What's in Bloom Archives - Early Fall

What's in Bloom Archives

Yellow Alder

Yellow Alder

Turnera ulmifolia comes from a small family, and is one of only eight genera of herbs, shrubs and trees native to tropical America and Africa. The species ulmifolia, or yellow-alder, is a shrub generally growing two to three feet tall and capable of spreading to an equal width. In shape, vein pattern and texture, yellow-alder’s leaves are very similar to elm leaves.

The deep green leaves are oblong-ovate in shape with serrated margins (edges) and can reach four inches in length. The 2-inch wide flowers are usually yellow, but can sometimes be violet at the base. Many stems originate close to the ground but they branch infrequently forming an open, leggy plant.

Those planted in the full sun branch more and stay fuller than those in partial shade. Clear yellow flowers are produced daily, each lasting several hours before closing at night. New flowers open the next morning. Leaves stay dark green with little or no fertilizer.

In Tulsa this plant is an annual and requires full sun to show off its best qualities. It can be used for container or foundation plantings, border or mass plantings and is also touted as a butterfly-attracting groundcover with showy flowers. There is something very eye-catching about delicate bright yellow flowers opening on a background of coarse textured deep green leaves.

This plant can be viewed in the raised bed right outside our barn patio.



Brugmansia is a genus of six species of flowering plants that are known as Angel's Trumpets. Brugmansia are large shrubs or small trees, reaching heights of 3–11 m, with tan, slightly rough bark. The leaves are alternate, generally large, 10–30 cm long and 4–18 cm broad, with an entire or coarsely toothed margin, and are covered with fine hairs.

The name Angel's Trumpet refers to the large, very dramatic, pendulous trumpet-shaped flowers, up to 20 inches long and 10–35 cm across at the wide end. They are white, yellow, pink, orange or red, and have a delicate, attractive scent with light, lemony overtones, most noticeable in early evening.

Brugmansia's are easily grown in a moist, fertile, well-drained soil, in full sun to part shade, in frost-free climates. They begin to flower in mid to late spring in warm climates and continue into the fall, often continuing as late as early winter in warm conditions. In cool winters, outdoor plants need protection, but the roots are hardy and will re-sprout in April or May.

Cypress Vine

Cypress Vine

Cypress vine with its tiny red flowers and delicate fern-like leaves, grows well on an arbor. It is a hummingbird favorite. This annual plant produces hundreds of flowers--and thousands of seeds--usually insuring its presence from year to year.

It is an annual vine (to 7m with support), and blooms summer through early autumn and thrives in fertile, well-drained soil. Since it is self-seeding it must be managed so it will not become invasive.

You will find a Cypress Vine growing in the vegetable garden

Cypress Vine

Cypress vine arbor in the LG vegetable garden


Pink Lotus

We all admire the beauty of a lotus blossom. Additionally, they provide a tremendous amount of benefit within nature. Lotus is a genus that contains many dozens of species distributed world-wide, roughly between 70 and 150. It is a genus which is adapted to a wide range of habitats, from coastal environments to high altitudes.

Most species have leaves with three leaflets, but also two large stipules at the base roughly equal in size to the leaflets, thus appearing to have five leaflets; some species have pinnate leaves with up to 15 leaflets.

The flowers are in clusters of 3-10 together at the apex of a stem with some basal leafy bracts. This genus can fix nitrogen from the air courtesy of their root nodules, making it useful as a cover crop.

The Lotus flower is a symbol of purity, wisdom and enlightenment. Throughout many cultures over time, the lotus has been a powerful image and spiritual symbol. The lotus plant starts its life rooted in the mud and over time rises through the water to blossom above the water into a beautiful, radiant flower which always brings an uplifting feeling when viewing these amazing plants in our pond.

Cotton and Sorghum


Cotton growing in the Linnaeus Garden.

Have you thought about using vegetable plants as a decorative planting on your patio that would be a great conversation starter? Cotton and Sorghum would meet that criteria.

These two plants normally have two totally different purposes; in addition to being crop plants, they are also used by farmers as rotation plants to increase the yield for each plant. The cotton plant belongs to the genus Gossypium. It is generally a shrubby plant having broad three-lobed leaves and seeds in capsules or bolls, each seed is surrounded with downy fiber, white or creamy in color and easily spun.


Colorful sorghum growing
in a container.

The Sorghum plant is a genus of numerous species of grasses, some of which are raised for grain and many of which are used as fodder plants either cultivated or as part of a pasture. Researching these plants can give you a lot of material to use for great conversations along with providing you with a very different and interesting plant to watch as it matures.

Althea Fireworks

Althea Fireworks

This woody shrub is excellent for late summer garden color. Plants can get to around 12' tall by 10' wide and grow in somewhat of a vase shape. Flowers are white, red, purple, pink or violet or a combination and either single or double.

The plant starts to flower in July and continues through September. It grows well in about any soil and is still doing nicely in our garden. In fact, this plant has enjoyed the recent hot weather!

You can control the size of this plant with heavy pruning in the early spring each year which also helps to produce larger flowers in summer.

You will find this plant in our Fountain Garden and in the Entry Garden by the sidewalk along the driveway.

St. John's Wort Blue Velvet

St. John's Wort Blue Velvet

This attractive shrub has beautiful blue foliage and golden yellow flowers in mid-summer. Tolerates most soil conditions, but must be well drained.

St Johns Wart is a sun loving, mounding, and densely branched shrub with lustrous blue green foliage. Bright, clear yellow flowers blanket this disease resistant plant. St. Johns wart is easy to grow, and adapts to most conditions.

This plant can be found on the wall between the Veggie and Fountain garden.

John Fanick Phlox

John Fanick Phlox

If you like to watch butterflies and humming birds in your yard, this tough phlox which grows in 3' tall clumps is a winner. This perennial phlox was named after an outstanding San Antonio nurseryman.

It is a hardy perennial with showy clusters of light pink blossoms with darker pink throats accompanied with dark green foliage. It has a compact growth habit and is heat and drought tolerant.

It can be found in the Linnaeus Pavilion Garden and don't be surprised to find butterflies enjoying it.

Autumn Carnation Encore Azalea

Autumn Carnation Encore Azalea

If you love Azaleas in the spring, you will be amazed with the new Encore Azaleas. Fall is right around the corner and these Azaleas are in full bloom near the wall of our outside classroom in our Linneaus Garden. With blooms in the spring, summer, and fall, Encore Azaleas offer little maintenance and are big on color.

Autumn Carnation has an exceptional flower quality, color, and lustrous dark green foliage which make this variety an excellent landscape addition. Encore Azaleas are easy to grow, and they adapt to most conditions. They prefer slightly acidic well drained soils and require once a year feeding of a slow release fertilizer.

After the spring blooming period, these amazing azaleas begin growing new shoots and start blooming into full flower in mid-summer.

Autumn Twist Encore Azalea

Autumn Twist Encore Azalea

This variety of Encore Azalea has a unique white and purple striped bloom and, occasionally, a completely purple bloom will appear. Combined with its beautiful dark green foliage, Autumn Twist's unique color pattern makes this variety a festive and fast growing addition to any garden.

It has the same requirements as the Autumn Carnation Encore Azalea and can be seen in the same area of the garden.

By Sandi Rebman
Photos by Marc Schreiber