Plants of the Week: January 11

Plants of the Week: January 11

Ilex pedunculosa (3) JWCBill Frederick ’48 recently toured the numerous hollies planted throughout the Scott Arboretum. Bill, Chuck Hinkle, Garden Supervisor, and I agreed in our appreciation of Ilex pedunculosa. The longstalk holly is unique in that the ¼” fruits are borne on 1” to 2” long stalks. Plus, the entire, lustrous dark green leaves have no spines! Interestingly, male plants generally have darker, more dramatic foliage, especially in the winter months, compared to female plants. Photo credit: J. Coceano

Chionanthus retusus fruit in December (2) JWC

Chionanthus is, in my opinion, an underutilized shrub. Even in winter, this specimen of Chionanthus retusus provides interest with its blueberry colored drupes. Michael Dirr calls Chinese frinegtree “one of the most beautiful large shrubs or small trees for North American gardens.” Native Chionanthus virginicus is equally as adaptable as its cousin and makes an ideal naturalizing shrub. Photo credit: J. Coceano

 

Salix'Flame' Nason Garden (3) JWC

A grouping of Salix ‘Flame’ adds colorful verticality in the John W. Nason Garden. The orangey-red winter bark is subtly shaded with hints of yellow, providing warmth to an otherwise cold winter garden. The branches curl upward and inwards with good form and are usually about 4’ to 6’ tall. Regular pruning encourages new, colorful growth. No one is quite sure what species this is, but many agree ‘Flame’ is likely a selected form of a native Salix. Willows are fantastic for wildlife, providing cover and shelter for birds and small mammals. Plant against a building or near evergreens to maximum the visual effect. Photo credit: J. Coceano

Josh Coceano
jcocean1@swarthmore.edu
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