Plants of the Week: July 17

Plants of the Week: July 17

Guest Author: Wylie Lapp, Public Horticulture Intern

Allium ‘Millenium’:

From early spring all the way through the heat of summer ornamental onions can be found in bloom around the Scott Arboretum, but when the peak of Allium season has come and gone, ‘Millenium’ is just starting to take off.  Compared to a lot of other ornamental onions, ‘Millenium’ is much tidier.  Being a true clumper with a height topping out around 1.5 feet, A. ‘Millenium’ forms nice bunches that can be interspersed throughout the garden, like they are here at McCabe Library, or can be used en masse for a more dramatic planting. Another feature of ‘Millenium’ that is a warm welcome is that it is not one to readily self seed. Unlike other alliums that pop up wherever they see fit, ‘Millenium’ politely stays put. Photo credit: W. Lapp

Bouteloua gracilis ‘Blonde Ambition’:

There are almost inevitably moments in the garden where blooms are sparse and color is at a premium. These are the times when texture should be of the utmost importance, and to me grasses are the royalty of texture, adding movement in even the slightest breeze. Bouteloua gracilis may just be the cutest member of the Poaceae family. With a specific epithet that literally means grace, B. “Blonde Ambition’ adds just that. In mid to late July, B. gracilis develops these trivial seed spikes that remind me of little caterpillars (or eyelashes for the less bug inclined). Cultivar ‘Blonde Ambition’ has a more chartreuse inflorescence than the straight species and pairs wonderfully with soft blues and violets as well as taller grasses when there are lulls of color. Photo credit: W. Lapp

Musa basjoo, Japanese hardy banana:

When I first came to the Scott Arboretum this Musa basjoo at the Isbelle Cosby Courtyard was just starting to poke its way out of the ground.  I was at once mesmerized by the idea of a hardy banana adding a tropical touch to our temperate climate.  Now fast forward to the peak of summer and this Japanese hardy banana does not disappoint.  Lush green leaves nearly 10 feet tall reach out over the path creating a nice bit of shade and really does make you feel as if you’ve been transported to the tropics.  Unfortunately this is not a banana that produces tasty fruits, but can produce rather unusual blooms if given a long enough growing season. Photo credit: W. Lapp

Becky Robert
No Comments

Post A Comment