Plants of the Week: May 11

Plants of the Week: May 11

Osmanthus x burkwoodii JTB [1]Osmanthus x burkwoodii

This shrub caught my eye in the John W. Nason Garden. My first reaction was to identify it as a member of the olive family Oleaceae with no further estimations of identity, only to be honestly surprised by the accession tag. My naïve preconceptions of the genus Osmanthus led me to believe that they all resembled false-holly (Osmanthus heterophyllus) in one way or another; the old aphorism “we learn something new every day” rings in my head as I take another tiny step from chump-dom. The flowers are soft white, x-shaped and fragrant while the leaves are evergreen and leathery. The hybrid is a cross of the Chinese and Turkish Osmanthus (Osmanthus delavayi x Osmanthus decorus respectively). photo credit: J. Bickel

 Camellia'April Tryst' JTB [1]

Camellia japonica ‘April Tryst’

I was very surprised to find this in the Isabelle Cosby Courtyard, given its size and since I had never noticed it before. With shiny, curving, evergreen leaves and cherry-popsicle-red flowers, it has a stately presence within the hardscaping. The flowers have many petals and exhibit an interesting doubling around the reproductive structures. This cultivar was selected for its unusual cold-hardiness, making it possible (in some microclimates,) to withstand Northern winters. photo credit: J. Bickel

 

Camellia'CF-33' JTB [2]

Camellia (CF-33)

Hiding behind the Scott building at the Scott Outdoor Amphitheater, I found this spring-blooming Camellia. I always try to stop for a Camellia growing in this area to appreciate how far it is out of its comfort zone, growing despite our comparatively long winters. The flower is simple with soft-pinkish white petals and no noticeable fragrance. The lack of information available about this hybrid most likely indicates its uncommonness in the industry, but it was most likely selected for cold-hardiness. photo credit: J. Bickel

John Bickel
jbickel1@swarthmore.edu
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