Abies balsamea 'Nana'

Abies balsamea 'Nana'

Monday, February 24, 2014

A Strange Reversal...

Today I had the afternoon off after working part of Sunday and witnessed a bizarre event. Some of my houseplants heaved themselves out of their soil and pots, wrapped themselves up in a box, and shipped themselves home to Washington!

Now, I've seen my plants do some pretty odd things, so moving about of their own volition wasn't in itself outlandish. What really struck me as peculiar was that plants were going into a box, rather than coming out of one. Isn't it supposed to work the other way round?

Well, I decided to go along with it, and snapped a few photos as proof, though not of the plants shedding their soil to bare their naked roots. We must leave something to the imagination, after all, and this is a G-rated blog, maybe occasionally PG. I asked why they were leaving and they didn't answer, just said they would be waiting for me at my parents' house when I arrived in April. I hope they know what they're getting into. Only 2, maybe 3 of them are old enough to remember living with my parents, and I was there to take care of them. They may be in for a rough month. (Just kidding! I only included that because I know my parents are reading this. They really have gotten much better at taking care of my plants than when I first left. I've trained them well, or instilled adequate fear, either way.)

From left to right. Front row: Hoya pubicalyx 'Chimera', Paphiopedilum unnamed species, Paphiopedilum gratrixianum, Philodendron hederaceum var. oxycardium
Back row: Paphiopedilum Berenice, Paphiopedilum Wiffy, Dracaena godseffiana

Clockwise from bottom left: Sansevieria trifasciata 'Golden Hahnii', unknown Cryptanthus, Cryptanthus 'Black Mystic', Sansevieria kirkii var. pulchra

All bundled up in the plastic bags I meant to take to the recycling.

These ones just wanted their roots wrapped. Said they liked more fresh air than those wimps in the other group.

All crammed together in one tiny box. I hope they get along during the trip. I wonder who's going to start asking, "Are we there yet?"
Not pictured are the small, orange flowered Schlumbergera truncata and the Amorphophallus tubers that saw some extra space and jumped in at the last minute. They were too quick for me to catch with my camera! This is the last I'll see of these plants for over a month. And I've heard some of my other plants muttering that they are going to jump ship early, too. I don't think they like the thought of riding in a moving pod with my hardy plants for 7 days, enduring who knows what kind of temperatures and other hardships. The hardy plants do like to tease my houseplants. Poor things. They're going for the two-day flight option to get back to Washington.

I'm excited to move back to my beloved Pacific Northwest, but does it have to include all this packing? And this is only the beginning!

Until next time...

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Dendrobium Swallow: How can I say no to that face?

Moving is hard on plant addicts. Wherever we spend any amount of time, photosynthetic organisms just seem to gather around us. We gain a sense of purpose, of being needed, from caring for our leafy friends who have come to rely on us. But as humans are (sometimes) rather mobile creatures, there are times when we have to leave some of our green children behind.

Some of these children have been nurtured for years, with only a vague promise of reward to their caretakers. But our patience is not limitless, and while we wait for the promised flowers, fruits, foliage, or form of our ward to reveal their glory, we may find that there are negative features that grow to outweigh the promised reward, even once it arrives. So when, in a young, somewhat nomadic, gardener's life, it comes time to relocate yet again, who among his leafy friends will he choose to bring with him and who will be sent to a new home (or the great compost heap in the sky)?

We've all been here, whether moving or simply becoming disenchanted with a plant that we may have once found fascinating. But it's not something gardeners talk about often. People change, and sometimes they grow apart. There comes a time when a plant must make way for new passions, or maybe even an old flame rekindled by a chance encounter...

OK, That's enough melodrama for one post, I think. What was that about, anyway? Well, since I am moving home to Washington State at the end of March, I am having to evaluate the plants in my collection. It is as much about the performance of the plants themselves under my care as it is about discovering, or rediscovering, what I envision for my garden, indoors or out. I have so many treasured houseplants, not to mention all the hardy plants I've acquired from working at a nursery and botanic garden. I'm not sure which is harder. This periodic culling has become routine with my houseplants. Indoor space has always been limited, while I never had that problem with the outdoor garden, growing up on 5 acres. I'm not sure I know how to let go of hardy plants.

