(Bugbane, Hillside Black Beauty Bugbane)
Hillside Black Beauty autumn snakeroot is a tall, striking perennial with rich, black foliage from eastern Asia. Its leafed purple flowerstalks are topped by arching racemes of white or light pink flowers in autumn. These are borne above clumps of lustrous dark purple to black foliage with toothed leaflets. The fragrant flowers will attract butterflies.
'Hillside Black Beauty' prefers fertile, well-drained soil with humus and a partially shaded, evenly moist location. A graceful plant, it may...
Forest & Kim Starr
Superior beauty and a spreading evergreen canopy give this shade or street tree good looks in every season. It is a warm climate species native to eastern Asia, Japan and Malaysia. The trees are intensely aromatic, containing oil of camphor, which is highly potent and used primarily in manufacturing. Both the wood, which is very hard, and the leaves bear a strong scent of camphor. This tree produces a strong, dark upright trunk topped by a canopy of medium-sized glossy leaves. This tree sheds some...
(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...
Gerald L. Klingaman
(Cinnamon, Cinnamon Bark Tree)
One of the earliest recorded spices, dating back to at least 3000 B.C., cinnamon is an aromatic plant that has essential oils throughout all its parts. A slow-growing, tropical broadleaf evergreen tree that attains a gloriously broad but rounded canopy, it is native to Sri Lanka and southernmost India. Its bark is smooth and gray-brown; the spice is dervied by stripping the tree of the brown inner bark layer and allowed to dry to the familiar orange-brown tone in stick-like quills. The unripe fruits,...
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,...
(Treebine, Wing Stemmed Grape Ivy)
Squared, succulent stems and pinkish red aerial roots are but a few curious attributes of the wing stemmed grape ivy. An evergreen to partially deciduous tropical vine or liana, it is native to a wide expanse of southern Brazil into nearby Peru and Paraguay. It's believed to have been cultivated and selected by native peoples and may explain why some plants do not flower to produce fruits or seeds.
The stems are squared and often show a wing-like keel. Tendrils with suction cup-like tips grow...
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...