April 2012

Mackaya bella

Forest Bell Bush

Nativity:

South Africa

Growth Habit:

This flowering shrub grows as an upright multi-stemmed bush 6 to 8 feet tall. It has glossy dark green leaves and tubular pale violet flowers.

Growing Requirements:

Grows in dense shade with regular water. It is hardy to about 20 degrees.

Features:

The flowers appear in spring on arching stems. Very good for the shade garden.

Where at Lotusland:

In the display insectary garden affectionately known as the butterfly garden.

April 2011

Woodwardia radicans

European chain fern

Nativity:

Southern Europe

Growth Habit:

This fern has long, arching fronds. Where the tip of the frond touches the ground, it may form a new plant that roots into the ground.

Growing Requirements:

Chain fern needs moist soil, partial shade and can withstand mild frosts.

Features:

In this photo, the frond is just unfurling.

Where at Lotusland:

Throughout the fern garden and also in the Japanese garden near the waterfall

April 2010

Doryanthes palmeri

Spear lily

Nativity:

Australia

Growth Habit:

Spear lily grows as a rosette of many large, lily-like leaves. The leaves may be up to eight feet in length and six or more inches wide at their widest. The large, showy flower stalk appears in late spring and extends beyond the leaves. It carries many cup-like flowers that are bright red.

Growing Requirements:

Full sun to partial shade and some supplemental irrigation, although it is quite drought tolerant.

Where at Lotusland:

In the Australian garden (visitor center parking) and at the edge of the lawn near the blue garden.

April 2009

Clivia hybrids

Nativity:

Cultivated origin, but the several species from which they were hybridized are native to South Africa where they are known as the “flame of the forest.”

Growth Habit:

Clivia are perennials growing in clumps of dark green, glossy leaves are handsome year round. In spring, each clump produces a single flower stalk topped with a profusion of tubular flowers. The species are typically orange, but many forms from pink, salmon and now the rarest, yellow are available.

Growing Requirements:

Full to partial shade and moderate water are needed. They can tolerate some dry periods in winter. Plants are frost tender.

Where at Lotusland:

There is a mass planting across from the citrus orchard and several clumps in the fern and tropical gardens. The yellow flowered form is across the path from the drinking fountain in the fern garden.

April 2008

Cymbidium lowianum var.concolor

Nativity:

Burma

Growth Habit:

This orchid in the genus cymbidium has long arching sprays of medium-sized flowers. The plant eventually forms large clumps and blooms for several months in spring.

Growing Requirements:

Partial shade and typical orchid bark as a substrate. Fertilize on a regular schedule with water soluble products developed just for orchids.

Where at Lotusland:

This specimen is planted in the large cast iron whaling pot. This pot was used to boil down whale blubber for its valuable oil.

April 2007

Graptosedum

Nativity:

cultivated origin

Growth Habit:

This succulent plant is one of several hybrids between species ofGraptopetalum and Sedum. It combines the gray-green rosettes of a Graptopetalum with the yellow flowers of aSedum

Growing Requirements:

Full sun or partial shade and well-drained soil are needed. Plants are frost tender, but can be grown in pots and wintered indoors if kept dry.

Where at Lotusland:

This specimen is planted in an antique baptismal font in the parterre.

April 2006

Leptospermum laevigatum

Australian Tea Tree

Nativity:

Coastal dunes of southeastern Australia

Growth Habit:

Leptospermum laevigatum can be easily trained into different forms. If the lower growth is pruned away, it will develop into a small tree 30 feet tall by 20 feet wide. Young plants can be placed close together to make a hedge or windbreak. They can also be trained over a fence or arbor. There are a few culvitars including ‘Reevesii’, a compact form growing to only 5 ft. x 5 ft., and ‘Raelene’ which has variegated foliage.

Growing Requirements:

Tea Tree does best in full sun to partial shade, and needs good drainage in a slightly acid soil or neutral soil. If planted in heavy clay soils it may become chlorotic or develop root rot. Once established it is a drought tolerant and salt tolerant plant. Cold hardiness is around 20 degrees.

Features:

The finely textured olive-green foliage is arranged on weeping branches. Small white flowers bloom in spring. The trunk has unusual shaggy, fibrous bark and older specimens develop twisting, gnarled branches which spread out along the ground.

Where at Lotusland:

The Visitor Center arbor is covered with Australian Tea Trees, and there are also some specimens in the surrounding Australian Garden.

April 2005

Dianella tasmanica

Australian Iris, Flax Lily

Nativity:

D. tasmanica is native to SE Australia including Tasmania.

Growth Habit:

A clumping shrub with strap-shaped leaves growing 3-4 feet tall and 2-3 feet wide. It spreads rapidly by underground rhizomes.

Growing Requirements:

It will grow in sun to partial shade; it needs more shade in hot climates. It can be drought-tolerant but the foliage will look better with some additional water. Grows best in well-drained soil.

Features:

Clusters of small blue star-shaped flowers in spring are followed by bright blue berries which hang on their stems for over a month. There is a cultiver ‘Variegata’ that has white-striped leaves.

Where at Lotusland:

Flax Lily is planted in many of the beds bordering the Visitor’s Center parking lot in the Australian Garden.

April 2004

Agave victoriae-reginae

Queen Victoria Century Plant

Nativity:

Mexico

Growth Habit:

A small, slow-growing agave only 1 1/2 feet tall and wide. It is variable in form, with some plants forming a tight “pincushion” rosette of leaves and others having a more open form.

Growing Requirements:

Full sun, well drained soil with little water.

Features:

Striking white veins, which look painted against the thick, dark leaves. Due to its small size and slow growth, this agave makes an excellent container plant, though keep it away from walkways since each leaf is tipped with one very sharp spine.

Where at Lotusland:

A planting of A. victoriae-reginae grows on the slope along the path to the Water Gardens.