A plant that has been on the chopping block for months, even before I was sure I would be moving, is a Dendrobium nobile Swallow that was given to me by a fellow orchid enthusiast several years ago. I have been alternately fascinated and repulsed by this orchid. Dendrobium nobile is a deciduous orchid with fat, glossy canes and bright green leaves during the growing season. In fall, the leaves slowly (and not entirely) fall off and the stems wrinkle. This dormancy induces the formation of flower buds, and is a necessary period of ugliness to experience the beautiful blossoms. Many people find the charm of the flowers far outweighs any unfortunate appearance the plant may go through, but I've always been more of a fan of foliage and form. I admit my passion for orchids is also waning a bit. They require more frequent watering than most terrestrial plants, because the media (bark, coconut husk chips, perlite, etc.) dries faster than regular potting soil. Several have been hit with disease here in North Carolina (oh what a miserable, wet summer!), along with some of my other plants, and I simply don't want to expend the resources to rehabilitate them. I do still love orchids, but I no longer have the "gotta catch 'em all" mentality.

Even though I have chosen to part with Swallow, this little bird is still giving me a parting gift. This year she finally reached blooming size. The flowers are beautiful, if not fragrant (though that may develop once the flowers open fully). Unfortunately, they are not enough to convince me to take her across the country with me. It's hard when finally faced with such beautiful flowers, but for the last year or more I've been telling myself, "I just want to see it bloom once, then it's goodbye." But I can still share her beauty here for the world to see. Farewell, little Swallow, may you fly to a more loving nest.

BUT WAIT! These flowers are gorgeous! Am I really sure I want to give her away?! I'm so conflicted! The stems aren't necessarily ugly, per se. Maybe they could be described as...um... unique? Interesting? Alas, not for me. She will find someone who deserves her (now that I've done the hard part of growing her to blooming size. Haha.)

I do love the enchanting dark eye against the while lip and petals.

A bit of backlighting makes the throat glow. 

The whole plant. Interesting, and maybe even pretty to some people, but it just doesn't fit with my "vision" anymore. Doesn't that just sound snobbish?
 As I alluded to earlier, I have some new passions for which other plants are having to move aside. One of these is the tropical rhododendrons, known as vireyas. Rhododendrons are quite possibly my favorite genus, even if many other natives of the Pacific Northwest may find them dull or overused. (Certainly the standard hybrids are, but there are so many worthy species and hybrids.) I have ten plants, which were added to my collection about a year ago. A species, Rhododendron rubineiflorum, has several buds for the first time, and I hope to show off those flowers once they open. Rhododendron 'Periwinkle', pictured below, is blooming for the second time. I'm not happy with it's overall form, but I am a pruning addict (pruning, NOT shearing!) as well as a plant addict, so that will give me something to work on. The tiny, half-inch long leaves are a lovely, rich, glossy green, so once I fix it's balance and get it to fill in, it should be a beautiful little shrub for the house. And the flowers are such a bright, glowing orange! I have a thing for orange.

The flowers glow from across the room, but up close you can admire the contrast of the dark anthers. Not sure what the colorless patches on the corolla are. I may be able to fix that as I gain experience in vireya culture.

'Periwinkle' is a great beginner vireya. This is it's second time blooming in about a year, and it's loaded with many more buds!

I also happened across an old flame while perusing the personal adds online. Dracaena goldieana is one of those plants that I have lusted after since I first picked up my Dad's old plant books. As with Guzmania musaica, which launched the inaugural post of my blog, Dracaena goldieana attained a status of unattainable legend. I don't know what it is about these last couple years, but suddenly I'm finding all these plants that I've wanted for 5 or even 10 years and had never been able to locate before, not to mention all the new plants I've started salivating over after discovering nurseries like Cistus, Xera Plants, Far Reaches Farms, The Desert Northwest, and many others. What? Did you think I only liked houseplants? That addiction was triggered by wanting gardening space that was safe from deer and somehow grew into a monster that has traveled with me through several moves. I just haven't had the opportunity to plant a garden outside, so until that time, my houseplants are my garden.

Anyway, back to the lovely, the illusive, Dracaena goldieana. I finally found a source! Vintage Green Farms, run by Tom Piergrossi, offers this drop dead gorgeous plant. I haven't been paid off to say this or anything, but he has a wonderful selection of other beautiful and hard to find tropical plants, and even a handful of zone 7-8 hardy plants. It's going to be absolute torture, but I will wait until AFTER my move to buy this plant. I don't need ANOTHER plant to pack! My first order of business after settling back into Washington will be to send in an order for my long-searched-for Dracaena, and a few other goodies to keep her company on the trip from Hawaii!

