Fritillaria meleagris

fritillaria-meleagris-rhrWith the official start of fall, gardeners are thinking about spring and planting their bulbs. Beyond the traditional tulips, daffodils, and crocus, there are many unique spring-blooming bulbs to experiment with in your garden including Fritillaria meleagris.

While Fritillaria meleagris is a member of the lily family, it’s neither a true lily nor daffodil.  photo credit: R. Robert

While Fritillaria meleagris is a member of the lily family, it’s neither a true lily nor daffodil. photo credit: R. Robert

Checkered lily, Guinea hen flower, snake’s head fritillary, snake’s head daffodil….Fritillaria meleagris may be known by many common names, but there’s nothing common about this bulb.   While it is a member of the lily family, it’s neither a true lily …

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Phegopteris decursive-pinnata

phegopteris-decursive-pinnata-rhrAs summer comes to a close, many plants have been performing all season long and have begun to look tired. An exception to that expectation is the shade-loving, groundcover alternative fern. Ferns add great texture and structure the understory of your tree canopy. A selection still looking good under the Metsequoia Allée is the Japanese beech fern.

Japanese beech fern (Phegopteris decursive-pinnata syn. Thelypteris decursive-pinnata) displays a very unique blend of lance-shaped fronds in both upright and arching positions.  This vigorous spreader forms runners, but is never a thug.  Referring to it as a groundcover would be pretty …

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Plants of the Week: September 12

datura-ferox-dca1Datura metel ‘Belle Blanch’

I first heard of Datura through a role-playing game I played in college with my friends; an enemy sorceress used powdered Datura as a component for casting spells.  As game-lore tries to base itself on real-life examples, Datura is actually used in Navajo, Hindu, Havasupai, and Voodoo rituals.

As far as Datura metel ‘Belle Blanch’ is concerned, it is an annual, herbaceous shrub that tends to grow no higher than 3 feet tall.  It prefers sunny, warm, dry places and doesn’t like to be over-watered or fertilized.  The plant has dark green foliage and the flowers …

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