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By ILPARW on Jan 23, 2018 8:31 PM, concerning plant: Pinxterbloom Azalea (Rhododendron periclymenoides)

I've seen some wild specimens in the woods and above creeks in some few spots in southeast Pennsylvania. The native range of the Pinxterbloom Azalea (also with a scientific name of Rhododendron nudiflorum) is from southern New England and most of New York down in northern Florida & south Mississippi, with a few spots in Louisiana and southeast Texas. It is sold by some larger, diverse and native plant nurseries and is one of the more common deciduous azaleas planted in landscapes. Even in the East and South the deciduous azaleas which are high quality and expensive plants, they are only occasionally planted, especially around estates or professional landscapes. The east Asian evergreen azaleas with the smaller leaves, that never have yellow or orange flowers, that are bushier, and are cheap are planted a lot in the East and South by everyone.

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By ILPARW on Jan 23, 2018 8:08 PM, concerning plant: Piedmont azalea (Rhododendron flammeum)

I bought an Oconee Azalea about 2004 at a native plant nursery in southeast Pennsylvania and planted it in the backyard along the neighbor's fence. My yard has a good quality clay soil with a pH of about 6.5 to 6.9, and this species is doing well in it. This species is native to South Carolina & Georgia. The funnel-shaped flowers about 2 inches long have 2 inch long stamens and the color ranges from yellow to pink to red-orange. There are several cultivars of which some have scarlet red or double flowers.

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By ILPARW on Jan 23, 2018 7:46 PM, concerning plant: Smooth azalea (Rhododendron arborescens)

This native species is found in the wild in swamps, along the banks of watercourses, in cool mountain meadows, and upland mesic woods in some spots in New England, in Pennsylvania, in West Virginia, in Virginia, eastern Kentucky & Tennessee, central to western North Carolina, western South Carolina, and northern Georgia & Alabama. It does need protection from strong sun and winds and is sensitive to soil compaction, drought, and salt. It has funnel-shaped bell flowers about 1.5 to 2 inches long that are pure white or tinged with pink in June and very fragrant. It is sold by some large, diverse nurseries, native plant nurseries, and mail order nurseries. This handsome species that is not real flashy is not commonly planted, too bad. These deciduous azaleas are sort of expensive plants. Of course, like other azaleas, it does best in the East and is usually hard to grow in most of the Midwest.

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By ILPARW on Jan 23, 2018 7:15 PM, concerning plant: Swamp azalea (Rhododendron viscosum)

One of my customers planted three small plants in her yard about 2010 near the house and artificial waterfall and pond. They were doing fine until 2017 when I noticed they had yellow leaves and were dying. I am suspecting that the soil of pH 6.5 is not acid enough or that the good quality clay soil is still too heavy for them. I applied some iron sulfate and sulfur to around the plants and we'll see if they snap out of it in 2018. One author says that this species needs truly acid soil. This is a very nice species, similar to the Sweet Azalea that is more common.

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By farmerdill on Jan 23, 2018 6:12 PM, concerning plant: Mustard Greens (Brassica juncea 'Florida Broadleaf')

Florida Broadleaf is an antique smooth leaf mustard which has been around longer than I have. Second in the south only to Giant Southern Curled (Ostrich Plume). Hardy and vigorous and more resistant to winter aphids. Not as tender as Ostrich Plume but slightly more reliable. Popular in the south for winter growing. Almost as cold resistant as kale and lot better flavor.

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By farmerdill on Jan 23, 2018 4:03 PM, concerning plant: Bok Choy (Brassica rapa subsp. chinensis 'Joi Choi')

Most productive of the Pak Choi varieties that I have grown. It is best as full size variety as compared to the many smaller (baby) varieties available. It is the first white stem hybrid variety to be introduced. Both stems and leaves are delicious.