Here she is, in all her beauty

Photo credit to Jardin Boricua
A little closer...
Photo credit to Puertorriqueno
So long, for now. It's late, and Dracaena goldieana is waiting for me in my dreams...

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day, First Time!

I've been enjoying GBBD since I first stumbled across my first few garden blogs. Now that I have a blog, I'm joining in on the fun!

My first bloom is Rhododendron 'Periwinkle', a hybrid vireya rhododendron. I have 10 vireyas in various stages of development and they are one of my favorite groups within what is quite possibly my favorite genus, Rhododendron. This and my R. rubineiflorum are the only ones old enough to bloom. 'Periwinkle' has lots more buds to open up. R. rubineiflorum has 3 or 4 buds, but they are still growing, so you'll have to wait (trust me, it will seem longer for me than for you).

Rhododendron 'Periwinkle', a tropical vireya hybrid

I have several hellebores that hitched a ride with me after work one day. Since they are in 4-inch pots I brought them in during our last cold snap, 8 to 11 degrees Fahrenheit, depending on who you ask. The last two are different flowers on the same plant. Since this is the first time these plants are blooming, their flowers are still finding their full coloration and shape.

My Christmas cactus decided to bloom for Valentine's Day, which I deem more appropriate given it's color. This was my favorite plant of the week yesterday, which you can see here

My Ludisia discolor, a jewel orchid, has been blooming for over a week now. I "had" to take several pictures of the flowers to show off the various details.

And my newest addition, which was the feature of my inaugural post, here, is still blooming with it's strange, candy corn-like flowers.

Garden Blogger's Bloom Day is hosted by May Dreams Gardens. See what's blooming in other people's gardens by going to her page. May Dreams Gardens

Friday, February 14, 2014

My Favorite Plant...This Week: Schlumbergera x buckleyi

My favorite plant this week, or at least today, is Schlumbergera x buckleyi, the Christmas cactus. My plant seems not to have read any of the descriptions saying that this rain forest epiphyte is supposed to bloom around Christmas, but it never has shown much interest in reading. Frankly I approve of it's decision to bloom nearer to the end of winter, especially since North Carolina, along with most of the rest of North America, has had a rather harsh time of it this season. The end of winter is when I really start to get antsy and desperate for flowers and new growth.

I propagated my Christmas cactus from a very large specimen donated to my university's horticulture department along with several colors of Thanksgiving cacti and some hoyas by a woman who could no longer care for them due to deteriorating health. My heart goes out to people like these who must give up what they love because their minds or bodies are no longer able to care for them.

My Christmas, I mean Valentine's Day, cactus must have known February would bring some miserable weather. It's kept me in happy suspense through January and is now bursting with color just when I need it most.
Christmas cacti, and their close relatives, Thanksgiving cacti, are easy-care house plants. Keep them out of direct afternoon sunlight by growing them in an east-facing or a shaded south or west facing window. They don't need a lot of water, though they will need more than your typical desert cacti. They are from rain forests, after all. Let the soil surface dry between waterings for most of the year. In winter it is recommended to water only enough to keep the stems firm. The potting mix should be well draining, as these are epiphytes, growing on tree branches in their native haunts, but most any soilless potting mix should do. I have noticed that certain "miraculous" potting mixes have changed their formulas in recent years to increase water-holding capacity. This is great for outdoor containers in the heat of summer, but for most houseplants I would recommend adding extra perlite, vermiculite, pumice, or some other coarse material to increase drainage and prevent the mix from becoming too compacted. A well-drained mix and a relatively small pot will help keep your forest cacti happy and prevent it from drowning in the advent of over-zealous watering (more of a problem for helicopter plant parents like me than for most people).

In what is turning into typical fashion, being the annoying know-it-all that I am, I'd like to share a few distinguishing characteristics about the Christmas cactus. Many people are not aware that what is typically sold in stores around the Christmas holiday is not the true "Christmas" cactus. They are almost always cultivars or hybrids of Schlumbergera truncata, which is traditionally known as the Thanksgiving cactus. Of course, Schlumbergera x buckleyi is itself a hybrid between S. x russeliana and S. truncata, so what difference is there, really?

Stem shape
The cultivars and hybrids of Schlumbergera truncata classified as "Thanksgiving" cacti have points on their stem segments, or phylloclades, and tend to be more upright or spreading.  The true Christmas cactus, Schlumbergera x buckleyi, has scalloped edges on rather pendulous stems.

