Early Winter Interest Plants (Dec-Jan)
Prunus mume (Flowering Apricot)
• ‘Contorta’ – earliest flowering – around Christmas/early Jan –white with contorted branches
• ‘Pink Panther’ – double flower – mid-Jan
• Unknown white single –mid-Jan
Mahonia (Asian species and hybrids)
• Mahonia x media (many named but very similar cultivars
• Mahonia x lindsayae ‘Cantab’ – distinctive in that the leaves and inflorescences are weeping
• Various garden seedlings (hybrids)
Mahonia (Mexican species)
• Mahonia chochoca
• Mahonia sp. (soon to be named M. peckerwoodensis – north of creek)
• Ilex x ‘Cherry Bomb’
• Ilex vomitoria ‘Saratoga Gold’
• Ilex intermedia (currently mislabeled I. purpurea)
• Ilex decidua (including ‘Finch’s Golden’)
• Ilex x ‘Miss Patricia’
• Various hybrids
Chiococca alba – white fruits if not subjected to hard freeze
Magnolia species and hybrids (a few starting to flower early/mid January)
Camellia sasanqua – various cultivars (fall – early winter flowering
Camellia japonica – various cultivars (winter-spring flowering)
Cephalotaxus harringtoniana ‘Korean Gold’
Acer oliverianum var. formosanum – red fall color late Dec to Feb depending on conditioning
Acer skutchii – Mexican Sugar Maple – yellow to orange foliage Jan to Feb
Acer palmatum – Red to yellow December – January
Acer discolor – orange late December to January
Lindera angustifolia – Yellow foliage turns a clean copper color (dead but still ornamental), retained on tree
Lindera glauca – similar to L. angustifolia, but leaves shorter
Diospyros palmeri – holds pepper-like persimmons through winter
Chionanthus retusus – yellow fall color Dec-Jan, dropping to reveal nice branching architecture
Taxodium ascendens – after leaves drop long pendant clusters of male cones persist, hanging from branch tips
Rohdea japonica – evergreen groundcover with showy red winter fruits
Ruscus aculeatus (self-fruiting variety) best fruit set in winter, but can have fruits other times of year.
Loropetalum cv’s – pink flowers Jan-March
Euonymus myrianthus – showy yellow fruits split open to reveal red seeds
Pyrus kawakamii – flowering mid Jan (2017). Rare species of pear from Taiwan, not edible
Ulmus alata ‘Lace Parasol’ – when leafless the contorted, weeping branches are shown off best.
Our sixth annual Taking Root luncheon, held last month at the Junior League in Houston, was another success. I hope you were one of the lucky guests who got to hear Tony Avent speak at the luncheon. If you didn’t, you missed a dynamic and entertaining presentation in which Tony made a very compelling argument for the importance of supporting Peckerwood Garden, noting that many of the plants at the garden either no longer exist in the wild or are not easily accessible in dangerous or remote areas.
Here I quote Tony: “John Fairey’s Peckerwood Garden houses one of the most important ex-situ plant collections of Mexican germplasm in the US, representing over 30 years and over 100 botanizing expeditions into Northern Mexico.” We’ll share more of Tony’s advocacy for the garden next month in our year-end ask. His enthusiasm for the garden and its horticultural significance is gratifying and inspires us to do all we can to conserve the garden and John Fairey’s vision.
Like Tony Avent, Panayoti Kelaidis, Senior Curator and Director of Outreach, Denver Botanic Garden and our most recent Saturday morning speaker, praised Peckerwood Garden for its rare depth of scientific and botanical value, and noted that ‘today the “Peckerwood style” has permeated gardens across the Continental United States and beyond.’
We hope you’ll visit the garden soon to see for yourselves what Tony and Panayoti are talking about. Your next chance will be our Insider’s Tour on Saturday, December 7th at 10 am where you can experience the garden in all its autumnal splendor. We hope to see you there.
— Randy Twaddle, President
Conifer – Member of coniferales order. Cone bearing, needle or scale-like leaves, resinous sap, wind pollinated
Tour themes: Effects of lighting on tree form. Heat tolerance. Leaf shape and rigidity. Soil preference.
Juniperus virginiana ‘Glauca Compacta’. Dioecious
Taxodium mucronatum (Montezuma Cypress) – Female cones smaller, disjoint range (disagreement), evenly distributed stoma, knees rare, drops branches in dry periods. Monoecious
Cupressus lusitanica – Central Mexico down to El Salvador. Mixed conifer, oak, clethra forests with ericaceous and theaceous shrub. On cliffs with steep drainage. Monoecious
Cupressus funebris – Vietnam, S. China
Juniperus flaccida – Central Mexico to Big Bend, Texas. Smaller tree, female.
Pinus sp. ‘Weeping’ – Ted Doreumus, 2015. Monoecious
Pinus taeda ‘J. C. Raulston’ – Ted Doremus, 2007
Taxodium ascendans ‘Prairie Sentinel’
Taxodium distichum ‘Wooster Broom’ Incorrectly labeled dwarf 5’ x 5’.
Taxodium distichum ‘Peve Minaret’
Juniperus rigida ‘Pendula’ – to about 15 ft. Strongly upward young branches, then mopped down. Rigid leaves.
Cryptomeria japonica ‘Gokoryu’ Location important
Cryptomeria japonica ‘Yoshino’
Taxus chinensis – dioecious. Spirally arranged leaves with a flat base.
Abies firma – Bright green adaxial, gray-green abaxial, warm temperate to cool. Root stock.
Thujopsis dolobrata – Monotypical genus. Location and light important. Conical to shrubby. Water.
Removed Cryptomeria japonica ‘Albaspica’ – Location important, white new growth in sun.
Taxus wallichiana – Recent microbiological studies different species.
Podocarpus matudae – Variable species from Eastern Mexico to Guatemala. Water climate, high rainfall and specific microbiome.
Taxodium distichum – knees
Metasequoia glyptostroboides – Recently discovered critically endangered. Shortest redwood. Deciduous like Taxodium. Morphologically unchanged for 65 million years. Like wet climates, but can tolerate some dry weather, but maybe not Texas drought.
Pinus pseudostrobus – yellow softwood pine from central Mexico to Guatemala.
Taxus chinensis – Sparsely branched in shade.
Taxus chinensis – Shrubby and leggy in too much sun.
Cupressus arizonica var glabra ‘Raywood’s Weeping’ – could benefit from some trimming of branch tips.
Pinus taeda ‘Nana’
Araucaria angustifolia – dioecious
Keteleeria davidiana – monoecious
Taxus chinensis – Densely branched in sun.