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By jrbales on Dec 17, 2017 7:22 PM, concerning plant: Daylily (Hemerocallis 'Wedding Band')

While it really does have beautiful blooms, "Wedding Band" in my beds has proved to be a total "rust bucket" for two years in a row, far more susceptible to rust than the other cultivars around it. I have it in two different beds, one on the east side of the house, the other on the west side, and the plants are equally diseased. Right now the foliage is ugly and covered with heavy infestations of rust. I hate to even consider it, but it may have to be culled. The only good thing is that I'm finding which cultivars around them seem to be less susceptible!

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By ILPARW on Dec 17, 2017 6:51 PM, concerning plant: Pussy Willow (Salix discolor)

The American Pussy Willow is confused with the Goat Willow or European Pussy Willow (Salix caprea). The latter is the one sold at garden centers and nurseries, unless one goes to a native plant nursery. The American species has twigs that are dull bright green to reddish-purple to dark brown and the leaves are bluish-white underneath. The European species has lustrous brown twigs and buds are red to brown. Pussy Willow has a large native range from southeast Canada through New England down the Appalachians to eastern Tennessee, all around the Great lakes, western Ontario into central British Columbia with some spots in the northern Rocky Mountains.

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By ILPARW on Dec 17, 2017 6:10 PM, concerning plant: Green Ash (Fraxinus pennsylvanica 'Marshall’s Seedless')

'Marshall Seedless' is the most commonly planted of the Green Ash cultivars since the 1970's. It develops a wider broad ovate form. it also gets a good yellow fall color. I've seen a lot of dying or dead 'Marshall Seedless' Ashes in northeast Illinois and southern Wisconsin since around 2014. In southeast Pennsylvania the Emerald Ash Borer has not struck yet through 2017.

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By ILPARW on Dec 17, 2017 6:01 PM, concerning plant: Green Ash (Fraxinus pennsylvanica 'Summit')

'Summit' is the second most common cultivar planted of Green Ash after 'Marshall's Seedless.' It grows with a straight central leader and very upright when young, then matures to an ovate form. It gets a really good yellow fall color. It is a male cultivar without seed production like most of the others.

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By ILPARW on Dec 17, 2017 5:47 PM, concerning plant: Ash (Fraxinus mandshurica 'Mancana')

Manchurian Ash is a new species being offered by some big, diverse nurseries from Japan and northeast Asia. It is similar to the Black Ash and there are some hybrids between the two. This cultivar has a dense, round crown when mature. Of course, it is Emerald Ash Borer resistant. I still prefer the American species in America.

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By ILPARW on Dec 17, 2017 5:32 PM, concerning plant: Pumpkin Ash (Fraxinus profunda)

Fraxinus profunda is the same species as Fraxinus tomentosa, the Pumpkin Ash. The latter name is used more and check it out by that name on this site.

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By ILPARW on Dec 17, 2017 5:24 PM, concerning plant: White Ash (Fraxinus americana Autumn Purple®)

This has been the most common cultivar of White Ash grown by nurseries and planted in landscapes in much of the Midwest and East. It develops an excellent glossy purple-red autumn color and makes a good pyramidal-oval outline. I am concerned that so many White Ash trees are of this one cultivar that the genetic diversity is limited, so if a problem comes along, there is a situation of "having all of ones eggs in one basket."

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By farmerdill on Dec 16, 2017 5:09 PM, concerning plant: Cantaloupe (Cucumis melo 'Netted Gem')

An old timer that I know as Burpee's Netted Gem. A small version of the once-popular nutmeg type. Melons average about 2 lbs with spicy green flesh. Very productive under average conditions.

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By ILPARW on Dec 16, 2017 5:03 PM, concerning plant: White Ash (Fraxinus americana)

White Ash is a very common forest tree, though it can be in open fields or meadows, growing in upland locations with dry to moist soils with a pH about 6.0 to 7.5. Its native range is from Nova Scotia down into northern Florida to east Texas up to most of Iowa to central Wisconsin to all of Michigan into southeast Ontario & Quebec. It has compound leaves 8 to 12 inches long with long leaflet stems (petioles) and 7 to 9, even to 11 leaflets that are 3 to 5 inches long x 1.5 to 3 inches wide, often with untoothed margins or just finely toothed, and the fall color is normally orange to red-purple. The leaf scars appear like a full smile. The young bark is smooth and gray and it shows up that way in the higher branches, then it becomes brown-gray and furrowed and later showing diamond-shaped ridges. It grows about 1.5 feet/year and lives about 150 to 200 years. White Ash and a few of its cultivars have been planted around in many landscapes as shade and street trees for a number of decades. It is a better quality tree than the similar Green Ash, though not as adaptable to really bad soils. It is also susceptible to the evil Emerald Ash Borer from China, though it does not get killed as easily and quickly as the Green species does.