Bloom shape
When in flower, Christmas and Thanksgiving cacti are easily differentiated by their blooms. The flowers of Christmas cacti point straight out from the end of the stem (which usually hangs down) and are radially symmetric (actinomorphic), like a daisy. Thanksgiving cacti are a little kinkier, having a distinct bend in the ovary that causes the flower to point out horizontally. The petals also flair up and back, making the flower zygomorphic (meaning a line can be drawn down it to make two mirror halves).

Bloom time
Ironically, the least reliable distinction between the two groups is also the one that lead to their common names. Thanksgiving cacti are supposed to bloom around Thanksgiving, while Christmas cacti typically bloom around Christmas, right? Did you catch those key words, "supposed to" and "typically?" Really this just means that Thanksgiving cacti bloom a few weeks earlier than Christmas cacti, but the actual bloom time is dependent on temperature and day length. Bloom time can be manipulated by controlling day length and temperature to produce flowers almost any time of year. Thanksgiving cacti require a shorter period of cool temperatures and/or short days/long nights to initiate bloom, thus they have become the favored holiday cactus in the trade. In the home, these plants need to be kept in a place where they will not receive artificial light in Fall as the days get shorter, like a spare bedroom you don't need to get into frequently after dark in the fall. If the plants are exposed to light after the sun goes down (or after your grow-lights are turned off for the night), most of the developing flower buds will abort and fall off. You'll still get a few flowers, but not mass flush of blooms that you see in stores. Cool temperatures in the 50-60 degree Fahrenheit range also helps, but is not critical.

Of course, further hybridization of Schlumbergera has resulted in more intermediary types between Thanksgiving and Christmas cacti, blurring the distinctions in stem shape, bloom shape, and bloom time, but at least this gives you a better guess as to what you are actually buying (or the ID of that plant that's been passed down from Grandma, a traditional method of receiving holiday cacti). Luckily, newer cultivars are also easier to rebloom than older selections, being less dependent on that careful control of light I discussed above.

The following two pictures are of Thanksgiving cacti. Note that the flowers are held horizontally, with the petals on the bottom reflexed to lie flat along the rest of the flower and the rest of the petals pointing straight up. You can also see the points on the stem segments, typically four per segment.

The blooms of Thanksgiving cacti always remind me of some sort of exotic bird with wings thrown back and up.

Take a look at the bud above the open flower. This shows particularly well the bend at the base of a Thanksgiving cactus flower.

 The following pictures are of Christmas cacti. Technically it's all the same plant, as the last three pictures are of my plant, which was grown from cuttings taken from the plant in the first picture. What I really wish these photos captured is the complex blend of colors in the flowers. They have an almost iridescent quality in sunlight. They start out pink touched with some fantastic shade of red (carmine, vermilion, I don't know), and as they age a purple sheen develops, like oil on water. You can actually see a little of the red shades in some of these photos, but the purple oil slick is indiscernible from the base pink color. It seems to blend in, making the pink a little more purplish than it really is.
This is the original plant from which I took cuttings to propagate my own Christmas cactus. The scallop-edged stems of this venerable old specimen had become completely pendulous, like a small succulent weeping willow. As you can see, the flower hangs straight down. The color is much better developed in this flower, growing with ample light in a greenhouse. 

The blooms on my plant, grown in a house, have less red and almost none of that illusive, possibly hallucinatory purple sheen, but aren't they lovely just the same?

Because my plant is growing indoors with light coming primarily from one side, I've noticed that the flowers aren't as perfectly actinomorphic as they were on the original plant growing in the greenhouse. They seem to want to bend a little towards the light. You can see the radial symmetry a little better in the recently opened flower in the top left corner.

This flower, still opening, shows the red shades a little better, I think. 

And so ends another protracted post. Maybe I should change my name to the Obnoxious Plant Geek. Or I'll just start doing Wordless Wednesdays so people can enjoy some nice pictures without me rambling in their heads. ;)

My Favorite Plant This Week is hosted by Loree, of Danger Garden fame. You can see her favorite this week by clicking here

Until next time...

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Blowing my own horn...

This post is entirely self-gratification. I hardly ever do this, in fact I'm usually self-effacing to a fault (seriously, people would probably be less annoyed if I bragged, instead). I am learning to take joy in my successes and not shy away from sharing such tales.

