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blue bulb

A few of these small, 4-5 inch high bulbs have just emerged in my PNW garden. The flower buds are an intense violet-blue and the flowers slightly paler. The foliage is vivid green. The flower form...

Identity discovered

I first posted this image in August 2012, but while the photo elicited many comments, it failed to elicit the plant's actual identity. By chance I have just now learned what it is: Ternstroemia...

small perennial clump

This perennial forms neat, 10 inch high clumps of foliage which remain mostly evergreen through the winter here in the Pacific Northwest (Zone 8). In late winter or early spring it produces dozens of...

evergreen shrub

This small, evergreen shrub bears rose-pink flowers in late spring. Its leathery, oval-lanceolate leaves are bright green, very slightly shiny, and measure about one to one and a half inches in...

purple-flowering perennial

Found this specimen growing in a neglected street-side bed, in sunny, bone-dry conditions. The plant forms a low, lush mound of near pinnate, mid-green foliage, reaching about 24" high. The...

Ubiquitous winged seeds

These winged seeds began blowing into our garden here in the Pacific Northwest about four weeks ago, in January. Each one is about 1.5 inches long. The seed head is sharp, like a tooth, and it stands...

peculiar perennial

This taller, large-leaved perennial can grow to 3 feet. It produces a small cluster of single lemon yellow flowers at the top of the stem which open in mid-late summer. (The only bloom to open this...

delicate mystery

These rose-pink flowers have just opened at the tip of a long, ca 18 inch stem rising from strappy leaves resembling those of an iris or sisyrinchium. From the timing (end September), I would guess...

unfamiliar broadleaf evergreen

This broadleaf evergreen shrub produces hanging clusters of small creamy-white flowers with yellow anthers. It is currently blooming here (in late August) in our garden in the Pacific Northwest. The...

NW Orchid?

This plant has emerged for the second year now in our garden in the Pacific NW. It has red-spotted strappy leaves and racemes of pale lavender flowers with darker purple banding which resemble the...

native Rhododendron?

This deciduous Rhododendron has finally opened (as of 6/5). My research indicates that it may well be Rhododendron occidentale, which is a variety native to the western U.S. The flowers are deep pink...

Deciduous Rhododendron/azalea - Any suggestions as to the cultivar?

We inherited this lovely deciduous rhododendron which is blooming for the first time since we moved here a year ago. The new leaves have a russet tinge to them and the plant structure is somewhat...


Lewisia in bloom.

early May garden

New decomposed granite path winds through recently planted border consisting of Acer palmatum 'Viridis', Geum 'Mango Lassi', Chamaecyparis obtusa 'J.R.', Primula, Tellima grandlflora, Acorus...

vivid groundcover

This multi-hued groundcover produces sulphur yellow flowers with red-orange centers in summer. It is low growing, reaching a height of no more than three inches. The leaves are variegated with...

woodland flower

This lovely, unfamiliar woodland (?) flower emerged in a shady section of my garden about three weeks ago (early to mid-March). It has chartreuse flowers or bracts with yellow anthers. It currently...

spring starlets

Violets and hose-in-hose English primrose illumine a shady corner.

Salix melanostachys

The soft, reddish-black tufts of black pussy willow (Salix melanostachys) emerge.

Recent comments

Re: blue bulb

Thank you all for your input. Two or three heads is sometimes better than one.

Re: unfamiliar broadleaf evergreen

By chance I have just discovered the identity of this shrub: Ternstroemia gymnanthera, aka Japanese ternstroemia, more often sold as Cleyera japonica. For further information please refer to http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/depts/hort/consumer/factsheets/shrubs/ternstroemia_gymnanthera.html

Re: small perennial clump

May I enter this controversy? Based on the flower and leaf forms, I would have to agree with tntreeman's identification, namely, Hepatica nobilis. Unlike Jeffersonia dubia, the leaves have three vs. two lobes, while the flowers have narrower, more daisy-like petals with very little overlap.

Re: small perennial clump

Thank you both for the information. Hepatica nobilis it is.

Re: evergreen shrub

Thanks for the suggestion, but it is not a pink Abelia (Abelia 'Edward Goucher'). The leaves on this plant are thicker, and the flowers have a slenderer trumpet (vs. funnel) shape. They also bloom somewhat earlier.

Re: purple-flowering perennial

Thank you, Sunnyday design! With your tip I was able to determine that the plant is most likely Osteospermum 'Serenity Purple'.

Re: Ubiquitous winged seeds

So they are. Thank you!

Re: Shrub with lovely blue leaves

My best guess as to this plant's identity is Cotoneaster glaucophyllus, the Grey/Gray Leaf Cotoneaster, which originates in China. This variety can grow to ca. 5 feet tall, and its leaves derive a notably grayish cast from the fuzz on the surface. It could also be Cotoneaster franchetii, but this cultivar tends to have distinctly arching branches and slightly shinier, greener leaves than the shrub you have.

Re: peculiar perennial

Thank you, cxsdia. It looks like it could be a very pretty plant if given the right location. Hmm. Space in my garden is at a premium.

Re: delicate mystery

@whiterock--Thank you! Schizostylis it is. Quite lovely, as you say. I might just have to get more.

Re: unfamiliar broadleaf evergreen

@MSinformed And one more, very important difference--our mystery shrub blooms in late summer, whereas Pittosporum tobira generally blooms in spring.

Re: unfamiliar broadleaf evergreen

@MSinformed An interesting suggestion, but this shrub has several characteristics that would indicate Pittosporum tobira is NOT a match. The Pittosporum has leaves with recurving edges whereas this shrub's leaves are quite flat. In addition, although its flowers do have five petals, they are not simply oval like those of the Pittosporum but instead have a central cleft-- heart-shaped, if you will. Also, the anthers are bright yellow, forming what looks like a bright ball of yarn, which again stands in contrast to the smooth, pale green, nut-like center of the Pittosporum tobira flower.

Re: unfamiliar broadleaf evergreen

@Linneaz Thank you for your comments. However, while the shrub bears some resemblance to Daphne laureola (spurge laurel), it differs significantly in several ways. First, this shrub's leaves are rounder or less lanceolate. Moreover, its flowers are fewer, hanging in small, slightly pendulous clusters, and they are waxier, less tubular (spherical when closed), and have more prominent anthers (i.e., structurally unlike those of any Daphne). Finally, it does not produce any berries.

Re: Mystery Tree

My guess is that it is Franklinia (Franklin Tree), which is a species native to the southern United States. Wikipedia (www.wikipedia.org) has a pretty thorough entry for this tree, so you might refer to that to make a final determination.

Re: NW Orchid?

Further research--and a lead from Cistus Nursery in Portland, Oregon--have led me to conclude that this plant is a specimen of Dactylorhiza fuchsii, the common spotted orchid. This species occurs throughout Europe (hence the "common"), but not at all in the US, so it is obviously an import.

Re: Is it a weed? It's sprung up everywhere!!

Almost certainly Japanese anemone (Anemone x hybrida). If the flowers emerge white, then it is probably Anemone 'Honorine Jobert.' However, there are several other cultivars.

Re: Early spring bloomer - once every seven years!

I agree with Ms. Keith. Most likely Fritillaria imperialis rubra maxima.

Re: vivid groundcover

@katie74. Indeed. Thank you for the identification. I had almost lost hope.

Re: woodland flower

Linneaz, Thank you very much for the ID: Haquetia epipactis it is. Equipped with the name I have been able to successfully research the origins (central Europe) and needs of this plant.