Monday, April 12, 2010

Something Special

Yellow is the color of spring for me, it jumps out and says winter is over! This shrub is my spring herald along with the daffodils. I have never heard a common name for it though there may be one in Mexico its home. In fact all I know it is a Senecio I bought from Yucca Do Nursery many years ago.

It will grow to 6' if you let it but looks better cut back to the ground every couple of years. In full summer sun it tends to wilt like a Hydrangea so be nice and plant it in the shade and hose it off on a hot day.

The Senecio is a coarse looking plant that fits well in a woodland setting but should be tried in a typical suburban landscape. It is an evergreen but not a dark dense plant. The branches are limber and the flowers sit at the ends. If I ever find the name I`ll pass it on!

A Male Medusa

He is always ahead of the rest, anxious to be the first to leaf out and often he is burned by the frost. This year he is late and the leaves will be undamaged but he is still the first.

This fabulous plant is a Cycas taitungensis! A huge fast growing plant that regularly put out three spurts of growth a year. The first growth has always been a set of leaves the second is always a cone and it is definitely a male cone.

The leaves are up to 5' long and a deep green in color. As you can see from the picture they brown in the winter some, more from wind damage than cold. It has a growth rate that puts Cycas revoluta the common sago to shame.

In the garden give this plant plenty of room it is huge and quick growing if fertilized regularly. A common mistake is to plant it in a spot that will cause it to looked cramped in the future because people think that it will grow just like the common sago.