Friday, May 29, 2015

Where in the World is Flora Wonder?

An alarming number of Americans can't identify the continents or the oceans, let alone know where most of the countries are, including the United States. Only 51% of students in the Gaston school district graduate from high school, with the remaining 49% taking the short route to crime, meth addiction or slovenly welfare. Actually I am not from Gaston, Oregon – but my post office is – and I am more proud to really be from Forest Grove, Oregon, but even that is a redundant* name.

*From Latin redundare meaning “overflow,” “pour over,” or “over-full.” Undare is “rise in waves,” from unda, a “wave.”

When I was in high school I could name all countries in Africa and all states in the USA plus their capitals. I doubt that I can now, and damn that the Soviet Union broke into numerous stans* that are difficult to spell and pronounce. My interest in geography stemmed from a nearly lifelong subscription to the National Geographic, and I estimate that I have 95% of all their magazines ever published. Now they are housed on bookshelves in my basement, and I would happily give them all away if anybody wants them. When Ronald Reagan opened his Presidential Library, he quipped that he finally had a place to put his National Geographic collection. I'll admit that my first interest in the publication was due to black-and-white images of bare-breasted African women when I was in the fifth grade, and I spent a lot of time in the school library. And though I'll never tire of bare-breasted women, my interests improved to accounts of explorations to exotic places like the Himalaya, Andes, China etc., and then I was fortunate to be able to go visit them myself

*The suffix stan is Persian for “place of” or “country,” and is also used more generally like golestan for “place of flowers,” Urdu rigestan for “place of sand” or “desert,” Hindustan for “land of the Hindus” and Pakistan for “land of the pure.” What—pure? Who ever associates Pakistan with pure?

Acer x 'Obamayama'

Haruko japonica
Mao sinensis
When I encounter a new plant – rather, a plant new to me – I first consider where it is native to. Haruko japonica would be from Japan of course, and Mao sinensis would be from China, and all serious plants-people would know that. But what about Acer palmatum 'Obama yama', would that be from the USA's 58th state? By the way, I wonder if President Obama could find Ukraine on a world map? Does Hillary Clinton know where Libya is? Oops, there goes half of the Flora Wonder Blog's readership.

Iberis 'Masterpiece'

Anyway, plant genera and species were named for a number of reasons, and one very prominent one is their country or region of origin. Take Iberis sempervirens for example, commonly called the “candytuft,” a native to southern Europe and hardy to a piss-freezing -40 degrees F, USDA zone 3. It is native to the Iberian Peninsula which includes Spain, Portugal and Andorra, and is surrounded by the Mediterranean Sea, the Atlantic Ocean and the Bay of Biscay. The region is known as Peninsula iberica in Spanish, Portuguese and Catalan, Peninsule iberique in French and Iberiar Penintsula in Basque. The Iberian Peninsula has always been associated with the Ebro River, Iberos in ancient Greek, and the Roman Pliny attests that the Greeks called all of Spain Hiberia because of the Hiberus River. The peninsula has been inhabited for at least one million years by prehuman species, possibly Homo erectus, Homo heidelbergensis or Homo antecessor. Iberis sempervirens is a herbaceous perennial in the Brassicaceae family and is commonly used as a spreading groundcover which attracts butterflies. I have a clump in my garden and it is blooming now.

Rosa stylosa ssp nevadensis

I grow a couple of plants native to Nevada, USA: Arctostaphylos nevadensis and Rosa nevadensis. The rose is more appropriately known as Rosa stylosa ssp. nevadensis and – wait a minute! – it is not native to the state Nevada, but rather to the Sierra Nevada in Spain. Sierra Nevada means “snowy range” in Spanish, with the tallest peak at 3478m (11,411'), almost exactly the altitude of our Mt. Hood in Oregon. R. stylosa was originally classified as Prodromus florae hispanicae, another clue to its native range. Prodromus is derived from Greek meaning “running before,” and in the natural sciences it usually refers to a preliminary publication that will later be expanded upon. I can't find any connection between “running before” and the Spanish rose, but I invite all attractive female readers of the Flora Wonder Blog to stop by and we'll smell the roses together.

