Articles in Category: Showy Bark/Stems

Hydrangea quercifolia

on Monday, 03 October 2016. Posted in Winter Interest, Showy Bark/Stems, Fall Color, Shade Plants, Shrubs, Flowering Plants

Oakleaf Hydrangea

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The oakleaf hydrangea offers a lot more four season interest over its showier mophead cousins and can be considered deer resistant due to its courser leaves.  In its native habitat as an understory shrub, it would appreciate protection from afternoon sun and is happiest growing under trees in dappled light or strong morning light.  A great choice for a woodland garden or dry shade, the oakleaf hydrangea grows from multiple shoots and can form a colony that gets around 6' tall and wide.  There are many smaller cultivars available that can easily can be pruned to the ground in spring to keep it 3' by 3'.   Its cone shaped clusters of white flowers differentiate it from the ball shaped flowering hydrangeas, as well as its brilliant burgundy fall color.  The flowers begin in July; lasting for months and are even pretty when dried.  The autumn changes the large, oakleaf shaped leaves into shades of red, burgundy, plum and orange.   The cinnamon-colored bark shows off in winter as it peels in thin flakes.  It can be drought tolerant once established but will make more flowers if kept well watered through the summer and keep it well mulched.  Please test its deer resistance in your neighborhood before you make a hedge out it- it may be more deer resistant in certain areas.  Let us know!

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Cornus mas

on Tuesday, 03 March 2015. Posted in Berries Attract Wildlife, Showy Bark/Stems, Fall Color, Trees, Flowering Plants

Cornelian Cherry

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Cornelian Cherry is a dogwood relative that is a beacon of light in the gloomy days of early spring.  It is rare to find a yellow blooming tree and since Cornus mas bloom so early, the blooms last an extra long time- up to two months.  Blooming so early means they may be susceptible to a late spring frost if it coincides with the blooms emerging but once open they can take the occasional freeze.  The small yellow inflorescences just glow in the low light of spring and look especially good with a dark green background of pines or doug firs.  Like most dogwoods they do best in dappled light or as an understory tree but these species seem to take more sun than a regular dogwood.  We have observed some in full sun in the Rogue Valley surviving just fine.  After the flower show, small, shiny, oval leaves with a curved margin emerge and get yellow or red/purple fall color.  More interesting are the red, oblong, up to 3/4", fruits that come on in the fall and hang on until birds feed on them.  They are edible, best for preserves as they are a bit sour.  The Cornelian Cherry is a great choice for a small, disease and pest resistant tree that provides multi-season interest and easy care.  They typically will get 15-20' wide and tall at a slow to medium growth rate.

There is a beautiful specimen at the OSU Extension Office on Hanley Rd. in Central Point.

Arbutus unedo 'Compacta'

on Thursday, 20 November 2014. Posted in Good for Screening, Winter Interest, Berries Attract Wildlife, Showy Bark/Stems, Attracts Pollinators, Evergreen, Shrubs, Drought Tolerant, Flowering Plants

Compact Strawberry tree

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Compact Strawberry tree is one of our favorites for so many reasons- it can tolerate sun or shade, drought tolerant, provides fall flowers for the hummingbirds, has long lasting, spectacularly colored fruit, and it's evergreen!  You can see how this relative of our native Madrone gets its common name of Strawberry tree- the orange and red fruits resemble strawberries- although edible, they are more for wildlife as they are bland  and mealy in texture.  The honey scented, white, urn-shaped flowers can appear from fall into early spring and the fruits often come on at the same time or not long after.  Some years seem to have heavier fruit set than others, but the fruits are so decorative and long lasting that they don't qualify as messy.  With leathery, dark green, oblong leaves, reddish new stems and shaggy auburn bark it is handsome all year.   It is not the most fast growing evergreen shrub but will grow steadily to 5-7' tall and wide (eventually larger).  With annual pruning it can be kept tighter and smaller.  It is one of those rare plants that is happy in sun or part shade making it a great choice for a hedge with varied conditons.  It is also tolerant of various climates and soils.  We have some planted on the north side of our house that have done wonderfully with no supplemental water after their first year and even survived the 7 degree winter with no damage!  In extreme cold they will show some damage; so best to plant where they are not completely exposed to cold winds.  They can take little to regular water and are tolerant of many soil types.  We wish they were deer resistant but unfortunately the tips get chewed too much to be reliable.   Arbutus unedo 'Compacta' is great in foundation plantings  or hedges.  You will be hardpressed to find an evergreen shrub with more year round interest, plus the hummingbirds will thank you for providing a much needed winter nectar source.

Lobelia laxiflora v. angustifolia

on Friday, 31 May 2013. Posted in Showy Bark/Stems, Attracts Pollinators, Perennial, Drought Tolerant, Flowering Plants

Mexican Cardinal Flower

 

lobelia-laxifloraThe sunset colored blooms of Mexican Cardinal Flower are truly one of my favorites.  This long lived perennial starts blooming in June and goes strong most of the summer and into fall.  Better than an annual right?  The clean, glossy, linear leaves on dark stems add another layer of texture that looks great in a pot or in a mixed border, and even would look appropriate poolside.  The tubular salmon/red flowers with an orange and yellow throat just beckon to the hummingbirds.  I have mine in a large pot and it has reliably come back every spring after going dormant in winter.  In the ground it will spread to about 3' wide and get about 18-20" tall.  Picking off spent flowers will prolong its bloom but is not neccessary, overall its a very easy care perennial.  It is also not too choosy about soil, tolerating it on the dry side, but also accepting moister soils too.  Give it a good mulching and full to half a day of strong sun and it will reward you with tropical looking flowers all summer. Reported to be deer resistant but have not tried it yet in the Rogue Valley.  Let us know!

 

Rhamnus alaternus 'Variegata'

on Wednesday, 12 September 2012. Posted in Good for Screening, Winter Interest, Berries Attract Wildlife, Showy Bark/Stems, Evergreen, Shrubs, Drought Tolerant

Variegated Italian Buckthorn

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Italian Buckthorn is a bit new to us but we have been impressed with how fast if grows and its attractiveness all year round. This evergreen shrub can get quite large- up to 8-10' tall and 6-8' wide so it can make a nice hedge or specimen. The creamy edged foliage lights up a corner and contrasts well with the red/brown stems. This Rhamnus can tolerate sun or part shade, but being a zone 7 plant, is cold hardier with full sun. It develops small flowers that turn to red fruit in the winter and the foliage is wonderful for cut flower arrangements. Drought and heat tolerant once established make this a good screening choice for the Rogue Valley. Looks wonderful with contrasting reds and purples. Here are some other photos of it from Xera Plants. Would love to know if its deer resistant....