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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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By ILPARW on Nov 17, 2017 9:10 AM, concerning plant: Devil's Walking Stick (Aralia spinosa)

Interesting tropical-looking small tree native from central New York through western Pennsylvania and some spots around, areas of Maryland, West Virginia & Virginia down to central Florida to east Texas back up to southern Illinois & Indiana. Offered only by a few large, diverse nurseries and some native plant nurseries; rare in landscapes. Fast growing of over 2 feet/year and each tree lives about 50 years, but it forms a colony and more come up from the root system to replace each tree. Despite coarse, lateral spreading root system, it transplants easily. Usually grows in and around forest, but can grow in meadows. Grows best in moist to dry, slightly acid soils but can adapt to neutral pH. The black fruit in late summer and early autumn is prized by many birds and small mammals. The white flowers are pollinated by many insects. It is different from the Japanese species that was introduced and gone wild in some spots, as southeast PA, in that the American species bears its flower clusters erect while the Asian species bears them laterally.

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By ILPARW on Nov 16, 2017 9:27 PM, concerning plant: Gray Birch (Betula populifolia 'Whitespire')

The Whitespire cultivar was selected at the University of Wisconsin Arboretum in Madison, Wisconsin in that it looked good and was resistant to Bronze Birch Borer that kills white barked birches that get stressed by heat and drought (or old age). At first, it was believed to be from the Japanese Asian White Birch (Betula platyphylla japonica) but some years later it was realized that it was a selection from the Gray Birch (Betula populifolia,) Whitespire is offered at good number of nurseries in the northern USA. Landscape architects and homeowners both use this cultivar. It grows about 1.5 to 2 feet/year and normally lives at least 40 years in landscapes.

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By ILPARW on Nov 16, 2017 9:00 PM, concerning plant: Paper Birch (Betula papyrifera)

This most lovely tree has a huge native range over most of Alaska & Canada, the northern Rocky Mountains, spots in the northern Great Plains, most of Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan, northwest Illinois and northeast Iowa, northern Pennsylvania and much of New York, and New England. It is a very common tree in the north woods. It is planted a fair amount of the time in the northern US in landscapes. It grows about 1.5 to 2 feet/year and lives about 100 years in the north woods. In landscapes around Chicago, IL, and around Philadelphia, PA it usually lives about 30 years before being killed by the Bronze Birch Borer because of stress from summer heat and drought, though some in good locations with afternoon shade and coolness can live about 50 to 60 years in those areas. Irrigate landscape trees in summer. This white birch has peeling bark, thus also called Canoe Birch. The leaves are sort of rounded and get to 4 to 5.5 inches long x 2 to 4 inches wide. Offered by a good number of conventional, mail order, or native nurseries.

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By bonny on Nov 16, 2017 3:24 PM, concerning plant: Lady Doorly's Morning Glory (Ipomoea horsfalliae)

The Lady Doorly's Morning Glory plant - is this a noxious weed in Australia. I have been given a clipping hoping to have it strike but do not want to grow if it is a weed. Would appreciate any advice.
Thanks Bonny

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By ILPARW on Nov 15, 2017 8:22 PM, concerning plant: Saskatoon Serviceberry (Amelanchier alnifolia subsp. alnifolia)

It is a handsome multi-stem, upright shrub that gets about 6 to 10 feet high. It is native to the Great Plains from southern Saskatchewan to Nebraska. Best only planted in USDA Zones 4 & 5, as it is not adapted to farther south.

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By ILPARW on Nov 15, 2017 8:06 PM, concerning plant: Juneberry (Amelanchier canadensis)

Back in the 1970's the landscape designers discovered how wonderful serviceberry trees were and bought up the nursery stock of this Shadblow Serviceberry and the Alleghany Serviceberry, which were only sold as the straight species back then. The Shadblow usually has more stems and more slender ones than the other tree species, giving a little finer texture. This species is still popular with landscape architects and designers. The average gardening public does not buy lots of Serviceberry trees of any species, too bad. Serviceberry is so awesome with its smooth gray bark, cleaness, neatness, handsome buds, pretty foliage, good fall color, and delicious berries, loved by people and birds. They taste sort of like cherry.

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By ILPARW on Nov 15, 2017 7:48 PM, concerning plant: Serviceberry (Amelanchier x grandiflora 'Autumn Brilliance')

I bought two about 6-8 feet high B7B Autumn Brillance Serviceberry from the garden center where I was working and planted them in the backyard in June 2002. They grew into two beautiful ornamental trees about 20 feet high here in southeast Pennsylvania now in 2017. This is probably the most common cultivar of the Apple Serviceberry that is a natural hybrid of the Downy Serviceberry (A. Arborea) x the Alleghany Serviceberry (A. Laevis). The former species has slightly larger, coarser leaves that have some hairiness.

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By RIrose on Nov 15, 2017 5:31 PM, concerning plant: Rose (Rosa 'Super Hero')

Super Hero is a very disease resistant rose. It is one of the first roses to bloom in my southern New England Garden and it blooms late into the season. It has saturated medium red flowers on stems long enough to cut for a small vase. It's a great rose for someone who wants an elegant bloom on a small, nicely shaped bush and for someone who has never grown roses before. It's part of the Easy Elegance series hybridized by Ping Lim.

