Monday, February 27, 2012

Joan is cleaning and planting Pieris floribunda seeds that Barbara brought back from her trip to the Smokies

The North American native Pieris is a bit smaller than P. japonica and, according to Mike Dirr somewhat less susceptible to spider mite damage. That's a good characteristic because the golden stippling of spider mites makes Pieris mighty unsightly. It's also reputed to be pretty easy from seed so I'm thinking that there'll be a lot of small Pieris around come next year.

The seeds I planted last week are beginning to germinate. Okay, the Clarkia purpurea and the Hieracium villosum are the only ones up, but it's only been a week. The fact that both packets were stuffed with seeds while some of the others had less than 10 seemed like good indicator of potential success. Plus the fact that the Clarkia is an annual and the Hieracium is a weed, or so some folks would say.

Actually, the Clarkia doesn't like heat or transplanting but I'm sure I can get a few out there without killing them and because it's so early they ought to be able to flower before it gets too hot. The Hieracium is one of the "good" hawkweeds. Actually, I like most hawkweeds despite their tendency to self seed......"enthusiastically." This one, as it's name suggests, is covered with soft silky hairs. The plants are tight mounds of silvery foliage. Very nice. They bear the typical yellow hawkweed flowers but they are not really necessary.

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