Arctostaphylos nevadensis 'Ponchito'

Arctostaphylos nevadensis 'Cascade'

Unlike Rosa nevadensis, Arctostaphylos nevadensis truly is from the state of Nevada, as well as from Washington, Oregon and California. This ericaceous groundcover is commonly known as the “Pinemat Manzanita” and it thrives in well-drained, acidic soils in open sunny sites. I have two cultivars in the rock-garden area in my Blue Forest, 'Ponchito' and 'Cascade', and both have sprawled to over eight feet in diameter after twenty years, but fortunately they are less than two feet tall. I resent their vigor somewhat, for what I value most in this rock garden are the rocks, not the greenery. A. nevadensis, like most manzanita species, requires insect visitation to ensure seed-set. Bees grasp the flowers and shake them with their beating wings, thereby accomplishing pollination. The common term Manzanita is the diminutive form of Spanish manzana for “apple,” and it describes the fruit. The name Arctostaphylos was coined by the French naturalist Michel Adanson (1707-1778) who first named the circumboreal A. uva-ursi which he found in Europe, with the Greek word arktos meaning “bear” and staphyle meaning “grape,” because bears were noticed to eat the fruit – hence the common name of “bearberry.”

Juniperus virginiana 'Royo'

Juniperus virginiana is native to Virginia of course, and the specific name is possibly due to the area where it was first encountered by the early invading Europeans. It is commonly named the “Eastern Red Cedar,” and the species is found in every state east of the 100th meridian, or basically in the eastern one-half of the United States. In other words, it could just as well have been classified as Juniperus pennsylvania or Juniperus wisconsiana. Not only that, but J. virginiana extends northward into southern Ontario and Quebec. I have seen it in the wild along highways of eastern USA states, but cruising along at 65 MPH seemed more important than actually stopping to inspect the species, for I find it quite boring. A low-spreading cultivar named 'Royo' is interesting for its blue-gray foliage and procumbent habit; we used to propagate it but discontinued due to weak sales.

Sieur d'Iberville
The history of Baton Rouge, Louisiana is interesting as the area was inhabited by Native Americans for thousands of years (since 8,000 BC), and then it was mentioned by European explorers in 1699. The Frenchman Sieur d'Iberville led a party up the Mississippi River and saw a reddish cypress pole – J. virginiana – adorned with bloody animals and fish. This baton rouge marked the boundary between two unfriendly tribes, and the French built a fort near the “red stick” in 1719, and thereby “claimed” the land. Later, in the Great Expulsion (1755) – during the French and Indian War – the British expelled 11,000 Acadians, those from the northeast Maritime provinces of present-day Canada, and they settled in Louisiana and were known as Cajuns. Anyone who has visited New Orleans, LA knows how wild its French Quarter can be, but their reputation for fiery Cajun food seems odd for a group of celery-chewers that originated from NE Canada, eh?

Adiantum aleuticum

Polystichum munitum

Blechnum spicant

Polypodium glycyrrhiza

Pteridium aquilinum

Adiantum aleuticum is our beautiful “Western Maidenhair Fern,” and I find it astounding that it ranges from the Aleutian Islands of Alaska down to Chihuahua, Mexico...and then from Newfoundland south to Maryland. I frequently meet to walk with my “grandfather” in Portland, Oregon's Forest Park where the maidenhair thrives on steep drippy banks. Also in the Columbia River Gorge, I know a place where A. aleuticum, Polystichum munitum (“western sword fern”), Blechnum spicant (“deer fern”), Polypodium glycyrrhiza (“licorice fern”) and Pteridium aquilinum (“western bracken fern”) literally touch each other, and one wonders what might occur at night. A fern's stipe is the stalk which connects the blade to the rhizome and they are black with the Adiantum genus. I'll repeat Sue Olsen's story – in Encyclopedia of Garden Ferns – of a “folkloric account of a German maiden whose lover turned into a wolf. In flight she tumbled over a precipice catching her black hair in the bushes where the hair took root and sprouted into our familiar fern. Today the maidenshair surrounds a spring, called the Wolf's Spring, at the spot where she landed.”

Catherine Creek State Park at the Columbia River Gorge

Lomatium columbianum

Lomatium grayi

Captain Robert Gray
Columbia personification
Every spring I venture east up the Columbia River in the state of Washington to a protected refuge for plants called Catherine Creek. Amongst the oaks (Quercus garryana) and pines (Pinus ponderosa) one can find scads of wildflowers, including Fritillaria, Sisyrinchium, Lewisia and two species of Lomatium – columbianum and grayi. L. columbianum is a perennial herb in the family Apiaceae, and is commonly known as the “Columbia Desert Parsley,” and it occurs in a relatively small area along the Columbia River on both the Oregon and Washington sides. The Columbia River was named by its discoverer Captain Robert Gray for his ship and since he was born in Rhode Island it was east-coast America's claim to the western half of the continent – to the dismay of the British. Columbia is a historical and poetic name used for the USA and also for its female personification, and it obviously originated from the name of Christopher Columbus. Thus we have the District of Columbia (Washington D.C.) where the black hole of government gorges for itself while claiming to serve the American people. It is thought that the first name for the New World – Columbina – was used by Massachusetts Chief Justice Samuel Sewall in 1697. Even in England the name for America was Columbia, and it was used as early as 1738 in Parliamentary debates. It's baffling why the name America prevailed, especially since the sketchy Italian sailor never set foot on North America.

