Joe Strecker Plants of the Week
Oriental lilies are renowned for their delightful perfume and flamboyant mid- late summer blooms. The crimson cultivar ‘Stargazer’ is a popular hybrid with large, showy flowers that make it a showstopper when in bloom. One of the most common Oriental lilies, and one of the easiest to grow, this reliable garden performer is hardy in zones 4-9.
Ron Wilson Plant of the Week
Whenever I see this summer blooming beauty, it reminds me of when I purchased and planted one at my parent’s home, by the patio, when I was still in high school. It wasn’t well known back then, and the common name often confused with Golden Chain Tree. Just starting to come into bloom locally is my pick of the week…Koelreuteria paniculata, or commonly known as Goldenraintree, Panicled Goldenraintree, Golden Rain Tree, Varnish Tree, and Pride of India. Hardy Zones 5-9, compound leaves (come out bronze, then medium to dark green, 7-15 leaflets, and ranges chartreuse to yellow fall colors), Full to partial sun, adaptable to many soils, medium sized ornamental tree reaching 30’x30’, with an upright mounded habit. Fairly fast grower once established. But the cool thing I left out are the outstanding 12” long panicle covered with showy bright yellow flowers, usually lasting 2-3 weeks. These are followed by three sided pods – with seeds inside- which bronze by fall, last thru the winter, and can make a rattling noise when the wind blows. Sometimes hard to establish early, and young trees can have some winter dieback, but once established…enjoy this beautiful ornamental tree with wonderful early summer color. (Seems to flower earlier every year!) ps…my father did not like this tree when I first planted it (thought I grubbed it out of a fencerow somewhere), but as is grew, and began to canopy the sidewalk and corner of the patio, and then the flowers, I guess you could say “it grew on him.”