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By Baja_Costero on Nov 22, 2017 3:02 PM, concerning plant: Propeller Plant (Crassula perfoliata var. minor)

The preponderance of young plants in the images for this plant reflects its lifestyle and the risk posed by flowering in such profuse red abundance that aphids and other insects move in for the kill. Also: do not overwater.

This succulent grows year round in mild climates but pauses to flower in the summer. The flowers are terminal, meaning stem growth pauses until after flowering, when new branches sprout at the base of the inflorescence and the cycle continues. After a year or two (if there are natural predators around to keep the bugs away) the plant starts growing sideways and branching annually as it goes. After a few years it starts to look a little ratty as the lower leaves die and it becomes more creeper than propeller.

By ablating the growth center of a young plant, you can force it to branch in profusion, and have a nice set of cuttings later to grow on.

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By ILPARW on Nov 22, 2017 1:58 PM, concerning plant: River Birch (Betula nigra Fox Valley®)

'Fox Valley' is also known as 'Little King' because it was first discovered and introduced into the trade in the 1970's by Jim King who owned King Nursery in Montgomery, Illinois. That nursery was large and grew a huge variety of different woody plant species and cultivars and it has moved farther west in northeast IL. It is available at some larger nurseries. It is a compact selection that only grows about 15 to 20 feet high and dense, bushy in form. It can be easily pruned up to expose the pretty trunks.

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By ILPARW on Nov 22, 2017 1:34 PM, concerning plant: River Birch (Betula nigra Dura-Heat®)

I've only seen a few trees at the NHC Arboretum in Wilmington, North Carolina, in the southeast part of the state that is close to the Atlantic Ocean and can grow Cabbage Palmettos there in Zone 8a. It was discovered by Moon Nursery in Loganville, Georgia. It looks as though it bark is whiter than that of 'Heritage.'

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By ILPARW on Nov 22, 2017 1:19 PM, concerning plant: River Birch (Betula nigra Heritage®)

I once met the discoverer of the 'Heritage' Birch when he was substitute teaching for Dr. Michael Dirr one day in woody plant class at the University of IL. His name was Earl Cully and he found it in southwest Illinois in a homeowner's yard. He was granted permission to take buds of the tree for propagation. This new cultivar was first called 'Cully' after him. 'Heritage' is the more commercial trade name. It is just like the mother species, except that it keeps the young kind of bark with lots of cream color and some orange-brown with pinkish tints. It is probably sold more in the North than the mother species at nurseries because the bark is so outstanding. Like other birch, it is flexible and resistant to strong winds, but it does drop lots of twigs much of the year.

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By ILPARW on Nov 22, 2017 12:57 PM, concerning plant: River Birch (Betula nigra)

The River or Red Birch is very commonly planted in the Midwest, Mid-Atlantic, and Northeast of the US, available at most any nursery. I have seen them wild in swampy places and bottomlands of Maryland and southern Illinois and along creeks in southern Wisconsin. Its native range is from Massachusetts down to northern Florida to east Texas up to southern Minnesota. It is fast growing of about 2 feet/year and lives about 100 to 125 years. It likes draining wet to moist soil, though it can tolerate some good drought, and it needs the soil to be at least a little bit acid. My southeast PA neighborhood has some happy River Birches in pH of about 6.7 to 6.9 as do some northern Illinois neighborhoods. However, I have seen some develop yellow foliage and die out from iron chlorosis because the pH was somewhere above pH 7.0. Overall, it is a good quality, pretty tree, but it does drop lots of twigs in late summer, fall, winter, and early spring, and it does drop a lot of seed in late spring to early summer. Young bark is papery and exfoliating with color of cream, orange-brown and pinkish; then lots of gray and brown scaly bark takes over as the major bark; and then when real old bark becomes blocky red-brown to very dark. Because it tolerates summer heat well, it is not bothered by the Bronze Birch Borer, unless very old. There are a few cultivars that keep the young creamy bark for a very long time as 'Heritage' and 'Dura Heat.'

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By ILPARW on Nov 22, 2017 12:06 PM, concerning plant: Yellow Buckeye (Aesculus flava)

I've seen a few of this good tree species planted at arboretums in southeast Pennsylvania. Its native range in in the Appalachian Region of southwest Pennsylvania to northern Georgia and along the Ohio River to southcentral Indiana. It is hardly different from the more common Ohio Buckeye. It also has its compound leaves with 5 leaflets that turn orange in autumn. The erect terminal flower clusters are also yellow. The husk of the fruit capsule is different in that it is smooth, while the Ohio species has little bumps and spines on it. The Yellow species also likes moist or draining wet soil that is somewhat acid to slightly alkaline. It grows about 1 foot/year and lives about 150 to 250 years. It tolerates a little more shade than the Ohio species. It also can be hit hard some years with cool, wet springs by Leaf Blotch fungus disease, so many leaves darken and fall early in late summer.

