Plants of the Week: March 30

Plants of the Week: March 30

Rohdea japonica

One can come to rely on foliage in a garden for color and texture that lasts beyond the season of flowering.  This is a fine plant given its general good behavior and the fact that it does not die back for the cold season. The evergreen leaves are pleated and strap-like, and create a dark green backdrop that the bright red berries sharply contrast. It produces white cuplike flowers on a single spike which then mature into waxy red berries that generally remain through winter.  Though, commonly used for gardens, Rohdea also has a history of use in traditional Chinese medicine. photo credit: J. Bickel

Hamamelis vernalis ‘Red Imp’

This cultivar of Hamamelis vernalis was selected for its uniquely dark flower. A species H. vernalis will often have red centered flowers with orange petals, whereas the center of the ‘Red Imp’ flower is a deep burgundy with lovely peach-orange petals. Some may find this species to be unattractive because of its tendency to hold onto leaves through its flowering season. I think this creates a subtlety to its beauty, where one must be quite close to appreciate the details hidden by the dead leaves. After you get close enough you can see that the stems and the sweet, musty scented flowers are all lined with fine hairs and the autumnal colors are spectacular. photo credit: J. Bickel

Hamamelis x intermedia ‘Angelly’

As March slowly makes its lamb-like exit, April’s showers come bearing promises for the near future. When I first happened upon this cultivar it was on a particularly dreary day with low clouds and a pestering drizzle. Spring is not quite here and against the drab backdrop ‘Angelly’ stuck out like a bright yellow day-glo traffic cone. The petals of the flowers are intensely bright and are clustered very densely along the branches. I look forward to seeing this specimen as it grows larger, to see if it retains its especially dense flowering characteristics. photo credit: J. Jin

John Bickel
jbickel1@swarthmore.edu
2 Comments
  • Sharon
    Posted at 08:50h, 02 April Reply

    Love this! I’m sure this will cause a fire storm, but would it be possible to add (maybe in the description) what the common name(s) are? My Latin is very poor but I can say “witch hazel” very easily.

    • Becky Robert
      Posted at 08:08h, 07 April Reply

      Sharon, I will get him to add common names in the next post. We typically use the latin names because they can not be confused with other types of plants. For example, bluebell means something different in the south vs the north.

      Enjoy Spring,
      Becky Robert
      PR and Volunteer Programs Coordinator
      Scott Arboretum of Swarthmore College

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