The Plants Database

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By Bonehead on Jan 21, 2019 12:45 PM, concerning plant: Goatsbeard (Aruncus)

Native in the Pacific NW, found in ditches along roadways. Used medicinally for colds and coughs, smallpox, as a salve, for kidney ailments, and to aid in childbirth. Male flowers are showier than female, and are found on separate plants.

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By ILPARW on Jan 21, 2019 12:35 PM, concerning plant: Cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpum)

The Cranberry is native to southern Quebec & Ontario, to Nova Scotia and Newfoundland, ranging all through New England, New York, New Jersey & Delaware, areas of coastal Maryland, Virginia, & North Carolina, spots in the Appalachians from northern Georgia to most of Pennsylvania, northern Ohio & Indiana, most of Michigan, northeast Illinois along Lake Michigan, most of Wisconsin, and central & northern Minnesota in bogs, marshes, swamps, along watercourses, and near lakes in acid, sandy and/or well-decomposed organic soils. I've never seen it sold in conventional nurseries. There are a number of mail order nurseries that sell small plants and seeds. While there are a number of species that grow wild only in special habitats of very acid and draining wet soils (like Chokeberry shrubs) that can adapt well to typical landscapes and gardens that have the common silty and/or clay, neutral soils when planted there, this is not one of them. It must be in a bog kind of garden. It forms a prostrate mat by extensive, horizontal rhizomes or stolons.

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By Bonehead on Jan 21, 2019 11:50 AM, concerning plant: Mountain Monkshood (Aconitum delphinifolium)

Native in the Pacific NW, found in meadows, along creeks, edges of woods, rocky slopes. All parts of the plant are toxic, and may cause skin irritation to some folks. It is listed as medicinal, but care should be taken due to its toxicity. The tubers contain aconitin, which causes paralysis of the nerves, lowers body temperature, and blood pressure. This plant is also toxic to livestock.

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By Bonehead on Jan 21, 2019 10:18 AM, concerning plant: Western Columbine (Aquilegia formosa)

Native in the Pacific NW, found in moist open to shady meadows, rocky slopes, clearings. I call this Rainy Pass columbine, which seems to be a good spot for them to grow. The milky sap of the roots can be macerated and put on wounds to help form a scar; other parts of the plant may be used for diarrhea, dizziness, and aching joints. The common name is derived from columbina, which means 'dove like' to describe the flowers.

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By ILPARW on Jan 20, 2019 7:29 PM, concerning plant: Bog Cranberry (Vaccinium oxycoccos)

This Small Cranberry is native to northern Eurasia and northern North America in tundra, bogs, fens, and in various wetlands with a high water table and low nitrogen. Its leaves are smaller than the Common Cranberry, being 1/6th to 1/3rd to 0.4 inches long, the leaf tipts are pointed, and the leaf margins roll under. The smaller, drier berry is about 1/4 to 1/3 inch wide. It is not grown for fruit production, but some people do collect and eat wild fruit.

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By Frillylily on Jan 19, 2019 11:54 PM, concerning plant: Pink Wood Sorrel (Oxalis debilis subsp. corymbosa)

When I was a kid we called this Sheep Shower and we would chew the leaves. They are sour.

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By Frillylily on Jan 19, 2019 10:25 PM, concerning plant: Crinum (Crinum bulbispermum)

Hardy through zone 5, native to the Orange River area of Africa.

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By Baja_Costero on Jan 19, 2019 5:40 PM, concerning plant: Dudleya crassifolia

Recently (2012) described Dudleya from Colonet Mesa, Baja California. Known only from a few scattered individuals in one population. Member of the Hasseanthus group. Leaves wither in summer. Corm-like below-ground caudex. White or occasionally pale yellow, fragrant flowers.