Fuchsia magellanica 'Pumila'

Fuchsia magellanica is hardy in my garden, although it does die to the ground each winter. The species is native to the southern regions of Chile and Argentina...south to the Straights of Magellan. We grow the cultivar 'Pumila'* – well, we have some in the gardens, but we don't propagate and sell it anymore. Fuchsias are native to America from Mexico to South America's bottom, as well as a couple of species from New Zealand and Tahiti. One New Zealand species, F. excorticata, can grow to fifty feet tall and it goes by the charming name “kotukutuku.” Say that three times fast! The first Fuchsia to be discovered was F. triphylla, found on the island of Hispaniola – present day Haiti and Dominican Republic – by the French monk and botanist Charles Plumier. He named his 1696 discovery of the genus after the German botanist Leonhart Fuchs (1501-1566). Don't worry, for Fuchs is pronounced as few ks, and it is German for “fox.” The luxuriant color of some Fuchsia blossoms led to it becoming a color name. The first synthetic dye of the color of fuchsia was invented in 1859 and was called fuchsinie, and it was patented by the French chemist Verguin. Soon thereafter the name was changed to celebrate the victory of the Battle of Magenta, a rare French victory over the Italians. The town of Magenta is in the province of Milan in northern Italy, and the French troops wore the purplish colors on their uniforms. Just imagine the Frogs marching off to battle – and possibly meeting their maker – in reddish-purple uniforms. Better to have stayed home tending to their cabbages.

Nothofagus antarctica 'Chillan'

Coming from the same general area as the Fuchsia, Nothofagus antarctica is commonly known as the “Antarctic Beech.” It was introduced (to Europe) from Chile in 1830, and it is a pretty deciduous tree with small glossy dark-green leaves. It is fast-growing when young, but unfortunately the roots don't extend far into the ground, so it is prone to tipping over from the wind, and for this reason I finally edited my one tree from the landscape. I still grow – and keep in the greenhouse – a yellow and white variegated selection called 'Chillan' which was named for Chillan, Chile, a city of 162,000 souls located in the geographical center of the country. Originally named San Bartolome de Chillan, it was shortened to present day Chillan which is the local Indian name for “where the sun is sitting.” 'Chillan' is rarely offered in the trade, but it is fairly easy to grow and is propagated by Buchholz Nursery as summer cuttings under mist.

Quercus pontica

J.R.P van Hoey Smith with Quercus pontica

Quercus x Pondaim Group at the Arboretum Trompenburg

The specific name of Quercus pontica is derived from an ancient country in Asia Minor which borders the Black Sea, and that from pontos, the ancient Greek personification of the sea. In Latin a pons is a “bridge.” The origin of the word quercus is uncertain, but one guess that it is of Celtic origin meaning “beautiful tree.” There is no common Indo-European root word for oak, but it is thought to have originated in northern Europe, with roots such as ac in Old English, ek in Middle Low German, and eik in Dutch and Old Norwegian. Also linked together with “oak” are words such as “kernel,” “corn,” “acorn” and “acre.” Quercus pontica is commonly called the “Armenian oak” and Hillier (2014) calls it an “unmistakable species.” A most attractive hybrid is Q. x Pondaim Group, and the photo above was taken at the Arboretum Trompenburg in Rotterdam. It was raised by JRP van Hoey Smith as Quercus pontica x Quercus dentata in about 1960. According to Hillier, “This name was never restricted to a single clone and several different forms have been distributed. When van Hoey Smith was asked what his one favorite plant was, he replied without hesitation Quercus pontica.

