red flowers

Penstemon cardinalis ssp. regalis

Hummer’s Delight

We can think of few plants better designed for hummingbirds than our clump of the native Penstemon cardinalis ssp. regalis that’s currently in flower in the JLBG crevice garden. Known as the Guadalupe Mountain beardtongue, it’s hails from the rocky, alkaline slopes (4,500′-6,000′ elevation) of southern New Mexico and adjacent West Texas, in juniper/pine scrubland.

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Podophyllum peltatum 'Maid Marion'

March flowers bring May Apples, along with a Taxonomic headache

We’ve been fascinated by mayapples of the genus Podophyllum, ever since first studying them in my NC backyard over 60 years ago. It was always a bit disappointing that they went dormant in late May, and often seem to be afflicted by several foliar diseases. It was not until three decades later (mid-1990s) that I

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Let’s Twist Again, Like we did Last Summer

Our title is obviously borrowed from the 1961 Chubby Checker song, which few people reading this, probably remember. Abutilon ‘Twister’ is looking absolutely elegant now in the fall garden. This amazing flowering maple hybrid from the folks at California’s Monterrey Bay Nursery, has thrived here since 2005, enduring several single digit F. winters. For us,

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Hankerin’ for Hakkinen’s Banana

Here’s a new banana to add to the list of hardy species, Musa haekkinenii. This very new, compact-growing, species was first published in 2013, and named after Finnish Musa expert, Markku Häkkinen. Genetically, it’s a relative of Musa coccinea & Musa exotica, that hails from Phú Thọ Province of Northern Vietnam, where it was discovered

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Does your Rangoon Creep?

Looking lovely at JLBG now is the purportedly tropical vine, Combretum indicum. Native from a wide range of Southeast Asia, Rangoon creeper is a woody vine that’s shockingly winter hardy, as our plants sailed through last years 11 degrees F–despite it usually being listed as a Zone 10/11 plant. The flowers usually open white, age

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