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By Australis on Jun 22, 2018 7:37 AM, concerning plant: Orchid (Cymbidium Memoria Amelia Earhart 'Elizabeth Hatfield')

This is a triploid (3N) plant and has been known to be fertile, although the results were underwhelming - the sole example of offspring I have seen took 8 years to flower:

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By tabbycat on Jun 21, 2018 4:47 PM, concerning plant: Hesperaloe nocturna

I have small plants of this I started in 2016 from seeds that came from Arizona. They sprouted easily & grew slow the 1st year as they develop a taproot. Last year they were still small so I put them in their own 4" pots. This Spring, 2018, I put a few in a good size pot to grow as a clump like my large mature red ones. I've read they make a pink flower that blooms at night & attracts giant moths. From seeds it takes about 5 years to flowers so we'll see. They are growing in cactus/succulent potting soil in full sun.

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By tabbycat on Jun 21, 2018 4:38 PM, concerning plant: Red Yucca (Hesperaloe parviflora 'Yellow')

I started mine 2 years ago from seeds from someone in Arizona. They sprouted easily & grew well but stayed small as they produce a taproot the 1st year. Last Spring, 2017, they went into their own 4" pots & the narrow pine needle like foliage got 6" long. In the Fall I put several together in large pots similar to the way I grow my red variety & they've thrived & grown. They are still too young to bloom as that takes about 5 years from seeds from my experience with the red ones. They are planted in cactus/succulent potting soil & can take drier conditions but get watered regularly since they are in pots not the ground. I think the yellow flowers will look nice next to the red ones.

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By tabbycat on Jun 21, 2018 4:27 PM, concerning plant: Red Yucca (Hesperaloe parviflora)

I started mine from seeds I collected in Texas about 12 years ago. The 3 plants have grown together as one in a large pot on my patio. They aren't affected much by our low Winter temps in the mid 20's. I just throw a towel over the pot for protection when a frost or freeze is expected which is minimal here in south Louisiana. Each Spring they send up a few flower stalks that get about 5 feet tall & produce the pretty red flowers. It mid June & they are full of blooms at the time. I have collected seeds over the years & traded in seeds swaps & with local gardeners.

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By tabbycat on Jun 21, 2018 4:18 PM, concerning plant: Desert Petunia (Ruellia simplex 'White Snow')

I've grown this dwarf variety for years. They are perennial here in zone 9 & are propagated by root stock & seeds. It's mid June & they are starting to bloom & will continue into Fall. Mine have never exceeded 6" tall and wide. The cute snow white flowers are about 2" across.

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By ILPARW on Jun 21, 2018 3:50 PM, concerning plant: Elm (Ulmus 'Morton Glossy')

This cultivar is of some different crosses of selections of the Japanese Elm (Ulmus japonicus), which is also native to China, and may have a tiny bit of Siberian Elm in the mix. It was released into the nursery trade in 1998 from Morton Arboretum in Lisle, IL, to be another better form of Asiatic elm that does not get Dutch Elm Disease, and it does not also get Elm yellows Disease either. Dr. George Ware headed up the elm selection program at Morton Arboretum a good number of years. For an Asiatic elm it has larger leaves, which are lustrous and darker green. (A number of Asiatic elms have small leaves and are rather twiggy and are not as good looking as many American or European Elms.)

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By tabbycat on Jun 21, 2018 3:07 PM, concerning plant: Epazote (Chenopodium acuminatum)

I grew this last year for the 1st time having never even hearing of it. I got the seeds in the seed swap here, Jan.2017. It grew very well here in south Louisiana forming a whopping 3'x3' bush at the end of a garden row. I saved a few seeds but wouldn't have had to as it was perennial here in zone 9 & returned from the roots in Spring 2018. I also found a few volunteer plants from seeds that fell. I love the smell & taste so add a little to meat dishes as well as a variety of beans I cook. I never tried it as tea though. It could be quite a strong taste.