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By ILPARW on Jan 22, 2018 7:52 PM, concerning plant: Rhododendron (Rhododendron carolinianum)

I've only seen one specimen at Tyler Arboretum near Media, PA. It is native to the southern Appalachians of eastern Tennessee, western North & South Carolina, and northern Georgia and some piedmont spots in NC, SC, and GA, in rocky woodlands, mountain summits, cool meadows, rocky banks of streams in rocky or gravelly or sandy or silty or good clay loam acid soils. The thick, leathery leaves are 2 to 3 inches long and turn purplish in winter in the North and are aromatic if crushed. It bears its bell-shaped flowers of white to pink to rosy purple in May, that are mildly scented. All parts of the plant are toxic for humans to eat. It is slow growing of about 6 inches/year. In landscapes keep away from winter sun and strong winds. I don't know of this species being used or sold very much in landscaping, though it is very nice. There is a famous and popular hybrid between the Carolina x the Dahurian Rhododendron from northeast Asia that is the PJM Rhododendron that originated in 1943 at Weston Nurseries in MA and was named after Peter James Mezitt. The latter species imparts greater cold hardiness (zone 4) and ability to adapt to heavier and more alkaline soils. The hybrid does well even in the Midwest where it is hard for rhododendrons. There is some debate as to whether R. carolinianum = R. minus (Piedmont Rhododendron) or if it is R. minus carolinanum.

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By ILPARW on Jan 22, 2018 7:17 PM, concerning plant: Partridgeberry (Mitchella repens)

A wonderful, low, pretty, native groundcover that grows in shady sites in moist, acid soil usually with a good amount of organic matter. I've seen it here and there in spots in the woods of eastern Pennsylvania.

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By robertduval14 on Jan 22, 2018 7:12 PM, concerning plant: Marijuana (Cannabis 'Wabanaki')

Wabanaki, which loosely translates to "People of the First Light," represents a First Nations confederation of five Algonquian-speaking nations near the Eastern seaboard of Canada.

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By ILPARW on Jan 22, 2018 3:48 PM, concerning plant: Wild Plum (Prunus americana)

In the early 1950's three American Plums (or Wild Plums) were planted in a big bed close to the new modern house of my parents along with Pfitzer Junipers nearby, a Winged Euonymus, and a Bolleana White Poplar. The plum shrubs got about 10 feet high and inter-branched with each other. They produced delicious pink-orange round plums about 1 to 1.5 inches wide that we ate raw and my dad made plum liqueur from them. They lasted until about 2003 when new home owners redid the landscape. American Plum grows in various upland sites in a native range from southern New England down to northwest Florida to eastern Oklahoma, up the Great Plains to eastern Montana and all the Dakotas to southern Minnesota & Wisconsin, all Illinois & Indiana up into southern Michigan and the southern tip of Ontario. It grows 1.5 to 2.5 feet/year and lives 35 to 65 years. The doubly-toothed leaves get 2 to 4 inches long x 1.25 to 2 inches wide and develop a pale yellow fall color. It can be either a large shrub or small tree with stiff branching and some stiff sharp branch spurs. The white flowers in late April to mid-May emerge before leaves and have a strong sweet spicy smell. The delicious pink-orange plums mature in August to early September. It has shallow, fibrous roots and is easy to transplant. I don't know of any conventional nurseries that sell it anymore as in the 50's and 60's, but some native plant and mail order nurseries sell some. In nature it is just found in some occasional local sites.

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By skylark on Jan 22, 2018 1:21 PM, concerning plant: Dumb Cane (Dieffenbachia Sparkles)

I have 2 pots of this plant: one was much smaller then the other, both sitting on a table in the middle of a very bright corner room (windows west/north/north-east).
after I put the smaller one closer to the west window - in the dappled shade under my Ficus lyrata - it quickly outgrew the bigger plant, the leaves are also larger.
so even though it can do just fine (maintaining variegation) without sunlight, in partial sun it grows much bigger and faster.
so if you want it growing slow - keep it in bright light, no sun. If you want a bigger plant growing much faster - put it in dappled moving sun light : west or east window, about 2 feet from the window, so it won't get hot.

