Friday, October 28, 2016

October Plant Favorites

I'm joining Loree of danger garden in focusing on the plants that are putting on a good show this month.  A few are the usual suspects, the plants that reliably bloom at this time each year.

Barleria obtusa (aka bush violet) is making the biggest splash in my garden right now.  The plant shown in this photo is about a foot tall and 3 feet wide.  One in a nearby bed that has only just started blooming has stretched 4 feet or more and would be larger still if I hadn't hacked it back last month when it started climbing on its neighbors.  However, with blooms this pretty in autumn, I can forgive it a lot.

Senna bicapsularis (aka Christmas Senna) is as floriferous as the Barleria but much taller.  I foolishly placed it against a fence, which interferes with its natural tree-like shape, but at least it screens our neighbor's house.  It has bare legs, as you can see in the middle photo but, in another setting, it could be trimmed to a shorter, bushier height.  It serves as a host for the cloudless sulphur butterfly (Phoebis sennae) but my camera was unable to capture one of those flighty creatures.

Asters seem to be growing everywhere I look in blogdom but I haven't been so lucky with them in my garden.  Symphyotrichum chilensis seems to be faring better than the other species I've tried.  As it's commonly known as Pacific aster and California aster perhaps that's to be expected.  I wish I'd bought more.


The next one took me by surprise.  It's reported to bloom in winter and spring but it seems to march to its own internal drumbeat.

This is Correa pulchella 'Pink Eyre'.  It's been in my dry garden for years and occasionally throws out a bloom here or there but this month it's positively dripping in flowers.


There are also some foliage standouts.

I usually make a fuss over Ageratum corymbosum when it blooms in early spring but I'm quite happy with its healthy foliage alone right now.  In spring the leaves generally turn purple but at the moment they're bright green edged in purple, which I think is very attractive.  As you can see clearly in the photo on the right, it's also produced one multi-variegated leaf.  This is probably a one-off phenomenon but I like it.

I bought a fancy but rather fussy pot at a succulent show back in June but then couldn't decide what to put in it that would complement it without making it fussier still.  I finally planted it with a few plugs of Graptosedum 'Vera Higgins', which is very happy there (and seemingly safe from the raccoons who are prone to breaking Graptosedums apart with a swat of a paw).

Ordinary Santolina chamaecyparissus has done very well in a dry area of my back garden.  It asks for little and provides a nice contrast to all the green around it.


I started this post with a photo of Barleria obtusa.  When I was looking into methods of propagating Barleria obtusa, I unexpectedly turned up a connection to another favorite plant in my October garden.

I originally purchased this plant as Pseuderanthemum 'Texas Tristar' but I've also found it labeled as Strobilanthes.  In researching Barleria obtusa, I found this same plant labeled as variegated B. obtusa 'Purple Gem' and 'Purple Haze'.  Last night, I also found it listed as Pseuderanthemum 'Purple Dazzler'.   As the foliage has little to nothing in common with the B. obtusa I grow, I'm going to refer to it as Pseuderanthemum species and be done with it.


Sometimes plant identification drives me crazy.  Don't even let me get started on succulents.

Visit Loree at danger garden to see what she and other gardeners have on their favorites lists this month.


All material © 2012-2016 by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party

14 comments:

  1. "Assorted Succulents" is my favorite plant tag. Why bother? Your garden looks so exotic and vibrant as ours are getting ready for winter. Your Correa is a real standout! I've never seen one blooming that heavily.

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    1. I don't get that "Asst Succulents" tag either. With all the intergeneric and interspecies hybridization, it's hard enough to keep up but growers could at least put us in the right ballpark!

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  2. The succulents on the side of the fancy pot, are ceramic?
    Rather beautiful, especially if planted like that.

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    1. Yes, the features on the front of the pot are all ceramic. The Graptosedum look properly sculptural in the pot, don't they?

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  3. That fancy succulent pot REALLY messed with my head for a bit (did she hot glue succulents on the side?), until I read your caption and decided they were part of the container. I think you chose very wisely as far as what you put into it. My Correa backhouseana has a similar amount of buds on it right now, after only producing intermittent blooms over the last couple of years. I hope they manage to open, with cooler weather coming who knows...

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    1. I wasn't sure what I was looking at the first time I saw that pot either.

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  4. The Pseuderanthemum is dazzling and I find the Correa charming. I like the 'fussy' pot - the decorations look so real!

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    1. Maybe I should call the Pseuderanthemum 'Purple Dazzler' after all!

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  5. I have never heard of either Bush Violet or the Correa pulchella 'Pink Eyre'. Both are gorgeous! I also really like your sedum pot, and you chose the perfect occupant.

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    1. I've admired the Philippine violet (Barleria cristata) on Texas blogs for years so I was pleased to find a shorter cousin that's happy growing in California.

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  6. I agree about plant names. And what about asters and chrysanthemums? Do you think the taxonomists sit and chuckle with sadistic glee at the idea of us poor gardeners trying to keep up?
    Lovely correa and that succulent pot had me puzzled for a while.

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    1. "Aster" was so short, simple and easy to pronounce - if taxonomists are going to go to the trouble of reclassifying well-known groups of plants, why in heck can't they simplify the name of the genus they stick them in while they're at it? In the case of the Barleria/Pseuderanthemum conundrum, I have to wonder if the common name of "bush violet" is at the heart of the confusion.

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  7. Lots of plants I've never even heard of. I always learn something new from your posts.

    Coincidentally, just bought two Santolina chamaecyparissus 'Nana'.

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    1. Nothing seems to faze Santolina. They may not be terribly exciting but they so make good companions for other plants.

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