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Green Valley Supply's Gardening Encyclopedia

Green Valley Supply's Gardening Encyclopedia

Aralia / Spikenards: Increasingly Popular Houseplants

Aralia / Spikenards: Increasingly Popular Houseplants

Aralia spinosa Leaves

James H. Miller & Ted Bodner, Southern Weed Science Society, Bugwood.org, Aralia spinosa 1120463, CC BY 3.0

What are Aralias?

Also known as Spikenard, Aralias belong to the Araliaceae family. It comprises of about 70 plant species. They come in the form of evergreen and deciduous plants, trees and even shrubs. Some varieties are also herbaceous perennials with rhizomatous rooting systems.

The plants are native to the Americas, Asia and regions with mountain woodlands. Varied in sizes, some Aralia cultivars grow up to 20 meters high while others barely hit half a meter in height.

Aralia Description

Aralias feature doubly-compound, bipinnate leaves. They also have clustering at branch and stem edges. Bristles cover leaves in certain cultivars. Some plant species such as Aralia spinosa feature prickly, woody stems.

Flowers bud on the terminal panicles and birds enjoy the plant's round, dark-purple berries. Aralia flowers come in various colors, ranging from greenish to whitish hues. Certain varieties such as Aralia cordata are edible. Therefore, they're grown for human consumption.

Aralia Species

Some popular Aralia cultivars include the following:

  • Aralia californica
  • Aralia fabian
  • Aralia cordata
  • Aralia chinensis
  • Aralia debilis
  • Aralia elata
  • Aralia dasyphylla
  • Aralia racemosa
  • Aralia stipulata

Grow Aralia Plants at Home

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Diphylleia - The Skeleton Flower

Diphylleia - The Skeleton Flower

 

White Diphylleia Cymosa Flowers

White Diphylleia Cymosa Flowers

What is Diphylleia?

Diphylleia is a genus of small perennial herbs. It's also known as the skeleton flower or umbrella leaf, and belongs to the Berberidaceae family. It's native to eastern Asia and the eastern regions of the U.S. The term is a Greek word for double leaf. One of the species under the genus, Diphylleia grayi, becomes transparent when it gets into contact with water or it rains.

Diphylleia Description

Diphylleia is an interesting hardy perennial herb with thick, creeping root stocks. The stocks are also jointed and knotty, with huge peltate, cut-lobed, leaves. The umbrella-like, radical leaves grow on stout stalks, or a flowering stem that bears two similar (but smaller and more 2-cleft) alternate leaves.

The leaves are also peltate near one margin, and feature a terminal cyme of white flowers. Each fugacious flower has six sepals and six stamens. They also feature 5 to 6 ovules and globose berries with only a few having seeds. Diphylleia is one of many genera with only 3 species; one of which is found in northeastern parts of North America.

Other Diphylleia cultivars are native to Japan. There is a wonderful similarity between the floras of these two regions, and a few areas that have produced so many plants esteemed in cultivation.

Diphylleia Varieties

The three species under this genus include the following:

Grow Diphylleia at Home

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Diplarrena - Native Lily/Butterfly Flag

Diplarrena - Native Lily/Butterfly Flag

Diplarrena moraea

White Diplarrena moraea flowers

 

What is Diplarrena?

Diplarrena is a flowering plant's genus native to Australia. It has been misspelled Diplarrhena since 1873. It belongs to the Iridaceae family of iris plants. It is also known as native lily or butterfly flag.

Diplarrena Etymology

The term was borrowed from the Greek words 'diploos' and 'arren', meaning double and male, respectively.

Diplarrena Description

Plants under the genus feature only a couple of functional stamens. However, other plants genus sharing the same family feature three stamens. The plants have short rhizomes.

The tufted perennial herbs feature straight, basal, flat leaves throughout the year. A few leaves grow along the plant's erect stem. The green terminal spathe buds flowers. The plants are zygomorphic (takes the shape of a yoke) despite resembling the iris.

The plant's style has two branches that resemble threads. It also features white tepals, outer components of flowers, as in the case of marigolds.

Diplarrena Species

  • Diplarrena moraea
  • Diplarrena latifolia
  • Amethyst Fairy

Grow Diplarrena at Home

Consider our grow bags to grow your Diplarrena seeds or seedlings if you want to add the plant to your existing garden.

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Deutzia scabra - Fuzzy Deutzia

Deutzia scabra - Fuzzy Deutzia

White Deutzia scabra Flowers

Wouter Hagens, Deutzia scabra C, marked as public domain, more details on Wikimedia Commons

 

What is Deutzia scabra?

Also known as Fuzzy Deutzia (Deutzia scabra common name), Deutzia scabra is a deciduous plant. It grows upright and has arching, crown-like branches. The plant can grow up to 8 feet wide and 10 feet in height. As the tree matures, its brown-orange bark peels and hang. Native to China and Japan, the plant does well in hardiness zone 5.

Deutzia scabra Description

Deutzia scabra is tall, mid-sized and grows upright. It also has a medium rate of growth and coarse texture. The plant has simple leaves in summer with an opposite arrangement. The lanceolate-shaped leaves grow up to 2 inches wide and 4 inches in length.

The leaves are round at the base, feature crenate margins and come in a dull, olive-green color tone. The pubescent nature of the leaves renders them rough to touch. The plant foliage has no distinct color in autumn. Deutzia scabra flowers are white and grow up to 0.75 inches in diameter.

Deutzia scabra Trunk

Deutzia scabra Trunk

KENPEI, Deutzia scabra1, CC BY-SA 3.0

The panicle from which flowers sprout grows up to 6 inches long. Flowering begins in early June after the Deutzia gracilis species. Fruits develop in the form of dry, brown capsules in the form of cups. They grow hairs in their openings and develop into winter.

Deutzia scabra Culture & Propagation

Scabra thrives in well-drained soils and grow under the full sun. It's easy to transplant and has an adaptable pH. This Deutzia cultivar is often pruned after the flowering season due to its effective renewal growth after pruning.

The plant is prone to aphids and leaf spot and minor diseases. Scabra is propagated through softwood cuttings or seeds.

Scabra Uses

Deutzia scabra is often grown for its flowering effect and texture. It's used as a border and foundation plant, explaining why it's usually grown in groups or masses.

Deutzia scabra Leaves

Deutzia scabra Leaves

KENPEI, Deutzia scabra2, CC BY-SA 3.0

Dutzia scabra Varieties

Scabra species include the following:

  • Pride of Rochester - has light pink flowers
  • Godsall/Codsall Pink - has light pink flowers
  • Rosea - single flowers in rose colors
  • Candidissima - has white flowers
  • Flore-pleno - has tinged-pink, white flowers
  • Pink Minor - dwarf growth up to 3 feet tall and has pink flowers
  • Punctata and Variegata - has variegated foliage

Other Deutzia Varieties

A few other popular Deutzia cultivars include the following:

Grow Deutzia Cultivars at Home

Are you looking to grow a Deutzia species in your garden? Check out our metal raised garden bed to propagate your Deutzia seeds or cuttings.

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Gyrans - Dancing Plants (Codariocalyx Motorius)

Gyrans - Dancing Plants (Codariocalyx Motorius)

Dancing Plant

Dancing Plant/Telegraph Plant

What are Gyrans?

Gyrans are telegraphic plants with leaflets. Since discovery, they've been referred to as Desmodium gyrans, Desmodium motorium, Codariocalyx motorius and Hedysarum gyrans. It's a legume native to Asia and popular for its movements.

The plant is native to tropical countries in Southeast Asia such as India, Bangladesh, Thailand, Laos and Sri Lanka, among other countries. It's called Dudli in Hindi.

Gyrans Description

The plant has active compound leaves and larger leaflets at the terminal. Whereas smaller lateral leaflets move rhythmically within minutes, their larger counterparts move up and down the entire day. When exposed to music, Gyrans leaves tend to move faster.

The telegraph plant dances to different styles of music. However, movements the plant makes are natural, not music-triggered. The role of the plant is still mysterious despite being popular due to its movements. 'Pulvinus' ring cells are found at the base of the plant's leaflets.

Just like water balloons, according to studies, stimulated ring cells can cause water to move in and out through osmosis. As a result, the cells either deflate or swell depending on the movement of water. The process explains why the plant moves or rather dances.

Why the Leaflets Move

Many theories have been put forth to explain why the plant dances. Some theories propose that it's a defense mechanism while others state it's a way to lure predators. The movements are also said to deter herbivory and increase the plant's exposure to the sun.

Telegraph Plant Uses

Apart from the movements the leaflets make, the leaves, roots and flowers contain alkaloids and thus have long been used to treat inflammatory diseases in Chinese medicine. The perennial plant buds purple flowers and can grow up to 4 feet in height.

Grow the Dancing Plant

Whether you want to grow the telegraph plant aka Codariocalyx motorius or any other interesting ornamental or flowering plant in your garden, we've got you covered.

Visit https://greenvalleysupply.com/collections/products to choose the right gardening product or tool to help you work on your garden plants.

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Crinum - Perennial Plants Genus

Crinum - Perennial Plants Genus

Pink White Crinum americanum Flowers

Pink-White Crinum american Flowers

What is Crinum?

Crinum is a plants genus of perennial plants. It's comprising of about 180 plant species. They thrive in tropical and subtropical climates throughout the world, specifically in moist areas such as swamps, marshes and depressions. They also grow along lakes, rivers and streams.

They produce large, showy flowers on the stems. The plants can grow from bulbs. Basal Crinum leaves are strap-like and long. The leaves range in color from green to light green. Most Crinum plant species find use in aquariums.

Other Crinum Varieties

Some other popular Crinum species include the following:

  • Crinum moorei
  • Crinum asiaticum
  • Crinum macowanii

Grow Crinum at Home

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The Swamp Lily of Florida - Crinum americanum

The Swamp Lily of Florida - Crinum americanum

 

White Crinum americanum Flowers

White Crinum americanum Flowers

What is Crinum americanum?

The Swamp Lily is a delicate plant native to Florida. It's an immersed plant with fragrance that grows in marshes, swamps and wet hammocks, among other wetlands. The plant also grows along streams and rivers within the State of Florida. It belongs to the Crinum genus and grows in the south-eastern U.S.

According to the University of Florida Gardening Solutions, Swamp Lily is also known as a string lily and is found in many gardens in the southern parts of the State.

Crinum americanum Description

The strap-like Swamp Lily leaves are erect or spread and can grow up to 3 feet long. Long flower stalks house bulbs from where Swamp Lily flowers sprout and bud. A stalk is separate from the leaves of the plant and can bud about 2 to 6 flowers.

The flower tubes are long and can grow up to 6 inches in length. Scented Swamp Lily flowers have six petals and can either be pink and white or white. The large capsule fruits have big, succulent seeds. The plant is often mistaken for spider lilies under the Hymenocallis genus.

However, the difference lies in the petals of the spider lily flowers having membranous tissues linking them to each other. On the contrary, flower petals of the Swamp Lily are independent.

Other Crinum Species

Other popular Crinum varieties include the following:

  • Crinum latifolium
  • Crinum moorei
  • Crinum thaianum
  • Crinum asiaticum
  • Crinum macowanii
  • Crinum viviparum
  • Crinum bulbispermum
  • Crinum pedunculatum

Browse through our collection of Fabric Planter Grow Bags to find the right number of bags to grow your Swamp Lilies or any other garden plant.

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Dioon - Palm-like Shrubs

Dioon - Palm-like Shrubs

Cycad Plants

Cycad Plants

What is Dioon?

Dioon is a cycads genus native to Central America and Mexico. It belongs to the Zamiaceae family of plants. The plants thrive in dry hillsides, tropical forests, canyons, pine-oak forests and coastal dunes.

Dioon Description

The palm-like shrubs are dioecious. They have several leaves and cylindrical stems. The cycads plants are evergreen and perennial with stems partly buried in the ground. Composed of soft wood, the plants are mostly thick. The persistent bases of leaves often shed, leaving a bare bark.

The pinnate leaves are organized spirally with an intersperse of cataphylls. The leaflets lack midribs and articulation with those on the lower end often reducing to spines. Whereas the megasporophyll apices are upturned, flat and broad, and overlapping, the sporophylls aren't vertically aligned in the cones.

Some Dioon species can grow up to 16 meters in height and 40 centimeters in stem diameter. The plants often live up to a century. Although most species are limited in geographical range, Dioon tomasellii and Dioon edule are the most widespread.

