February 23, 2012

some older Green Spring Gardens photos

Ken's post reminded me that I saw a couple of gesneriads at Green Spring Gardens a few years ago as well.

Here's a large container of Streptocarpus - I wonder if it's the same as the one there now:

And here is Primulina 'Chastity' (formerly Chirita):

Chirita Chastity

Chastity is a John Boggan hybrid: P. flavimaculata x P. longgangensis. You can see the clump in the middle of this photo:

indoor pond with Chirita

And here's a shot showing how it was spreading via bare stems running along the surface:

Chirita Chastity

And finally, to remind us that summer is coming, a couple of shots from outdoors:


February 17, 2012

Arboretum Photos

by Kenneth Moore

During the NCAC meeting on Saturday, I took the opportunity to wander around the Arboretum grounds (or, at least, the parts more readily accessible to the meeting space).

When people think of the Arboretum, or any arboretum, they mostly think of spring flowers, summer strolls, beautiful fall colors as leaves slowly drop to the ground--but the Arboretum holds a lot of interest during the winter, as well!

Last Saturday was a fairly grey, chill day--it later snow/rained, making me glad I didn't stay longer and explore more of the Arboretum. But what I did see was a lot more than I expected!

This is close to what I expected to see pretty much everywhere--where bonsai usually hang out in miniature splendor, just a barren landscape. All the bonsai go inside for the winter! With the grey skies and aged wood, I thought this was an interesting photo, though.

There are many winter-flowering plants to see at the Arboretum right now: flowering quince (Chaenomeles x superba 'Mandarin'), for example, has a display of red blossoms amongst its barren twigs.

These Galanthus in the Herb Garden are in their element this time of year.

And daffodils are sprouting up all around the place.

A hellebore in front of the main building.

Helleborus niger in the Herb Garden

Some trees are even getting into the spirit of winter blooming. This double-flowering Prunus mume, Japanese apricot, has its blossoms on full display right now.

Seeing amazing planty architecture like this is just not possible at other times of the year. This Ginkgo biloba has been trained and trimmed into this shape--it surely looks amazing when in leaf, but it looks even more stark and stunning during the winter!

During the rest of the year, these colorful sedum near the main building are visible--but with so much other wonderful plant delights to distract a visitor, I'm sure they're often overlooked.

"Winter interest" in the herb garden.

This bush (Chimonanthus praecox, Wintersweet) looks sort of drab from afar.

But up close, C. praecox flowers smell amazing--something between jasmine and honeysuckle and used to make scented water in Japan.

A bottom-up view shows beautiful colouring inside the flower, as well.

A visit to the Arboretum is not complete without a snapshot of the iconic columns in the meadow.

February 15, 2012

Gessies At The Garden

by Kenneth Moore

I was at a seed swap in Virginia about a week ago. It was my first time at the Green Spring Gardens where the swap was held, so I wandered around their glass house to see what they had growing during the winter, which included a nice collection of succulents, bromeliads, and tropicals--but also a variety of gesneriads.

Streptocarpus cyaneus

Streptocarpus sp. (the flower spikes must have withered not too long ago, they were still on the plant)

A wandering Streptocarpus saxorum that's hard to see in this photo because other plants are crowding around it.

I also saw a Nematanthus sp., but the photos I took with my iPhone were too blurry to even make out the species name, let alone show you the cute orange-red flowers that were on the plant.

February 11, 2012

Sinningia Show-n-Tell

by Kenneth Moore

At our recent NCAC meeting, this beautiful Sinningia hybrid was brought in for the show and tell portion of the program. It's S. leucotricha 'Max Dekking' crossed with S. bullata.

S. leucotricha and S. bullata are hairy, tuberous Sinningia, and they impart those traits onto their hybrid baby. S. bullata gives the leaves a crinkly appearance, although not as crinkly as its parent, as well as the flower shape and floriferousness--S. leucotricha doesn't bloom as much as this hybrid! Although the plant's flower shape is more reminiscent of S. bullata, the spotting on the petals comes from its other parent, S. leucotricha.

Here, you can see the fuzzy (extremely soft!) hairs on the stem and undersides of the leaves, as well as the crinkling on top of the leaves and the tubular flower shape.

The spots on this flower's petals heralds back to its S. leucotricha parentage.

This is a beautiful cross, and wonderfully grown by NCAC member Joyce from a seedling on our raffle tables two years ago.

February 8, 2012

Aeschynanthus 'Coral Flame' (and frog)

Al Pickrel sent me a photograph of Aeschynanthus 'Coral Flame' blooming in his greenhouse - it's a good grower and a good bloomer:

If I'm not mistaken, this plant originally came from Lyndon Lyon Greenhouses.

P.S. The National Capital Area Chapter of The Gesneriad Society is meeting this Saturday, February 11, 2012, at the U.S. National Arboretum in Washington, DC.

February 3, 2012

Gesneriads in Borneo

Just a quick post today to encourage you to check out this post at Hort Log, featuring some photographs of gesneriads in Borneo.

February 2, 2012

gesneriad meeting on February 11, 2012

First meeting of the year of the National Capital Area Chapter of The Gesneriad Society: Saturday, February 11, 2012, at 10:00 a.m.  Location: the U.S. National Arboretum in Washington, DC.  The topic? Dish gardens.

tray landscape