Jeffersonia diphylla – Twinleaf (aka Rheumatism Root)
Jeffersonia diphylla, commonly known as Twinleaf or Rheumatism Root, is an uncommon Spring wildflower in the Berberidaceae family. Jeffersonia was named after U.S. President Thomas Jefferson, who grew it on his stately property, Monticello. This plant is often used in rock gardens or as a groundcover in woodland gardens. Since Twinleaf prefers neutral soils too alkaline, it can be planted near concrete foundations and near lawns, especially if treated with lime. This perennial grows at a slow rate and rarely grows over 12 inches while flowering but can grow up to 18 inches by its fruit ripens. Twinleaf features large flat leaves that can be up to 6 inches long. The leaves sit at the ends of long stems, sprout from the rhizome, and are divided in a way somewhat resembling butterfly wings, giving the appearance of being two separate leaves. In the Spring, before the forest canopy appears in April or May, lovely white flowers, each with eight pedals, appear at the end of leafless stalks. These cup-shaped flowers are short-lived, with the petals falling off soon after flowering. The fruit is a pod that resembles a small pear and has a hinged top. The plant relies on ants to disperse its seeds and, while it has no significant problems with insects or disease, it is susceptible to snails and slugs. Twinleaf grows in the USDA hardiness zones 5 through 8. It can be found in Eastern North America, especially in the Great Lakes region, the Ohio Valley, and the Appalachians, from Ontario to Alabama and West to Wisconsin. This attractive plant is typically found growing in the damp, rich limestone soils of deciduous forests and near rivers. While the plant can tolerate conditions of heavy shade, it prefers a partly shady environment. The ideal situation for Twinleaf is under the canopies of large trees, where it can receive adequate sun in the Spring and be well-shaded from the heat of the summer sun.
One of the most beautiful trees you can plant on your property as a home gardener is the tulip poplar. It is a fast-growing tree that can thrive in various hardy zones, specifically 5 through 9. Its official name is Liriodendron tulipifera, but it is also referred to as the yellow poplar and can grace you with its sheer beauty for many years to come. The tree works best when planted in your front yard. Interestingly, it is a member of the Magnolia family and not a poplar despite its name. The tree is so famous that it is the state tree for three states in the United States. Its foliage is a bright green, and the poplar can grow to reach mature heights of between 60 and 100 feet, which makes it a great tree to use for providing shade to other plants that need it. When it is fully grown, it will reach a spread ranging between 30 and 50 feet. You must be diligent in selecting just the right spot for planting your tulip poplar tree. Before planting, you should prepare the soil and ensure that it is well-draining. At the same time, the tree requires a moist condition in the soil, although it is widely adaptable to just about all types. The spot in which you plant your poplar should have plenty of access to full sunlight, as it will allow the tree to thrive. Ensure to dig the hole where You will plant the root ball at least twice or three times as wide as the root ball. That will better allow the tree to embed its roots into the soil and retain the moisture in the ground. Keep the tree level to the ground so that only the root ball itself is underground. Tamp down the soil around the tree’s base and deeply water around it to moisten the soil.
By the time spring comes around, you will notice lovely yellow and orange blooms beginning to appear. These flowers have a wonderful fragrance and will continue to bloom throughout the summer. The blooms are tulip-shaped and will attract hummingbirds, butterflies, and a variety of birds. The bark tends to be grayish. By the time the fall season approaches, you can expect your beautiful poplar’s leaves to change to a brilliant yellow.
Tulip Poplar – Liriodendron tulipifera
The tulip poplar is a native of the Eastern part of the United States. It is the state tree of Kentucky, Tennessee, and Indiana. It is known for the beautiful sizeable tulip-like flowers that sit on the branches like a cup and saucer. It can reach a height ranging from 70-90 feet tall and have a spread of approximately 50 feet across. It is a favorite of many landowners for the use of a shade tree. Hardy in zones 4-9 and will do well in rich, damp soil. The brown bark is a contorted loose and rough bark. The blooms appear between May and June, tulip-shaped greenish-yellow flowers that fade to an orange color at the base. Even the leaves of the tulip poplar are attractive with a distinctive shape. They are 4-6 inches long with deep lobes and an average of 4-tip ends with a solid center and a cut wide v-shape at the end of the leaf. The leaves are a lighter green that turns yellow in the Fall. The tulip poplar is often called a tulip tree, whitewood, yellow poplar, or fiddle tree. The wood from the tree is a chosen wood to make fiddles or violins. Therefore the tree became known as the fiddle tree. It is a fast-growing, deciduous tree that is valuable because it is hardwood. In areas where the soil is rich and the roots can get a solid system, trees have been known to get to 150 feet tall and have 10 feet around. Since the tulip poplar multiplies and spreads quickly, it does not take long to get a shady spot in the yard. It is an excellent choice for shade, interesting leaf formation, beautiful Spring tulip-like flowers, and fall-yellow leaves.
Trumpet Vine, Trumpet Creeper, or campsis radicans is a gorgeous climbing vine native to the forests and rivers of the Southeast United States and Gulf Coast regions. Trumpet Vines are an excellent plant for all gardeners, novice to expert. Trumpet vines grow well in wet to dry soil, even in drought conditions. Trumpet Vines enjoy all types of soil, from clay to sand. Trumpet vines fare well in soil conditions with a pH level between 3.7 and 6.8. The bold and vigorous Trumpet Vine can grow from roughly eight to thirty feet high. As the vivid vine continues to grow heavier, be sure to give it the extra support it is sure to need. The height of these vines can provide excellent shade and privacy for its growers. The vibrant red and orange, yellow-throated blossoms begin to bloom in Summer through the early Fall. The magnificent tubular blossom can grow three and a half inches in length and two inches wide in the front, giving the Trumpet Vine its musical moniker. This magnificent perennial blooms blossoms in fiercely colored clusters of four to twelve. This dense vine is popular in gardens with arbors, trellis, and fences. The Trumpet Vine thrives on climbing these beautiful, sturdy objects. Trumpet vines mature in three to four years after planting. Once they start climbing, they will require pruning to keep them in the areas you want. Trumpet Vines are prolific propagators. Their six-inch seed pods allow the Trumpet Vine to spread wherever the seeds land after opening. Their dark green, oval-serrated leaves and the gorgeous nectar and pollen-laden blooms are amazing attractants of hummingbirds, butterflies, and bees. This fantastic vine is sure to add enjoyment and splendor to any gardener looking to add significant ground and vertical cover.
Climate Zone: 4-10
Mature Height: 8-30 feet
Mature Width: 8-30 feet
Sunlight: Full Sun
Soil: Dry to Moist
Botanical Name: Campsis radicans