There; we have taken a little trip around the world, accomplished while still sitting on our chairs. Every plant I have ever grown – or seen somewhere else – has a “story,” and that tale is the point (or excuse) for the Flora Wonder Blog. Thanks for the memories.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

A Wandering Narrative

Flora blessed me with an extraordinary week, for I encountered many fantastic plants, and all of the photos in this blog will join the many thousands of others that can be seen in our website photo library. Unfortunately many people call us wanting to buy what they see in the library, but I don't grow all of the plants, let alone have a market to sell them. Rather it is a record of my floral encounters, my autobiography as it were. It is true that you are what you eat, but equally so with what you see.

Dracunculus vulgaris

A spathe* developed on our Dracunculus vulgaris and I would inspect it daily. One day last week, voila, it opened, and I was surprised that it could happen so fast. The species name vulgaris is Latin for “common,” but this stinker went beyond “common” to the realm of putrid, all in an attempt to attract flies to aid in pollination. It is native to the Balkans, Turkey, Crete and Greece, and in the latter it is known as drakondia since the long spadix** – to someone who drank too much wine – looked like a dragon*** hiding in the spathe. Dracunculus belongs to the Araceae family and is related to the Arum  genus. The spathe is a bract, so to speak, while the spadix bears numerous flowers, both male and female which are hidden inside the bulbous chamber inside the spathe. Even though the flower smells like rotten meat, it is poisonous, and animals keep clear.

*Spathe is Greek for “broad blade.”
**Spadix is Greek for “palm branch.”
***Dragon is from Greek drakon for “serpent.” Of course most everything from Greek went to Latin and was altered to some degree. Latin Graeci was the name given by the Romans to the people who called themselves the Hellenes, which was from the Greek Graikoi, and was believed by Aristotle  to be the prehistoric name of the Hellenes. Latin, or Latium was the country of the Latini, a people from Mount Album – today Colli Albani – located twelve miles southeast of Rome. The area has been occupied by agricultural populations since the Bronze Age, and the name is possibly derived from the Latin word “latus” meaning “wide,” referring to the flat land. I don't know about you, but sometimes the asterisk (from Greek asteriskos for “little star”) is more interesting than the paragraph which preceded it.

Fagus sylvatica 'Aurea Pendula'

May is a wonderful time to see our magnificent specimen of Fagus sylvatica 'Aurea Pendula'. When we eventually reach 100 degrees F this summer the foliage will burn to a degree – for we have very little humidity – but the longer it has been in our original display garden the better it handles the sun. The tree behind the 'Aurea Pendula' is the original Acer palmatum 'Purple Ghost', and beyond that is an Abies nordmanniana, planted as a sapling to one day provide shade. The “Golden Weeping beech” was introduced by Van der Bom of Holland in 1900, but you don't see it very often in American gardens. Everyone wants to buy our larger trees so they are a cinch to sell, but clients never know about our dismal propagation results, and just what it takes to get little plants of weak constitution to shoot upward. I saw my first plant and got a start 35 years ago from Howard Hughes – no, not the loony Vegas tycoon – who was a generous man of 92 at the time. Before J.D. Vertrees had a sizeable maple collection, Hughes had also gathered a collection, and when the Vertrees maple book came out in 1978, due acknowledgement was given to Mr. Hughes.

Acer macrophyllum 'Santiam Snow'

Acer macrophyllum 'Santiam Snow'

Acer macrophyllum 'Santiam Snow' is a new, but apparently stable variegated form of our “Oregon maple,” meaning that – hopefully – vigorous green reversions won't appear. It received its name because it was discovered on the Santiam Highway which begins just south of Salem, Oregon, and goes east...up-and-over the Cascade Mountains and into central Oregon. I don't know who found it, but the company that introduced it is Heritage Seedlings of Salem. Santiam is a river in the area, so-named by the Kalapuya tribe. The natives are gone now; those who survived the white-man's diseases and the disgusting concept of Manifest Destiny were relocated. It's fitting that they now run a large casino and suck huge sums of money from the slovenly descendants of those whities who first screwed them. Anyway, 'Santiam' has never been tested by me in the real world, that is, out in the garden in full sun.

Onoclea sensibilis

I encountered Onoclea sensibilis last week at a nursery that sells many groundcovers and ferns. In Sue Olsen's Encyclopedia of Garden Ferns, she says, “The name Onoclea is from the Greek onos, vessel, and kleio, to close or sheathe, in reference to the podlike pinnules enclosing the spores on the fertile fronds.” With the specific name sensibilis I wondered if the fronds would curl up if I touched them. I did, they didn't. They are “sensitive” in that the sterile fronds turn yellow and die at the first frost. Sue adds, “It was supposedly the first fern introduced to Britain from North America, in 1699.”