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By ILPARW on Nov 21, 2017 4:32 PM, concerning plant: Ohio Buckeye (Aesculus glabra)

I've seen this species planted in a few landscapes here and there in northeast Illinois and a few in arboretums in southeast Pennsylvania. It is native to western Pennsylvania, Ohio, most of IL & IN, Kentucky, Missouri, southern Iowa, east Kansas-Oklahoma-Texas, west Arkansas, and central Tennessee. It is slow growing of about 1 foot/year and lives about 150 to 200 years. Its leaves are of 5 leaflets and it gets a good orange fall color if the foliage is not struck by Leaf Blotch fungus heavily that happens some years of cool, wet springs, so the leaves blacken and fall in late summer. It is messy with the fallen capsules with the buckeye brown nut inside, loved by squirrels. It often makes a great climbing tree for kids. It is offered by some large, diverse nurseries, specialty nurseries, and native plant nurseries.

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By ILPARW on Nov 21, 2017 2:21 PM, concerning plant: American Red Pine (Pinus resinosa)

I adore Pine trees! This is my favorite species that I saw so much in the north woods of Minnesota. It is native to Nova Scotia and southeast Canada, New England, New York, northern Pennsylvania, northern Michigan, most of Wisconsin, northern Minnesota, with some scattered little spots in northern IL, IN, and OH. It grows about 1.5 feet/year and lives about 350 years. Its bright green, long needles get about 6 inches long, are slender, and soft to touch in clusters of 2. Its mature scaly bark is mostly gray with pinkish-orange areas. It bears small 1 to 2.5 inch long cones that do not have prickles on the scales. It is very abundant in the wild and planted up in Wisconsin and Minnesota a lot. It is occasionally planted in the Chicago, IL region, but not a lot in that it does not grow well in heavier clay soils or ones where the reaction is not acid enough or alkaline. (The similar-looking Austrian Black Pine with dark green, broad, and very stiff, prickly needles is grown there instead because it does well in heavier , alkaline soils.) There are some Red Pines planted in southeast Pennsylvania; some doing well and others died out during powerful drought. A most lovely conifer!

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By TBMan on Nov 21, 2017 12:25 PM, concerning plant: Tall Bearded Iris (Iris 'Queen Anne's Lace')

..... although older, still as good as, if not better than, anything new in the red bearded white/near white color class

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By Australis on Nov 21, 2017 3:07 AM, concerning plant: Orchid (Cymbidium Street Tango 'Hyde')

This is a known tetraploid (4N) and one of New Horizon Orchids' breeding plants.

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By ILPARW on Nov 20, 2017 9:24 PM, concerning plant: Leatherleaf (Chamaedaphne calyculata)

Native broadleaf evergreen to eastern Canada, New England, New York, New Jersey, northern Pennsylvania, northeast Ohio, Michigan, northern Indiana, northeast Illinois, Wisconsin, and eastern Minnesota; and over in northern Eurasia. It grows in bogs, swamps, and wet shores in draining wet, acid soil. It is a sensitive plant and can die out in landscapes and it is supposed to be short-lived. I bought one from a native nursery near Phoenixville, PA in a 1 gallon pot. I kept it in a big pot for two years where I made the potting soil more acid with iron sulfate. I left the pot out in winter in a sheltered place, but it still died.

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By ILPARW on Nov 20, 2017 8:44 PM, concerning plant: American yew (Taxus canadensis)

The Canadian or American Yew has not been used in gardens or landscapes because it grows more irregular in form. It is only available from some native or specialty nurseries. I think it is great in a naturalistic landscape, not for shearing. It is the cold hardiest Yew species. It is native to Newfoundland and southeast Canada, New England, New York, Pennsylvania, northern New Jersey, much of Ohio, Michigan, Northwest Illinois, west central Indiana, Wisconsin, northern Minnesota, and some spots in the Appalachians of West Virginia and Virginia. It is slow growing of a little less than 1 foot/year and lives hundreds of years. There are several cultivars; one is 'Compacta' that is more dense, but I have not yet seen them. It is subject to winter feeding by deer like Eurasian Yews.

