Delightful Plants from Denver

Now that our house move is over, I'm reflecting on photos from this past summer like July's Perennial Plant Symposium in Denver.  I wanted to share a few plants that two months later still impress me.  Some were old friends, and others were new acquaintances that I'm dying to try here in Texas.  

SESELI GUMMIFERUM (MOON CARROT)

The nebulous foliage and flowers of Seseli gummiferum just inside the entrance of the Denver Botanic Garden made myself and many others starry-eyed.  I first encountered it at Wave Hill a few years ago and tried to grow some from seed in Texas.  Alas, it never germinated for me from a fall sowing.  Seeing these great growing plants has inspired me to try it again and figure out the germination minutiae.  

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  That's no moon !  It's a moon carrot!  

That's no moon!  It's a moon carrot!  

SOLIDAGO 'CROWN OF RAYS' (goldenrod)

The Denver Botanic Garden herb garden looked—and smelled—fantastic, and brightening the beds was a dwarf goldenrod.  A member of PPA identified it as Solidago 'Crown of Rays'.  I love goldenrods that aren't too thuggish, and I added it to my wish list of cultivars to trial for the southeast.

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Solanum wendlandii (giant potato creeper)

Scrambling through a planter near the greenhouses was a new-to-me tropical climber, Solanum wendlandii.  The lilac, half-dollar sized flowers really stood out from a distance and harmonized well with the diversity of textures and colors in the planting.  

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Jarava ichu (Peruvian feathergrass)

I had never heard of this species before, but the smoky wisps remind me of a more plumose Calamagrostis × acutiflora 'Karl Foerster'.  It was beautiful watching the panicles dancing in the dry, mountain breeze.

 
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Lonicera 'Kintzley's Ghost' (honeysuckle)

I met Lonicera 'Kintzley's Ghost' last year at Chanticleer for the first time, and it seemed to be growing well in Denver, too.  The gray-powdered bracts give a much longer season of interest even in absence of the flowers.  

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Epilobium canum ssp. garrettii 'Orange Carpet' (California Fuchsia)

California fuchsia.  Roughly translated, instant death in the heat and humid south?  Perhaps, but it's worth admiring in Denver as a groundcover with red flowers.  

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Oenothera macrocarpa (Bigfruit evening primrose)

Hubba hubba!  I've professed my love for evening primroses before, and you can certainly add Oenothera macrocarpa to that list. While I couldn't find a label on some of the plants I photographed, this might be the cultivar 'Silver Blade', although the foliage in the background looks a little less silvery.

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catananche caerulea (cupid's dart)

Cupid's dart in Washington Park was a new plant for me, and it looks like a chicory on steroids.  Ruth Rogers Clausen was standing nearby as I snapped away, and she said that it used to be as common as dirt years ago.  

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CRAMBE MARITIMA (SEA KALE)
¡Ay, crambe!  I delighted seeing the glaucous blue foliage of this plant in Washington Park.  I've lusted after this species for a while for it's giant leaves, and I finally have seeds to try this fall!  No, I didn't steal them from the plant below.  

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SALVIA PACHYPHYLA (Mojave Sage)

This plant stopped me in my tracks.  Holy.  Cow.  I'll pause for a second while you take a look at it.  

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SEE!!!  Blue-green foliage adorned by mulberry-colored bracts and purple flowers.  I want to grow this so bad...  Maybe it would live in the southeast?  Also, I rubbed the foliage and discovered it's covered in oils.  

IPOMOPSIS RUBRA (STANDING CYPRESS)

I enjoyed seeing this Texas native in Colorado as did several people on our tour bus.  While we were photographing away, a hummingbird flitted down and perused some flowers.  We grew this in our trial garden this summer, and I've already been at work scattering seed for next year.  

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Vernonia lindheimeri var. leucophylla (Wooly IronweeD)

Wowzers... it's like a plant covered in gray suede. Evidently, it's a Texas native, and I cannot wait to try this in Nacogdoches.   Can you imagine it dotted with purple flowers?

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