Late summer is wonderful time to visit the Garden. Enjoy some highlights including roses, hibiscus, daylilies, gardenias, sacred lotus and many more favorites.
Here’s this month’s Bright Spots (PDF) highlighting current blooms and interest.
Helenium flexuosum ‘Tiny Dancer’ sometimes, called purplehead sneezeweed, features small purple-brown spherical cones surrounded by bright yellow reflexed petals. Some say they look like hundreds of yellow skirted dancers in motion. The movement comes from leggy stems that blow easily in the wind. You’ll find this beauty in the West Island Garden.
Passiflora incarnata might look like an alien, but it’s actually native to Virginia, and commonly found across the southeastern United States. The narrow petals are crimped in a delicate fringe. Another common name for this plant is maypop — it has a greenish-yellow fruit that makes a popping sound when crushed. You can find purple passionflower along the fence facing Lake Sydnor in the Children’s Garden.
Mirabilis jalapa have a habit of opening right around 4 p.m., so you can see why folks call them Four O’Clocks. You can practically tell time by them! The blooms, sometimes striped or mottled as in this photo, stay open until the next morning. The fragrant tubular flowers come in yellow, magenta, white and are a favorite of hummingbirds. You can find this sprawling plant in Rob’s Garden, a section of Flagler Garden near Grace Arents Garden.
Rose 'Bella de Todi'
Like all our roses, Rosa ‘Bella di Todi’ was chosen for its beauty, its ability to do well in our climate and its ability to bloom, and bloom, then bloom some more! This very fragrant hybrid tea rose (Barni), is pale yellow, with large blooms. You’ll find her in the Rose Garden with many of her friends.
Lobelia cardinalis is a tall plant topped with deep red tubular flowers on spikes. They are so bright they really pop out, even when closely planted with Joe Pye weed and rose mallow. You’ll find cardinal flower on the floating island on Lake Sydnor and in West Island Garden, where it one of best places to spot hummingbirds at the Garden!
Anemone hupehensis has long arching stems, flowers with five pink petals around a yellow fuzzy center. It’s as popular with pollinators as it is with our visitors. After it blooms it holds a white seed puff that strongly resembles a small cloud on a stem. Take note, the back of the bloom is just as lovely as the front. You’ll find this beauty in the Asian Valley and throughout the Garden.
Zephyranthes sp. ‘Labuffarosa’ are sometimes called rain lilies because they tend to pop up after summer rains. They seem to come out of nowhere. Their other common name, Zephyr lilies, is from the Greek god of the west wind. The plants have low flowers with six overlapping petals, ranging in color from white to several shades of pink. You will find them (after a summer rain) sprinkled all along the Main Garden Path.
Joe Pye Weed
Eupatorium fistulosum ‘Selection’ buds open to clusters of flat mauve flowers on sturdy stems.This native perennial attracts all sorts of pollinators, especially monarch butterflies, as you can see. Joe Pye weed likes to keep its feet wet, which makes West Island Garden, the perfect place for it. Blooms last until early fall, and seed heads provide winter interest in the garden.
Typha latifolia, more commonly known as cattails, are tall plants, with broad leaves, and long brown spikes that resemble a cat’s tail. Cattails are an important source of wildlife food. They grow in wet areas so you’ll find them along the Lotus Bridge in Lake Sydnor and the West Island Garden.
Gardenia 'Chinese Single'
Gardenia augusta ‘Chinese Single’ has amazing fragrance. Delicate white flowers with yellow center and starfish-like spokes. Our gardenias just barely survived the cold last winter, but here they are giving us flowers again this summer. You’ll find them in the Central Garden.
Dwarf Crepe Myrtle
This very special crepe myrtle is called Lagerstroemia indica ‘Gamad I’ Cherry Dazzle. Why is it special? Because the blooms are right at your feet. This little plant is only about a foot off the ground. Perfect for viewing those delicate pink and yellow blooms up close. You’ll find it in the triangle bed just before the Lotus Bridge.
Ever wonder where the sticky treat marshmallows came from?! We will blog about it soon, so stay tuned, but here’s the plant that started it all: Althaea officinalis. This perennial was originally used as an herbal remedy and even food source, before the Egyptians turned it info a confection. Unfortunately today’s marshmallows no longer have Althaea officinalis in them, but they are still a very popular treat. You will find this plant in our new Edible Garden, along Lake Sydnor, near the Children’s Garden. Do not confuse the marshmallow with the rose mallow or marsh hibiscus (photo follows). Althaea officinalis blooms are small, about an inch across, rose mallow blooms are much larger.
Swamp Rose Mallow
Hibiscus moscheutos is also called rose mallow, swamp rose-mallow, or sometimes Eastern rose mallow. Can you tell these beauties are related to okra, and cotton? The blooms look very similar, but are larger, about 4-5 inches across. You’ll find rose mallow in the West Island Garden, along Lake Sydnor and on the Floating Island, where they help draw excess nutrients out of the water.
Scarlet Rose Mallow
Hibiscus coccineus loves sun and likes moist soil. The show-stopping 5-petal blooms can reach 5 inches in diameter or more. Our specimen between the Children’s Garden and Grace Arents Garden near Historic Bloemendaal House is over 5 feet tall.
Hydrangea paniculata ‘Dvppinky’ PINKY-WINKY is an upright shrub with oval dark green leaves and lime green panicles that turn pink as they age. Flowers at the base of the panicles vary from white to pink. You’ll find a several of these beauties adjacent to the Children’s Garden along the Cherry Tree Walk near Lake Sydnor.
Emmenopterys henryi is a tree made famous by the legendary botanist, Ernest Wilson, who described the tree as “one of the most strikingly beautiful trees of Chinese forests.”
The first time this species bloomed in North America was in 1994! Lucky for you, this beauty blooms each August at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden.
Rosa ‘Flutterbye’ features multi-color blooms on the same plant! It’s one of those really fascinating things best viewed in person, especially since you won’t want to miss the fragrance of these blooms. Like all of the roses in our Rose Garden, we’ve chosen this one for its disease resistance, and ability to re-bloom throughout spring, summer and fall.
You might have seen this perennial, Liatris spicata ‘Floristan Weiss,’ in a cut flower arrangement, but here at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden we use it to add texture and height to our flower beds. Butterflies like it and so do the visitors in our Children’s Garden. It has a whimsical form and bright green foliage.