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By ILPARW on Dec 16, 2017 4:15 PM, concerning plant: Green Ash (Fraxinus pennsylvanica)

The Green Ash (Fraxinus pennsylvanica lanceolata) and the Red Ash (Fraxinus pennsylvanica pennsylvanica) are now really recognized as the same one species, though the latter variety has very fuzzy hairy twigs and some hair under the leaves. This species is abundantly common all over the place in dry-mesic uplands, and bottomlands & swamps, and along climax forest edges, and making up a big part of pioneer forests with Boxelder, Black Walnut, Cottonwoods, etc. in a large native range from Nova Scotia down to northern Florida to east Texas up the Great Plains into eastern Montana and southern Saskatchewan & Manitoba. The leaves of this compound species get 6 to 9 inches long with 5 to 9 short-stalked leaflets that are 3 to 4 inches long x 1 to 1.5 inches wide and that develop bright yellow autumn color. The bark is brown and furrowed with diamond-shaped ridges appearing when older. Seedless male cultivars of this species have been planted more than any other shade and street tree since the 1970's because it is fast growing, about 2 to 2.5 feet/year and is very adaptable to many soils, even heavy clay compacted ones from modern development construction. Unfortunately, the Emerald Ash Borer from China got loose in Michigan around 2000 AD and has been killing off the great majority of Green Ash more than any other ash in the Midwest and expanding out from there. There are a few lingering trees left in the devastated areas. We'll see if any good resistance shows up. The several cultivars don't have it and the hope is in wild trees with genetic diversity around.

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By farmerdill on Dec 16, 2017 4:03 PM, concerning plant: Banana Melon (Cucumis melo 'Banana Melon')

This antique has been around since the 19th century. Primarily used as a novelty. When fully ripe, it has a distinctive flavor. To my taste buds, it has a cucumber aftertaste. Melons reach 4-5 lbs.

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By farmerdill on Dec 16, 2017 3:54 PM, concerning plant: Cantaloupe (Cucumis melo 'Alaska')

It has been a few years since I grew this variety. It is very early maturing and has good size and flavor for a short season melon.

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By ILPARW on Dec 16, 2017 3:19 PM, concerning plant: Rhodora (Rhododendron canadense)

This species is seldom seen in gardens or landscapes because it is not easy to cultivate. It grows in bogs and swamps in wet, very acid soil from Newfoundland to Labrador to central New York and northern Pennsylvania. I've only seen it in the bog area of the Thomas Darling Land Preserve in Blakeslee, Pennsylvania in the southern Poconos. There is a natural variety with white flowers being: Rhododendron canadense albiflorum. It would be a good candidate for a bog garden.

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By mjsponies on Dec 16, 2017 7:45 AM, concerning plant: Chenille Plant (Acalypha hispida)

This plant really doesn't like cold. Early December 2017 temperatures in Central Florida dipped to 35º early morning for a couple mornings. No real frost and this plant is protected near a fence a tree canopy. Was the only plant so show any ill effects from the cold. Time to dig up and overwinter in the greenhouse I guess.

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By Australis on Dec 15, 2017 11:53 PM, concerning plant: Orchid (Cymbidium gaoligongense)

This is listed by KEW as potentially being a natural hybrid of Orchid (Cymbidium erythraeum) and Tracy's Cymbidium (Cymbidium tracyanum), which would make it similar to Orchid (Cymbidium Ken Siew).

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By ILPARW on Dec 15, 2017 9:08 PM, concerning plant: Chokecherry (Prunus virginiana 'Schubert')

The 'Shubert' cultivar of Common Chokeberry is a true tree form with a single trunk, and its green foliage of spring turns purple-red once the real warmth of summer comes. It blooms with its white flower clusters while the leaves are green. The cultivar of 'Canada Red' is a branch sport of 'Shubert' discovered by Baily Nurseries in southern Minnesota that has a straighter trunk, a better rounded crown, slightly brighter leaves, and with a slightly faster growth rate. The two probably are mixed up in the trade.

