18 May Tropical Sale Preview
A vast selection of unusual, vibrant tropical plants will overflow from the Wister Center May 21-22 as the Arboretum hosts its first Unusual Annuals and Tropicals sale. An array of bromeliads, elephant ears, succulents, ferns, vines, begonias, and cannas are just a few of the plants that will be available, providing a prime opportunity to add outstanding colors and textures to your home garden and summer containers.
One of the highlights of the sale is the selection of bromeliads, including Aechmea blanchetiana ‘Orangeade’, Aechmea lueddenmanniana ‘Mend’, and Aechmea penduliflora. Aechmea blanchetiana grows in the wild in Brazil’s Atlantic forest ecosystem and prefers full sun and regular watering. With potential to reach 3 feet tall and 3 feet wide, this showy tropical also attracts bees, butterflies, and birds.
Aechmea lueddenmanniana has gorgeous arching foliage with a stripe of pinkish-orange along the center of each leaf. It produces a tall spike of lavender flowers which develop into white berries that can last through the summer season and gradually turn purple. This plant is hardy and also freely produces pups after flowering.
The sale will also feature more than a dozen species of Tillandsia, commonly known as air plants. If you are seeking ideas for unique digressions from traditional summer planters, consider creating a grouping of epiphytic Tillandsia. They can be mounted on wood, bark, cork, porous rock, in loose sand, or on any surface that retains moisture. The long, slender foliage bursting from the center of these plants provides eye-catching forms. They do well with moderate shade and are slow-growing which makes them easy to manage.
These hard-to-find tropicals create instant impact in containers and landscapes, adding exotic accent to your outdoor designs. For a look at examples of how the Scott Arboretum uses tropicals in container arranging, check out the “Burle baskets” hanging in the Terry Shane Teaching Garden. These large baskets contain a bountiful assortment of tropicals that flow 360 degrees around the basket.
The sale will be on Saturday, May 21 from 10:00-12:00 (Members only) and general admission from 12:00-3:00. On Sunday we will be open from 10:00-2:00. New members who join the Arboretum will be eligible for early shopping on Saturday and will receive a $10 voucher that can be used to purchase plants.