Plants of the Week: September 9
Surely something was wrong with this Hydrangea. Hydrangea paniculata Pinky WinkyTM was in full flower, yet one could hardly describe the voluminous panicles as pink. Further exploration led me to discover that Hydrangea Pinky WinkyTM was behaving exactly as it should. Patience and time would later reveal the pink coloration for which the cultivar name denotes. Flowers open white in July and slowly transition to pink. A two-tone effect is created as the inflorescence matures. In the September/October issue of Horticulture magazine, Richard Hawke, Plant Evaluation Manager at Chicago Botanic Garden praises H. Pinky WinkyTM for its unique color shift from white to dark pink and its overall presence in the garden. A specimen can reach six to eight feet tall and wide.
Garden Location: Terry Shane Teaching Garden
September flowers on woody plants are always appreciated. Heptacodium miconioides flowers open as August rolls into September. Single white flowers, quite small on their own, are borne in tiered whorls of 7 flowers; three flowers on the right, three flowers on the left, and a single flower in the middle, hence the name Heptacodium. As flowers drop the calyces remain, turning pink and providing what appears to be a second flower display. While not true flowers, the show lasts well into the autumn. Gray bark peels off in long, sinewy strips revealing a lighter, ghostly inner bark. Pruning while young is paramount lest the plant take on the rather irregular and loose habit of its other family members in Caprifoliaceae.
Garden Locations: Wister Center parking lot bed, Old Tarble
Sanchezia speciosa is in flower! We have grown this tender perennial for several seasons juxtaposing the foliage green leaves with yellow/white venation with other tropical companions. Tubular flowers jut skyward, an extended pistil reaching even further. Sanchezia speciosa appreciates afternoon shade and moist soil. Native to Ecuador and Peru, the plant can be overwintered as a houseplant. Curiously, the plant in flower bears decreased venation coloration. Coincidence or response to flowering?
Garden location: Terry Shane Teaching Garden annual border