Sunday, December 20, 2009

Tulip tree in winter

This tulip tree has shed its leaves for the winter and the light brown seed cones remain. As you drive through town, look for the trees with these seed cones and you will know where the tulip trees are.

Turkeytail fungus

This turkeytail fungus (Trametes versicolor) is at the horticulture gardens. It's close to the greenhouse main entrance. The place it is growing used to have a tree there, and the wood of the old stump is just under the mulch. Picture taken December 17, 2009.

Link to Trametes versicolor:

Link to Trametes versicolor:

Link to Trametes versicolor:

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Paperbark Maple

This is a paperbark maple tree (Acer griseum). The attractive bark is most noticeable in winter when the foliage is all gone.

Link to Acer griseum:

Pictures taken December 6, 2009.

Link to Acer griseum:

Link to Acer griseum:

This paperbark maple is on the Purdue Tree Trail, number 13-green.

Link to Purdue Tree Trail:

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Hollyhock with rust

This hollyhock plant (Alcea rosea) is still green in December.

Link to Alcea rosea:

These hollyhock leaves have a dazzling display of hollyhock rust. Those are the orange spots on the leaves. Hollyhocks typically get rust on them but these are particularly beautiful. Who needs flowers when you get gorgeous rust like this?

The above two pictures were taken December 1, 2009.

Here is a closer look at one of the rusted hollyhock leaves seen above. Rust doesn't seem to hurt the plant any.

Here is an even closer look at the hollyhock rust teliospores on the leaf. They are the rust species Puccinia malvacearum. They will only grow when they land on another hollyhock leaf or a plant closely related to hollyhock.

Last two pictures were taken December 2, 2009.

Link to teliospores:

Link to Puccinia malvacearum:

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Pachysandra terminalis

This is Pachysandra terminalis 'Variegata', sometimes called Japanese spurge. Calling it spurge is somewhat of a misnomer, as it is not in the spurge plant family (Euphorbiaceae) but rather in the boxwood family (Buxaceae). There is a Pachysandra that is native to parts of Indiana, that is Pachysandra procumbens.

Pictures taken November 28, 2009.

Link to Pachysandra:

Link to Pachysandra terminalis:

Link to Pachysandra terminalis:

Link to Pachysandra in Lafayette:

Monday, November 30, 2009

Oregon Grapeholly

This is Oregon Grapeholly, Mahonia aquifolium, at Purdue Horticulture Gardens. Picture taken November 28, 2009.

Link to Oregon Grapeholly:

Link to Mahonia aquifolium:

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Yellow Foxglove

This is yellow foxglove, Digitalis grandiflora. This plant is located close to where the other foxgloves were earlier this spring. Digitalis grandiflora is native to mountains of western Europe, particularly the Alps. Picture taken November 26, 2009.

Link to Digitalis grandiflora:

Link to Digitalis grandiflora:

Link to Digitalis:

Link to post on strawberry foxglove, Digitalis x mertonensis:

Link to post on common foxglove, Digitalis purpurea:

Saturday, November 28, 2009


These are Yucca filamentosa.

Pictures taken November 24, 2009.

There are occasional Yucca filamentosa plants growing wild in Indiana, normally as escapes from gardens and cemeteries.

Charles Deam reports in Deam's Flora of an early account of Yucca in Indiana: "In the original Coblentz edition of "Travels in the Interior of North America" published in 1839-41, Prince Maximilian writes of his travels from Owensville, Gibson County to Vincennes, on June 10, 1834, as follows: 'The region on the other side (north side of the White River, which he crossed in the vicinity of what is now known as Hazelton) changes considerably; and here appears in a now again sandy soil nearly the same plants as are found in the sandy soil and the prairies of St. Louis, with the addition of a few new ones, a fire-colored lily (Lilium catesbaei), the great-flowered lady slipper (Cypripedium spectabile), a species of Yucca, and many others.' It is not known what species Maximilian saw. It may have been (Yucca filamentosa) or Yucca glauca Nutt. both of which may have at that time extended up the Mississippi Valley into Indiana"

Friday, November 27, 2009

Dead nettle

This is spotted dead nettle, Lamium maculatum 'Pink Chablis'. Dead nettle is a cool season plant, and a native of Europe. The dead nettle pictured here is a commercial cultivar intended for planting, but the non-spotted kind of dead nettle (Lamium purpureum) is a very common weed that probably grows in your garden anyway.

Picture taken November 23, 2009.

Link to Lamium maculatum 'Pink Chablis':

Link to post about Lamium:

There are two places in Purdue Horticulture gardens where this is growing. This spot is beneath the old hawthorn tree.

Link to previous post on hawthorn tree:

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Arum italicum and tuberous begonia

This is Arum italicum with tuberous Begonia (Begonia x tuberhybrida 'Nonstop Deep Salmon')

Picture taken Nov. 23, 2009.

Link to Arum italicum:

Link to Arum italicum:

Not to be eaten, Arum italicum contains calcium oxalate like its American relative, Jack-in-the-pulpit:

Link to calcium oxalate in Arum italicum:

Link to Begonia x tuberhybrida:

Another cultivar of tuberous begonia is Kimjongilia.