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By ILPARW on Jan 19, 2019 4:51 PM, concerning plant: Oakleaf Hydrangea (Hydrangea quercifolia 'Alice')

Dr. Michael A. Dirr, the professor of ornamental horticulture who wrote the huge manual of "Manual of Woody Landscape Plants," discovered a vigorous seedling of the Oakleaf Hydrangea on the campus of the University of Georgia where he was teaching in the 1980's, and he propagated it to become a cultivar. He introduced it into commerce with the Georgia Plant Introduction Program. This cultivar is a larger selection that grows 8 to 15 feet high. Its leaves tend to be larger. Its flower clusters are large of about 10 to 14 inches long, that bear mostly outer showy infertile florets, but has some fertile florets in the inside. This is one of the most common cultivars sold.

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By ILPARW on Jan 19, 2019 4:30 PM, concerning plant: Oakleaf Hydrangea (Hydrangea quercifolia Snow Queen™)

I was given two plants several years ago, about 2009, and I thought they were regular Oakleaf Hydrangeas, but I noticed they were a little different than the mother species. The main difference is that the panicles, the conical flower clusters, are a little larger, about 8 inches long x 4 inches wide, and there are more sterile showy florets on the outside that cover the fertile florets farther inside the panicle, and these flower clusters are more erect. There is a good production of yellow pollen that falls each year on my white picket fence next to the shrubs from those inner fertile florets. The flower clusters are a good creamy white for about 4 to 6 weeks and then turn a dark pinkish and then brown. This may be the most common cultivar sold at some conventional nurseries and from mail order nurseries; they later can ship them bareroot. It does not need much pruning and that is best done right after the flowers lose their white colour for the best blooming on the old wood for the next year.

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By Baja_Costero on Jan 19, 2019 3:41 PM, concerning plant: Liveforever (Dudleya formosa)

Smallish cliff-dwelling Dudleya from Baja California with relatively wide leaves and pink flowers. May branch extensively. Solitary plants tend to have larger rosettes, to about 5 inches. May grow an extended stem over many years to 12-18 inches, hanging downward from the point of anchor in habitat.

Found exclusively on north facing cliffs near the mouth of the Guadalupe river at La Misión. Enjoys part shade in cultivation but may also do well with much more sun, given adequate water. Relatively uncommon in cultivation.

May form natural hybrids in habitat with D. attenuata (orcutti), brittonii (white form), and edulis, which grow in the immediate vicinity.

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By Baja_Costero on Jan 19, 2019 3:24 PM, concerning plant: Pencil Cactus (Euphorbia tirucalli 'Firesticks')

Colorful dwarf version of Milk Bush (Euphorbia tirucalli) with orange stems. Like the green version of this plant, it grows pencil-like stems with small, ephemeral leaves at the tip. It may not flower in all locations.

Suitable for container culture. A reasonably large bush when allowed to grow in the ground. Tends to drop branches in the wind. Cold sensitive. Drought tolerant. May revert to the all-green form and grow to a much larger size. Avoid touching the sap, which is a potent irritant.

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By tabbycat on Jan 19, 2019 1:23 PM, concerning plant: Species Iris (Iris domestica)

We have lots of birds visit our row of 15 ft. lorepetalums so I'm always finding new plants under them from the bird droppings. I found this plant in Fall 2017 & recognized it as 'Blackberry Lily' but the color was to be a surprise. I've found yellow ones & orange ones but this two-tone peach is a delightful change. The plant got 30 inches tall with about 10 flowers in 2018.

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By scvirginia on Jan 18, 2019 9:11 PM, concerning plant: Coleus (Coleus scutellarioides 'Crimson Velvet')

From 'The Floral Magazine', 1881:
"It is somewhat difficult for our artist to convey an adequate idea of the richness of colouring found in the leaves of some of the newer forms of the Coleus, as they are intermingled in a striking manner, and many of the hues are exceedingly rich. The splendid novelty now figured was raised at the Mile Ash Nurseries, Derby, by Mr. Edwin Cooling, who will distribute it in May next. The colour of the leaf is bright crimson, veined with darker crimson, and remarkably rich and velvety in appearance. The habit is very free and compact. We are informed by Mr. Cooling that he has tested the qualities of his new variety in the most thorough manner, by growing it by the side of all the best new varieties, and it was generally acknowledged to be the best of its class. As a pot-plant for the decoration of the greenhouse it is unequalled; and in warm situations bids fair to be a most useful and effective bedding plant. We have of late seen several fine new varieties of the Coleus, but that now figured appears to be one of the most distinct and promising."

