Holm Oak (Quercus Ilex)

Holm Oak (Quercus Ilex)
Holm Oak (Quercus Ilex)

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Magnolia grandiflora (Southern Magnolia)

Magnolia grandiflora (Southern Magnolia)

This a gigantic evergreen in mature form, starts to bloom around May in Roanoke. The tree then blooms on and off almost all summer. It is one of the most beautiful, but messiest trees because of large falling leaves, dropped decaying petals, and the cone-like fruit.  

There are many smaller cultivars of this species.  The dwarf "Little Gem" is one; growing moderately  to 20 to 25 ft. tall, and 10 to 15 ft. wide.

Emerging Bug; Leaf to left shows winter damage

Opening flower; petals emerge in groups of three
Closeup of  emerging anthers; pistils below

Flowers emerge at tips of branches in random order

Magnificent specimen; compare to size of car and garage; not an optical illusion

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Pomegranates in the built landscape

Pomegranate (Punica granatum) along border wall in the garden at Hotel Casa Tra Noi, Roma  - Summer, 2015.  They are trimmed to retain open framework and short stature.  Lovely against the evergreen vine.  Pomegranates are ancient symbols of death and rebirth (the Tale of Persephone, death and resurrection, and fertility.)

File:Persephone and the Pomegranate 2009.jpgModern Persephone (By Charles Moffat (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons)