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By ILPARW on Dec 7, 2017 4:17 PM, concerning plant: Swamp White Oak (Quercus bicolor)

Swamp White Oak has during the last few decades become a popular tree in professional landscapes of parks, public properties, schools, universities, and such. It is medium fast to fast growing of about 1.5 to 2 feet/year and it does not develop a taproot, but has a fibrous system that makes it easy to transplant. It likes acid soil best of pH 6.0 to 6.5, and can get iron chlorosis if the soil is neutral; however, it can adapt to pH around 7.0 after awhile. It is sold by many larger nurseries and native plant nurseries. Its native range is from southern New England into much of New Jersey and Pennsylvania, Maryland, some of West Virginia & Kentucky, northern Missouri, southern and central Wisconsin, all of Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio, and southern Michigan, growing in swamps, bottomlands, and along watercourses. Its large acorn gets to about 1.5 inches long and are loved by wildlife. Its leathery leaves are 5 to 6 inches long x 2 to 4 inches wide with large, irregular, rounded teeth and the underside of the leaves are usually whitish from thick plant hair. The bark is gray or brown-gray with papery flakes or heavy scaly for a long time before eventually becoming deeply furrowed and dark gray-brown. It lives about 150 to 200 years.

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By ILPARW on Dec 7, 2017 3:29 PM, concerning plant: Southern Red Oak (Quercus falcata)

The Southern Red Oak is a handsome large tree that is common in upland dry soils of many areas of the South into the Mid-Atlantic. Its native range is from southern New Jersey down into northern Florida to east Texas up to southern Illinois. Its lustrous leaves are 5 to 9 inches long that are 3 to 7 lobed with the terminal lobe longer than the others. The rounded acorns are small of about 1/2 inch long. I've seen quite a few in the sandy, acid soils of southern and central Delaware and some in a few spots in southeast Pennsylvania.

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By ILPARW on Dec 7, 2017 2:58 PM, concerning plant: Chinkapin Oak (Quercus muehlenbergii)

Chinkapin Oak is a most lovely member of the White Oak subgroup that has a good sized native range from the southeast tip of Ontario to some spots in New York & north New Jersey & Pennsylvania down to northwest Florida to east Texas up eastern Oklahoma & Kansas through half of Iowa to barely into southern Wisconsin through southern Michigan back to Ontario. It grows about 1 foot/year and lives about 200 years. It grows in well-drained to dry soils that are barely acid to well-alkaline. I first saw some growing in dolomitic limestone soil near Batavia in northeast Illinois. This is one of those species that is found only in certain spots and is not wide-spread all over the place as Northern Red Oak. Its acorns are very high value to birds and mammals and it hosts a large number of beneficial insects as other oaks do. A few large, diverse nurseries and some native plant nurseries sell it. I've only seen one planted in the Morton Arboretum landscape; otherwise, I've only seen wild ones.

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By ILPARW on Dec 7, 2017 2:23 PM, concerning plant: American Beech (Fagus grandifolia)

It is a magnificent large tree that is one of the climax forest trees of the eastern forests from Nova Scotia and far southeast Canada down to northwest Florida to far eastern Texas, Arkansas, southeast Missouri and southern Illinois through most of Indiana, northeast Wisconsin and upper Michigan and back to Canada. It is a slow growing tree starting out growing about 1 foot/year and lives about 200 to 300 years. It does not have a taproot, but a wide system of mostly shallow roots. It is very sensitive to any ground disturbance; therefore, any nearby construction or changing the environment around the tree from forest to lawn is often deadly for the tree. Its nuts are of very high value to birds and mammals and the foliage supports a good number of beneficial insects. It needs a good quality soil that is usually moist, and it needs acid pH. I once saw an American and a European Beech growing right together on the campus of the University of Illinois, both doing well, where the pH had to be about 7.0 that is typical of east central IL. It is sold by a few large, diverse nurseries and native plant nurseries and can be a good yard tree.

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By Paintedtrillium on Dec 6, 2017 7:56 PM, concerning plant: Cranesbill (Geranium macrorrhizum 'Ingwersen's Variety')

This particular cultivar is known for its red/coppery-red fall color. For me, plants in full sun in garden soil turned scarlet red and plum colors this fall, but plants near the foundation, which are growing mostly in pine duff, are still green. I'm crossing my fingers!

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By ILPARW on Dec 6, 2017 5:25 PM, concerning plant: Dwarf Fothergilla (Fothergilla gardenii)

This is a wonderful species for landscapes in that it is neat and clean and has good ornamental characteristics of good foliage, flowers, fall color, and winter form. Its ashy gray twigs are flexible and sort of rubbery. The mother species is often about 3 feet high in nature, but can get to 6 feet or more. It does do some ground suckering. Its native range when discovered by botanists is in coastal North & South Carolina to eastern Tennessee down to spots in Alabama & Georgia, into northwest Florida in swamps, bottomlands, along watercourses, around and in upland woods. There are a number of cultivars selected. 'Mount Airy' is the most common one growing about 5 to 6 feet high.

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By ILPARW on Dec 6, 2017 5:15 PM, concerning plant: Dwarf Fothergilla (Fothergilla 'Mount Airy')

'Mount Airy' seems to be the most common cultivar of this species in the US. It was selected from the Mount Airy Arboretum in Cincinnati, Ohio for its good bluish-green foliage color, its abundant display of flowers that are larger than the straight species, its good yellow-orange-red fall color, its good vigor, and its 5 to 6 feet high form. It is offered by many nurseries and garden centers around New England, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Georgia, Texas, and more. The mother species has a native range in coastal North & South Carolina to eastern Tennessee, to spots in Alabama & Georgia to northwest Florida. It does need a good quality soil that is draining wet to moist to well-drained, and it can tolerate pH a little above 7.0.

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By Australis on Dec 6, 2017 1:05 AM, concerning plant: Lily (Lilium taliense)

There are two colour forms of this species: 1) the more familiar white and 2) a yellow, also known informally as var. kaichen. Lilium jinfushanense has also been recently merged into this species.

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By ILPARW on Dec 5, 2017 8:48 PM, concerning plant: Cedar elm (Ulmus crassifolia)

This is another tree of the southern USA and some of northeast Mexico. It is very similar to the Winged Elm (Ulmus alata) and to the September Elm (Ulmus serotina); the latter having bigger leaves of 3 to 4 inches long. This species has tiny leaves that are about 1 to 2 inches long x 0.5 to 1.5 inches wide, are very lustrous, dark green, stiff, and rough to touch and are sort of rounded in shape. Its tiny flowers develop in late summer and its dry fruits of samaras are about 0.5 inches long, deeply notched, and white hairy and mature in the fall. The twigs have two narrow corky wings. It is used as a shade tree in the south. Native from Mississippi to Arkansas to Texas. (Oooops! My 4th photo of ILPARW is that of Winged Elm that has longer, narrower leaves).

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By ILPARW on Dec 5, 2017 8:19 PM, concerning plant: Winged Elm (Ulmus alata)

The Winged Elm is a tree species of the Southern USA, growing wild from Virginia to central Florida to east Texas up to southern Illinois, being common in upland dry soils. Its tiny leaves are 1.5 to 3 inches long and 1 to 1.5 inches wide and are shiny and can sometimes develop a good yellow fall color. Its twigs are corky winged. In the South it is used as a street tree and as a shade tree. One person from Texas told me it seeds itself around a lot. I think it has outrun the Dutch Elm Disease and selected its own resistant progeny or already had resistance. I first saw one in southern Illinois at a cemetery of some of my relatives, and it looked good.

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By ILPARW on Dec 5, 2017 7:48 PM, concerning plant: Siberian Elm (Ulmus pumila)

The Siberian Elm from northeast Asia is not a really good quality tree which is very twiggy with brown fissured bark that is not interesting. I have seen a few that look good, but very few. It is fast growing of about 2 feet/year and it is brittle wooded and loses some branches due to storms, and drops lots of twigs much of the year. In many places in the Midwest, as in northeast Illinois, it is an invasive species that is usually a weed tree. It was used to replace the American Elm after the Dutch Elm Disease devastated the latter, but it does not compare. It has tiny leaves about 3/4 to 3 inches long that fall green or poor yellow-green in autumn. It should have been left in Asia.

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By ILPARW on Dec 5, 2017 7:48 PM, concerning plant: Siberian Elm (Ulmus pumila)

The Siberian Elm from northeast Asia is not a really good quality tree which is very twiggy with brown fissured bark that is not interesting. I have seen a few that look good, but very few. It is fast growing of about 2 feet/year and it is brittle wooded and loses some branches due to storms, and drops lots of twigs much of the year. In many places in the Midwest, as in northeast Illinois, it is an invasive species that is usually a weed tree. It was used to replace the American Elm after the Dutch Elm Disease devastated the latter, but it does not compare. It has tiny leaves about 3/4 to 3 inches long that fall green or poor yellow-green in autumn. It should have been left in Asia.

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By Australis on Dec 5, 2017 2:05 AM, concerning plant: Orchid (Cymbidium Street Tango 'Ooh Ah')

The hybridiser, Andy Easton, commented on his forum that this particular clone had failed to produce any seed pods or provide viable pollen, unlike its sibling Orchid (Cymbidium Street Tango 'Hyde').

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By ILPARW on Dec 4, 2017 8:23 PM, concerning plant: Slippery Elm (Ulmus rubra)

Slippery or Red Elm is still a very common tree. I think it has out-run the Dutch Elm Disease, as it sows itself around so fast and much and selected its own resistant progeny . It is similar to the American Elm, but does not get quite as big and it is somewhat vase-shaped or sort of rounded in form. It has larger leaves than the American Elm that are 5 to 7 inches long x 2 to 3 inches wide and they are rough to the touch, a little bit like sandpaper. The foliage gets a golden fall color that is alright. Its native range is from southwest Quebec and far southeast Ontario to southern New England down to northwest Florida to east Texas up to central Minnesota to all Michigan. Oftentimes it is weed tree in waste places, abandoned lots, and tough urban situations, but it is also a pioneer tree, being one of the first trees to colonize a open field or meadow, with Green Ash, Boxelder, Cottonwoods, and such, or grows along forest margins. It can make a fine shade tree. The inner bark, especially in twigs, contains a sticky, aromatic substance that once was chewed for sore throat relief, thus "slippery."

