Thursday, March 31, 2016

2016 Spring Plant Sale Preview

Iris tectorum.
Edited by Sarah Leach Smith
visitor services coordinator

The Spring Plant Sale is this weekend! We've been sharing Facebook posts highlighting some plants that we'll be selling, and we thought we'd share them here, too.

The sale will be Saturday from 8 a.m. to noon for the public, and Friday from 4-6 p.m. for Duke Gardens members (you may join on site). Hope to see you here!

Iris tectorum (Japanese roof iris)

Passiflora caerulea.
"Iris tectorum is a beautiful colonizing perennial," says Jason Holmes, curator of the Doris Duke Center Gardens. "The flowers are a stunning blue-purple that open wide and reveal a white to light purple beard on the outer petals. This iris blooms consistently from late April through May, with the flowers standing around 18 inches. For the rest of the year, this iris holds fan-like clusters of leaves that are equally attractive in the landscape. It is best grown in full sun to part shade and prefers well-draining soils. Roof iris received its name because it was found growing on roofs in Japan."

Passiflora caerulea (blue passion flower)

Phlomis russeliana.
"Every time I see this plant bloom, I feel like I am in the tropics," Jason says. "The flowers of this perennial vine emerge throughout summer and well into fall. The flowers are unique - there are white petals, but each flower also has a host of other colors, including blue, yellow and purple. This vine is best grown on a fence, trellis, obelisk, arbor or anywhere you can appreciate the flowers up close. It is hardy here in Durham but does drop all of its leaves in the winter. Plant it in full sun in well-draining soil or even place it in a container for the summer."

Phlomis russeliana (Turkish sage)

"Turkish sage is native to the mountainous regions of Syria and Turkey, "Jason says. "In summer it is adorned with spikes of yellow flowers that are held in whorled clusters. It grows in colonies 2 to 3 feet wide, and its flowers are 2 feet high. The large, plush leaves are not a favorite among deer, so it is certainly a must in gardens of this area!"

Phlox sp.
Phlox sp. (phlox)

"Butterflies and hummingbirds love our native phlox species!" says Beth Hall, our plant collections manager. "Many of these spring bloomers are fragrant and range in color from blue to purple to pink. For the woodland garden, Phlox divaricata (wild blue phlox) puts on a stunning show of blue flowers from April through May and the sweet fragrance is a show-stopper. Also pictured is creeping phlox (Phlox stolonifera), a species native to the Appalachians that grows in full sun to part shade and blooms pink in the spring. It blooms a week or two later than blue phlox, so a combination of the two is a great way to extend the display."

Trillium sp.
Trillium sp. (trillium)

"Native to woodlands throughout the eastern U.S., trilliums can establish themselves well in shady gardens," curator Jason Holmes explains. "Trilliums have leaves of three and a solitary flower that may be white, red or yellow, depending on the species. Some even have mottled, spotty leaves that can be as pretty as the flowers. They are best grown in rich soil that retains good moisture. Trilliums can handle sunlight during spring, but shade throughout summer is a must."

Contributions by Jason Holmes, curator of the Doris Duke Center Gardens, and Beth Hall, the Paul J. Kramer plant collections manager.

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