Thursday, January 1, 2015

New Plants on the Way & Some Seed to Give Away

Happy New Year from Hawthorn Hill - Craig & Alexa Huegel. We are busy sowing seed for Spring 2015 plants.  One of the species we have germinating right now is Rudbeckia graminifolia, pictured at the top.  It should be a very interesting year here. My new book, on using native plants in shady landscapes is off to the printer and should be available in April of this year.  Foolishly, I am starting a new book as well - more on that someday in the future if the University Press of Florida is willing to take it on as well....

We don't usually have extra seed, but we have limited quantities of the following.  Seed loses its viability quickly so there is no sense in saving it on my end.  If any of this is of interest to you, please email me -  and inquire.  I will give it away first come, but will ask you to send me a SASE.

1. Garberia heterophylla - Garberia
2. Symphyotrichum georgianum - Georgia aster
3. Chrysoma paucifloculosa - Woody goldenrod
4. Chrysopsis mariana - Maryland goldenaster
5. Chrysopsis liniarifolia - Linear leaved goldenaster

Quantities are very limited.  All of these species are in the blog if they are not familiar to you.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Flaxleaf False Foxglove - Agalinus linifolia

Flaxleaf false foxglove (Agalinus linifolia) is found statewide in moist to wet prairies, savannas, wet pinelands and the upper edges of marshes.  Unlike most members of the genus, it is a perennial. Though this can be a confusing genus in terms of differentiating the 17 native species, this one can be identified by its clasping linear leaves, its habitat, and the fact that only a few showy flowers are produced near the top of the stem.
Flaxleaf false foxglove dies back to the ground in winter. The solitary, normally unbranched stem eventually stands 2-4 feet tall by fall.  The linear opposite leaves are appressed along the stem, somewhat thickened, and 1-2 inches long.  Flowering occurs in the fall.  The showy pink to deep rose-colored blooms are similar to those of other species in the genus - lightly spotted in the back of the throat, the edges of the petals hairy, and tubular.  The flowers are of interest to pollinating insects, especially bumblebees.  Up to 20 flowers may be produced over the blooming season, but most plants produce less than half this number.  False foxgloves are often root parasites, but flaxleaf false foxglove does not seem to be.  This genus is also a larval host for the common buckeye butterfly.
None of the false foxgloves are currently being propagated by nurseries affiliated with FANN - the Florida Association of Native Nurseries.  The semi-parasitic nature of some, and their growth habit as annuals makes most difficult to maintain in a wildflower garden.  Flaxleaf false foxglove, however, does not share those characteristics and would seem to be a good candidate for future propagation - especially for butterfly gardeners interested in providing for buckeyes.  Until such time, however, look for this species in the fall and admire it for its simple beauty.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Alicia - Chapmannia floridana

Alicia (Chapmannia floridana) is endemic to Florida and found throughout much of peninsular Florida in well-drained sandy uplands - scrub, sandhill, and open sandy woodlands.  The genus name honors Dr. Alvin Chapman who authored the classic Flora of the Southern United States in the late 1800's; a book that served as the standard field guide of this area for a great many years.  Alicia is the sole member of this genus.
Alicia is an annual member of the legume family.  Emerging in spring, it becomes a lanky stem by summer that may reach 3 feet in height.  All parts of the plant are covered by sticky hairs. The leaves are confined mostly to the lower portions of the plant. They are alternate along the stem and comprised of 3-7 leaflets.  Flowering can occur over a protracted period from late spring through fall.  A succession of buds are formed at the top of the stems. Each flower is canary yellow and composed of three petals - the top petal being the largest.  Each bloom is open only in the morning hours, unless the day is extremely cloudy.  Pollinated flowers form pea-like fruit.
Alicia is an interesting species, but lacks most of the characteristics that would make it a good candidate for the home landscape.  It has never been offered for sale by any of the nurseries affiliated with FANN (the Florida Association of Native Nurseries) to the best of my knowledge and is unlikely to in the near future.  This endemic is simply a wildflower to be recognized and admired when encountered in the field.