Link to Kimjongilia:


This is strawflower. Formerly called Bracteantha bracteata, the current scientific name of strawflower is Xerochrysum bracteatum. This is an Asteraceae plant, as it appears to be, but it only has disk flowers. What appear to be ray flowers are not flowers but papery involucral bracts.

Link to involucral bracts:

Pictures taken Nov. 23, 2009.

Link to Xerochrysum bracteatum:

Link to Xerochrysum bracteatum:

Link to strawflower:

Clearout time

The Horticulture gardens were mostly cleared out for the winter last Tuesday Nov. 24. There are now just a few things growing there and of course the trees are still there.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Signet Marigold

This is Signet Marigold, Tagetes tenuifolia 'Lemon Gem'

Picture taken November 13, 2009.

Link to Tagetes tenuifolia:

Link to Tagetes tenuifolia:

Link to Tagetes:

Friday, November 13, 2009

Cold-hardy banana

The Musa basjoo banana was just today taken inside. Here is a picture of it a few days ago, November 2, 2009. It is tough enough to stand a few days of Indiana November. Notice the ensete had been taken away before this.

Link to this Musa basjoo this summer:

Link to earlier post on ensete:

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Miscanthus sinensis

A few varieties of Miscanthus sinensis ornamental grass can be viewed at Purdue Horticulture Gardens. The picture shows Maiden grass, Miscanthus sinensis 'Gracillimus', November 2, 2009.

Other Miscanthus plantings nearby are:

Zebra grass, Miscanthus sinensis 'Zebrinus'
Eulalia grass, Miscanthus sinensis 'Yaku Jima'
Striped Eulalia grass, Miscanthus sinensis 'Variegatus'

Link to Miscanthus sinensis:

Link to Miscanthus sinensis:

Link to Miscanthus sinensis 'Gracillimus':

Friday, November 6, 2009

Senecio cineraria

This is Senecio cineraria 'Silver Dust', also called Dusty Miller. Picture taken November 2, 2009.

Link to Senecio cineraria:

Link to Senecio cineraria:

Link to Senecio cineraria:

Link to Senecio cineraria in its native habitat:

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Silver Dichondra

This is Silver Dichondra, (Dichondra argentea 'Silver Falls'). It's in the morning-glory family (Convolvulaceae).

Link to Dichondra argentea 'Silver Falls':

Link to Dichondra argentea 'Silver Falls':

Link to Dichondra argentea:

This dichondra is spreading out of where it was planted and is rooting into the mulch of the footpath.

Link to spreading dichondra:

Pictures taken November 2, 2009.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Mugo pine

This is a mugo pine, scientific name Pinus mugo.

Picture taken October 27, 2009.

Link to Pinus mugo:

Link to Pinus mugo cultivars:

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Cushion spurge in fall

This is the cushion spurge plant, Euphorbia polychroma. This picture was taken October 27, 2009.

Link to post on this cushion spurge plant in spring:

Juncus inflexus

This is Juncus inflexus 'Blue Dart'. Juncus are also known as rushes. It looks something like a grass, but it's not a grass. Grasses are the plant family Poaceae. Rushes are in the plant family Juncaceae.

Juncus inflexus is not a native rush.

Picture taken October 25, 2009.

Link to Juncaceae:

Link to Juncus inflexus:

Link to Juncus inflexus:

Monday, October 26, 2009

Sweetgum's fall color

Sweetgum (Liquidambar styraciflua) is one of the last trees to show fall color. The fall colors are brilliant. A sweetgum tree typically shows a wide range from orange to yellow to red to purple. Often more purple than this one shows here. When all the other trees are bare, the sweetgum stands out far in the distance.

Pictures taken October 25, 2009.

Link to previous post on Liquidambar styraciflua:

Japanese maple

The Japanese maple tree (Acer palmatum) in Hort Gardens is showing good autumn color. Picture taken October 25, 2009.

Link to Acer palmatum:

Sunday, October 25, 2009


This is tufted hair grass, Deschampsia sp. 'Zephyr'. Picture taken October 21, 2009.

Link to Deschampsia:

Link to tufted hair grass:

Another kind of Deschampsia is the only kind of grass that grows in Antarctica, that is Deschampsia antarctica.

Link to Deschampsia antarctica:

Umbrella magnolia in autumn

This is the umbrella magnolia (Magnolia tripetala) at Purdue Horticulture gardens. Picture taken October 21, 2009.

Link to previous post on umbrella magnolia in spring:

Friday, October 23, 2009

European cranberrybush

This is the European cranberrybush, Viburnum opulus ‘Nanum’. Picture taken October 21, 2009. This is planted at Purdue Horticulture Gardens.

Link to European cranberrybush, Viburnum opulus var. opulus:

Link to European cranberrybush, Viburnum opulus var. opulus:

Link to European cranberrybush, Viburnum opulus var. opulus:

There is another variety of Viburnum opulus that is native to Indiana, that is the American cranberrybush, Viburnum opulus var. americanum. You can find this outside Pfendler Hall on the Purdue Campus, here is a link:

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


This is Lavender Cotton, Santolina chamaecyparissus 'Santa'.

