Category Archives: Plant Profiles

Plant Profile: Lonicera involucrata

by Veronica Wisniewski, Fourth Corner Nurseries

Lonicera involucrata

Common Names: Black Twinberry, Inkberry, Grizzly Berry, Fly Berry

Pollination: Insect (Bee flies, bees and butterflies) and hummingbird pollinated.

Culture: Tolerant of a wide range of soil conditions, twinberry’s only real requirement is watering until it is established. As a plant most commonly found in moist to swampy areas, moist conditions will extend the blooming season and berry production.

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Plant Profile: Dodecatheon hendersonii

by Veronica Wisniewski, Fourth Corner Nurseries

Ostensible origin of the name: Dodeka = twelve, theoi = gods; refers to the twelve major gods of the ancient Greek Hellenistic religion (which is currently undergoing revival). The ancient naturalist, Pliny, compared the clustered flowers of primroses to an assembly of Greek Gods. Except for one species of Dodecatheon from Siberia, Pliny would not have encountered blossoms of this New World genus from the primrose family. Linnaeus must have been impressed by the comparison in bestowing such a regal name on the shooting stars.

Common Names: Broad-Leaved Shooting Star, Henderson’s Shooting Star, Mosquito Bills, Sailors Caps, and, courtesy of a San Juan Island farmer, Birdy Beaks. Continue reading

Plant Profile: Disporum hookeri, Prosartes hookeri

by Veronica Wisniewski, Fourth Corner Nurseries

Common Names: Fairy Bells, Hooker’s Fairy Bell, Drops of Gold

Pollination: Could find no information. If you know something, let me know. Slugs are involved in seed dispersal, though, consuming the berries and passing the seeds. For Prosartes, their rasping the seed increased germination in one study.

Culture: Prosartes hookeri and its similar relative Prosartes (Disporum) smithii are generally found in moist wooded areas with dappled sunlight in rich duff covered soils. They nonetheless will grow in full sun in a variety of soils, given they receive adequate moisture. Continue reading

Plant Profile: Cornus sericea

by Veronica Wisniewski, Fourth Corner Nurseries

Previously Named: Cornus stolonifera

Common Names: Red Osier Dogwood, Red Twig Dogwood

Red osier dogwood is a common deciduous shrub growing to about 8 to 20 feet tall, occurring across North America below 7,500 feet in elevation. It is typically found in areas with saturated soils for at least part of the growing season, such as the edges of lakes, streams and wetlands. This shrub has excellent value for both wildlife habitat and in ornamental landscaping. Dozens of species of birds and mammals eat the fleshy fruits of dogwood, which ripen in late summer and are often available through the fall. Deer, elk, and moose browse the twigs and foliage. Continue reading

Plant Profile: Balsamorhiza deltoidea

by Veronica Wisniewski, Fourth Corner Nurseries

Common Names: Deltoid Balsamroot, Puget Balsamroot

Range: Vancouver Island, BC where it is endangered, to southern California

Pollination: Insect pollinated.

Culture: Plant in well-drained sandy loam soil in a sunny location. Allow the soil to dry down between waterings.

Notes: Bright yellow sunflowers bursting from big bold leaves dot the open hillsides and meadows of the shrub-steppe, the balsamroots, beg for a place in the home landscape – east of the mountains. For those of us drenched in the liquid sunshine west of the cascades, fortunately, there is an exception that deserves a space the garden – Balsamorhiza deltoidea. Continue reading