I sat down to write something about Bougainvillea but I feel I do not have words worthy of its praise. Bougainvillea has a special value in my life – it is harbinger of spring.
The lovely and show colors of Bougainvillea are signs of spring and warm sunny season. The lush colors of Bougainvillea fill our local landscape to absorb all the rough and harsh texture of the surroundings. I just love it.
Euphorbia rigida is a shrubby and evergreen, succulent from the Mediterranean climate. Known for its attractive spiral-forming foliage and ability to withstand drought, the plant makes a valuable addition to a rock garden.
Euphorbia rigida, the Gopher Plant / Image by FarOutFlora.com
Commonly known as Gopher Plant, Euphorbia rigida forms clumps of upright ascending stems and grows up to 2 feet in height and 3 feet in width. The blue-green leaves of the plant form spiral formation around its stems that make this plant very attractive. Flowers of bright yellow color appear in spring followed by formation of seed pods. Gardeners usually prune spent flowers to prevent self-seeding. The plant itself can be pruned at the end of flowering season to prevent a leggy appearance.
Liriodendron tulipifera, commonly known as Tulip Tree or sometimes as Yellow Poplar, is a tall and deciduous flowering tree from North America. Characterized by its height and beautiful flowers, Liriodendron tulipifera makes an excellent flowering tree for gardens and landscapes. With a rapid growth rate, the tree can gain the height of up to 150 feet or more in wild. However, it takes much time to reach that height (An old Tulip Tree in Queens area in New York measures 134 feet; it is said to be 400-450 years old and often described the oldest living thing in New York. The tree is named Queens Giant). In cultivation, it can grow as tall as 70 to 100 feet.
Liriodendron tulipifera (Tulip Tree)/ Image by Tim Waters
Like most plants in the Magnolia family, Liriodendron tulipifera is a valuable plant in horticulture. It has broad, glossy green leaves that turn to golden in autumn. Large tulip-like, cup-shaped flowers appear in spring to add to the grandeur of the tree. Flowers are predominantly greenish-yellow with dashes of red and orange. It does not branch much and tends to form columnar growth which makes it a good source of fine-grained timber.
How to Grow Liriodendron tulipifera
Liriodendron tulipifera prefers bright sunlight, and a rich and moist soil. The tree can be propagated from seeds. Young plants should be grown under partial sun and later moved to direct sunlight. Young plants have deep and fleshy roots that are easily broken if handled roughly.
Aspalathus linearis is a shrub the Fabaceae family – the family of many popular flowering plants like Liperia, Lupinus and Mimosa. However, unlike its cousins Aspalathus linearis is not common in horticulture. It is rather grown commercially for leaves that are used for preparation of Rooibos tea.
Aspalathus linearis grows as a small shrub and prefers acidic and slightly sandy soil. The plant is characterized by needle-like leaves that are rich source of antioxidants. The leaves are used to brew herbal tea which is like not only for its flavor but also for its anti-cancer properties.
In its native habitat in South Africa, Aspalathus linearis have been consumed by the locals for a long time for its medicinal benefit. The plant is locally known as Red Bush tea. The tea brewed from the leaves of Rooibos is believed to alleviate asthma and allergies making it a useful plant for gardeners.
Aspalathus linearis / Image by Winfried Bruenken
Aspalathus linearis grows into a broom-like shrub and produces bright yellow flowers. The plant prefers moderate watering and a well-drained soil. For more detail on growing Aspalathus linearis.
Clytostoma is a small genus of evergreen vines and shrubs from tropical parts of South America. These lovely plants are known for their showy flowers that grow abundantly on creeping stems.
Most species of Clytostoma grow quite fast and creep up trees, walls or whatever support they can find. Growing as creeping vines, Clytostomas are drought resistant pest free plants thus making a good choice for beginners. Clytostoma grows in a well-drained soil where it gets moderate watering and bright sunlight. Fertilization boosts their already fast rate of growth.
Clytostoma callistegioides/ Image by PL Tandon
The most popular and widely grown species is Clytostoma callistegioides which is characterized by glossy green leaves and pale lavender flowers. Generally it is a maintenance-free vine that grows up to 3 meters and looks pretty even when not in bloom.
Common names of Clytostoma callistegioides are Violet trumpet vine and Argentine trumpet vine.
The letter ‘V’ reminds me of two things – Vendetta and Verbena. I love both: Vendetta for its dramatic and thought-provoking effect, and Verbena for its small fragrant flowers.
Verbena (Buy seeds online) is a genus of small annual and perennial shrubs from tropical parts of the Americas. These lovely plants are known for their colorful and long lasting flowers.
Verbena are multi-purpose plants – the low-growing and sprawling varieties can be used as ground covers whereas the compact varieties can be grown in flower beds or containers. Flowers in most species of are fragrant and have a variety of colors ranging from red, pink, purple, lavender, white and mauve. Most varieties produces groups of rounded heads each containing dozens of small fragrant flowers.
Verbena rigida/ Image by Arthur Chapman
How to Grow Verbena
Verbenas can be propagated easily from divisions or seeds. Some varieties are self-seeding. Most species of Verbena would happily grow in an ordinary soil under bright sunlight.
Among many hybrids, popular species of Verbena include: Verbena canadensis, and V. peruviana.