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By tabbycat on Jun 21, 2018 2:54 PM, concerning plant: Summer Squash (Cucurbita pepo 'Coronation')

These are the easiest white scallops I've ever grown. The extra thickness makes for more bulk when cooked per fruit. I got seeds in a swap Jan. 2017 here from Thomas who was very generous with the seeds. I grew them last year with a bumper crop. I still had seeds enough to plant some more this Spring 2018. They are producing now & we are enjoying them almost daily.

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By ILPARW on Jun 21, 2018 2:53 PM, concerning plant: Paper Birch (Betula papyrifera Renaissance Reflection®)

I just found this cultivar of the Paper Birch listed in the Plant Locator of the Ornamental Growers Association of Northern Illinois. This is a selection of Paper Birch that is native to the Chicago Region; and any wild Paper Birches are rare in just a few tiny locations in the area. This would be about the farthest southern population to be found of the species. There are some Paper Birches from some sources planted from nurseries that do well for about 30 years in landscapes there before the Bronze Birch Borer beetle starts killing them from the top down because the trees get stressed from heat and drought. However, I have seen some big trees that must be 50 to 60 years old in good sites that are cooler with moisture. This Renaissance Reflection Paper Birch is supposed to be more resistant to the borer. There are supposed to be three specimens of 'Renci' Birch planted in the Birch Collection of the west side of Morton Arboretum in Lisle, IL. I'll look for them next time I am there this August coming. I don't think there is any way to tell them from other Paper Birches by appearance. Doty Nurseries, Fox Ridge Nursery, and Goodmark Nurseries are listed as selling some in Chicagoland.

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By ILPARW on Jun 21, 2018 2:29 PM, concerning plant: Purple Birch (Betula 'Royal Frost')

This is a hybrid of the (Gray Birch) x (the Szechuan Asian White Birch X the Purple European White Birch), so it is half Gray Birch and one quarter Szechuan Asian White Birch and one quarter the Purple European White Birch. In scientific names it is: Betula populifolia x B. platyphylla szechuanica x B. pendula 'Purpurea'. I believe it was hybridized to take on the greater heat and drought tolerance of the Gray and the Szechuan White Birches to resist the Bronze Birch Borer that attacks European White Birches when about 20 years old in Zones 5 & 6 & 7 in the US. However, I saw one maturing tree that had a lot of dead in it in a very warm and droughty situation, so unless it gets enough water and is sited to not experience significant heat, it will still die early. Most birch suffer when the temperature gets over 85 degrees F, except River Birch. In cooler climates, any cultivar of European White Birch does better, as do all white barked birch species. I've occasionally seen this cultivar for sale in both the Chicago and Philadelphia areas. I am mostly a naturalist, so I don't want to use purple-leaved tree cultivars, unless very rarely.

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By critterologist on Jun 21, 2018 2:15 PM, concerning plant: Coral Honeysuckle (Lonicera sempervirens 'Major Wheeler')

There's something really eye-catching about this variety, maybe its deep red blooms, maybe its healthy looking dense green foliage, maybe the hummingbirds circling like planes coming into O'Hare. OK, so I've only seen 2 hummers on it at a time, but it's still one of their favorites (and mine). I've bought 2 of them. One overwintered in a pot on the deck last winter (and it was one of our colder winters here in zone 6b) and is doing more than merely "creeping" in the ground this year, so I expect it to explode when it "leaps" next year. The new one has grown from 6" to 2 ft. just this spring and started blooming.

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By critterologist on Jun 21, 2018 2:04 PM, concerning plant: Coral Honeysuckle (Lonicera sempervirens)

A resilient and floriferous plant! Semi-evergreen for me, producing flowers every now and again right through the holidays. When temperatures drop to the teens and single digits (F), the leaves finally drop. Seems less prone to spring aphids than the Lonicera americana across from it.