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By ILPARW on Dec 15, 2017 8:51 PM, concerning plant: Chokecherry (Prunus virginiana)

The Common Chokecherry has a huge native range of the southern half of Canada down into the mountains of southern California over around the Great Lakes to New England down the Appalachians to northern Georgia. Despite that, I've only seen a few at Morton Arboretum that were planted and a few small wild ones on the dunes of Indiana Dunes State Park in northwest Indiana. It is usually a small bushy tree to 25 feet high, but it can be a multi-trunk small tree or a single trunk tree up to 35 to 50 feet high. It is fast growing of 2 to 3 feet/year and lives about 100 to 150 years. It has a shallow, fibrous root system and is easy to transplant. The cultivar called 'Shubert' or Canada' Red' is grown by conventional nurseries in the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic and is a small, single-trunked, ornamental tree whose foliage turns purplish-red during summer.

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By ILPARW on Dec 15, 2017 8:17 PM, concerning plant: Fire Cherry (Prunus pensylvanica)

Pin or Fire Cherry is really a northern species that needs cool environments. It often has the American Mountainash as a companion plant. It has a large native range that is mostly in Canada from Newfoundland around the south of Hudson Bay to central British Colombia and some into the Yukon, then spots in the Rocky Mountains down to Colorado, spots in the Dakotas, all around the Great Lakes, New England down the Appalachians to north Georgia. I have only seen this species so far at the Hawk Mountain Sanctuary near Reading, Pennsylvania up on the cliffs near some American Mountainash. It is known as a pioneer tree that first colonizes forest areas that have been cut down or burned over. It grows about 1 to 3 feet/year depending on location and only lives about 40 to 75 years. Its narrowish, sharp leaves get about 4.5 inches long and turn a good orange or red in autumn.The white cherry flowers are in flat-topped clusters with 5 to 7 flowers per cluster and they smell fragrant. The fruit is a red cherry about 1/2 inch in diameter with an acid taste that is loved by songbirds and small mammals. It does not quite have a taproot, but it does have coarse lateral roots so it is somewhat difficult to transplant.

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By ILPARW on Dec 15, 2017 7:49 PM, concerning plant: Wild Black Cherry (Prunus serotina)

Wild Black Cherry is a common tree in much of the Midwest and the Mid-Atlantic, usually a pioneer tree in open fields and meadows and along forest borders. It has a large native range from Nova Scotia and New England down to central Florida into east Texas up to central Minnesota through all Wisconsin and Michigan into far southeast Ontario & Quebec. It grows about 1.5 to 2.5 feet/year and lives about 150 to 200 years. It has pretty foliage, good golden fall color, white clusters of pyramidal flower clusters in spring, and handsome scaly bark of brown-gray to red-brown to blackish. Its small black cherries are loved by songbirds and small mammals. It is a host tree to many beneficial insect species. Some large, diverse nurseries used to sell it in the 1970's I remember, but because it develops a taproot and can be difficult to transplant, they may have given up. A good number of native plant nurseries sell it in big pots.

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By ILPARW on Dec 14, 2017 5:52 PM, concerning plant: Austrian Pine (Pinus nigra)

I once saw wild Austrian Black Pines while on a train traveling through Austria in the 1980's. This species is commonly planted in the Midwest, Mid-Atlantic, and New England of the US in landscapes. Austrian Pine has dark green, stout, very stiff and prickly needles in bundles of 2 that get about 6 inches long. The conical cones are 2 to 4 inches long and have sharp prickles on the scales. Like many pines, it grows about 1.5 feet/year. The mature bark is plated with brown and tan areas. This species is very adaptable to many landscape conditions, including heavy clay, compacted, alkaline soils and to pollution, road salt, heat & drought. On the other hand, I've seen a number die from a needle blight fungus called Diploidia (Scleropsis) Tip Blight. Some may also be dying from an American pine bark beetle transmitting an American species of Pinewood Nematode. That nematode was killing lots of Scots Pines in the Chicago area in the 1980's and 1990's. It is a handsome pine, but I prefer the similar Red Pine in nicer landscape conditions because the latter is soft to touch and handle and has a even prettier bark, plus it is a native species that I tend to favor over Eurasian.

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