Mark A. Miller
The silver-splashed leaves and elegant, sweet-scented blooms of this hardy cyclamen arise in spring from fuzzy, rounded, underground tubers. Native to Italy, the Dalmatians, Greece, and several Mediterranean islands, it has been cultivated by gardeners for more than 300 years.
The gray- to dark-green, heart-shaped leaves of Cyclamen repandum break ground in late winter or spring. Thinner than those of most other cyclamen species, the leaves are often blotched, dotted, or streaked with...
(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...
(Candelabrum Cactus, Cane Cholla, Cardenche , Tree Cholla)
Large, beautifully colored flowers make this tree-like, cold-hardy cactus an excellent candidate for arid gardens. Tree or cane cholla is noted for having the most northerly range of any other Cylindropuntia. It is found at middle to high elevations in Utah, New Mexico, Colorado, West Texas and Kansas, and also extends southward into Mexico.
Tree cholla is composed of short, gray-green stems, either cylindrical or slightly club-shaped. Each areole contains 5 to 30 wickedly barbed...
(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...
James H. Schutte
(Lemon Grass, Lemongrass)
Fast-growing and clump-forming, lemongrass has leaf blades rich in fragrant oils that smell lemony when crushed. The bases are used to flavor any number of dishes in Indian and Southeast Asian Cuisine. A Southeast Asian native, this tender perennial grass is evergreen where hardy and fast-growing.
The wide, blue-green blades of lemongrass may be coarse or sharp to the touch, so handle with gloves when harvesting the tender, fragrant bases. The blades rise from bulbous rhizomes that spread...
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...