So what am I bragging about? I have an article in American Nurseryman! This is my first time being published and, I have to say, it gives me a little thrill seeing my work in a national magazine. You can read the article here: Captivating Corylopsis, American Nurseryman digital edition

Are you still here? Or did you get distracted finding nurseries that sell Corylopsis?

I wrote this as an independent project during my curatorial internship at Longwood Gardens, in Kennett Square, PA. Longwood held shrub trials for eight years at their nursery facility, evaluating over 1200 taxa (different kinds of plants) and the resulting data has been used by curatorial interns since as an independent writing and research project. For my own article, I chose the genus Corylopsis, or winter-hazel, interpreting the data from the shrub trials and compiling it with research from previous publications, taxonomic research, and my own observations.

From my observations of mature plants, mostly at Longwood Gardens, I have to say I think the ratings would have been different if the evaluators could have seen mature specimens. Winter-hazels can be unfortunately awkward or boring in youth, but they grow into such lovely medium to large shrubs, and can even be pruned up into multi-stemmed trees for smaller gardens. I'm going to emphasize some of my personal favorites and share pictures here that couldn't be included in the article (it's so long, and was even longer before we cut it down to size to fit in the magazine!)

Corylopsis spicata

This lovely Japanese native has the most quirky and interesting mature habit of the winter-hazels, in my opinion. Seeing the crooked branches in winter, weeping slightly at the ends, made me think of a dome of caramelized sugar. Unfortunately that doesn't photograph well in the dark area where these grow at Longwood, but you can at least get the reference with this picture. It also has some of the most unique and beautiful flowers, set off by dark red anthers, and gorgeous blue-green leaves. The flowers are mildly fragrant, reminding me of star fruit.

The red anthers of Corylopsis spicata are the kind of extra little detail that draws me to certain plants.

Lush, blue-green leaves of Corylopsis spicata glow in a shady location.
Corylopsis spicata has some of the bigger leaves in the genus, seen here (left)
compared to Corylopsis 'Winterthur' (right).

One of the most spectacular inflorescences in the genus belongs to Corylopsis willmottiae, at least one specimen of which is hidden by a grove of Magnolia grandiflora in the Hillside Garden at Longwood. Though this species has been lumped together with C. sinensis, the spectacular 3-4 inch long, dangling flowers make it well worth tracking down this particular variety. It is a big boy, though, reaching somewhere around 20 feet tall at Longwood, but is in such deep shade that it is stretching up for light (etiolated, for those of you who like technical terms). I'd love to see it growing in more ideal conditions so that its form could develop normally. C. willmottiae is also notable for surviving a heat wave into the 80's in April that shriveled most other Corylopsis flowers. Another winter-hazel that was added to the C. sinensis melting pot, C. platypetala, survived the same heat wave, but by blooming after it rather than toughing it out like C. willmottiae
Corylopsis willmottiae really deserves some recognition, at least as a cultivar, for its glorious 3-4 inch pendant racemes.

For scale: those lines are wide-rule, not college-rule! 
Corylopsis platypetala, now a part of the sinensis complex (taxonomists are so cruel to give poor, innocent plants a complex), growing in full sun at Longwood, was packed with blooms nearly as long as C. willmottiae, but blooming a bit later.
Corylopsis pauciflora won top prize at the shrub trials and, despite my love of underdogs, I must admit it may deserve that distinction. It is the smallest species in the genus, growing on average 6 feet tall and wide, is fairly symmetrical, full, and puts on a spectacular show, in other words the most suitable for cookie-cutter landscapes in housing developments. But don't dismiss this plant as a dull meatball yet. Actually this winter-hazel is the advanced party used to infiltrate botanically boring gardens, as it looks good as a little meatball in a nursery container and develops grace and character as it grows, gradually bringing the horticulturally handicapped into the world of cool plants. It develops a wonderfully graceful, flat-topped vase form and has the finest texture in the genus. New growth is a lovely spring-green tinged pink to red. The specific epithet pauciflora means "few-flowered," and was given to this winter-hazel because it only has 2-4 flowers per raceme, but the buttercup winter-hazel makes up for it by setting flower buds densely along its branches and the individual flowers are twice the size of other winter-hazels (still small, but hey, we're not talking hibiscus, here).  
Corylopsis pauciflora
C. pauciflora really is a photogenic plant. 
Like stars in the night sky...
One of the latest additions to the winter-hazel line is from Longwood Gardens. Corylopsis glabrescens 'Longwood Chimes' was selected from plants growing near its namesake Chimes Tower and is notable for having larger flowers than the species. Corylopsis glabrescens is also a top choice among winter-hazels for its strong fragrance and later bloom date, both of which 'Longwood Chimes' exhibits perfectly. The delayed blooming (up to 2 weeks later) of this species helps to avoid damage from late frosts, a common concern with this genus. I love this species for its fragrance and may even spring for the cultivar 'Longwood Chimes' when it becomes available.  
Young plants of Corylopsis glabrescens 'Longwood Chimes' display a very broad habit, but become more upright with maturity. Photo by Sara Helm. 

