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By ILPARW on Apr 23, 2019 11:04 AM, concerning plant: Alpine Currant (Ribes alpinum)

This European species of currant has been somewhat commonly planted in the Chicago, Illinois Region; offered by a good number of conventional nurseries. It is a plain, reliable species of shrub that is often used for lower hedges, sheared or not sheared or a group of lower shrubs. It is mostly used by landscape designers rather than the general public. In the nursery trade, it is really the male clones that are used and I have never seen any female clones that might produce some red berries. The biggest reason for this is that currants and gooseberries (Ribes) are the alternate host for the White Pine Blister Rust Disease that is a destructive fungus disease on the Eastern White Pine in more northern latitudes as northern Wisconsin & Minnesota & Michigan, New England, and southeast Canada. The male form of Alpine Currant is not a host to this disease.

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By ILPARW on Apr 23, 2019 8:44 AM, concerning plant: Eastern Redbud (Cercis canadensis 'Forest Pansy')

This cultivar has become popular in the last two decades because it has red-purple leaves that are very bright in the spring and early summer. During the heat of the rest of summer it loses most of that colour and the foliage turns green with a tint of reddish. This loss of red foliar colour during the heat of summer is something that happens with just about all such mutations with extra anthocyanin pigments. Those pigments cause red to purple fall colour with the sunny, warm days and cool nights of autumn. The tree shows a more purplish-red leaf colour once again in late summer and early fall.

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By ILPARW on Apr 23, 2019 8:22 AM, concerning plant: Eastern Redbud (Cercis canadensis 'Appalachian Red')

This cultivar does bear deep red-purple flower buds that open to a neon pink, but the color is not really red. A wild tree along a road in Maryland was noticed as having a different flower colour and used as the source for a new cultivar that was released into the trade by the University of Tennessee, probably in the 1990's. So far, I have only seen this cultivar once at an arboretum. Most of the Eastern Redbud trees sold are the regular straight species, then some 'Forest Pansy' are next.

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By ILPARW on Apr 23, 2019 8:07 AM, concerning plant: Redbud (Cercis)

There are 7 to 8 species of Redbuds classified from North America, East Asia, and southern Europe & west Asia. They are deciduous small trees or large shrubs. They bear profuse clusters of pea-like flowers of rose-pink or purplish-pink usually before leaf emergence in spring. The name of Redbud comes from those flowers still in bud being a deep purplish-pink colour. There is a slight mutation of flower colour that causes white flowers, resulting in white blooming cultivars. The leaves are alternate, heart-shaped to circular, usually getting a good yellow fall colour. The fruit is a dry fruit being a brown, woody legume (pea-like) pod. Oftentimes some of the flowers and fruit are borne on the trunks of the trees. The scientific generic name of "Cercis" comes from the Greek word of "Kerkis" that means a weaver's shuttle, which is descriptive of the woody pods. In classical Latin the letter of "C" was always pronounced as a K, before the letter received an S sound before e & I with Medieval Latin.

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By ILPARW on Apr 22, 2019 5:58 PM, concerning plant: Dwarf Fothergilla (Fothergilla gardenii 'Windy City')

This is a newer cultivar of the Hybrid Witch-Alder (Fothergilla x intermedia) that is a cross between the Dwarf Witch-Alder x the Large Witch-Alder. It gets about 4 feet high. Its cultivar name suggests coming from around Chicago, Illinois, but I have not seen anything yet that really says that, even from Morton Arboretum.

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By ILPARW on Apr 22, 2019 5:22 PM, concerning plant: Dwarf Witch-Alder (Fothergilla gardenii 'Suzanne')

This is a dwarf form of the Dwarf Witch-Alder. It was selected as a cultivar by Dr. Michael A. Dirr, author of the Manual for Woody Landscape Plants, a huge textbook used by ornamental horticulturists and landscape designers. Its cultivar name comes from his youngest daughter's first name.

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By Baja_Costero on Apr 22, 2019 4:27 PM, concerning plant: Rock Purslane (Cistanthe grandiflora)

Chilean succulent with greenish blue leaves and purple flowers. This species is taxonomically problematic. The validly published C. spectabilis (listed as a synonym for C. grandiflora by the CoL) was not typified or illustrated, its origin in habitat is not well known, and its description may apply to other species as well. Among the species bundled in this taxonomic conundrum: C. grandiflora, C. laxiflora, C. spectabilis, and C. speciosa.

Many or most of the plant pictures associated with this database entry may be the related C. laxiflora. For more information on the taxonomy consult this excellent reference:

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By ILPARW on Apr 21, 2019 5:10 PM, concerning plant: Mountain Fetterbush (Eubotrys recurva)

I just ran across this new species to me today on an Easter walk at Jenkins Arboretum in southeast Pennsylvania in mid-April 2019. Beautiful white urn-shaped or bell-shaped white waxy flowers similar to other flowers of members of the Heath Family (Ericaceae) as Blueberry or Leatherleaf, but in long curving inflorescences. I'll take more photos later. Not much information about this uncommon species. It is native to the Appalachians in moist forests, bogs, and granite domes from Virginia & West Virginia down to northern Georgia & Alabama, into Tennessee, Kentucky, and east Ohio, plus some up in New York that probably were brought there somehow by people. The specimen I saw is growing on a partly shaded slope of the arboretum in slightly acid, silt-clay soil. It is very similar to the more well-known and common species of Sweetbells Leucothoe (E. racemosa).

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By JuniperAnn on Apr 21, 2019 4:10 PM, concerning plant: Angelonia (Angelonia angustifolia Serenaâ„¢ Purple)

A lovely annual for growing in pots or raised beds with light soil.

This plant is hardy here in zone 9a, but I don't recommend growing it as a perennial. The flower spikes die at the lightest frost, and it stays ugly and dead-looking until the next warm spell brings another flush of flowers. With so many evergreen options in the sub-tropics, there's no reason to be staring at ugly brown twigs 1/3 of the year.

Also, the roots will not penetrate clay soil at ALL. I wondered why this supposedly drought-tolerant plant got drought-stressed so easily. After growing several plants for two years in a raised bed of amended clay soil, I pulled them up. They slipped right out of the original planting holes as though from pots. Not one root had left the original potting soil, even though I had cut any circling roots before planting. That's a new one to me.

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By DaylilySLP on Apr 20, 2019 5:12 PM, concerning plant: Spider Flower (Tarenaya hassleriana 'Violet Queen')

I live in zone 6.
When I plant these, they come back from seed the next spring.

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