Do you ever find yourself walking around our beautiful neighborhood admiring the flowers, but with no clue what it is you’re looking at? Welcome to "Petworth Blooming"... every month I’ll feature some of the most common plants seen around Petworth, and give a little info about each one.
One of the most commonly planted flowering trees, Crepe Myrtles come in a wide variety of colors. They can grow to be quite large, but many owners cut them back every winter to keep them small. The name comes from the thin, tissue-like petals. Look carefully and you’ll see the unusually crinkled edges of the flowers.
Rose of Sharon bushes are blooming all over Petworth right now. They come in both white and various shades of pink. Originally from China, they are now grown in gardens throughout the world. These plants are members of the mallow family which includes tropical hibiscus, cotton, and cacao (chocolate) plants! The most distinctive thing about these plants are the “alien-like” pollen structure right in the middle of the flower. Other plants from the same family blooming in Petworth now are Rose Mallow and Okra.
Marigolds are a cheap and easy to grow annual, either from seed or seedling. Varying from yellow to red, the complex flowers provide compact blotches of color all summer long. These garden favorites originally came from Mexico.
In addition to providing modest adornments to classical sculptures, Figs trees also produce delicious fruits that are great both fresh and dried. Figs are very unusual because the flowers are actually hidden inside the fruit! A tiny hole at the bottom of the fruit allows very tiny wasps entry for pollination.
Creeping up electrical poles or any other vertical surface in sight, Trumpet Creeper creates large tubular flowers which are a favorite of hummingbirds. The dark green leaves look great too and provide nesting habitat for other kinds of birds. This aggressive vine tends to create a somewhat unkempt look to a garden.
Often planted along retaining walls and in curbside beds, Sedum aka Stonecrop is one tough plant. This succulent is able to withstand dry conditions by filling its leaves with water whenever moisture is available. Smaller species of sedum are often used for green roofs where dealing with dry conditions is imperative.
And finally, a bonus photo of a bee drying off after one of our many July downpours.
Coming up next: Sunflowers, Cosmos, and Obedient plants...