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By Marilyn on Jan 22, 2018 1:25 AM, concerning plant: Bohemian Rosemary (Salvia rosmarinus 'Frank Krozek')

Bohemian Rosemary (Salvia rosmarinus 'Frank Krozek') is a new introduction for the 2018 season from Flowers By The Sea. It has been in Kermit Carter's family since the 1930's. Kermit named it for his late grandfather.

FBTS sells, grows and specializes in salvias and is located in Elk, CA.

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By ILPARW on Jan 21, 2018 8:25 PM, concerning plant: Great Laurel (Rhododendron maximum)

I normally call this the Rosebay Rhododendron and some in southeast Pennsylvania call it the "native rhododendron." It grows in moist upland woods, on cool mountain slopes, shady sites along watercourses, and in northern swamps from southern Maine and New England into New York down the Appalachian Region into northern Georgia. It grows about 1 to 1.5 feet/year and lives about 150 years. It has large, long, relatively narrow leaves to about 8 inches long. Its bell-shaped flowers range from white to rose-pink to lavender with some yellow spots on the inside. It has a shallow, fibrous root system and transplants readily. Some are sold by many nurseries in its native range region of the eastern US, though it is not as popular as more colorful species of Rhododendrons as the Catawba. It does not always adapt to landscapes well. It does need a shady, sheltered location with good quality acid soil. There are some cultivars with flowers that are pure white or pink or purple.

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By ILPARW on Jan 21, 2018 7:48 PM, concerning plant: Eastern Hemlock (Tsuga canadensis)

The Eastern or Canadian Hemlock is a beautiful conifer in the Pine Family. It grows in forests and in cool, moist locations on and around slopes, hills, ravines, hollows from Nova Scotia and southeast Canada, New England down the Appalachian Region into northern Georgia and a little into Alabama, also in northern Michigan & Wisconsin. It has tiny, round-tipped, flat , soft needles directly attached to the twigs. It bears tiny soft yellowish male cones and pale green female cones in late May and early June. The female cones persist and become the tiny brown cones about 3/4 inch long that last into winter. It grows about 1 to 1.5 feet/year and lives over 300 to 400 years. It has shallow, fibrous, wide-spreading roots and it is somewhat difficult to transplant, but nurseries do that B&B in early spring. Eastern hemlock is sensitive to heat, drought, strong dry winds, heavy or compacted soils, and salt. Many nurseries grow some and it is sort of expensive, but it is a high quality plant. It is common in its native range in the wild and in landscapes. It is occasionally planted in the Chicago area where it is successful in good quality, moist soils and with some shelter from dry, hot, windy conditions. A new insect pest from east Asia, the Asian Hemlock Adelgid or Wooly Aphid, is damaging and killing lots of Hemlocks in areas of the Appalachians. In southeast Pennsylvania so far I have not seen lots of death of trees, maybe because they are not so thickly massed together as in the Appalachians. I expect an eventual victory for the tree in the future.

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By Australis on Jan 21, 2018 7:10 PM, concerning plant: Orchid (Cymbidium On The Beach)

This grex is registered as 'On The Beach' with a capital "T" in "The".

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By ILPARW on Jan 21, 2018 5:44 PM, concerning plant: Rocky Mountain Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii var. glauca)

