Asian natives

Dryopteris stenolepis

Narrow Scale Fern

One of our frustrations in introducing little-known plants is that they often don’t sell well, despite being superb garden plants. One such is Dryopteris stenolepis. Dryopteris stenolepis is a beautifully symmetrical evergreen, 18″ tall x 3′ wide clumping fern that hails from streamside slopes at 2,000′-7,000′ from India and Nepal and into southern China and

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Daphniphyllum macropodum

Looks like a Daphne, but…

When people first hear the name, Daphniphyllum, they immediately think, Daphne, and obviously, when this was named by Blume in 1826, he thought the same. Daphniphyllum, however, couldn’t be more different. First, it’s completely unrelated. Daphne is in the Thymelaeaceae family, while Daphniphyllum sits alone in its own family, Daphniphyllaceae. Daphniphyllum is a small genus

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Aucuba japonica 'Petite Jade'

Petite Jade

Standing out in the garden this month is Aucuba ‘Petite Jade’, a lovely selection of the Asian native evergreen shrub, Aucuba japonica. This release comes from the U.S. National Arboretum, from cuttings originally collected in 1984 at South Korea’s Chollipo Arboretum. This selection is not only slow-growing and dense, but has excellent resistance to foliar

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Zhejiang Wintersweet

Here’s a winter-flowering shrub that few people have grown. Flowering now in the garden is the evergreen Chimonanthus zhejiangensis, a little-known relative to the more popular, deciduous Chimonanthus praecox. This is a small genus of only six species in the Calycanthaceae family, all native to China. Our plants originated from seed from the Shanghai Botanical

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Beni and the Not Yets

We’ve been growing the fall-flowering Farfugium japonicum for nearly 40 years, and despite growing numerous cultivars as well as seedlings, had seen no difference in the standard yellow flower color, until a 2008 visit to the Georgia garden of plantsman Ozzie Johnson. There, I first met the cultivar, ‘Beni’, which in Japanese, means red flowers.

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Conjuring up a Conger

I can honestly say that no plant perfumes the garden better than the amazing Osmanthus fragrans ‘Conger Yellow’. We currently grow nine cultivars of tea olive, but none can hold a candle to the fragrance of this yellow-flowered clone. Anyone visiting the garden in September/October is dazzled by the fragrance from up to 200′ away…a

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