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By ILPARW on Jan 18, 2019 7:42 PM, concerning plant: Oakleaf Hydrangea (Hydrangea quercifolia)

By the time that some botanists discovered this species for western botany, its native range has been almost all of Alabama & Mississippi, northwest Florida, eastern Georgia, some of Louisiana, and southern Tennessee. It is sold and grows well in the Chicago, IL area in Zone 5a, though a powerful cold winter can do some harm, but this shows it must have had a larger native range in the past. It has a coarse texture, but it is a lovely shrub for gardens and landscapes with good foliage, good fall color, pretty and large flower clusters, a basically neat habit, and bronzy papery bark. I've seen this species about 4 to 8 feet high. It does ground sucker some, but it is easy to prune. It is somewhat commonly planted in the South, the Mid-Atlantic, the Midwest, and the Northeast USA; used more often by landscape designers than the general public; the former who know it better. The are several cultivars that are available with different sizes of the shrub or leaves and variations in flower structure and size. The mother species and most cultivars have both fertile and infertile flowers, so it does produce pollen and nectar for pollinators. Best to prune after flowering in August for best blooming the following year. Its root system is fibrous with shallow lateral roots and it is stoloniferous with lateral shoots, and it is easy to transplant.

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By Bonehead on Jan 18, 2019 2:06 PM, concerning plant: Bog Cranberry (Vaccinium oxycoccos)

Native west of the Cascade Mountains, from Alaska south to California, east to Idaho, across Canada, and from the upper Midwest to the Atlantic coast. Usually found in sphagnum bogs. Berries are edible, fresh, in oil, or dried. The berries were associated with high rank by the Sechelt people.

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By Bonehead on Jan 18, 2019 10:56 AM, concerning plant: Evergreen Huckleberry (Vaccinium ovatum)

Native west of the Cascade Mountains, from British Columbia to California. Found in coniferous forests. Berries are edible, eaten fresh or dried, the taste improves following a frost.

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By ILPARW on Jan 17, 2019 2:38 PM, concerning plant: Field Horsetail (Equisetum arvense)

This seems to be the most common species of Horsetail in the Northern Hemisphere in arctic and temperate regions. It grows in open woods, meadows, along roads, and along railroad tracks. It has fertile, reproducing, non-photosynthetic stems that begin pinkish then tan in early spring that bear the cone-like strobulus that holds the spores. After those fertile stems wither, the sterile, non-reproducing, green stems appear for the purpose of photosynthesis until frost. It spreads a lot by underground rhizomes. I don't know of this species being used in ornamental horticulture. I have seen it along railroad tracks.

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By ILPARW on Jan 17, 2019 1:36 PM, concerning plant: Rough Horsetail (Equisetum hyemale)

This is a common species found throughout most of North America and Eurasia that grows in wet soils along watercourses and bodies of water, in swamps, bogs, marshes, and in moist open woods. It grows about 3 to 6 feet high with unbranched, rough, upright stems with sheaths of tooth-like leaves and a larger cone-like strobilus on the tip that produces the spores. I was allowed to take a clump from a customer's yard in southeast Pennsylvania some years ago, and I put it in a pot and had it for a few years. I did not want to plant it in the ground because it spreads like crazy from underground rhizomes. However, I remember a clump growing at Chanticleer Gardens that was surrounded by flat stone blocks that was kept in check and looked good. It can be grown in water up to 4 inches deep.

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By tabbycat on Jan 17, 2019 12:33 PM, concerning plant: Ginger Lily (Hedychium coccineum 'Peach')

It's January 2019 here in south Louisiana (Z9) & my 6' plants are about to get knocked down by our 1st hard freeze. I have an 8' long bed of them in my backyard against my neighbors ageing wood fence so I don't cut them to the ground until after a freeze. It's my 10th year of enjoying these very fragrant beauties that started as a 3' long bed of about 5 rhizomes.

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