Chipola coreopsis - Coreopsis integrifolia

Chipola coreopsis (Coreopsis integrifolia) is quite rare in Florida, listed as a state endangered species and vouchered only from 5 counties - all along the Georgia border.  The primary distribution is along the Chipola River in Jackson, Calhoun, and Washington Counties in the central panhandle.  This species is rare elsewhere in its national distribution.  It is listed as a state threatened species in Georgia, where it is found in only four counties near the Florida border, and it is considered an "at risk species" in South Carolina where it is known from only a few southern counties.  In all its natural populations, it occurs in floodplain wetlands, along blackwater streams, where it receives dappled shade and plenty of moisture.
Florida is home to 15 species of coreopsis (tickseeds) and they can sometimes be a bit tricky to differentiate.  Chipola coreopsis is a perennial that dies back to the ground each winter.  In spring, it forms basal rosettes that can spread in all directions by underground rhizomes.  The stems eventually reach a mature height of about 2 feet by late summer.  As the plants spread, multiple flower stalks are common.  They have few branches, but each is topped by a single flower comprised of bright yellow ray petals and a dark central disk.  The flowers are about 18 inches across and each ray petal has three teeth at their outer margin.  Flowering only occurs in late summer to fall.
The foliage is distinctive.  The 1-3 inch long somewhat succulent leaves are opposite each other on the stem, the leaves occur along the entire length of the stem, and they are oval in shape and without teeth along the margins.  As the Latin name implies, the leaf margins are simple.
Chipola coreopsis is quite rare, but is infrequently offered by native plant nurseries.  I have not found it to be an easy species to maintain in the home landscape. It is fussy about its growing conditions. Do not attempt it unless you can give it dependably moist soils and filtered sun.  Under such conditions, it is an attractive fall wildflower that can form stunning masses of color.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

One more chance this fall to purchase wildflowers from Hawthorn Hill Native Wildflowers, in Seminole, FL. We need to make room before winter for all our new seedlings so we are having a FALL OPEN HOUSE, Sunday October 26, 9 am - 1 pm.  All plants will be reduced.  Please make plans to stop by, see our landscape and pick up some uncommon native wildflowers.  This is the best time to plant!  Email me for directions, or any questions you might have:

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Lindenleaf Rosemallow/Sleepy Hibiscus - Hibiscus furcellatus

Sleepy hibiscus (Hibiscus furcellatus) is a tropical species that occurs naturally in Florida only along the eastern coastal counties, from Brevard to Broward County - with an inland population in Highlands County. It occurs widely in more tropical locations, however, throughout much of the West Indies and parts of South America and is considered native in Hawaii. It's range seems to be largely restricted by winter freezes.
Sleepy hibiscus is a lanky perennial that can reach 6 feet at maturity. As a tropical species, it is evergreen and can bloom much of the year. The photos above were taken in mid-July at my Pinellas County residence. Other writers report that it becomes shrubby, as wide as it can be tall, but the plants I've observed have been rather thin with multiple side branches. The leaves are shallowly lobed, more like a maple than a linden (basswood - Tilia spp.), and somewhat rough to the touch.  The stems also have stiff hairs.
Sleepy hibiscus is so named because of its nodding, half-open blooms. They are bright pink in color with a deeper rose-colored throat. Each is 6-8 inches long and quite showy. Their "sleepy" aspect makes it somewhat difficult for butterflies to pollinate them, but they are visited by bees - and hummingbirds in parts of their range.
Sleepy hibiscus is most common to the upper edges of south Florida pinelands and wetlands where they are shallowly inundated during the wetter months. Though not as needy of standing water as many of our native hibiscus, it prefers moisture - especially during the hotter months. It is reported to fare reasonably well in typical upland landscape conditions, but I have found it to need supplemental water if the soils become dry.
Regrettably, this species is only rarely offered for sale in Florida.  Currently, no nursery affiliated with FANN- the Florida Association of Native Nurseries, is propagating it and I have not seen it offered for at least a decade.  The plants above, were grown from seed collected several years ago in a wet flatwoods in St Lucie County. We hope to be able to propagate it from the seed of our plants this fall to make it available in Spring 2015. Inquire if interested.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Sea Lavender - Limonium carolinianum

Sea lavender (Limonium carolinianum) is native to the coastal marshes of every coastal county in Florida and those of the Gulf Coast and Eastern Seaboard, from Texax to Quebec and Labrador/Newfoundland.  It is highly salt tolerant and tolerates daily inundation during high tides.
Sea lavender is a perennial forb. In Florida, it tends to keep its basal leaves through winter. These are variable in shape, but most frequently are lanceolate and rather succulent in appearance.  The multi-branched, nearly leafless flower stalks arise from these leaves and stand about 2 feet tall.  Flowering is most common in spring and in fall, but can occur in most months in central and southern Florida.  Numerous 5-petal blooms are produced for many weeks, a few at a time.  As the common name implies, they are a rich lavender in color. Though each bloom is small (about 1/8 inch across) and opens for only part of the day, plants during the peak blooming season are quite attractive.
Because of its habitat preferences, sea lavender is only sporadically grown by commercial sources and it does not lend itself to the typical landscape setting.  It would make an interesting and attractive addition to a salt marsh restoration or for landscapes on the beach that receive direct saltwater inundation.