Liatris spicata – Dense Blazingstar
Easily grown in average, medium, well-drained soils in full sun. Somewhat tolerant of poor soils, but prefers moist, fertile ones and generally performs better in moist soils than most other species of Liatris. Intolerant of wet soils in winter. Tolerant of summer heat and humidity. May be grown from seed, but is slow to establish.
Blazing star (also commonly called dense blazing star or marsh blazing star) is a tall, upright, clump-forming perennial which is native to moist low grounds, meadows and marsh margins. In Missouri, it has only been found in Oregon County on the Arkansas border (Steyermark). It typically grows 2-4′ tall in cultivation, but can reach a height of 6′ in some parts of its native habitat. Features terminal spikes (6-12″ long) of sessile, rounded, fluffy, deep purple flower heads (each to 3/4″ across) appearing atop rigid, erect, leafy flower stalks. One or more stalks arise from a basal tuft of narrow, grass-like, medium green leaves (to 12″ long). Stem leaves gradually decrease in size toward the top. Blooms in summer. Liatris belongs to the aster family, with each flower head having only fluffy disk flowers (resembling “blazing stars”) and no ray flowers. The feathery flower heads of liatris give rise to another common name of gayfeather. See also L. spicata‘Kobold’ which is a popular compact cultivar that is less likely to need staking than the species.
Available May – Mid May 2017
Lindera benzoin – Spicebush
Spicebush is a deciduous shrub with a broad, rounded habit which typically grows 6-12′ (less frequently to 15′) high in moist locations in bottomlands, woods, ravines, valleys and along streams. Clusters of tiny, apetulous, aromatic, greenish-yellow flowers bloom along the branches in early spring before the foliage emerges. Dioecious (male and female flowers on separate plants), with the male flowers being larger and showier than the female ones. Flowers of female plants give way to bright red drupes (to 1/2″ long) which mature in fall and are attractive to birds. Female plants need a male pollinator in order to set fruit, however. Drupes are very attractive, but are largely hidden by the foliage until the leaves drop. Thick, oblong-obovate, light green leaves (to 5″ long) turn an attractive yellow in autumn. Leaves are aromatic when crushed. The larva (caterpillar) of the spicebush swallowtail butterfly feeds on the leaves of this shrub.Lindera is named for the Swedish botanist, Johann Lindler.
Mimulus ringens – Monkeyflower
This perennial plant is 1-3′ tall, branching occasionally to frequently. The light green stems are glabrous and bluntly 4-angled, but they are not conspicuously winged. The opposite leaves are up to 4″ long and 1″ across; they are light to medium green, lanceolate or elliptic-oblanceolate in shape, glabrous, and serrated to sparingly serrated along their margins. The leaves are sessile or they clasp the stems; petioles are absent. Leaf bases are round to slightly cordate, while their tips are slender and pointed. Individual flowers develop from the leaf axils of the middle to upper stems. These flowers are about 1″ long, and they have two-lipped corollas that are usually pale blue-violet (less often pink or white).
Available May – Mid May 2015
Phlox Fashionably Early Crystal
White globes of flowers with a faint purple eye float above leathery emerald green foliage about 2-3 weeks earlier than most summer phlox. An excellent hybrid of the paniculata types, this phlox begins blooming sooner and has far more mildew … Read More