And the rest is eye candy...

I believe this is C. pauciflora, but it could be C. sinensis. Forgot to add the name to the file!

Corylopsis 'Winterthur' backed by a phenomenal specimen of Metasequoia glyptostroboides. 

C. sinensis tends toward a rather yellow-green, which personally I find quite beautiful in the right setting. 

Doesn't that color just scream, "Spring!"?

Corylopsis 'Winterthur' with the Chimes Tower in the background.

Well, if you've made it this far, thanks for reading! But I have some bad news for you. You may be a plant addict. 

Until next time...

Sunday, February 2, 2014

A Visit to Kruckeberg Botanic Garden/MSK Rare Plant Nursery

I recently was digging through some old photos on my hard drive and came across the pictures from my brief visit in 2009 to Kruckeberg Botanic Garden and MSK Rare Plant Nursery. This unique 4-acre garden in Shoreline, Washington is the child of Dr. Arthur Kruckeberg and his wife, Mareen, founded in 1958. Recently, in 2008, the garden became part of the park system owned by the City of Shoreline and is managed by the Kruckeberg Botanic Garden Foundation. The garden contains over 2,000 species, specializing in Pacific Northwest natives and exotics that are well adapted to the PNW climate. The MSK Rare Plant Nursery is located at the garden and sales from the nursery help to fund the garden. Most of the plants sold in the nursery have been propagated from seeds or cuttings collected in the garden. You can learn more about the garden and nursery, see an inventory of available plants, and see sale dates on their website here: http://kruckeberg.org/

My visit to the garden was unfortunately rushed and I plan to return after I move back to Washington State in a couple months. I didn't even get to see the whole thing! It's not an immaculate or particularly well-designed garden, but it has cool plants adapted to the climate of the Pacific Northwest and is well worth visiting.

A selection of native plants for sunny conditions. I liked the use of gravel topdressing.
Sedums and lewisia, yes please!

A gorgeous, large specimen of Carpenteria californica greets you right behind the natives for sun. Why this California native isn't seen more often is baffling to me. Beautiful white flowers on a very attractive plant. I wish I had taken a photo of the whole plant.

They definitely have a thing for troughs here, and ever since I visited
I have been yearning to make my own.
I have a definite love for Rhododendrons, but even the most jaded PNW gardeners would have to admit the gorgeous blue-green foliage of Rhododendron oreotrephes makes it stand out from the usual landscape rhodies. The foliage made a lovely contrast with the cinnamon-colored bark of the 2-3 year old branches. Apparently this is also one of those rhodies with spicy-scented foliage.

I do love Fremontodendron californicum. This is the variety napensis. The survival and longevity of these beautiful plants can be increased by keeping their native habitat in mind. They are much hardier and will live longer if they are planted in a well-drained, nutrient-poor site. They should only be watered enough to establish them after planting, after which they need to be kept dry in the summer.

Again with the not-very-close close up and no picture of the whole plant. I had a very basic and low-quality point-and-shoot digital camera at the time. It's amazing how far digital has come in just a few years. Anyway, this is Argyrocytisus battandieri, also known as the Atlas broom, for its origin in the Atlas Mountains of Morocco, or pineapple broom, for the delicious scent of its blooms. Hard to tell in this picture, but the leaves are covered in beautiful silvery hairs.

Perhaps one of the most enchanting scenes in the garden, for me, was walking under the canopy of the Pterocarya fraxinifolia. The dangling chains of seeds and the light filtering through the bright green leaves created a magical effect.
 I hope more people visit this lovely little garden as it is a great resource to see many mature specimens of unusual plants that you may have only ever seen in a nursery. Then you can buy it on site!

The information regarding Kruckeberg Botanic Garden and MSK Rare Plant Nursery was taken from their website, posted above. I received nothing for publishing this information and am not affiliated with Kruckeberg or MSK. 
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