Dryopteris sieboldii

Dryopteris erythrosora

Polystichum polyblepharum

The fern greenhouse contained many genera and species, and none fascinates me more than Dryopteris sieboldii, “Siebold's wood fern.” Also noticed was Dryopteris erythrosora, the “autumn fern” from Asia. Its specific name means “red sori” in Greek, and sori is plural of sorus, which is from ancient Greek soros for “stack” or “heap.” The sori are the structures producing and containing spores, visible on the underside of the fertile fronds. Polystichum polyblepharum is the “Tassel fern” from Japan, Korea and China and the specific name means “many eyelashes” due to the bristly scales on the stipe. A stipe is a stalk or stem.

Cornus kousa 'Summer Fun'

Cornus controversa 'Variegata' at Schreiner's Nursery

Cornus controversa 'Variegata' at Arboretum Trompenburg

I arranged a visit to Schreiner's Iris Gardens, not so much for the iris, but to see Ray Schreiner's personal garden. His is a sprawling collection of trees and shrubs that he likes. After planting he doesn't worry about the labeling, for after all the trees are not part of his business. It's as if the countless crops of iris on 200 acres got a little boring, and his own garden seems to be where he has most fun. Ray likes variegated plants, and I was pleased to see three or four of my Cornus kousa 'Summer Fun', although he didn't get them from me. He also had a good sized Cornus controversa 'Variegata', a cultivar common in the gardens of tasteful plantsmen, but seldom seen in the landscapes of the general public. Cornus controversa, a tree native to eastern Asia to about the 5,000' altitude, was first described by William Botting Hemsley (1843-1924), an English botanist who worked his way up to Keeper of Herbarium and Library at Kew. 'Variegata' was introduced in 1896 by the Frenchman Barbier, and it is probably more commonly found in Europe than America. For me, the most grand specimen I have ever seen is at the Arboretum Trompenburg in Rotterdam, and even on dismal rainy days it will light up its if it was preparing for a glorious wedding.

Schreiner's Display Garden

Schreiner's Iris Gardens

Iris 'Fringe of Gold'

Iris 'Sea Power'

I will admit that Schreiner's iris fields were spectacular, and customers and visitors are welcome to wander around a display garden, where labeling was a priority. Ray is a third generation iris-man, with his grandfather starting the business in Minnesota. Eventually they relocated to Oregon's Willamette Valley where growing conditions were far more superior, and they didn't forget to bring along their Adirondack furniture.

Audrey's place

Back at the nursery I encountered a lush scene in our Display Garden's lath house. I constructed this structure as a place of repose when I was in my early 30's, and even my older children would whisper when they were near it. It was known as Audrey's place, named after a friend who had passed away at a young age. She was my age, but could never seem to find her place in life, and was forever complaining about her job or her boyfriend etc. Finally I advised her to change her course and volunteer for something, to make the world a better place...and quit thinking about herself. She took me up on it and joined the Peace Corps and was shipped to a remote island in the Philippines. The villagers assumed she was a witch and would stare into her window, but she tried to accept the situation. After only a month of her stay we received a phone call from her mother that Audrey had died of “heart failure.” She was healthy and only 35, and to this day I conclude that she was murdered. In any case I built her monument and planted it with some choice shade-loving plants.

Acer palmatum 'Golden Falls'

Also on my camera from the past week are some Japanese maples, all of which are seedlings from named varieties which we hope to introduce in the near future. Acer palmatum 'Golden Falls' is a yellow-leaved seedling from A. p. 'Ryu sei' with the same pendulous habit of its parent. From the two hundred seedlings that we raised about 20 showed the weeping characteristic, while the others – the uprights – became rootstock. I have come to the conclusion in my career that it is best to have a cultivar name firmly in place before you propagate so as to avoid confusion later. I have broadcast that view before so I won't go into it further now – unless someone is inexperienced enough (or foolish) to debate with me.

Acer palmatum 'Celebration'

Acer palmatum 'Celebration'

The original Acer palmatum 'Amber Ghost'

Acer palmatum 'Strawberry Spring'

Acer palmatum 'Strawberry Spring'

Acer palmatum 'Yellow Threads'

Another attractive new maple is Acer palmatum 'Celebration' which originated as a seedling from 'Purple Ghost'. Its leaves are more brightly red than with 'Purple Ghost' or 'Amagi shigure', and it displays good vigor as well. A seedling from 'Amber Ghost' became 'Strawberry Spring', while 'Koto no ito' yielded 'Yellow Threads'. One should be cautious to describe a cultivar based on the original seedling, because one will never again be produced that way. The original is the one and only and all of its propagules will have a borrowed – and probably more vigorous – rootstock. For example, my first two grafts from my 'Fairy Hair' are over three times  the size of the original seedling.

