The spring seasson has brought us many wonderful blooms, yet we are now graced with some of the most spectacular plants for the landscape. Flwoering cherries have been blooming for some time now. At this time we have the midseason varieties such as the very double deep pink ‘Kanzan’ cherry blossom (Prunus serrulata ‘Kanzan’), Shogetsu (Prunus serrulata ‘Shogetsu’) is another just appearing now with double pink buds, opening to white/blush flowers with petals held almost in a flat shape which resembles ballerina tutus. While Kanzan can grow to almost 40 ft tall with an inverted wine glass shaped canopy, Shogetsu is much smaller, growint to perhaps 15 ft with a flat topped canopy and branches weighted down by the profuse bloom clusters.
Wisterias are in full glory, or soon will be. The usual first ones to flower are the Chinese wisteria(W. sinensis, W. chinensis) and the silky wisteria (W. venusta), then comes the longest cluster forms of the Japanese wisteria (W. floribunda). The color range is generally mauve purple, but there are variations in this according to variety. There are white and pink varieties available if you look. These are large growing vines which twine around supports and need a strong structure to climb on and support the weight of the vine and those twining trunks. These plants have hanging clusters of bloom. Individual flowers are pea shaped and produced in great profusion on hanging clusters…in some cases to over 6 ft (Japanese wisteria).
Chinese wisteria cvs: (W. sinensis)
Amethyst has rosy violet blossom clusters typically shorter in length to perhaps 8-10″
Blue Sapphire is more blue.
Cooke’s Purple is profuse and purple blue
Prolific is just that, very profuse in bloom.
Mekura Fuji / Kofuji is a dwarf wisteria, grown mainly for the diminutive aspect of the leaves and branches. It only rarely flowers
Silky wisteria: (W. venusta, W. brachybotrys)
Alba is the generally available form with white flowers in short broad clusters
Violacea is the purple form, rare to locate.
Japanese wisteria has the longest cluster length of them all, from 18″ – 6 ft.. (W. floribunda):
Honbeni (rosea) has the deepest pink color with a definite lavendar tinge
Kuchibeni is pale pinkish white. with darker keep petal tips
Lawrence has densely packed racemes/clusters in a deeper blue color
Longissima has very long clusters of purple flowers to perhaps 3 ft
Longissima Alba is similar with 18″ – 2 1/2 ft long clusters in white
Snow Showers and Shiro Noda are very similar or identical
Macrobotrys / Kyushaku / 44″ clusters is perhaps the longest of them all growing to perhaps 5-6 ft long flower clusters and blossoms in mauve purple.
Royal Purple (Hitoe Koku ryu) is the darkest purple single flowered form.
Violacea Plena(Yae Koku ryu) is the only generally available double wisteria in deep purple and the individual flowers are densely double on lcusters to perhaps 12″
White with blue eye is unique among white forms. Flowers are individually larger and the rachis (flower cluster stem) and calyx are neon blue, hence the ‘blue eye’ part of the descriptive name
Hybrid wisterias from the above species:
Caroline is a nice short cluster blue flowered form
Lavender Lace is darker purple, (but not the darkest form) and has bronzy new leaves
Japanese Tea Garden form is considered superior to this if you can locate it. (It is not named currently, but may have had a name in the remote past)
Tree peonies are also blooming, or soon to blossom. (the early types have finished) Here you will find flowers among the most lovely in all the world of Nature. singles, doubles, very heavy doubles with a foil of attractively cut foliage on a woody shrub(not the herbaceous peonies, these are shrubs, not perennials). Brilliant and pastel colors in whites, pinks, reds, purples, maroon blacks, yellows, ambers await the fancier of these superior garden subjects.
Midseason and late magnolias are also blooming. M. ‘Daybreak’ being unique among these garden aristocrats with pink, purplish pink large blossoms on a fastigiate-narrowly broad cone shaped canopy.
Michelia species are also blooming, with M. yunnanensis among the most showy right now. M. crassipes is also very impressive, or will soon be.
Erik’s Gardening Tips
Garden Delights Nursery
7000 Petaluma Hill Rd
Penngrove 707 665 9112