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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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By ILPARW on Nov 19, 2017 5:42 PM, concerning plant: Eastern Spruce (Picea rubens)

Red Spruce is native to Nova Scotia and that region of Canada, New England, New York, central Pennsylvania then down the Appalachians through North Carolina. it often grows along watercourses and in bogs, and also grows way uphill and in the mountain heights. Its needles are 0.5 to 0.7 inches long. its cones are round and 1.3 to 2 inches long and fall soon after maturity. The cones are soft with thin scales with rounded margins. The bark is dark gray to brown. It is very similar to the much more widespread Black Spruce, but it grows wider and its cones are about 2 to 3 times as big. Slow growing of about 2/3 feet/year and lives over 200 years. I think it is the prettiest spruce that I have ever seen. Morton Arboretum in northeast Illinois has three specimens about 15 to 20 feet high doing alright in silty-clay soil of about 6.5 pH, but they are not thriving. It can be grown in landscapes, as I saw several (from wild origin) in the yard of a motel near White Haven, PA, but I don't know of nurseries growing this species. There are several cultivars listed in landscape plant manuals.

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By ILPARW on Nov 18, 2017 9:44 PM, concerning plant: Red Chokeberry (Aronia arbutifolia 'Brilliantissima')

This Brilliant Red Chokeberry (Aronia arbutifolia "Brilliantissima' is the only form of this species that I have seen so far, as I have not found wild ones yet or seen any other cultivars. This cultivar was selected for its great red fall color and slightly larger fruit than the mother species. This species has beautiful smooth, gray bark, lovely smooth foliage, good fall color, pretty white flowers, and is a clean plant. It does send out some ground suckers around it, and the wetter the soil, the more of it. The red fruit is very bitter all fall and winter and the birds and I don't really like the taste. (The Black Chokeberry fruit tastes much better, though still somewhat tart, and the birds do happily eat the black fruit.) Its native range is from New York and southern New England down to central Florida, then over into east Texas. In nature it is found most often in bogs, swamps, and along watercourses in draining wet, acid soils, but sometimes along woods and old fields more upland. It does well in regular landscapes. it is offered by many nurseries. I like its upright, often leggy, and sort of see-through aspect.

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By ILPARW on Nov 18, 2017 9:00 PM, concerning plant: Black Chokeberry (Aronia melanocarpa Iroquois Beauty™)

'Iroquois Beauty' or "Morton' was a cultivar selected at Morton Arboretum in Lisle, Illinois. It is a little more compact than the mother species and tends to get a little better fall color. It is probably the most common cultivar in the northern US east of the Mississippi and a little beyond west. Its leaves are definitely sharp and tend to be more narrow than most of the species.

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By ILPARW on Nov 17, 2017 7:39 PM, concerning plant: Purple Chokeberry (Photinia floribunda)

I adore Chokeberry! They are sort of like Serviceberry, except definitely shrubs. I like the older scientific name of Aronia x prunifolia for Purple Chokeberry, that is a natural hybrid of the Red Chokeberry x the Black Chokeberry. It is native to Nova Scotia and southeast Canada, New England, New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, some spots in the Appalachians farther south, northern Ohio, much of Michigan, northern Indiana, northeast Illinois, and most of Wisconsin. The deep purple fruit in late summer into December is edible for birds and humans, though sort of tart. This species is not common in most places in its range and not easy to find in horticulture. It should be used much more. In nature it is like the other two species of Chokeberry and is found in bogs, swamps, near wet woods and wet meadows, though it does fine in regular landscape situations. Chokeberries don't like hot, strong drought and should not be planted in small or narrow parking lot islands, though big ones are alright. I planted a specimen of the 'Viking' Chokeberry, that is grown for its better tasting fruit, mostly used in jams, jellies, and juices, and it looks like a Black Chokeberry and not the Purple species. It is the fruit of the Red Chokeberry that is so bitter that one can choke from trying to eat it. I'm not sure of the Purple. The Black species usually does have edible, but tart fruit that is good in pancakes or cereal.

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By ILPARW on Nov 17, 2017 7:13 PM, concerning plant: Cliff-Green (Paxistima canbyi)

Native to some areas in the Appalachian Mountains from southwest Pennsylvania, west Maryland, West Virginia, Virginia, a spot in northeast Kentucky and a spot in south Ohio. A rare plant in landscaping or gardening that one would have to find in a specialty nursery, as my biggest customer did in southeast PA. It is a sensitive plant and can die out with some kind of stress. I watched it for about a decade uphill above the little pond at my biggest customer's yard, and then there was a very wet year in 2015 and it died. It is a handsome and unique little broadleaf evergreen that is worth trying out. I recommend botanical gardens and arboretums to keep a good collection of this native species to help out the species.

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By ILPARW on Nov 17, 2017 9:46 AM, concerning plant: Fetterbush (Pieris floribunda)

Native to the Appalachian Mountains of West Virginia, Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, and north Georgia. This beautiful broadleaf evergreen is rare in landscapes because it is difficult to propagate either by seed or by cuttings. It is also sensitive and can die out. The specimen I took photos of at Jenkins Arboretum in southeast Pennsylvania was wonderful for quite a number of years, but when a nearby tree was removed and more sunshine came upon the plant, it died out in 2016. It is more tolerant of Azalea Lacebug than the common Japanese species. It differs from the Japanese species in that it bears its flowers clusters upright and erect, while the Japanese species flower clusters droop down. (There is a hybrid of this species and the Japanese species that has a cultivar called 'Brouwer's Beauty' that bears its flower clusters erect and drooping at the same time. This cultivar is easy to propagate and is offered by a good number of nurseries.) There is an article from North Carolina University called "In Vitro Colonization of Micropropagated Pieris Floribunda by Ericoid Microrhizae Establishment of Mycorrhizae Microshoots" that deals with better propagation of this species.

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