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By ILPARW on Nov 20, 2017 8:06 PM, concerning plant: Atlantic White Cedar (Chamaecyparis thyoides)

The Atlantic Whitecedar (Falsecypress) is a wonderful conifer native along the Atlantic Coast from Maine down to northern Florida and along the Gulf of Mexico Coast to Louisiana. The foliage is made of small bluish-green scales. The tiny cones are made of 4 to 5 woody scales and are about 1/4 to 0.3 inches in diameter. It usually gets about 40 to 50 feet high and 10 to 20 feet wide, but can get to about 80 feet high by 40 feet wide. It grows about 1.5 to 2 feet/year and lives a several hundred years. In nature it is found growing in draining wet soils of bogs, swamps, and along watercourses because it can't compete with other trees in higher ground. It does do fine in regular landscapes. It is not common in horticulture at all so far, but some native plant nurseries and specialty nurseries sell some. Redbud Native Nursery in southeast PA was selling several in 10 gallon containers last spring. Dr. Michael Dirr in his Manual of Woody Landscape Plants has a list of about 40 cultivars, though I have never seen any. (The large Falsecypress that is occasionally seen planted in landscapes in the Northeast and Midwest is the Sawara Falsecypress from Japan that has cones with 6 to 8 scales.)

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By Australis on Nov 20, 2017 3:21 AM, concerning plant: Orchid (Cymbidium Ruby)

According to Andy Easton, this grex was lost during the Second World War. The parentage is unknown and he seriously doubts the registered entry of Cym. iridioides as one of its parents, given the morphology of Cym. Ruby's offspring.

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By Australis on Nov 20, 2017 3:14 AM, concerning plant: Orchid (Cymbidium Rio Rita 'Radiant')

This is an old hybrid and originally made as a diploid. Andy Easton notes that NHO had both the original 2N and a 4N mutation from cloning, which was then used in Christmas Radiance (Cym. erythrostylum 'Tikitere' 4n X Rio Rita 'Radiant' 4n).

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By Australis on Nov 20, 2017 3:08 AM, concerning plant: Orchid (Cymbidium Memoria Amelia Earhart)

Andy Easton originally made this grex and registered it in 1993. It was Hazel Tyers 'Santa Maria' (4N) X Cym. devonianum (2N). In the early 2000s he remade it using Cym. devonianum 'NH' (4N) to produce a 4N version, which has since been used extensively in hybridising.

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By Australis on Nov 20, 2017 2:52 AM, concerning plant: Orchid (Cymbidium Kiwi Midnight 'Geyserland')

This plant is an Andy Easton hybrid. He sold it off around 2001 as it would not produce any viable seed for him. There are reports of multiple generations of clones in circulation, so care is advised when seeking out this particular plant.

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By plantmanager on Nov 19, 2017 7:40 PM, concerning plant: Gray Rabbitbrush (Ericameria nauseosa)

Ericameria nauseosa is a native plant in my area. It blooms from about September to November in my area of New Mexico. The rubber rabbitbrush is a significant source of food for browsing wildlife on winter ranges.The leaves, flowers and seeds of rubber rabbitbrush are a food source for deer, antelope, elk, small mammals and birds. The plant also provides cover for small mammals and birds such asjackrabbits and sage grouse. Butterflies, bees and moths love it! Whenever the sun is up, this plant is covered with pollinators.

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By Australis on Nov 19, 2017 7:28 PM, concerning plant: Orchid (Cymbidium Tiger Tail 'Gold and Silver')

This is a lovely compact Cymbidium that often has concolor flowers (a trait inherited from Cym. tigrinum). It can produce a small number of red spots on the lip, but has not done so in its first year in my conditions. It is fragrant, although I didn't notice the fragrance until after a few days. The blooms last about a month for me.

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By ILPARW on Nov 19, 2017 6:23 PM, concerning plant: Black spruce (Picea mariana)

This species is mostly found in much of Alaska and most of Canada where it is a major species in bogs, lowlands, swamps, and along watercourses, then also in northern New England, areas in New York, spots in Pennsylvania, northern Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota. Its short, bluish-green needles are 0,3 to 0.5 inches long and it has tiny rounded cones about 1/2 to 1 inch long. They often hang on the branches for many years. Mature trees grow into a narrow, upright, pyramidal form. Slow growing of about 2/3 feet/year and lives about 200 years. It needs draining wet or moist, acid soils. There are some cultivars that are of compact or very dwarf forms listed in landscape plant books. I don't know of any nurseries growing this species. Perhaps a few native plant nurseries in the north woods regions or forestry nurseries.

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