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By ILPARW on Nov 15, 2017 10:29 AM, concerning plant: Allegheny Serviceberry (Amelanchier laevis)

A neat, clean, beautiful small tree with smooth gray bark, white flowers in early spring, handsome foliage, good fall color, and delicious purple berries in June good for birds, wildlife, and humans. The fruit tastes sort of like cherries. Native to southeast Canada, New England, down the Appalachians to north Alabama to Missouri, Iowa, and eastern Minnesota, all around the Great Lakes. Grows about 1.5 feet/year and lives about 150 years. Grows in and along upland forest in moist or average, acid to slightly alkaline soil, pH 6.0 to 7.5. In landscapes it can be planted in open, exposed locations though it grows in or around shady woods in nature. Some large, diverse conventional nurseries and native plant nurseries still sell the regular species, but there are some cultivars as 'Cumulus' or 'Prince Charles'. What is sold much more is the Apple Serviceberry that is a natural hybrid between this Alleghany Serviceberry x the Downy Serviceberry that is sold in several cultivars as 'Autumn Brilliance' and 'Princess Diana'. All are fantastic ornamental trees that should be used more in landscaping, though the general gardening public does not know of this genus.

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By Bonehead on Nov 15, 2017 9:15 AM, concerning plant: Watermelons (Citrullus lanatus)

Pudd'nHead Wilson in Huckleberry Finn described watermelon as "..the chief of this world's luxuries, king by the grace of God over all the fruits of the earth. When one has tasted it, he knows what the angels eat. It was not a southern watermelon that Eve took; we know it because she repented." ~Mark Twain

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By Australis on Nov 15, 2017 6:09 AM, concerning plant: Orchid (Cymbidium Cronulla)

Orchid (Cymbidium Cronulla 'The Khan') is the most well-known clone of this grex and the main one used in hybridising. A particular flaw that has been observed by growers in Australia is that under fluorescent lights, pink offspring from this grex may have a grey cast - particularly if they are from 'The Khan' and descended from the Orchid (Cymbidium Khan Flame) line.

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By Australis on Nov 14, 2017 10:50 PM, concerning plant: Orchid (Cymbidium changningense)

This is a relatively recently classified species (2005). There is some debate over whether it is a natural hybrid (speciated or otherwise) or a true species. There is a clear relationship to Low's Cymbidium (Cymbidium lowianum), while both Master's Cymbidium (Cymbidium mastersii) and Ivory-Colored Cymbidium (Cymbidium eburneum) have been postulated as possible ancestors.

There are differences to the man-made hybrids Orchid (Cymbidium Lowio-Mastersii) (which has lowianum and mastersii as direct parents) and Orchid (Cymbidium Veitchii (1889)) (which has lowianum and eburneum as direct parents), so it is unlikely to be a simple answer.

It will typically first bloom on the second or third bulb with a reduced bud count. I have observed spikes to originate from the leaf axils and that a bulb can produce spikes at least twice (unlike some species, which will only flower once per bulb).

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By Australis on Nov 14, 2017 9:45 PM, concerning plant: Orchid (Cymbidium lowianum 'Concolor')

This is the alba form of the species. Typically this would not receive a clonal name, but a specific clone has been awarded (under both 'Concolor' and 'Viride'). It is unclear how many of the alba plants in cultivation are this specific awarded clone as opposed to any other alba clone; unfortunately 'Concolor' is often used simply to refer to the alba form of the species (as the form was originally called lowianum var. concolor).

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By ILPARW on Nov 14, 2017 8:51 PM, concerning plant: Sweet Birch (Betula lenta)

Sweet Birch is a lovely forest tree native to New England, New York, Pennsylvania, northern New Jersey, east Ohio, and down the Appalachians into northern Georgia and Alabama. It grows about 1 foot to 1.5 feet/year and lives about 150 to 200 years. It grows in uplands, hills, and mountains in moist and acid soils of about 4.5 to 6.5 and might tolerate up to about pH 7.0 in landscapes. Some large, diverse nurseries grew some in northeast Illinois in the 1980's and probably still do. I saw a few planted in park districts in the Chicago area. If this lovely tree is used in landscapes, it should not be placed in hot, dry, exposed locations. This is the birch from which birch beer is derived. Its crushed twigs have a wintergreen flavor. The leaves are 2.5 to 5 inches long x 1.3 to 3 inches wide. The strobiles are erect and ovoid and hairless. It develops the best golden autumn color of any birch species.

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By ILPARW on Nov 14, 2017 8:04 PM, concerning plant: Yellow Birch (Betula alleghaniensis)

Yellow Birch is common in some spots in its native range from Newfoundland and Nova Scotia and southeast Canada, New England, around the Great Lakes, and down the Appalachian Region to north Georgia. It is a forest tree that tolerates a good amount of shade. It is a lovely tree that should be planted much more in landscapes with its beautiful exfoliating bark that has some papery curls on it, and excellent golden autumn color. It grows about 1.5 feet/year and lives about 150 years. Some large, diverse nurseries grew some in northeast Illinois in the 1980's and I am sure they still do. In southeast Pennsylvania it is found growing in mature forest, often with or near Eastern Hemlocks and Sweet Birch that also like shady, sheltered sites in nature. Reseeds burned areas quickly. Not for hot, dry, exposed sites in landscapes. Grows well in acid or alkaline soils that are draining wet, moist, or of average moisture. The crushed twigs have a wintergreen aroma. Leaves are 3 to 4.5 inches long x 1.5 to 2 inches wide.

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