08 Sep

Lovely, Flowering Shrub for Landscapes: Spartium junceum

Spartium junceum is an ornamental shrub grown for its yellow and sweet scented flowers. This fast growing shrub belongs to the Mediterranean regions of Europe, Africa, Asia and the Americas where it is a popular shrub in gardens and landscapes.

Spartium junceum grows from a central stem and produces long, erect branches that shoot up to 4 meters. A well-established specimen can produce a mass of rush-like branches that bear bright yellow flowers in mid or late spring and last till summer. Leaves are often insignificant and deciduous.

Spartium junceum, The Spanish broom

Spartium junceum, The Spanish broom/ Image by Manuel M. Ramos

Spartium junceum can be a useful shrub for producing a beautiful background effect in gardens and landscapes. The shrub can be easily pruned to give it trimmed or rounded shapes.

Commonly known as Spanish Broom, Spartium junceum can be grown from seeds in almost any soil with good drainage. The shrub prefers full sun and tolerates spells of drought easily.

06 Sep

Lovely Succulent Plants for Landscapes: Dudleya

Dudleya is a small genus of rosette-forming succulent plants form California and Mexico. Grown for their lovely formation, most Dudleyas are strikingly beautiful when grown in landscapes or as specimen plants. A Dudleya is usually characterized by a green or silvery-white, succulent leaves that grow on a short stem to form a small rosette. Most species remain solitary whereas only a few of them branch. Flowers of white, red or yellow color appear in late winter or early spring from the bottom, rarely from the center, of the rosette.

Dudleyas in Landscape

Dudleyas in Landscape / Image by faroutflora.com

How to Grow Dudleya

Most species of Dudleya look similar to Echeveria which is another large genus of succulent plants but recently Dudleyas have been classified separately because of their flowering habit and growth pattern. They are winter-loving plants that usually go dormant is summer. They are quite hardy and drought resistant plants too thus making a good choice for rock gardens. When grown in landscape, most species of Dudleya tend to form thick clusters of small rosettes that add a dramatic look to the landscapes. Though, they can be grown as specimen plants, the best place to grow Dudleya plants is a tough landscape spot where very few plants can survive. Dudleyas would require good sunlight, a well-drained soil and small amount of water in winter (and barely sufficient moisture in summer). When provided with a congenial environment, Dudleya plants can grow for decades. For this reason, they are also known as ‘Live-Forever’.

Popular species of Dudleya include:

D. brittonii (Chalk Dudleya): A large rosette-forming plant with silvery-white leaves. Perfect for landscape as well as specimen plant Dudleya brittonii remains solitary and produces spectacular yellow flowers.

D. caespitosa (Sand Lettuce): A low-growing succulent plant that usually grows in to thick clusters. Yellow flowers appear in beautiful contrast to pale-green or silvery-white foliage.

D. pulverulenta (Chalk Live Forever): Another large and solitary plant known for its beautiful foliage. It is quite hardy plant and can be grown as ornamental plant in landscape and rockeries.

Dudleya pulverulenta

Dudleya pulverulenta / Image by faroutflora.com

02 Sep

Small and Beautiful Shrubby Tree for Gardens: Halleria

Halleria is a small genus of shrubs and small trees grown for their attractive foliage and flowers. The genus is native to Madagascar and tropical climates of Africa. The most popular shrub from this genus is Halleria lucida – a small shrubby tree with pendulous branches and glossy foliage.

Halleria lucida is grown as evergreen ornamental and drought tolerant tree. The tree does not usually require much space and thus makes a good choice for small gardens where it can be pruned and trained in to a smart tree. Gown up plants can be used to create shady canopies.

Halleria shrub

Halleria ligustrifolia, Image by Leonora Enking

Halleria lucida grows up to 2.5 meters tall and spreads across 1.5 meters. Though it is a drought tolerant plant, Halleria lucida responds well to regular watering and shows vigorous growth when provided with sufficient watering and fertilizer. Halleria lucida can be grown under sunny or partially shady spots in gardens.

Leaves of Halleria lucida are small and glossy that turn purple in winter and provide beautiful contrast to red tubular flowers. Flowers are followed by formation of sweet berries that attract a lot of birds to the garden.

Another popular plant for the genus if Halleria elliptica. Commonly known as Wild fuschia, Halleria elliptica grows as shrubby tree (up to 2.5 meters) and produces orange-red flower in autumn.