Plants of the Week: April 17

Corydalis solida 'Beth Evans' Kohlberg Hall (1) JWCWho hasn’t ogled and longed for floriferous stands of Meconopis betonicifolia, Cardiocrinum giganteum, or lupins in their home garden? I know I have! Other ogle-worthy plants are the myriad of blue-flowering corydalis cultivars. Alas those blue beauties don’t fare well in our climate. One variety of corydalis that has done remarkably well is Corydalis solida ‘Beth Evans’. Small, shriveled tubers available for planting in the fall give rise to ferny, Dicentra-like foliage and masses of tubular pink flowers resembling tiny snapdragons. Corydalis benefit from consistent moisture and some shade. Don’t be alarmed when plants go summer-dormant. Like most small bulbs, …

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Oh No! My Cherry Trees are Brown

March 29 2017 RHR 016Cherry and magnolia trees are blooming throughout the Delaware Valley but you may be asking why your flowers are brown and not pink. Some early blooming cultivars of cherries and magnolias have succumbed to frost damage and turned brown.  As a result, they have no blooms this spring, just browned flowers.

Most of the Prunus 'Okame' blooms were destroyed by frost. photo credit: R. Robert

Most of the Prunus ‘Okame’ blooms were destroyed by frost. photo credit: R. Robert

No need to panic. Your tree is not dead. It is just a victim of unseasonably warm temperatures in February and then a return to cold temperatures in March. The warm temperatures caused early blooming …

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Plant of the Week: April 3

Lindera reflexa JTB (1)Lindera reflexa

Between Alice Paul Residence Hall and the south side of Mertz Residence Hall, tastefully concealing some large building utility is the rare and interesting spicebush relative Lindera reflexa. Originally native to China, this species of Lindera is often dwarfed in significance by its relative Lindera angustifolia in common landscape use in the United States.

Though very similar to the native spicebush (Lindera benzoin) with its yellow flowers and leaf shape, L. reflexa has greenish-yellow semi-non-lenticellate bark, meaning it is mostly without the gas exchange openings that are commonly seen on the bark of woody plants. Also noteworthy are …

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