Link to Santolina chamaecyparissus:

Link to Santolina chamaecyparissus:

Link to Santolina chamaecyparissus:

This is Green Santolina, Santolina rosemarinifolia.

Link to Santolina rosemarinifolia:

Santolina is in the Asteraceae family.

Link to Santolina:

Find these two Santolinas behind the southwest corner of the Horticulture Building. Pictures taken October 20, 2009.

Grapeleaf anemone

This is grapeleaf anemone (Anemone tomentosa 'Robustissima'). Picture taken October 20, 2009.

Link to previous post on anemone:

Link to another previous post on anemone:

Link to Anemone tomentosa 'Robustissima':

Link to Anemone tomentosa:

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Euphorbia myrsinites

This is Myrtle Euphorbia (Euphorbia myrsinites). Picture taken October 20, 2009.

Link to Euphorbia myrsinites:

Link to Euphorbia myrsinites:

White Sweetclover

Nobody has to plant this white sweetclover (Melilotus alba). It comes up on its own. True low maintenance. Picture taken October 19, 2009.

Link to Melilotus alba:

Link to previous post on yellow sweetclover (Melilotus officinalis):

Monday, October 19, 2009

Pansy 'Ultima Morpho'

These are pansies, Viola x wittrockiana 'Ultima Morpho'. Picture taken October 18, 2009.

Link to pansy:

Link to Viola x wittrockiana:

Link to Viola x wittrockiana:

Link to Viola x wittrockiana 'Ultima Morpho':

Sutera cordata

This is Sutera cordata 'Giant Snowflake'. For some reason this is called Bacopa. Maybe it is just to confuse us. The true Bacopa is in the Plantaginaceae family. Sutera cordata is one of the Scrophulariaceae family. Pictures taken October 18, 2009.

Link to Sutera cordata:

Link to Bacopa genus:

Revision 10/19: OK maybe this link will help explain this mess:

The plant itself doesn't care what you call it. It's only us humans that worry about such things. Here is another link to this plant, under what is (I hope) the correct name of Chaenostoma cordatum: Link

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Arundo donax

This is Arundo donax, the giant cane. I have been seeing this planted in Indiana in a few places as an ornamental, it has the potential to become invasive and present a real problem. Its normal habitat is a semitropical environment but this is in Indiana in October and this plant is still green and vigorous. If you have some of this don't dump any part of it in the creeks or ditches or we may never see the end of it. Picture taken October 14, 2009.

Link to Arundo donax:

Link to Arundo donax:

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Imperata cylindrica

This is Japanese blood grass, a cultivar of Imperata cylindrica. It’s on display at Purdue Horticulture Gardens, right along Marstellar St.

This red leaved variety of Imperata cylindrica is being used for landscaping in Indiana but it has the potential to be invasive. Imperata cylindrica has been rated as one of the ten worst weeds worldwide. The Japanese blood grass that you see around here is not supposed to spread via seed. Probably best not to plant this stuff at all, though. If you have it planted and want to get rid of it, don’t rip it out and dump it out in the woods!

As an indicator of this plant's ability to spread you might notice that it has taken over the space in the cracks between the bricks of the retaining wall.

Picture taken October 10, 2009.

Link to Imperata cylindrica:

Link to Imperata cylindrica:

Link to Imperata cylindrica “Rubra”:

Friday, October 9, 2009

Anthemis tinctoria

This is Anthemis tinctoria 'Alba', or Golden Marguerite. Picture taken October 7, 2009. Also growing at Purdue Horticulture Gardens near to this pictured plant is another common cultivar of this species, 'Kelwayi'

Link to Anthemis tinctoria:

Link to Anthemis tinctoria:

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Maximilian Sunflower

This Maximilian sunflower (Helianthus maximiliani) has so far failed to flower. The picture was taken September 30, 2009, and this plant still hasn't flowered, so I figured I might was well post it now without any flowers showing.

Link to Helianthus maximiliani:

Link to Helianthus maximiliani:

Link to Helianthus maximiliani:

Little bluestem

This is little bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium), a native Indiana prairie grass. Picture taken October 4, 2009. There are several ornamental grass plantings in this area of Purdue Horticulture Gardens, look for them near the northwest side of the greenhouse building.

Link to Schizachyrium scoparium:

Link to Schizachyrium scoparium:

Monday, October 5, 2009

Rudbeckia triloba

Three-lobed Coneflower, Rudbeckia triloba. Picture taken October 4, 2009.

Rudbeckia triloba is native to Indiana. Deam's Flora of Indiana describes its occurrence:

"Infrequent, but usually in large colonies in the open or wooded, moist banks of streams and in moist wooded ravines. Throughout the state although there are no reports of specimens from the northern counties."

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Another Brugmansia

Brugmansia, species not known. Picture taken September 30, 2009.

Link to Brugmansia:

Brugmansia sanguinea

Red Angel's Trumpet (Brugmansia sanguinea). September 30, 2009. In the Andes, Brugmansia sanguinea is known as yerba de huaca.

Link to previous post on Brugmansia:

Link to huaca: