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Author Topic: July 2023 in the Northern Hemisphere  (Read 801 times)

Andre Schuiteman

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July 2023 in the Northern Hemisphere
« on: July 08, 2023, 10:59:00 PM »
A couple of early-summer flowers.
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Hydrangea caerulea, better known as Deinanthe caerulea, a strange but easy woodlander.
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This came without name but I believe it is a dark-flowered cultivar of Dierama pulcherrimum.

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Lobelia laxiflora subsp. angustifolia is native to Arizona and Mexico. The stems are sensitive to frost, so the plant usually collapses at some point in the winter. The underground rhizomes are hardier and my plant so far comes back with renewed vigour, if not double vigour, each spring. The rhizome also has a habit of creeping underground so that it needs to be kept in check from time to time. The flowers look as if they are hummingbird-pollinated.

Andre Schuiteman

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Re: July 2023 in the Northern Hemisphere
« Reply #1 on: July 08, 2023, 11:35:23 PM »
Some more North Americans and one Chinese next.
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Monarda bradburiana is going over.
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Potentilla thurberi seeds around quite a bit. The seedlings look identical to the parent, which I bought as the cultivar 'Monarch's Velvet'. My wife saw this at Wisley Garden and liked the colour so much that I was more or less ordered to get one. Now we have lots. I like it too, I hasten to add.
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Salvia pachyphylla came via the SRGC seed exchange from wild-collected seed. It is flowering for the first time this year, after being sown in February 2020. The bracts are not as vividly purple as I have seen in images from the wild. I assume the lack of Californian sunshine makes the colours less striking. The plant is extremely aromatic, the slightest brush against the grey-green leaves produces a rather pungent smell that sticks to your hand.
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Most Lamiaceae are flowers of summer par excellence and Scutellaria suffruticosa 'Texas Rose' is a fine example. It's a nicely compact, almost cushion-forming subshrub that gets bigger and better every year. In spite of its cultivar name it is apparently found only in Mexico. It loves drought and sunshine but is remarkably tolerant of British winter weather.
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The Chinese Thalictrum delavayi forms a huge firework of little pinkish purple flowers throughout the summer months. It can easily become two meters tall when it is happy, which is wherever it is damp and sunny. It disappears underground in winter and, like the Potentilla mentioned above, seeds around freely.


« Last Edit: July 08, 2023, 11:39:08 PM by Andre Schuiteman »

Maggi Young

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Re: July 2023 in the Northern Hemisphere
« Reply #2 on: July 09, 2023, 11:44:13 AM »
Great selection of flowering plants , Andre!
Margaret Young in Aberdeen, North East Scotland Zone 7 -ish!

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Robert

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Re: July 2023 in the Northern Hemisphere
« Reply #3 on: July 09, 2023, 08:16:29 PM »
[Jasmin]:

Mr. Schuiteman,

We have been enjoying your photography and plant descriptions very much.  It is fascinating how plants that we also have in our garden are faring in yours, with a much different climate.

We also enjoy a dark flowered Dierama pulcherrimum, so yours seems a familiar friend.  According to Jepson’s, Salvia pachyphylla usually grows on dry slopes in pinyon/juniper to yellow-pine forest.  The pH of the soil is acidic.  This may answer the pale flower color.  Our Sacramento garden does not have the low pH of our Placerville farm location.  A number of plants perform poorly or fail altogether without their desired pH.

Robert’s note:

Flower color can also be influenced through the degree of gene expression of anthocyanins in flower petals and/or sepals. Temperature frequently influences the gene expression of anthocyanins through the activity of transcription factors during the initial stages of gene transcription. Thus, Cornus kousa ‘Red Satomi’ frequently has very pale pink flower bracts in our hot interior California climate and deep pink bracts in the much cooler Willamette Valley in Western Oregon. Other factors can also be involved, but this is a common characteristic seen in many plant species.

Salvia pachyphylla is native to the mountainous parts of the Mojave Desert and adjoining areas in Southeastern California. It has been decades since I last traveled in this part of California. Where natural habitats are still intact, it must still be very beautiful. So many ecosystems and habitats have been radically changed here in California during the last 50 years. I am glad that you can still enjoy this species.
Robert Barnard
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Andre Schuiteman

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Re: July 2023 in the Northern Hemisphere
« Reply #4 on: July 11, 2023, 07:49:26 PM »
Jasmin,

It's interesting to learn that Salvia pachyphylla grows in acidic soils. Of the three plants of it that I have in my garden, one is growing under an old Chamaecyparis tree in what must be pretty acidic conditions. This is the only one that is growing well and is now flowering. The two others, in more neutral clay soil, are surviving but doing little more than that.

Leucogenes

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Re: July 2023 in the Northern Hemisphere
« Reply #5 on: July 22, 2023, 08:02:36 AM »
Here are two North Americans that are very convincing due to their striking red flower...

Ipomopsis rubra and Monardella macrantha.  The latter, however, grows backwards and makes much fewer flowers than in the previous two years.

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Re: July 2023 in the Northern Hemisphere
« Reply #6 on: July 22, 2023, 07:19:58 PM »
Hi Thomas,

We enjoyed your photographs immensely!

I have many questions regarding the plants pictured. I will have to look into this. Perhaps Monardella macrantha behaves much differently in your climate than elsewhere. Yes, these are the types of questions I enjoy researching. Anyway, thank you for sharing the photographs.



Trifolium monathum ssp. monathum is still doing well in our Sacramento garden despite the return to extremely hot, dry weather, which seems to be the new normal now.

This photograph is from the Sonora Pass region of California. My brother and I were hoping to get there in July, but now it looks like it will be September. The plants in our Sacramento garden also bloomed this year, however the flowers were, more or less, white. This is not surprising given how plants respond to the heat in regards to flower color intensity.

September will be a prime time to gather seed of Trifolium monathum. Having additional genetic material from another region fits perfectly into my current gardening scheme. The current plants in our garden are from the Ebbetts Pass region of California.



This year Trifolium longipes ssp. atrorubens is thriving in our Sacramento garden. Last year I had only one plant germinate, this year many. Pictured are plants growing in the wild near Calf Pasture Meadow in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. I will be extremely pleased if our garden plants bloom and set viable seed. We shall see.



Trifolium depauperatum var. depauperatum is an annual low elevation species in interior Northern California. This is another species that fits into our garden scheme to create a garden ecosystem. I do the best I can to garden in harmony with nature.



This means lots of dried up plants during the summer and early autumn. This is completely natural in our part of interior Northern California. I love it and find great beauty in this very natural interior California look. For me the “gold’ of California are the expanses of golden grasses and dried plants in low elevation habitats of Northern California. I do not want to garden without the scents of native Tarweed and Salvias on a sweltering hot summer day. The addition of our native Big Squirreltail Grass, Elymus multisetus, will be a perfect addition to the above garden scene.



Pictured is Lupinus argenteus var. meionanathus in the Sonora Pass region of California. The silvery foliage of this species is striking. This species will be a wonderful addition to our garden and, yes, it fits perfectly into our naturalistic garden scheme.
Robert Barnard
Sacramento & Placerville, Northern California, U.S.A.
All text and photos © Robert Barnard

If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him stepto the music which he hears, however measured or far away.
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Robert

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Re: July 2023 in the Northern Hemisphere
« Reply #7 on: July 22, 2023, 07:23:05 PM »


Lupinus lepidus var. lobbii is an alpine species found throughout the high elevations of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. I have grown other forms of Lupinus lepidus with limited success in our Placerville garden. Frequently it is extremely difficult to keep alpine species happy in our low elevation garden. I am usually tempted to try again with such gems. Who knows, maybe I will get lucky and find a form that is easier to grow at lower elevations. Although Lupinus are an inbreeding species, a great deal of out breeding still occurs in wild populations. I have observed this frequently with other native Lupinus species I grow in our garden.



