Saturday, June 22, 2013

Pepermomia, Large and Small

Visiting family in Florida this summer has been an adventure in discovering tropical horticulture. One plant I noticed immediately, upon walking in the neighborhood, was a large border shrub that looked uncannily like one of my favorite container tropicals because of its waxy thick leaves with creamy varigation, the Peperomia acuminata. (Below in a hypertufa container with a 2" interior diameter):

Peperomia acuminata (2" leaves)

Having done some research I discovered that there is indeed a Pepermomia magnoliifolia 'varigata' that is known to grow in the tropics (including Florida), also known as Desert Privet, Spoonleaf Peperomia

Pepermomia magnofolia 'varigata' (12 -18" leaves)

More than 1500 species have been recorded, occurring in all tropical and subtropical regions of the world, though concentrated to Central America and northern South America. A limited number of species (around 17) are found in Africa.

These tropical perennials are grown for their ornamental foliage.They are mostly natives of tropical America. They vary considerably in appearance. Some have threadlike, trailing stems and some have fleshy, stout stems. The leaves are smooth and fleshy and may be oval with the leafstalk at or near the center of the leaf blade, or they may be heart-shaped or lance-shaped; their size varies. They may be green or striped, marbled or bordered with pale green, red or gray, and the petioles of some kinds are red.

Peperomias are grown for their ornamental foliage and sometimes for their attractive flowers (Peperomia fraseri). Except for the succulent species, they are generally easy to grow in a greenhouse. Different species (e.g. Peperomia caperata) and cultivars are found in the trade.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Dianthus in Bloom

Great joy comes to me seeing these beautiful troughs in bloom! I went a little crazy with the dianthus last fall and the pay off is now! The sorrowful aspect for me is that I am on the road for the summer and have been able to enjoy these beauties thanks my son, who is keeping them, and my friend Chris, who is tending them.

Dianthus gratianopolitanus 'Firewitch'

Elsewhere . . . 

I render close-ups shots I took of dianthus growing in the formal gardens at the Biltmore Estate, in Asheville, NC.

Dianthus gratianopolitanus' Spotty'

Helpful Thots on Dianthus:

The quintessential cottage flower, pinks are treasured for their grasslike blue-green foliage and abundant starry flowers, which are often spicily fragrant. Depending on the type of pink, flowers appear in spring or summer and tend to be pink, red, white, rose, or lavender, but come in nearly all shades except true blue. Plants range from tiny creeping groundcovers to 30-inch-tall cut flowers, which are a favorite with florists. Foliage is blue-green. (Better Homes & Gardens)

Light: Sun,Part Sun
Zones: 3-10
Plant Type: PerennialPlant
Height:4-30 inches tall
Plant Width:4-18 inche s wide
Landscape Uses: Containers, Beds & Borders,Slopes, Groundcover
Special Features: Flowers, Attractive Foliage, Fragrant, Cut Flowers, Dried Flowers,
Misc.: Attracts Hummingbirds, butterflies, drought Tolerant, deer resistant, easy to grow