Jul 292014
 
Corylus ferox

Corylus ferox

Corylus ferox

Corylus ferox

Corylus ferox

Corylus ferox

Corylus ferox is a native to the Himalayas and NW China, found in association with Acer, Viburnum, Hippophae, Salix, spp. Seed was collected from a 6m x 5m deciduous tree in Sichuan Province where the parent plant was growing in a gravelly loam at 2410m on a NW facing mountainside. The multi stemmed plant growing in the copse is fruiting for the first time since grown from seed in 2005. A mass of spikes not dissimilar in looks to that of a Horse Chestnut carcass. However, these spikes are attached to both the nut and cup as protection and not as a complete shell casing. The colouring is intense red going creamy white as it matures.

Jul 232014
 

Rosa sertata

Rosa sertata Rosa sertataMoving away from mid-summer and there are signs that autumn may soon be with us. An ungainly specimen of Rosa sertata is producing hips. These are a deep red colour with a shine that makes a cars paintwork seem dull. Having a shaped narrowed neck at the stalk end and persistent sepals at the other, within it is full of seeds.

A native to Western China where it is found growing on lightly wooded slopes from 1400 – 2200m and at stream and road sides.

Jul 152014
 
Lilium formosanum var. pricei

Lilium formosanum var. pricei

Lilium formosanum var. pricei

Lilium formosanum var. pricei

Lilium formosanum var. pricei

Lilium formosanum var. pricei

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The mass planting of Lilium formosanum var. priceii in the peat walls is eye-catching. Two hundred or more trumpets on short stalks, max height of 300mm, give the area a spectacular look.
The bulbs each send out one spike bearing 2 – 5 blooms, predominantly white but with reddish striations on the outer surface. Held horizontally these fragrant flowers have a narrow perianth tube gradually expanding along the length to an open trumpet.
A native to Taiwan where it is found on grassy banks.

Jul 082014
 
Calceolaria integrifolia

Calceolaria integrifolia

Calceolaria integrifolia

Calceolaria integrifolia

Calceolaria integrifolia

Calceolaria integrifolia

 

 

 

 

 

 

Excelling in its position as dominant member of the tufa mound, the recently planted area in front of the alpine house, Calceolaria integrifolia has flowered for several weeks and looks set to continue. Masses of clear yellow flowers are held in terminal cymes. The lower lip of each individual flower is inflated and resembles a slipper. Hence the name, from the Latin, calceolus: slipper. Originating from Chile where seed was collected from wind pruned shrubs in the coastal area near Conception. A sub shrub here at RBGE and dependant on a free draining root run, which is achieved through the tufa mound, below which a 50:50 mix of quartz sand and soil was used to build up the root zone area.

Jul 012014
 
Gillenia trifoliata

Gillenia trifoliata

Gillenia trifoliata

Gillenia trifoliata

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The delicate long light linear white petals making up the flowers of Gillenia trifoliata contrast with the red calyx. An herbaceous member of the Rosaceae family native to E.N. America. Of sturdy growth, the stems have a rough surface growing to about one metre. Not strong, they gently collapse under the weight of the branching growth and foliage.

Enjoying a dry, sunny border in the alpine area where the rhizomatous roots spread forming a clump of dancing white petals in the slightest of breezes.

Jun 242014
 

The weather during the past ten months has ensured a flowering season like no other. A long autumn to ripen wood followed by a benign winter and warmth through the late spring. One of those plants to benefit is Kalmia latifolia, an evergreen shrub from E.N. America.

Clusters of bright pink flowers terminate the previous season’s growth. This is one for the bees. Tucked flat inside the corolla are ten equally spaced stamens. Each anther is nestled into a tiny recess in the corolla. Turn the flower upside down to fully appreciate these, a jelly mould in miniature. Watching a bee pollinate these flowers is a true Linnaean pastime.
If the anther is ripe and ready to shed its pollen as the bee nudges against the filament the anther is released from its recess. This action flings pollen grains over the bee or towards the stigma of another flower to aid pollination.
Putting an individual flower under a hand lens and gently nudging the filament with a pen nib reveals the pent up tension within the filament and the exploding nature of the anther as it showers pollen grains around the inside of the lens.

Kalmia latifolia

Kalmia latifolia

Kalmia latifolia

Kalmia latifolia

Jun 182014
 
Digitalis purpurea White form

Digitalis purpurea White form

Digitalis purpurea White form

Digitalis purpurea White form

Mass planting of the white form of Digitalis purpurea are attracting much attention in the woodland garden. These selected seedlings are sown and grown for one year, transplanted and flower during their second growing season. The flower spikes reach two metres and are covered in white flowers that en mass have the presence to draw the eye from 100 metres distance and more. Once in about them appreciate the humming of bees moving through to extract pollen and nectar from the pendulous tubular flowers.

 

Jun 112014
 
Enkianthus campanulatus

Enkianthus campanulatus

Enkianthus campanulatus

Enkianthus campanulatus

This season the Enkianthus campanulatus have flowered prolifically. This, a result of a long warm spring preceded by a hot dry summer ripening the wood. The show does not end with the falling of the flowers; the soil around the base of the deciduous multi stemmed shrub is layered in creamy white pearls, the fallen fused petals that make up the corolla. A native to Japan, now a firm addition to woodland gardens throughout Britain.

Jun 032014
 
Maianthemum racemosum

Maianthemum racemosum

Maianthemum racemosum

Maianthemum racemosum

Take a moment to visually absorb the shades of green on the immature flower buds of Maianthemum racemosum. Growing on the edge of the woodland garden it is another member of the Ruscaceae family, native to North America.
Just about reaching 1 metre in height this herbaceous clump produces upright stems covered in alternate leaves with a terminal panicle of fragrant flowers.