My plant was taking over the deck stairs (again), so we pruned it back to nearly nothing, a tuft of vines and foliage topping a tangle of older stems. 2-3 months later, you'd never know it had been cut back, blooming like mad, and the stairs are in jeopardy again.

I've rooted spring cuttings (with small leaves) by sticking them in moist potting mix, but with a low % of success. I've had better luck layering vines into pots of moist potting mix (like rooting a cutting, but without severing the vine from the mother plant). I think that can be done any time of year, but time to root will vary. When you see good roots from the buried part of the vine, make a cut between the roots and the mother plant to produce an independent new little plant.

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By tabbycat on Jun 21, 2018 12:03 PM, concerning plant: Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum 'Blush Tiger')

I got seeds of these in the Nov. 2017 seed swap here. It's mid June & they are 15 inches tall & growing well in my garden. They have 1st flowers so I'm watching for fruit to start soon. The name & picture are what made me want to try these to see how they do in my south Louisiana heat & humidity. So far so good!

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By tabbycat on Jun 21, 2018 11:54 AM, concerning plant: Canna (Canna x generalis Cannova® Red Shades)

My 3' plant I started from seeds I got here in a Nov. 2017 seed swap were labeled 'Cannova Pink' but have bloomed & are a coralish red which is another shade in that series 'Cannova Reds'. I really wanted a pink variety but these are an attractive red against the medium green foliage & a different red from 'The President' I have.

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By tabbycat on Jun 21, 2018 10:06 AM, concerning plant: Jewels of Opar (Talinum paniculatum)

They are in bloom as I write this, mid June. If they weren't so easy to pull & discard they would be an invasive pest here in south Louisiana. I don't remember planting them but for 10 years they return each Spring. They don't seem to have diseases or bugs that bother them so maybe that's why they are so prolific. I don't even know what eats the seed pods as a food source. I still think they are a delightful little surprise plant I'm likely to find anywhere in my yard.

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By tabbycat on Jun 21, 2018 9:58 AM, concerning plant: Thai Basil (Ocimum thyrsiflora 'Siam Queen')

This basil is more like a shrub because of the woody stems it makes as the plant matures. I've had one that became 3 foot tall & wide with woody branching by Fall. I start plants from seeds every Spring because it's leaves are the most spicy of all I grow. Also because it's so decorative in a pot or the garden with it's shiny smooth leaves & colorful flower heads.

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By tabbycat on Jun 21, 2018 9:47 AM, concerning plant: Peruvian Daffodil (Ismene x deflexa)

I have 2 hills of these beauties in a slightly damp area of my yard where they thrive. Here in Louisiana we refer to them as Swamp lilies or Peruvian daffs because we call our Red, White or Yellow 'Lycoris' Spider Lilies. We have no confusion about that like other parts of USA that call these Spider Lilies. Their snow white blooms are very fragrant. Some of the 10 year old bulbs I started with are now the size of a baseball. I'll have to divide them soon.

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By tabbycat on Jun 21, 2018 9:35 AM, concerning plant: Chaste Tree (Vitex agnus-castus)

I posted a picture of mine in full bloom in May. Since then it finished flowering & now has long spires of the fragrant & medicinal seeds. Soon I'll cut these seed heads off where I can reach them to encourage a second flush of flowers in September. It's getting harder to do now that my plant is about 10 feet tall & wide. When working in my front yard I grab & crush a few leaves to release that wonderful menthol fragranced oil that I rub on my fore arms like perfume.

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By critterologist on Jun 21, 2018 8:05 AM, concerning plant: Amaryllis (Hippeastrum 'Susan')

Color very close to "survivor pink" (breast cancer pink ribbon color), IMO, a lovely soft shade. Those I've grown have had short to medium height bloom stalks that didn't need staking. I believe 'Bolero' might be the same variety.

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By Australis on Jun 21, 2018 5:55 AM, concerning plant: Lily (Lilium 'Cootamundra')

An unregistered hybrid created by Bryan Tonkin.

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