What's in Bloom

What's in Bloom Archives

Golden Ragwort - Senecio aureus

Golden Ragwort

This is a beautiful plant in flower and makes an effective groundcover even in dry shade conditions. For these reasons it is often used in native landscape gardens and meadow plantings.

The nectar and pollen of the flowers are attractive to small bees. Golden Ragwort is a carefree plant which prefers full sun to light shade in wet to moist soils with ample organic matter to retain moisture. The blooming period occurs early spring and lasts about three weeks.

This native perennial wildflower shows its stuff in early spring in our Boulder Garden.

Bloodgood Japanese Maple

Bloodgood Japanese Maple

This Japanese maple has a round shape with a height and spread of about 20 feet, making it nicely suited to residential landscapes. Its popularity is due mostly to the leaves, which stay red for most of the summer.

Leaves turn greenish red during hot weather in the southern part of its range. The multiple trunks are muscular-looking, picturesque, grey and show nicely when lighted at night. Fall color is reddish and less striking than other Japanese maples. Lower foliage branches can be thinned to display the attractive bark and trunk structure.

This beautiful tree can be seen from our outside teaching classroom.

Fothergilla Gardenii 'Blue Shadow'


In April, Fothergilla shows off it's dazzling bottlebrush flowers.

This plant has proven to be a showstopper. This alluring plant cries out for attention with its beautiful spring flower display, gray-blue summer foliage and exceptional, rich-red leaves in fall.

Of all its favorable attributes, the striking blue hue is what really sets this Fothergilla apart. It's a winner in landscapes and provides a sharp color contrast to companion plants, particularly those with golden foliage. 'Blue Shadow' forms a dense network of angular stems.

It's an upright grower that broadens with age, eventually becoming 5-6 feet high and wide. It is tolerant of both full sun and partial shade. A semi-shade location will result in a more open habit.

Like other Fothergilla, 'Blue Shadow' is native to the Southeast and has no known disease or insect susceptibilities and thrives in somewhat acidic soil with good moisture and adequate drainage.

In April to early May, 'Blue Shadow' will dazzle bystanders with honey-scented, bottlebrush flowers. Outstanding blue leaves soon follow. In mid-October to late November, fall colors appear. Rich red dominates and is often accompanied by shades of orange and dark yellow, so this plant has seasonal interest galore.

You can find this wonderful plant in full spring bloom in our Boulder Garden and as a container plant near the greenhouse.

Weeping Red Jade Crabapple

Weeping Crabapple

This Crabapple is a weeping, white-flowered crabapple that typically matures to 12-15' tall and 20' wide. It is best planted as a specimen in an area where its weeping shape can be appreciated. It is noted for its weeping shape, white flowers and red fruit. Birds will be attracted to your yard because of its fruit.

You will find it in full bloom at the side entry door of our Linneaus Teaching Barn. It is best grown in medium moisture, well-drained, acidic loams in full sun. However, it does adapt to a wide range of soils and should be pruned as needed, after flowering but before June.

Weeping Crabapple Blossom

White buds tinged with pink open in spring to white flowers, followed by bright red crabapples that mature in fall and may persist into winter.

Oklahoma Redbud

Oklahoma Redbud

This Redbud is highly drought tolerant once established and grows well in all areas within its hardiness range of 6B thru 9A. The deep pink to red flowers appear in profusion up and down the tree limbs in springtime, well before the leaves begin to emerge, creating probably one of the best Redbud displays. It also has a subdued red-burgundy fall color. As a young tree it will benefit from some training and pruning to form an upright, more uniform crown.

You can find it across the path at the top of the Boulder Garden next to the fence.

Oklahoma Redbud Blossom

Ruby Falls Weeping Redbud

Ruby Falls Weeping Redbud

Fantastic new Weeping Redbud variety with dramatic foliage color. Ruby Falls blooms prolifically in early spring when bunches of tiny, hot pink, rose-purple, pea-like flowers accentuate the bare, pendulous branches and trunks for 2-3 weeks before the foliage emerges.

As the year progresses rich ruby-purple leaves appear, gradually changing to deep green during the summer. In the fall the foliage changes to bright yellow. With its unique and elegant weeping habit, this plant is perfect for small gardens, lawns or woodland gardens. This tree can grow up to 6' with a 4' spread. It’s the first weeping purple redbud developed. Minimal pruning is needed.

You can find this tree in our entry garden next to the steps leading to our annual display beds.

Autumn Brilliance Serviceberry

Autumn Brilliance Serviceberry

This plant grows from 15 to 25' tall with multiple stems forming a dense shrub or, if pruned properly, a small tree. It adapts to a very wide range of soils and is somewhat drought tolerant.

Its spectacular show of white flowers in early spring is one of its main ornamental features. They begin as a pale pink, then fade to snowy white fragrant flowers. Its young leaves are purplish in color, then turn red, orange, and yellow in the fall. The fruit is round, sweet and edible in summer which is good for wildlife and also for human consumption.

To sum it up, here is an easy to grow plant which is featured in many gardening and landscape magazines.

It can be found along the path of the Linnaeus Boulder Garden.

Photos by Marc Schreiber
last updated April 10, 2014