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By ILPARW on Dec 4, 2017 7:48 PM, concerning plant: Rock elm (Ulmus thomasii)

The Rock or Cork Elm is similar to the American Elm but it is not vase-shaped, but upright in form, its leaves are smaller of 2.5 to 4.5 inches long x 1.5 to 2.5 inches wide, and it has corky wings on twigs and branches, at least somewhere. It grows in dry uplands and rocky slopes, but actually grows bigger in bottomlands. The wood is heavy and tough, thus the name of Rock Elm. Its native range is far southwest Quebec and southeast Ontario down into Tennessee out into east Nebraska up to central Minnesota over through most of Wisconsin and most of lower Michigan. It is definitely a good quality tree, I wish there were more, that is not common in most of its range. It has suffered loss from Dutch Elm Disease also. So far, I've only seen it at Morton Arboretum in Lisle, IL.

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By ILPARW on Dec 4, 2017 7:17 PM, concerning plant: American Elm (Ulmus americana)

Of course the American or White Elm was devastated by the Dutch Elm Disease, even with some Elm Phloem Necrosis, both diseases from east Asia. However, I have seen a number of lone American Elm trees still surviving from the Chicago area to the Philadelphia area, including Delaware. Some of these trees might have survived by isolation, but I think most are the very few that had resistance to DED. Because this species has 2x as many chromosomes as other elms, it can't be hybridized, so some organizations have brought forth cultivars from resistant trees. The 'Princeton Elm was already around in New Jersey as a cultivar that happened to be resistant already. I believe the Nature Conservancy is working on having resistant elms that are not cultivars, but seed grown.

The native range of the American Elm is large from Nova Scotia out to Alberta, down to east Texas to most of Florida and back up north. It grows fast of about 2 feet/year and lives 175 to 200 years or a little more. It usually gets good golden fall color, but some don't. It develops that wonderful vase shape. The leaves are 4 to 6 inches x 1 to 3 inches and are not really rough to the touch. It releases its many wafer-like samaras in spring, usually May. I consider it as the best elm species in the world. It is making a comeback, but should not be planted in such huge numbers as it used to be all along streets or in yards.

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By greene on Dec 4, 2017 4:53 PM, concerning plant: Spineless Yucca (Yucca gigantea)

My neighbor is from Guatemala where they harvest the flowers and cook them with eggs.

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By ILPARW on Dec 3, 2017 8:29 PM, concerning plant: Black Chokeberry (Aronia melanocarpa 'Viking')

"Viking' is the most commonly planted cultivar for fruit production, then 'Nero' is the second. The specimen I planted in a house foundation bears the fruit heavily so it can bend down the branches. The fruit tastes a little better than the regular Black Chokeberry shrubs, being a little less tart. I like them raw or especially in pancakes. A number of companies sell jams, jellies, and juices from the berries. Even common juice blends often have a little of this juice in them if one reads the label.

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By ILPARW on Dec 3, 2017 7:27 PM, concerning plant: White Spruce (Picea glauca)

This spruce is not planted as much in landscapes as the Colorado or Norway Spruces in the Mid-Atlantic or Midwest, but it is the third most common. It is really a very northern species that grows through most of all Canada and Alaska, plus northern New England, northern New York, and northern Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota. Its needles are about 1 inch long and bluish-green and are stiff, but not really hurtful. its cones are cylindrical and about 2 to 2.5 inches long with thin, woody, but flexible scales. White Spruce grows about 1.5 feet/year and lives about 250 to 300 years. it is very adaptable to soils ranging from very acid to alkaline, pH 4.5 to 8.0. and sort of draining wet to well-drained. It does well south of its native range down into Zone 7.

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By ILPARW on Dec 3, 2017 7:01 PM, concerning plant: Pitch pine (Pinus rigida)

Pitch Pine is a hard pine having its needles in bundles of 3's that are stiff, though not real hard, and 3 to 5 inches long. It is common for some trees to have sprouts of needles on the trunk. Its oval cones are 2 to 3.5 inches long and each scale is tipped with a prickle. Its native range is from coastal Maine down along the coast into Maryland and in the Appalachians from western new England down to northern Georgia. It grows in acid, sandy, gravelly, and serpentine soils that are well-drained to dry. It grows fast in nature of about 2 to 3 feet/year and lives about 90 to 150 years. it forms a short taproot, but is easy to transplant if root pruned and moved in early spring. I did find one specimen planted in a side yard and a few specimens at Morris Arboretum in the Philadelphia area doing well in the good quality clay and slightly acid soil. It is a pretty conifer that can be a stately large pine or a medium-sized scrubby pine, depending. Otherwise, I've seen lots in the serpentine barrens at Nottingham Park in southeast PA, in the pine barrens of south New Jersey, and some in the Poconos Mountains of north PA.

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