground and where the woodlands begin. They like damper soils. I have likewise heard of areas where geum have self-sown and growing them from seed requires a double stratification of the seed. While the foliage of many early-flowering native dies off as temperatures rise and spring rains fade from the season, these all continue to have a presence through their unique foliage throughout the growing season.

1 comment:

  1. Your pictures are great and I really enjoyed the plant information, thank you for posting.