Dioon Species

Some popular Dioon varieties include the following:

  • Dioon angustifolium
  • Dioon califanoi
  • Dioon edule
  • Dioon spinulosum
  • Dioon mejiae
  • Dioon purpusii
  • Dioon vagabond
  • Dioon tomasellii
  • Dioon sonorense
  • Dioon stevensoni
  • Dioon rzedowskii
  • Dioon argenteum
  • Dioon caputoi

A Potted Cycad Houseplant

A Potted Cycad Houseplant

Dioon Uses

Honduras female cones are harvested for their edible seeds. They're processed into tortillas and tamales. It's a perfect replacement for cornmeal. The plant can also be grown for ornamental use. According to the University of Florida Gardening Solutions, cycads aren't just easy to grow, but also stand out on landscapes.

Want to Grow Dioon at Home?

You can grow Dioon at home in your own garden to keep your environment looking and feeling green, atop beautifying it. Check out our gardening tools and supplies to get you started.

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Flexuosa - Agonis Flexuosa / Willow Peppermint Tree

Flexuosa - Agonis Flexuosa / Willow Peppermint Tree

Agonis Flexuosa Peppermint Willow

Agonis Flexuosa Peppermint Willow

Flexuosa Definition - What is Flexuosa?

Flexuosa is a Latin word for 'full of bends' referring to the nature of the tree's trunk on the outside. It's used to refer to a group of trees with exact characteristics such as Agonis flexuosa.

Agonis flexuosa

Also known as Swan River peppermint, Western Australia peppermint, willow myrtle or just peppermint, it's a tree species native to Western Australia to the south west. The tree has a habit of weeping, hence its willow myrtle name.

The Noongar people, native Australians living in the south-west part of the country, refer to the tree as Wonong, Wanil, Wannang or Wonnow. It's easily recognizable in WA and the most popular of all tree species under the Agonis genus. In Perth, it's grown on the verges of roads and in parks.

Agonis is a genus whose name is borrowed from the Greek word 'agon', meaning a cluster. It refers to the manner flexuosa fruits are arranged on the tree.

Agonis flexuosa Description

Agonis flexuosa plant is a small, but strong tree. It grows up to 10 to 15 meters in height. The tree's leaves are light green, narrow and long (grow up to 150 mm in length) while the bark is brown and fibrous. The axes sprout small, white inflorescence flowers that grow in groups or clusters.

From a distance, the trees resemble a weeping willow because they tend to grow in a weeping way. Torn or crushed leaves smell like peppermint. Its hard fruit capsule can grow up to 3 or 4 mm in diameter and feature 3 valves responsible for housing tiny Agonis flexuosa seeds.

Agonis Flexuosa Cultivation

The tree thrives in sandy soils, including dunes and limestone heaths in temperate climates. They're often grown in areas where trees are grown in masses such as gardens and along streets. How fast does Agonis flexuosa grow? It grows fast and requires enough space if it's to be grown in yards.

Dwarf Pink Agonis Flexuosa 'Nana' Cultivar

Dwarf Pink Agonis Flexuosa 'Nana' Cultivar

The trees also have a spiral or twist effect on the stems or trunks. They flower from August to December. Some Agonis flexuosa species can be pruned and if grown in terraced or rocky terrains, the trees develop buttress roots.

Agonis flexuosa Uses

A. flexuosa leaves have antiseptic properties and can be grown as ornamental trees in spacious gardens or yards.

Other Flexuosa Species

  • Deschampsia flexuosa (bunchgrass)
  • Vitis flexuosa (liana, a plant in the grape family)
  • Erysiphe flexuosa (a pathogen of plants)
  • Scutellastra flexuosa (sea snail)
  • Grevillea flexuosa (a shrub)
  • Nana flexuosa
  • Xylosma flexuosa (a willow family flowering plant)

Got Enough Space in Your Yard or Garden to Grow a Flexuosa Tree?

Whether you want to grow Agonis flexuosa peppermint trees for their antiseptic properties or as ornamental trees, you can grow them at home in your yard or garden. Just make sure there's enough space for the tree because it tends to grow bigger as it matures.

Check out our Planters and Raised Beds to start your Agonis flexuosa seeds before transplanting them to your yard or garden.

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