Previous 'Plants of the month' 2000
Banksia spinulosa var 'Collina' (the Hairpin Banksia) - a gift from the Abbey Gardens, Tresco, Isles of Scilly in September 1994 flowering in November/December 2000. This plant is a native of E. Australia where it also flowers in the winter. Many Banksia species will tolerate light frosts down to -7° C. As with closely related Protea, Banksia is unsuited to soil rich in nitrate and phosphate and does not tolerate simazine. [*]
At a time when other flowers are fading fast, Strobilanthes penstemonoides var. dalhousieana comes into its own in October and November. This is a plant of mountain forest in the Himalaya growing between 1350 and 3400 m. At Earlscliffe unripened shoot tips are killed back in the winter but the plant usually maintains a height at flowering of around 1.5 m. The plant illustrated is about 40 years old.
South African heather, Erica glandulosa, has large 3 cm long red, pink and white tubular flowers and is at its best at Earlscliffe between September and November. This is in contrast to most other South African heathers here, such as E.canaliculata and E.pageana, which flower best in spring. Erica glandulosa is longer lived at Earlscliffe than many other South African species and has not been damaged by winter temperatures since planted thirty years ago.
Protea cynaroides (King Protea), architecturally one of the most beautiful flowers in the world, flowering without protection or any special attention. As well as being one of the most beautiful Protea species, it is also one of the most hardy. However, it is very susceptible to nitrates, phosphates and simazine. Does this plant flourish any further north than the Howth Peninsula (53.3°N) ?
Sonchus arboreus - a 2.5 metre high shrub from the Canary Islands makes a good architectural plant
Psoralea pinnata (Blue pea) from South Africa. This beautiful small tree with softly pubescent white and violet flowers, provides a welcome cool colour in early July after the main flush of rhododendrons and azaleas is over.
Echium wildpretii makes a large rosette of woolly foliage in its first season and then a towering spike of red flowers in its second
Vireya rhododendron 'Tuba' (photographed May 2, 2000) in reasonable condition after three years out of doors
This web page was set up in May 2000, so there are no previous plants before this date.
[* Footnote. Since this article was written, the
herbicide, simazine, has been banned in Europe under Commission Decisions
2004/141/EC(3), 2004/248/EC(4), 2004/140/EC(5) and 2004/247/EC(6), taken within
the framework of Council Directive 91/414/EEC of 15 July 1991. This came into
effect on 26th April 2004.]
[* Footnote. Since this article was written, the herbicide, simazine, has been banned in Europe under Commission Decisions 2004/141/EC(3), 2004/248/EC(4), 2004/140/EC(5) and 2004/247/EC(6), taken within the framework of Council Directive 91/414/EEC of 15 July 1991. This came into effect on 26th April 2004.]
This page was last updated on 02-Jan-2018 .