Wednesday, December 3, 2008

A South African Mesemb and a hybrid Asian Viburnum hanging in after multiple hard frosts

The problem with cheating Mother Nature is that you almost always have to use non-native plants to do it. Seasonal trickery doesn't work on plants that are evolutionarily adapted to our climate. Witch hazels are the only native plants that come to mind that flower in the winter...and Skunk Cabbages and a few Carex spp.. Fortunately we can use plants from around the world (non-invasive only) to help us out in the off season. Our project today was blowing leaves in the Intro Garden (the areas around the Administration Building) today; there are still a few plants flowering including these two.

I don't know the identity of the Mesemb but the Vibutnum is 'Cayuga', introduced by the USNA more than 40 years ago. It normally flowers in March but the vagaries of the season have allowed some of the flowers on each flower head to open. They have a wonderful fragrance but I had to lean in close to small it. Still....beggars can't be choosers and I'll take what I can get this time of year!

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