Posts Tagged ‘Foliage plants’

I have a small collection of sansevierias, also known as mother-in-law, good-luck plant, bowstring hemp, and Devil’s tongue. Year in and year out I enjoy them for their handsome foliage, but I am writing about them today because one of my more unusual plants is in bloom, Sansevieria cylindrica. Elephant’s toothpick and spear sansevieria are two of the common names I found for this plant.

Sansaveria edited

The flowers are creamy white, lightly fragrant, and open as the central stalk of the inflorescence lengthens. (Descriptions of this plant I found in reference books and on-line say the flowers are pinkish, but I don’t see that in my plant.) In my experience, sansevierias bloom on their own schedule, so I have learned to appreciate the flowers whenever they appear.



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I am always on the lookout for perennials that are able to withstand summertime heat and humidity and still look great as the growing season wanes. This year one of the late-season standouts is hosta ‘Dick Ward’. Despite the drought this summer, coupled with neglectful watering, it remains attractive well into October.


Above. Hosta ‘Dick Ward’ in the third week of October. The clump is about 19 inches tall and 25 inches wide.

While the foliage color is certainly fading, and there are a couple of browned-out leaf edges, all-in-all ‘Dick Ward’ remains quite attractive. Earlier in the season, the leaves were bright green with darker green margins.


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Rain and wind have driven the last of the leaves from the deciduous trees in my garden, and a hard frost finally blackened my coleus a couple nights ago. There’s no denying the end of the growing season has finally arrived. Fortunately, a few shrubs still bring colorful foliage to the garden even at this late date.


 ABOVE: Shrubs with colorful fall foliage combined with evergreen lavenders, thymes and other plants fill the late fall garden.


Year round, one of my favorite shrubs is oakleaf hydrangea (Hydrangea quercifolia). This dependable native brings glorious fall foliage to the garden every year, and also produces luscious white flowers in summertime. I have to say in Ohio, where I was raised, the flower buds often didn’t survive the winter, so the plants didn’t bloom. We grew it anyway just for for the deep greens of summer and the glorious fall foliage.



ABOVE: Oakleaf hydrangea (Hydrangea quercifolia)


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