Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Some Late Spring Bloomers

Heart-Leaf Skullcap, Scutellaria ovata, is a shade loving perennial that spreads by rhizomes. This is an odd combination. Shade plant and mint family don't really go together in my mind. Spreading by rhizomes is common in the mint family but because it's a shade plant I wonder if it will be as aggressive as its relatives. 

New Jersey Tea, Ceanothus americanus, is blooming. The leaves are a lighter green color that make it stand out, with the white clusters of flowers. I'm told this plant used to be extremely common but unfortunately it's one of those plants that is a sigh of ideal farming soil. I've never seen it growing wild and I live in New Jersey. It's been in a steep decline though not enough to be threatened. Ceanothus is a very diverse genus, especially out west where they all have blue flowers, and grow to be much larger shrubs. This species only gets about 3' tall.   

Coreopsis palmata, has just started too. It's one of the more aggressive spreading Coreopsis species. I planted maybe 7 of these last year as 4" plugs, and they're all coming up as though they were 3 gallon pots. 

Ozark Coneflower, Echinacea paradoxa, isn't native to New Jersey but neither are coneflowers. So I decided to go with an uncommon species and may add more later on. It's the only naturally occurring yellow flowering coneflower. When you see yellow coneflowers at nurseries they're typically mutants, genetically altered to circumvent the terminator gene (Echinacea otherwise don't hybridize naturally). 

Blue-Ridge Buckbean, Thermopsis caroliniana. Despite tolerating more soil conditions than Lupins, this plant doesn't have as many populations scattered around the country. It's something of a mystery to me. They're known to colonize where they occur but they don't seem to spread at all.

Soon to come, Queen of the Prairie.