This is the springtime naturalistic look I am attempting to duplicate in our Sacramento garden. This photograph was taken on Poho Ridge. Lupinus nanus and Eriophyllum lanatum var. grandiflorum are both native species. Rose Clover, Trifolium hirtum in not native, but I will live with it anyway if I can achieve anything close to this look in our Sacramento garden. All these species will thrive in our garden. Now we explore how to make it work.



In this photograph Lupinus nanus is growing with one of our native Clover species, Trifolium willdenovii. My preference would be to use Trifolium willdenovii instead of the non-native Trifolium hirtum. Trifolium willdenovii is a low elevation annual in our area, so there is good reason it should work fine.

This is how I am attempting to be creative and work with plants that are close at hand and interesting for me to work with. For me it is all about a relationship with the plants and the garden.

[Jasmin]:  Thomas, your plants and your garden are lovely!  Do you think there is some climate factor that leads your Monardella to have fewer flowers?  What have the temperatures and rainfall been like, compared to the past?
     Right now it is 28 C, with a high of slightly over 40 C expected.  There is a thin high cloudiness along with the usual summer air pollution (another sad reality of modern life), which makes the heat more oppressive.
     Plants native to Interior California are well adapted to take advantage of our typical weather cycle:  many have already dehisced or are close to dehiscing, and their seeds will lie dormant until autumn rains.  Throughout the rainy season they either begin their growth, or vernalize before beginning growth after the snows melt in spring.
     This past winter had an abundance of snow, so some areas have yet to wake up, so to speak.  The challenge has been for the plants during the extremes of drought and heat, where no vernalization and no snow cover have happened, and the ground keeps desiccating.  Other than human impacts, this change in our low temperatures has a tremendous impact.  While our high temperatures have risen as well, the loss of cold and moisture has been extremely detrimental.
     Summer is abundant in subtle shades and hues:  native grasses retain their greens and blues, and in moister areas native lilies and Aquilegias provide subtle splashes of greens and red-oranges.  Oak savannahs move from the lighter spring greens to deeper, darker shades, and more of the landscape transforms into delicate beiges, browns, and red-browns.  You have to look at a color wheel or take up painting to experiment with the many colors are actually present:  As you can see in this picture of bark on Common Manzanita, Arctostaphylos manzanita ssp manzanita, alongside dried remnants of native Brodiaeas, Triteleias, and Alliums these subtleties call us to look closer, and move us from purely a visual appreciation to a tactile one.


Robert Barnard
Sacramento & Placerville, Northern California, U.S.A.
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If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him stepto the music which he hears, however measured or far away.
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Leucogenes

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Re: July 2023 in the Northern Hemisphere
« Reply #8 on: July 23, 2023, 10:57:09 AM »
Hello Jasmin & Robert

Thank you for the kind words regarding Monardella macrantha. I can't say if this species behaves differently here than it does with you. In general, this enchanting plant is not considered very easy to cultivate.... at least that's what I've been told by a very few friends who have ever had the pleasure of trying.

My (now only) two specimens were sown in 2020, with the first few flowers the following year. In 2022, one specimen had a veritable "explosion" of blooms.(Photo )
Unfortunately, this plant has probably used up all its power and died afterwards.

This year there are some blossoms.... but some of them seem to be "empty" and do not get beyond the bud stage.
Since there is probably a lack of suitable pollinators here for this diva I have already tried twice to propagate it by cuttings.... so far unsuccessfully. Some sections of my garden are deliberately left completely to their own devices and it is a huge joy for us to see the variety of butterflies and other insects, amphibians, birds ect that can emerge within a short period of time when the "wild" is allowed some space in our general tidy landscape.

The weather is constantly changing here. The periods of complete drought are noticeably increasing and becoming longer. It is the second year in a row where the collected rainwater is no longer sufficient to water the garden.

