Category Archives: Shrubs and Bushes

02 Jun

Beautiful Autumn Foliage Plant: Rhus

Rhus is a genus of about 150 species of evergreen and deciduous plants. Distributed in North America, Africa and Mediterranean regions, Rhus includes trees, vines and shrubs. These plants are usually grown for attractive foliage and for their ability to withstand drought and resist tough wind. However, not all species of Rhus are suitable for gardens as some of the species are known for severe allergic reaction.

Rhus Glabra Tree

Rhus Glabra, Image from missouriplants.com

How to Grow Rhus

Provide Rhus plants with plenty of light and moderate watering. Most species can be grown from seeds and layers.

Popular Varieties of Rhus

Rhus Pyroides: Also known as Common wild currant, Rhus Pyroides makes a small tree up to 5 meters that bears small yellow flowers in summer. Fruits are nutritious and attract many birds and insects.

Rhus Viminalis: This is a fast growing plant that makes a very attractive small tree up to 5 meters. Rhus Viminalis is hardy and can adapt themselves to many climatic conditions. Rhus Viminalis is also known as White Karee or Wit Karee.

28 May

Lovely, Fruity Trees and Shrubs: Syzygium

Syzygium is a large genus of evergreen, ornamental trees and shrubs. Widely grown for their beautiful foliage, fluffy flowers and edible fruits, the genus of Syzygium comprises of some 1100 species. Most species grow natively in tropical regions of Asia, Africa, Australia and the Pacific. Fruits of some species are edible and are used in preparation of salads, jams and jellies. Growing conditions vary among species. Although most species would grow in tropical climate, there are some species of Syzygium that grow in temperate zones.

Syzygium Luehmannii, Leaves and Fruits

Syzygium Luehmannii, Image from SydneyGreenRing blog

How to Grow Syzygium

Syzygium makes robust trees and shrubs that require pruning to make good ornamental plants. They can be propagated from seeds and softwood cuttings. These plants require constantly moist soil and bright sunlight. With suitable climate provided, Syzygium can be grown outdoor as well as indoors. Grown outdoors in gardens, Syzygium attract bees, butterflies and birds. They are good candidate for bonsai experiments.

Popular Species of Syzygium

Syzygium Paniculatum: Commonly known as Bush Cherry, Syzygium Paniculatum makes a nice ornamental tree that bears glossy green leaves and very attractive edible fruits of pink color. Young leaves are red and flowers are very attractive. With regular pruning, Bush Cherry can serve as an excellent hedge and neat specimen plant in lawns with regular pruning.

Syzygium Malaccense: Native to Asia, Syzygium Malaccense is a nice ornamental tree that grows as tall as 5 meters. Commonly known as Malay Apple or Rose Apple, this specimen plant bears large edible fruits that resemble the fruits of pear. It bears very attractive purple-red flowers in spring.

Syzygium Aromaticum: Known as Clove plant, Syzygium Aromaticum is grown commercially for its flower buds that are dried and use for culinary and medicinal purposes. Dried buds are known as Clove. The plant grows natively in Pakistan, Zanzibar, Madagascar, Indonesia and Sri Lanka. Local name of Clove in Pakistan is Laung where it is used as spice and as cure of dental pain.

25 May

Delightful Flowering Shrub for Saline Soil: Limonium

Limonium is a genus of more than 120 annual and perennial shrubs that bear peppery flowers on strong, thin stems. Actual flowers of Limonium are usually minor and surrounded by colorful bracts of blue, pink, yellow and white. These attractive bracts and flowers can be used in dried flower arrangements. Most varieties of Limonium bear in coastal areas ranging from Canary Island through most parts of Mediterranean region towards central Asia.

Limoniums are also known as Statice.

Flowers of Limonium Sinuatum

Flowers of Limonium Sinuatum

How to Grow Limonium

Growing conditions vary within different varieties of Limonium. Some of these species grow natively in saline conditions whereas some grow in well-drained yet moist sandy soil. Most species can be propagated from seeds or divisions. Limonium grows under full or partial sun and makes excellent fillers in rock gardens and landscapes. Plants bloom is spring and summer.