Paeonia ostii

Paeonia ostii

I was disappointed with a shipment of Paeonia ostii 'Phoenix White' which I bought from another wholesale grower. He did not provide what he promised, as they all turned out to be seedlings of 'Phoenix White', and while some flowered white, most bloomed an insipid pink. One seedling was a strong pink and I like it, but it looks funny with a label that describes it as “white.” 'Phoenix White' is a tree peony from China, known as Feng Dan Bai, while a pink-flowered form is called Feng Dan Fen, and they are cultivated for the bark of their roots which is used as an anti-spasmodic. The tree peony is the national flower of China and is known as hua wang, “King of Flowers,” and this connotation goes back over 2,000 years. The herbaceous form of Paeonia is native to the Mediterranean region of Europe, and an anonymous Greek poet called it “the Queen of all herbs.” The Roman Pliny the Elder wrote that a tincture of peony roots “prevents the mocking illusions that the Fauns* bring to us in our sleep.”

*Faun is derived from the name of the pastoral god Faunus. In classical mythology they are one of a class of rural deities, represented as men with the ears, horns and rear legs and tail of a goat. Faunus was a nature god who was the father of Bona Dea, sometimes identified as Fauna.

Callicarpa japonica 'Snow Storm'

Callicarpa japonica 'Snow Storm' is a new plant from Japan, but in Europe it is known by its Japanese name of 'Shiji murasaki', which does not translate as “snow storm.” Murasaki is Japanese for “purple,” and I think that shiji is referring to the stems. The “purple” of course is referring to the “beautyberries.” Sadly the cultivar has been trademarked in America – meaning that I can't use the name and wouldn't be able to sell it. Furthermore, it will be peddled with the dumb name of 'Wine Spritzer', and I read that “landscapers are clinking wine glasses over this beautiful new shrub.” Yuck – count me out!

Abies concolor 'Wattezii'

Abies concolor is a western American fir that received its specific name because the trees are of one color, whole-colored, not partly-colored or variegated. Well, in general I guess, as the trees in the wild do look alike, but certainly not alike in the world of cultivars. This past week I walked around my upper gardens at Flora Farm, and I happily stumbled into Abies concolor 'Wattezii' which was flushed with beautiful new growth. Hillier describes the foliage, “leaves creamy yellow when young, becoming silvery white later.” Krussmann describes, “needles pale yellow on new growth, generally turning silver-white.” It originated as a mutation on A. concolor by D. Wattez in Bussum, Holland.

Dr. Forrest Bump

My connection to 'Wattezii' was due to the late Dr. Bump and his wife of Forest Grove, Oregon, who encountered a specimen in the Hillier Arboretum in England. Bump was a keen plantsman but his wife was not. After a long tour of the collection, led by Sir Harold Hillier himself, Mrs. Bump declared that “Wattezii' was the most interesting plant that she had ever seen. Bump went on a quest to acquire it, and I was pleased to provide him a tree from scions sent to me from an East Coast conifer collector. Dr. Bump was surprised that I remembered his story, but I was just beginning my nursery, and I reasoned that if a non-plant-person liked one tree out of the entire Hillier collection, it was probably something I should grow.

Acer griseum

The name of the Flora Wonder Blog could well have been A Wandering Narrative, with my floral encounters of the past week being the only theme. The last photo (above) was taken at 8:30 in the evening after a late dinner. I took my finished plate to the kitchen and glanced out the window. Acer griseum was glowing in the waning light, and one second after I pushed the shutter the sun retreated behind a cloud and it was good night for further photography. Below are more images from my happy week.

Rosa omiensis

Tricyrtis formosana 'Samurai'

Picea abies 'Vermont Gold'
Pinus schwerinii

Beschorneria septentrionalis

Sedum ochroleucum 'Red Wiggle'

Astrantia major 'Star of Billion'

Laburnum x watereri 'Vossii'

Phyllitis scolopendrium 'Angustifolia'

Campanula persicifolia 'Kelly's Gold'
Cardiocrinum giganteum var. yunnanense

Sempervivum tectorum var. calcareum 'Fire Dragon'

Oxalis regnellii 'Francis'

Sempervivum 'Spring Beauty'

Paeonia 'Border Charm'