The Rocky Mountain variety of the Douglas-Fir is commonly planted in the Midwest, the Mid-Atlantic, the Northeast, and the northern part of the South in the USA. Its scientific name is also Pseudotsuga menziesii scopulorum. The Pacific Coastal variety is not cold hardy enough for these regions. Douglas-Fir is not a true Fir. Its soft blunt needles with different shades of some blue in the green color are attached to the branch by tiny bumps, and its 2 to 3 inch long brown mature female cones hang down and its seed bracts are long, extending beyond the scales. It bears little reddish male and female cones on the same tree in spring. It is native to upland sites in the Rocky Mountains from Arizona & New Mexico up into eastern British Colombia & western Alberta. It grows about 1.5 feet/year and lives about 200 to 300 years. It has shallow to deep spreading roots and it is easy to transplant. It is a reliable conifer planted in eastern North American landscapes. It is sold by many nurseries and is one of the most common coniferous trees along with Colorado Spruce, Norway Spruce, White Spruce, and Eastern White Pine in the Midwest and east of there. There are quite a number of cultivars, but I have not seen many of them, just some of the cultivar of 'Glauca' that has bluer needles than average.

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By worley8617 on Jan 21, 2018 1:14 PM, concerning plant: Tetrameles nudiflora

Unfortunately, after our hard freeze down here in zone 9A Palm Coast Fl, looks as if most, if not all, of my tropical garden will have to be replanted. This is the first time in seventeen years that my variegated Gingers look done for, but they do give so much joy that I will indeed replant. Happy Gardening, And Yay for spring.

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By Baja_Costero on Jan 20, 2018 9:58 PM, concerning plant: Lebombo Aloe (Aloe spicata)

Tree aloe from Southern Africa which may grow upright to 3-6 feet tall or as a shrubby collection of heads. May also be unbranched. Leaves are channeled and recurved, giving each rosette a slumping posture.

Named after the shape of the inflorescence, which develops during winter as an unbranched, densely flowered spike with short, yellow, bell-like flowers. Multiple heads in bloom can be quite striking. The flowers open from the bottom up with a wave of orange exserted stamens and great quantities of sticky brownish nectar. They make excellent subjects for close up photography, especially when that nectar reflects or transmits the light.

One of a few aloes with similar flowers. Can be resolved from A. vryheidensis (South Africa) based on the shape of the rosette and the recurved leaves. Very similar to A. tauri (Zimbabwe) which grows a much shorter stem, also to A. castanea (South Africa) which can grow a taller stem.

Like some of these other aloes, its leaves may turn intense orange and red colors in response to stress, especially drought stress. This colorful foliage can provide striking seasonal interest in the garden.

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By ILPARW on Jan 20, 2018 9:37 PM, concerning plant: Amur Honeysuckle (Lonicera maackii)

Unfortunately, this east Asian invasive shrub is the most common shrub in southeast Pennsylvania and the second in northeast Illinois. I enjoy cutting them down to pieces in the woods and then axing the base. It looks alright for awhile in spring with its young foliage and white flowers, but after that it is definitely ugly and twiggy and sort of smelly. The little red berries are not very nutritious for American birds. It is also a weed shrub growing in abandoned alleys, yards, and waste places. It should be declared as a noxious weed and destroyed. It was brought over in the 1800's with other shrub honeysuckles of northeast Asia to be an ornamental plant.

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By ILPARW on Jan 20, 2018 9:17 PM, concerning plant: Black Locust (Robinia pseudoacacia)

The Black Locust grows in its native range in open upland sites in two regions: the Appalachian Region from central Pennsylvania and southern Ohio down to northern Georgia & Alabama and the Ozark Region of southern Missouri, Arkansas, and east Oklahoma. However, mankind has spread it all around the South, the Midwest, the Mid-Atlantic, and the Northeast of the US. I think I saw some running around wild in southern Germany in 1981. It often is a weed tree, growing in abandoned lots, alleys, and waste places. It is fast growing of 2 to 3 feet/year and lives about 50 to 100 years. The fragrant white pea-like flowers are nice. The rest of the tree is not ornamental. It is weak-wooded and very messy by dropping lots of twigs, branches, and brown, woody, legume pods; and it can form a colony from prolific root suckering. I don't recommend it for landscaping and I don't know of any nurseries that sell any. It is considered as a non-native invasive plant in many states where it is not in its original native range. I don't mind some wild trees around, but not too many.

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