(Bambooleaf Oak, Chinese Evergreen Oak, Jade Oak)
Handsome and relatively unknown for use as an urban street and shade tree, bambooleaf oak has leaves that look more like those of a tropical fig (Ficus) rather than a very close relative of true oaks (Quercus). This is a broadleaf evergreen tree native to the highland valleys of China, Korea, Japan, Vietnam, Thailand and Laos. Its smooth tan bark covers the trunk that supports the rounded to eventually spreading canopy of foliage.
The newly emerging leaves are a light coppery...
Long cultivated for its fragrant, tasty fruit, this small, slow-growing deciduous tree from western and central Asia is also notable for its lovely spring flowers and its picturesque multi-trunked habit.
The simple oblong-oval leaves flush light green in spring, soon followed by large, five-petaled, white or pale pink blossoms that are visited by bees. The leaves mature to dull medium green with fuzzy, paler undersides. The pear-shaped to apple-shaped, fuzzy-skinned fruits ripen by early autumn,...
James H. Schutte
A small, slow-growing deciduous tree from western and central Asia, quince has long been cultivated for its tasty fruits, its lovely spring flowers, and its picturesque multi-trunked habit. The cultivar 'Smyrna' bears large, white-fleshed, pear-shaped fruits.
The simple oblong-oval leaves flush light green in spring, soon followed by large, five-petaled, white or pale pink blossoms that are visited by bees. The leaves mature to dull medium green with fuzzy, paler undersides. The fuzzy-skinned...
(Cymbidium Orchid, Ivory Cymbidium)
Ivory cymbidium's flowers are white, as the name suggests, but also faintly blushed with pale pink. Its signature feature is a delicious fragrance akin to that of lilacs. Native from northern India to Vietnam, this tropical epiphyte (tree dweller) or lithophyte (rock dweller) can be found growing in cool highland cloud forests and cliff sides.
Long, light green, sword-shaped leaves arise from the oval pseudobulbs of this large, clump-forming evergreen orchid. Actively growing in the warm rains...
(Cymbidium Orchid, Sword-leaf Cymbidium)
The compact and highly fragrant sword-leaf cymbidium was among the first grown and prized by Chinese gardeners and appeared in the record as early as 500 B.C. In its native Japan, China, Southeast Asia and Sri Lanka it can be found growing in humus rich soils along streamsides and waterfalls. Occasionally it grows on moist rocks alongside mosses and ferns.
This clump-forming orchid forms a cluster of small pseudobulbs from which rise three or four thin, sword-like leaves of light green. Actively...
(Cymbidium Orchid, Goering's Cymbidium, Korean Spring Orchid)
Easily mistaken for a grass when flowers are absent, Goering's cymbidium is a prized orchid in gardens across the warm temperate areas of China, Japan and southern Korea. Faintly fragrant golden green to chartreuse flowers appear in winter and spring. These are only subtly showy and often camouflaged by the foliage, though some come in more exciting colors, such as white, pink, golden orange and bright yellow-green. In the wild, this species is naturally distributed from Bhutan eastward to the Korean...
(Cymbidium Orchid, Low's Cymbidium)
Native to high elevation montane cloud forests, Low's cymbidium grows as an epiphyte (upon other plants) across Myanmar, Thailand, southwestern China and Vietnam. Flowering occurs from late winter into spring and variation exists among plants, particularly with respect to the color of the subdued flowers and lack or presence of floral fragrance.
This large, clump-forming, evergreen orchid has compressed pseudobulbs from which arise upright, lance-shaped leaves of light green. Active growth occurs...
Michael Charters, www.calflora.net
(Cymbidium Orchid, Tracy's Cymbidium)
The most strongly scented of all cymbidium, Tracy's has large, long-stemmed, corsage quality orchids of dark red and yellow-green. Native to the cool highland forests and cliffs of southern China, northern Myanmar (Burma) and Thailand, this tender evergreen epiphyte (tree dweller) or lithophyte (rock dweller) is frequently seen growing on flared tree trunks, branch forks or moist rocks along open woodland slopes.
Tracy's cymbidium is a large, clump-forming orchid with oval pseudobulbs from...
What a bold, architectural perennial for the garden! Cardoon is a handsome herbaceous plant that produces huge rosettes of spiny, silvery arching leaves. In the second year this close relative of the artichoke produces tall, multi-branched stems topped with enormous thistle-like blooms of violet-blue. These appear from early to midsummer. Bees and butterflies love the blossoms of this native of the Azore Islands and Mediterranean.
Cardoon may also be enjoyed as a vegetable, though its use is...