(Camphortree, Hardy Cinnamon Tree)
While the most famous cinnamon and camphor trees are best suited to subtropical and tropical climes, the hardy cinnamon is a species perfect for warm temperate climates, too. A broadleaf evergreen tree, it's native to China. As it ages, it develops a dense canopy of foliage on an upright pyramidal frame.
Hardy cinnamon's leaves are elongated, pointy ovals with three obvious parallel veins. As new leaves emerge in spring, they blush a rich rosy copper color with lighter green veins. These highly...
Fragrant in foliage, bark and flower, Japanese camphor has lustrous green leaves and a smooth sandy sienna-brown bark. A broadleaf evergreen tree, it is native to Japan, Korea and a narrow band in eastern China, including Taiwan.
The thin leathery leaves are oval to lance-shaped and are glossy deep green with a gray, blue-green underside. Crush a leaf or scrape a twig or bark and a camphor-cinnamon scent is released. A new leaf emerges a coppery light green. By late spring, the branch tips bear...
Michael Charters, www.calflora.net
Canada thistle is a fierce and aggressive weed foe. Impossibly extensive, deep root systems make this one of the toughest weeds to eradicate from garden spaces. It's small, purplish, brush-like flower heads produce loads of puffy airborne seeds that float away to colonize new space, and its prickly foliage is painful to the touch. Despite the common name, Canada thistle, this species was introduced to North America from Eurasia. Its remarkable tolerance to many growing conditions means it can be...
James H. Schutte
(Kangaroo Ivy Cissus, Kangaroo Vine)
The common name "kangaroo vine" fittingly traces this tropical evergreen vine to northern Australia. In its native environment, it grows in or near the rainforest. In the home and garden, it is valued for its glossy, deep green, leathery leaves that remain attractive in both sunshine and shade. It makes a trusty houseplant, tender patio specimen or tropical outdoor vine.
Pointed, oval leaves with serrated edges and prominent veins densely line the climbing stems of kangaroo vine. Nor surprisingly,...
James H. Schutte
(Arizona Grape Ivy, Ivy Treebine, Possum Grape, Sorrel Vine)
Very fast-growing and displaying attractive teethed green leaves that fall away in winter, sorrel vine is a versatile vine or groundcover. Native to the southern United States and adjacent parts of northern Mexico, it bears tendrils opposite the leaves that will clasp onto any surface that isn't glass-smooth.
The leathery, succulent green leaves are variable in shape. Usually they're three-lobed but occasional deltoid-shaped blades occur with or without lobes, but always with coarse teeth. Tiny...
J.M. Garg, Wikimedia Commons Contributor
Across its native lands, locals would drink the sap of this treebine as a source of emergency water during sojourns through the forests, prairies and shrublands. Treebine is a tall-growing woody vine or liana native to subtropical highlands from Bhutan and northeastern India to Thailand. It's semi-evergreen, but seasonal chill or severe drought leads to it being fully deciduous in some climates. The vine stems are relatively smooth and cylindrical.
Newly emerging leaves are hairy, but mature...
(Treebine, Variegated Grape )
Pretty and glossy deep green leaves occur on this vine that inhabits rainforests from India and Bhutan southward all the way to northernmost Australia. A treebine, sometimes called variegated grape, develops a gray-barked trunk with herbaceous stems that clasp with tendrils.
The leaves are shiny and green, shaped like poplar leaves. Another way to describe them is as shallow-based hearts. Leaf margins have sparse, tiny teeth. Tendrils, if present, rise opposite the foliage on the stems. Emerging...
(Ivy of Paraguay)
At first glance, you may mistake the ivy of Paraguay as a miniaturized Virginia creeper. The small, leathery, green leaves on this tropical evergreen vine -- native from southern Brazil westward to northern Chile -- comprise three or five leaflets.
The medium green leaves on this fast-growing and slender vine are accompanied by tendrils. In summertime, tiny green flowers occur in clusters opposite the leaves. Glossy oval berries ensue. The leaves and fruits contrast the reddish stems nicely.
(Common Gum Rockrose, Frank Birch Rockrose)
A relatively large rockrose that is also notable for its aromatic foliage and palm-sized white flowers, Cistus ladanifer is native to Southwest Europe and Northwest Africa. The flowers of the cultivar 'Frank Birch' lack the purple basal blotches typical of the species. The crinkled, five-petaled blooms appear in late spring and early summer, and sporadically at other seasons. A ruff of yellow stamens adorns each flower's center. The lance-shaped, fragrant, sticky leaves are dark green above...