Guest Author - Connie Krochmal
A number of flowers received various honors for 2011. Some of these make great cut flowers, including the Pink Cloud hibiscus.
Pink Cloud Hibiscus moscheutos
This is one of the GreatPlants program selections for 2011. This was grown from seed at Fleming’s Hardy Hibiscus by Harlan Hamernik of Bluebird Nursery. Hardy to zone four, this herbaceous perennial can reach four feet in height with a somewhat larger spread. The lovely flowers open beginning in mid-summer and continue into the autumn. The plant is named for the lovely dark pink blooms.
This plant needs full sun. The leaves look like those of the Norway maple. The funnel-shaped blooms are used as a large accent flower in floral designs. They are often used for special events and parties. The vase life can vary somewhat, but is usually a week or less.
This variety is one of the rose mallows. The flowers should be cut after they’re fully open. Blooms are up to six inches across.
The species is native to Europe. The foliage is large, hairy, and lobed. They love a moist soil.
This exceptional magnolia has been named a Plant of Merit for 2011. The Missouri Botanical Garden and other organizations form a consortium, which selects outstanding plants suited to Midwestern landscapes that deserve more attention.
The blooms of Butterfly are shaped like tulips and have a citrus fragrance. They’re up to five inches wide. This grows either as a tree or large shrub. It can be over 15 feet in height. The blooms begin appearing in mid to late spring, usually in late March, before the leaves appear. This plant is adapted to both partial shade and full sun.
The Raymond Evison exhibit received a gold medal for its outstanding exhibit at the Chelsea Flower Show in 2010. At its exhibit the firm displayed over 2000 clematis plants. Over the years Evison has bred and released over 30 wonderful varieties.
The variety introduced at Chelsea in 2010 was Diamantina clematis. This was discovered as a sport in 2002 by Raymond Evison. Over the last eight years he has improved the plant until it performed beautifully during plant trials. This brand of clematis is available in the U.S. from select nurseries and garden centers.
Clematis stems are used as a medium accent flower. The vase life can vary somewhat depending on the variety. However, they generally last five to seven days.