Conclusion...I hope to keep this Monardella macrantha alive by protecting it from winter wetness and maximizing drainage. I really like this red flower and it ranks in my "top 10" of the North Americans I know...at the top of which is probably Astragalus coccineus, which happens to be the same color.... unfortunately unattainable for me...



Robert

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Re: July 2023 in the Northern Hemisphere
« Reply #9 on: July 23, 2023, 08:07:20 PM »
Hi Thomas,

Thank you so much for sharing information and your experiences with Monardella macrantha. It is difficult for me to explain how I treasure this information and how valuable this information is to my horticultural research.

It seems that you are doing quite well with Monardella macrantha. Based on my experiences with other members of this Genus, they all seem to carry the same genetic tendency toward root diseases under fairly well defined circumstances. The good news is that a good degree of genetic resistance to these root diseases can be established providing that genetically diverse populations are grown and selection of the most resistant plants is made. Many plants need to be grown and selected for as many generations as possible, but superior resistant lines can be established. This is based on my own empirical experiences with this Genus. The largest challenge is obtaining seeds that do not represent some sort of genetic bottleneck. Think along the lines of acquiring a land race! Wild seed is not necessarily a solution. Poorly documented and neglectful collection of wild seed can be as useless as the highly inbred and open pollinated unknown/unintended interspecific hybrid seeds that are frequently shared. So considering the circumstances you appear to be doing very well with Monardella macrantha.

You might consider these ideas as you obtain seeds of Astragalus coccineus. I am sure you are aware that this is a high desert species – extremely hot during the summer, very cold in the winter almost always dry, summer and winter. One location where this species can be found is in the mountains surrounding Death Valley, California. As far as the heat and dryness, the mountains surrounding Death Valley are an improvement over the bottom of Death Valley. I would think in terms of an ecosystem in some mountain range in the Sahara Desert or Arabia as being comparable. Seeds of this species appear to be available at times from North American seed exchanges and commercial sources. You definitely have your work cut out for you with this species. Good luck. I will be keenly interested in your results, even the failures. Something good things can be learned from the failures.

[Jasmin]:  It may be redundant for me to mention the following, but it never hurts to remember that while the ambient environment and surrounding soil is extremely dry, these—like many California native species in similar environments—have very deep roots (think 2-3 meters down looking for moisture) that have access to some moisture.  The worst thing for these jewels is moisture at the crown.  Providing a sufficiently acidic environment is also a must.  As for the soil mix, a typical example is what we find on Peavine Ridge:  The soil is a top layer of sandy loam (derived from metamorphic schists or volcanic andsite), and a lower layer derived from metamorphic schist or volcanic andesite.  These can have areas where the roots go down quite deep.  None of these soils is rocky or scree-like, so not your typical alpine garden mix.  Although these soils are loamy, they are very quick draining.  The plants do not want to be grown in a scree, the roots want to grow deep, and the root system near the plant itself resents moisture during the summer.



Monardella odoratissima ssp. pallida is extremely common in the Sierra Nevada Mountains near our Sacramento home and Placerville farm.



Monardella odoratissima is a magnet for butterflies. Despite the cultivation challenges of growing species within this Genus, I grow as many different species as I can in our Sacramento garden to attract butterflies.



Monardella odoratissima ssp. glauca is a gem from the east side of the Sierra Nevada Moiuntains. Most of the time I take the east side route to Sonora Pass and get to stop and enjoy this subspecies. This photograph was taken near the summit of Monitor Pass on the east side of the Sierra crest.



Monardella sheltonii is a low elevation species found growing on serpentine rock formations near our Placerville farm. Pictured are the flower heads flowing over a chunk of serpentine rock. The grass to the left is likely Elymus multisetus. This small native perennial bunchgrass is perfect for the summer dry parts of our naturalistic garden in Sacramento.
« Last Edit: July 23, 2023, 08:12:56 PM by Robert »
Robert Barnard
Sacramento & Placerville, Northern California, U.S.A.
All text and photos © Robert Barnard

If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him stepto the music which he hears, however measured or far away.
- Henry David Thoreau

 


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