S H R U B S
YESTERDAY, TODAY AND TOMORROW Brunfelsia pauciflora
This charmer of a shrub receives it's name from the delightful habit of blossoming deep blue-purple, fading to light blue, then to white; all colors being found on the plant at the same time. After blooming in the summer, it can be cut to any deried dimension. Does well in light shade or sun, when grown well, it can produce more than one wave of blooms.
FIREBUSH Hamelia patens
It's a wonder this Florida native hasn't been introduced into landscaping much earlier. Able to withstand amost any condition, it grows in wet or dry soils, sun or shade. Firebush virtually contantly in bloom with narrow red tubular flower, irresistable to butterflies and birds relish the berries. It's new bronzy to red foilage only becomes more intense when grown in the sun. Butterflies are are attracted by the flowers, birds relish the berries. A garden winner.
HEAVENLY BAMBOO Nandina domestica
Not a Bamboo, but definitely heavenly. This plant provides all around interest. The new growth ranges anywhere between mauve to red, maturing to a glossy dark green, always airy and ferny in appearance. It's small white flowers are followed by bright red berries which are held on the plant for a relatively long time. When exposed to cold weather, the leaves develop attractive red shades. It grows equally well in shade or sun, and can be easily shaped to any hight or width. Also available in a dwarf dense form which keeps its color throughout the year.
NIGHT BLOOMING JASMINE Cestrum nocturnum
This nondescript sprawling shrub is grown for one irrestible reason, it's fragrance. If you ever traveled through an established Florida neighborhood on a Summer night and a heady aroma fills your head, most likely the source is this plant. The blossoms open in the evening during our warmer months, by nighttime the strong fragrance is carried for blocks. It flowers in waves, about every two to three weeks. If frozen back by extreme freak Winter temperatures, it bounces back reliable every spring. A must-have.
GOLDEN DEWDROPS Duranta erecta
A relatively recent landscape subject, Dewdrops are heading towards becoming a stable in Florida gardens. Ranging in colors of blue, purple and white, this shrub blooms throughout the warm months; during mild years it may bloom all year. The flowers are followed by very attractive orange berries, with both blossoms and the contrasting fruits being carried on the plant at the same time. It can be easily shaped to any form.
BLUE AGAVE Agave americana
Sun is all you need to grow this geometrical beauty. No matter where this Mexican desert plant is placed, it becomes a damatic focal point that boasts an exotic dash. Its care? Are you kidding?
CAPE HONEYSUCKLE Tecomaria capensis
This flame orange flowering plant falls somewhere between a shrub and a vine. It can be used singly or as a mass of hedge. While ultimately reaching six feet, this takes a long time, it can be trained to any height and full sun keeps it compact. This hummingbird magnet is not particualr about soil or care and blooms throughout the year. There is also a less vigorous yellow form available.
FERN PINE Podocarpus gracilior
Neither a Fern nor a Pine, yet its common name is befitting. This evergreen large shrub or small tree is perfect for screening poor views or for barriers. Its graceful, almost weeping foliage and growth habit sets it in a class ahead of its more common Podocarpus cousin, yet sharing the ability to be easily shaped into any form.
AZALEA Azalea formosa cultivars
An old Southern standby, There is no Spring in Florida without these reliable star performers. While enjoying a woodsy, moist enviorment, they can be found in almost every growing conditions.
INDIAN HAWTHORN Rhaphiolepis indica
This a one of the most popular landscape plants, offering bright colorful flowers, dark green leaves with red tints in new growth. They form neat little mounds, perfect formal plantings. While appearing delicate, they are known for their cast-iron disposition.
BOUGAINVILLEA Bouganvillea hybrids
Bougainvilleas come in a complete spectrum of intense colors, except for blue. Sometimes classified as a vine, it's growth habit is more of a rambling shrub, yet can easily be trimmed into a tree-like shape or tight globe. Newer varieties, such as 'Helen Johnson', are true ground covers. As long as provided with full sun, they will withstand any abuse, even thriving in drought conditions. Once mature, they will bloom most of the year, but especially in the winter, when color is always welcome. Severe cold might damage the tips, but this is helpful to keep the plant well shaped.
GARDENIA Gardenia jasminiodes
Dark glossy green foilage is not what this plant is grown for, but its legendary flowers, appearing during the warm season. A good Azalea fertilier is recommended and well worth the rewards. All we can say is that one sniff of these blossoms rejuvinates old ladies and turns grown men into wimps.
PLUMBAGO Plumbago auriculata
Plumbago is one of the most reliable, care-free shrubs available for our area. The sky-blue flowers are constantly produced in bundles mostly during the warm months, but in a warm, sunny spot they bloom all year long. This landscaping staple doesn't care what kind of soil it is growing in, as long as it isn't swampy. It lends itself to be cut in any shape, whether formal or informal, not affecting this steadfast bloomer one bit. Also available in a white, slightly less vigorous form.
RAZZLE BUSH Loropetalum chinense
This small shrub has many uses. From a hedge, a mass or used singly, Razzle Bush is easily trimmed, even into tight little globes. Among the different cultivars available, there are ones with dark burgundy leaves and a beautiful tri-colored form with pink, white and red foilage. Add to this the beautiful intense pink fringe-like flowers and it's ability to grow in almost any situation, and you have a near perfect garden plant.
LAKEVIEW JASMINE Murraya paniculata
If you love the scent of Orange blossoms, but don't have sun or the space of a tree, grow this prized substitute. Unlike Citrus, it's heady scented flowers are produced sporadically thoughout the warm season, thriving in a somewhat shady, sheltered position.