I started work on the next generation of Floridata. We're using a stack of new technologies that will let us build a secure and fast site that will run smoothly on desktop, smartphones and whatever other new devices the future may bring. I hope that by the end of the year both the new technologies and our new app will be ready for testing. Wish us luck! Please visit Floridata often this fall, tell your friends about us and be good and grow. Jack
Floridata's newest plant profile is of the red mulberry (Morus rubra), a rounded, wide spreading deciduous tree that produces edibile fruits that resemble blackberries. It is a native of eastern North America ranging from Ontario to Florida. Read more about this native species that is useful in wildlife and naturalistic plantings in Zones 5-9.
The white (Morus alba) was introduced into North America in the 1700's so the leaves could be fed to silkworms in an attempt to start a textile industry. The prolific and fas growing species escaped cultivation and is now considered an invasive species in many locations. Ornamental weeping (fruitless) cultivars were popular landscape items in the first half of the 20th century and are still to be seen in many neighborhoods. Read more about this interesting species that has invaded many environments throughout Zones 4 - 9.
Steve lets a few cypress vines Ipomoea quamoclit) grow on his bean trellis just because they're pretty with finely cut feathery foliage and showy red blossoms. They always seem to be showiest at this time of year. Click to download a large version (800x600) of this particularly pretty cypress vine flower to display on your computer desktop. Read more...
The red morning glory, also know as red creeper (Ipomoea coccinea), is another relative of the familiar blue morning glory (Ipomoea tricolor). The scarlet creeper blooms in late summer, producing showy flowers that are very attractive to butterflies. Click to download a large version (800x600). Read more about Ipomoea :
Salad burnet (Sanguisorba minor) is an evergreen perennial that grows in a circular mound. Burnet stays green in the face of frost, survives freezing, and can be harvested until covered with snow. Use the leaves in salads or on sandwiches. The taste usually is likened to that of cucumbers. Autumn is a perfect time to grow unusual leafy green vegetables like these:
Garden peas a(Pisum sativum) grow well in cool weather too. Peas are a source of a very high quality protein and they are also sweet and delicious. The flowers and shoots are tasty (and trendy!) too - so you might want to grow them even if you don't like the actual peas!
Use the Edible Plants filter on the Features drop down menu on Floridata's Master Plant List to see them all.
I photographed this handsome Mexican sunflower (Tithonia rotundiflora) growing at the edge of Steve's vegetable garden. The plants were so big that branches were breaking from stem under their own weight. I hope I remember to grow these next year. Click to download a large version (800x600) this brilliantly blazing blossom.
Adjacent to Steve's sizzling scarlet Mexican sunflower blazes a magenta-flowered garden phlox (Phlox paniculata) cultivar. The whole area swarms with butterflies and bees stirring up a riot of color that's impossible to ignore. Click to download a large version (800x600).
The Hawaiian Islands are home to an array of native plant species that has attracted the attention of botanists, naturalists, horticulturists and world travelers ever since Europeans first visited the islands near the end of the 18th century. Read more »
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Autumn sage (Salvia greggii) is a desert species that prefers warmer climates (USDA Zone 7-9). This handsome evergreen perennial blooms in late summer and fall. Red, pink and white flowering varieties are available. Autumn sage is very drought tolerant, thrives in lean soils and is a favorite for butterfly gardens!
The forsythia sage (Salvia madrensis) is a huge perennial plant with foot-long, bright yellow flower clusters that appear in late summer and early fall. This sage is hardy to Zone 7 and may reach heights up to 10 feet in frostfree climates. Here is a list of links to profiles of other sages (a common name for species in the genus Salvia) in cultivation:
The Mexican bush sage (Salvia leucantha) is another fall blooming perennial that is commonly grown in Zone 8-10 gardens. It too is a large plant, growing up to 4 feet in height, and often surrounded by clouds of butterflies when in bloom!
There are about 14 species of Bougainvillea (Bougainvillea spp. ) and dozens of named cultivars and hybrids. This brilliantly hued cultivar is 'Bengal Orange'. Bougainvillea is a tender plant, hardy in (depending on species) Zones 8-11. Those of us in colder zones can grow this woody in containers and overwinter indoors. Click to download a large version (800x600) of this beautiful bougainvillea for a closer look. These frost tender vines can also be cultivated indoors:
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