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Cercis canadensis Red bud, Judas tree. Z 4-8
In spring when we need a Dionysian jolt from winter’s hibernation the Red bud’s flowers burst open. Shameless fuchsia buds appear along the tree’s stems, before the leaves unfurl. As spring turns to summer, glossy medium green hearts, the shape of each leaf, replace the buds. Vase shaped, fast growing and blooming as a young tree.
OUT OF STOCK
In spring when we need a Dionysian jolt from winter’s hibernation the Red bud’s flowers burst open. Shameless fuchsia buds appear along the tree’s stems, before the leaves unfurl. As spring turns to summer, glossy medium green hearts, the shape of each leaf, replace the buds. Vase shaped, fast growing and blooming as a young tree. It has a tap root, making transplant a challenge, except when young.
Size: 20-30’ tall and 25-35’ wide
Care: sun to part shade and moist well drained soil.
Native: between NY northwest to Wisconsin, Florida and southwest to New Mexico. Oklahoma adopted it as its state tree. Its immunity to the toxin Juglone means it can be planted near Walnut trees
Wildlife Value: Spring Azure, Henry’s Elfin & Great Purple Hairstreak butterflies drink flowers’ nectar
1st described by French explorer and botanist Joseph PittonTournefort in 1716. Collected by John Bartram. George Washington planted this at Mount Vernon. Cherokee and Delaware steeped Red bud roots and bark in water for cures of fever, stuffiness, whooping cough and vomiting. Cherokee children ate the flowers. French Canadians added them to salads. The Garden May 20, 1876.
Chelone glabra White turtlehead Z 3-8
Spikes of ivory, hooded turtlehead-like flowers encircle stems in August & September
Spikes of ivory, hooded turtlehead-like flowers encircle stems in August & September.
Size: 2-3’ x 12”
Care: part shade in moist to moist well-drained soil
Native: all eastern No. Am. except FL
Wildlife Value: food for caterpillar of Baltimore checkerspot & nectar for butterflies.
The name Chelone originated with French colonial settlers in Nova Scotia before 1700, “La Tortue,” meaning “turtle” in French. M. Dierville transported it to France along with the local name. In 1706 French botanist Tournefort adopted the Greek word for turtle as its name, Chelone. Cherokee ate boiled or fried new stems and leaves. Also used medicinally by soaking flowers in water to cure worms, skin sores, fever & constipation. Cherokee boiled roots for excess gall and soaked smashed roots to ward off witchery. Micmac & Malecite steeped the plant to make a contraceptive. Pressed specimen in Emily Dickinson’s herbarium.
Cimicifuga racemosa Cohosh, Bugbane Z 3-8
Majestic milky white candles covered with buds like pearls
Majestic milky white candles covered with buds like pearls that open to frilly balls in August
Size: 4-6' x 2-4'
Care: Part shade, moist soil
Native: east N. America, Wisconsin native
Cimicifuga is Latin meaning “bug” and fugere meaning “to drive away.” “Bugbane” refers to the plant’s odor, repelling insects. “Cohosh” is Algonquin for “rough” referring to the feel of the root. American Indians used its roots medicinally as an astringent, poison and snakebite antidote and to stop coughing. Roots considered an aphrodisiac for women.
Clematis virginiana Virgin’s bower, Devil’s darning needles Z 4-8
July-September star-like white blossoms
July-September star-like white blossoms cover this vine – good for clambering up small trees.
Size: 12-20’ x 4’
Care: Sun to shade moist well-drained soil. Flowers on new stems so cut back in late winter or early spring to 6-8” above the ground.
Native: Nova Scotia to Georgia and as far west as Kansas, Wisconsin native
The genus Clematis was named by Dioscordes, physician in Nero’s army, from “klema” meaning climbing plant. One of 1st No. American plants sent to Europe – grew in Tradescant the Elder’s South Lambeth nursery in 1634. Grown by Jefferson at Monticello in 1807. Described by Breck in his 1851 book The Flower Garden: “The flowers are white borne upon cymes, and make a handsome appearance.” Cherokee mixed this plant with milkweed to remedy backaches. A root extract cured stomach aches, nervous conditions and kidney ailments. For the Iroquois powdered root fixed venereal disease sores and an extract of the stem brought on strange dreams. Pressed specimen in Emily Dickinson’s herbarium.