Plants of the Week: August 15
Guest Author: Summer Intern Johanny Bonilla
Koleteletzkya virginica commonly known as seashore mallow, is a flowering perennial found in salt brackish marshes along the outer coastal plain from New York to Florida. This perennial has a coarse, hairy texture and reaches up to four feet in height. Originally, seashore mallow was categorized under the Hibiscus genus due to its striking flower resemblance and longevity. The small hibiscus-like pink flowers bloom from late June to September. Seashore mallow thrives in full sun and rich, moist soil. They are great garden companions for beds with sunflowers, grasses, and goldenrods. Come enjoy our Kosteletzkya virginica located at the Terry Shane Teaching Garden. Photo credit: J. Bonilla
Colocasia esculenta ‘Illustris’ (taro) is a tropical perennial plant known for its black-purplish foliage. The giant arrow-shaped leaves can reach heights of up to three feet. Originally from eastern Asia, this perennial plant was first brought into the American continent as a crop to feed slaves. The Kama’aina, the Indigenous people of Hawaii, also cultivated Taro extensively. They extracted the corms for food and used the leaves to hold water and food. Uncooked Taro is highly toxic and should not be kept near pet companions.
Place the plant in sun or part shade with rich, moist soils for best performance. Colocasia esculenta ‘Illustris’ works great for beds, borders, streams, and containers. Come visit our annual borders at the Terry Shane Teaching Garden and see our Colocasia display and all our other tropical summer-loving companion plants. Photo credit: J. Bonilla
Cercis canadensis ‘NC2016-2’ or Flame Thrower® redbud is a native cultivar known for its spectacular foliage. A cross between a burgundy and a golden-colored redbud, this cultivar develops an ever-changing display of colors that starts from burgundy and fades to a yellowish green. Similar to other redbuds, the Flame Thrower® is a low-maintenance understory tree that can withstand full sun but will prefer morning or afternoon sun instead. Topping up to 20 feet in height, this specimen makes a great focal point in garden beds or yards. Due to its vibrant colors, it is best to pair this redbud with plants that bring deep green or neutral colors, such as hostas, ferns, and grasses. Come and check out the ever-changing splash of colors of our Flame Thrower® at the Terry Shane Teaching Garden. Photo credit: R. Robert