decorative seeds

Callicarpa acuminata

Mexican Beautyberry

Looking lovely in late winter is the Mexican beautyberry, Callicarpa acuminata. Long after most beautyberry fruit has been long gone, the tawny purple fruit of Callicarpa acuminata ripen. The Mexican beautyberry plant matures around 4′ tall x 8′ wide, and thrives in light shade. While the fruit are loved by wildlife, it’s often wildlife that

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Iris foetidissima in fruit

Fruity Pebbles

I was lucky enough to catch the winter fruit show on our clump of Iris foetidissima last weekend. This little-known, evergreen, woodland iris from southern Europe, suffers because of its specific epithet “foetidissima”, which means stinking. That’s probably a bit much coming from someone with hundreds of amorphophallus clones. The name reportedly was given because

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Danae racemosa in fruit

A Laurel and Hardy Garden Addition

Looking lovely in the garden during the Christmas holiday season is a plant that hails from around the world, most notably Iran, and into the surrounding Caucuses. Despite this disparate climatic origin, Danae racemosa has thrived in much of the country as a pass-along plant for over a century. Danae is one of many plants,

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A Snow-white Beauty

Putting on a lovely show in the fall garden this month is the native Callicarpa americana ‘Lactea’. Callicarpa americana is a native from Maryland southwest to Texas, where it pops up, usually in disturbed areas as an early/mid successionary species in sunny sites. The typical fruit color is purple, but the white-fruited Callicarpa americana ‘Lactea’

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Who Called a Cop-tis?

We love the miniature Coptis japonica var. dissecta in full seed now. This dwarf, evergreen, woodland-growing member of the Ranunculus family (Clematis, Helleborus), has small white flowers in the winter, but we adore the seriously cute seeds heads that are adorned in March and April. Not only is this Japanese endemic a cool garden plant,

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Euonymus…a New Take

We were thrilled to see that our Euonymus myrianthus sailed through our recent cold snap. This fascinating species was first introduced to Western horticulture by renown plant explorer, Ernest Wilson in 1908, and has been quite slow to get around. Recent collections have finally made this available for trial in the US. This small evergreen

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