Popular Varieties of Limonium

Limonium Latifolium: Commonly known as Sea Lavender, Limonium Latifolium is a summer flowering shrub and bears clusters of colorful blooms.

Limonium Perezii: This showy of variety Limonium bears large leaves and grows in to woody shrub of dense clumps. Flowers are white, purple and blue. The plant prefers partial sun, well-drained soil and ventilated position.

Limonium Peregrinum: An evergreen shrubby plant that bears rose pink flowers on woody stems. It prefers rich soil, good drainage, regular watering and humid climate.

24 May

Beautiful Landscape Tree, Pandanus

Pandanus is a large genus of about 600 trees and shrubs from Asia and Africa. Most plants in this species have broad and dense leaves. These deciduous plants produce male and female flowers on separate plants. Fruits resemble the fruit of pineapple plant. Pandanus are a good choice for planting outdoors for their handsome foliage. They also make spectacular container plants for ornamental purposes.

Pandanus Utilis, Landscape Tree

Pandanus Utilis, Landscape Tree

How to Grow Pandanus

Since most species of Pandanus grow alongside coastal belts, they require humidity and generous watering. Most species can be propagated from stem cuttings, offsets, tubers, or by layering.

Popular Varieties of Pandanus

Pandanus Utilis: Commonly known as Madagascar Screw Pine, Pandanus Utilis turns into a medium sized tree of about 20 meters. The trunk is stout and bears a canopy of twisted, fan-like leaves. Leaves are usually 2 meters or long. This is a perfect plant if you are looking for a striking landscape design. Grown for its leaves that are used for many purposes, Pandanus Utilis is evergreen tree and can be propagated easily from root balls, cuttings, or offsets.

Pandanus Utilis Fruit

Fruit of Pandanus Utilis

23 May

Night Blooming Jasmine: Cestrum Nocturnum

Cestrum Nocturnum, commonly known as Night Blooming Jasmine, is a flowering shrub of tropical and sub-tropical regions. It is also a must have in every gardener’s collection of the Indian sub-continent where it is called Raat ki Raani (Lady of the Night/Queen of the Night). Grown for its intoxicating fragrance, the Night Blooming Jasmine makes an excellent shrub for gardens.

Cestrum Nocturnum, Queen of the Night

Cestrum Nocturnum (Queen of the Night), Image © H. G. Mukhopadhyay

Cestrum Nocturnum bears small and white flowers by the beginning and the end of summer. Flowers bloom in hot and humid nights and emit smell that is unique and different from other flowering plants. Smell of Night Blooming Jasmine is sensual, enticing and quite exhilarating. It fills the passer by with delicate and intoxicating feelings. This plant is natively Caribbean and it is also known as Dama De Noche in Spanish.

How to Grow Night Blooming Jasmine

Night Blooming Jasmine is normally grown in subtropical regions as an fragrant plant for its strongly scented aroma. The ideal soil for this plant is clammy and sandy with humid climate. The plant spreads itself when it grows and can obtain the height of twelve feet, but does not spread more than four feet. The plant’s stems are like creepers, with bigger leave approximately between four and eight inches in length The flowers of Night Blooming Jasmine are relatively smaller colouring white or green in color and blossom off the creepers. There are also some verities found with yellowish flowers. Cestrum nocturnum is a fast growing shrub in the suitable conditions.

The stronger understanding about Cestrum Nocturnum is that normally it smells in the night. Although the smell could be stronger in the nights due to the full blossoming of the flowers but it also smells during the day in the season. Night Blooming Jasmine works fabulously as a mixed border additive. It is also fascinating when used as a freestanding plant. Cestrum nocturnum also possess luscious attraction for butterflies  and some types of caterpillars that consume its leaves as a source of food.

Night Blooming Jasmine is reported to cause respiratory problems from the scent, and feverish symptoms following ingestion to the people who are respiratory sensitive or are asthmatic.
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About the Author: This guest post is compiled by Jahanzeb Nazir Malik who is an avid gardener, an environmental activist, and a lawyer by profession. He also writes his blog on food, culture, art, entertainment and architecture.