Thursday, July 30, 2015

Thrilled!

Leucophyllum frutescens "Compacta", amy myers photography, small sunny garden
I've shared a few stems of Leucophyllum on the blog from time to time.  Tight, slightly curly green leaves and lilac blue trumpet flowers deep inside.  They made good additions to vases.  I thought I had seen this year's showing, and was mildly impressed.

And now, all of sudden my bush is in full bloom.
Leucophyllum frutescens "Compacta", desert, garden
Not merely blooming, you understand, but dripping with flowers.
Leucophyllum frutescens "Compacta"
All this from a plant that was no more than a few awkward branches when I bought it last autumn!
Leucophyllum frutescens "Compacta"
Large, lovely trumpet flowers, with only the faintest sweet scent, but the perfect colour to cool the heat of July...
Leucophyllum frutescens "Compacta", small sunny garden
As I've explained before, this variety arrived at home tagless.  From my research so far I am fairly well convinced that it is L. frutescens "Compacta" so that is how I intend to label it in future unless otherwise informed!  The common name of L. frutescens is Texas Ranger, alluding to its provenance in west Texas, that home of any number of usefully drought-and-heat-tolerant species.

And it is a superbly heat-tolerant plant, expected (like many Leucophyllym varieties) to grow to around 5 ft (1.5 m).  It blooms in response to summer rain, when the garden desperately needs a dash of cool colour.  It is evergreen, deer resistant, and can be grown in alkaline soils.  It is also attractive to bees...
Leucophyllum frutescens "Compacta", amy myers photography
What more could one ask?
Leucophyllum frutescens "Compacta", amy myers photography, small sunny garden
Weather Diary: Fair; High: 99 F (37 C)/Low: 82 F (28 C)  Did you see that?  It didn't even break 100 F yesterday!  Slight chance of rain in the forecast this week...

12 comments:

  1. I love these shrubs and have seen them doing well in my own area, yet I've had little luck with them. One promptly died. Another has been sitting at the edge of my dry garden for nearly 3 years without showing any sign of growth (although at least it's not dead). However, it surprised me by blooming briefly after our recent rains. It's not the same species as yours so perhaps I'll try changing it out.

    I hope you get some rain. We have a slight chance of getting some this evening too.

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    1. I don't know, Kris. I see on Dave's Garden that it's used across the southern US from California to Florida, so it seems to be pretty tolerant. Perhaps your soil is actually too rich? I read that root rot can be a problem in clay (something I will have to watch for). It appears to prefer poor, alkaline soils. But each garden has its own whims anyway! Both the L. frutescens and L. candidum varieties are grown here. I got a peek at L. c. "Silver Cloud" the other day and it promptly went on my wish list... Enjoy your rain if it comes :)

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  2. I can relate to your excitement when something in the garden has a second flush. I love the colour and the trumpet-shaped flowers - maybe we will see it in a vase soon?

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    1. You probably will see it in a vase again as the combination of flowers and foliage make it an excellent addition. At the moment many of the blooms have blown off, but hopefully it will continue to flower at intervals :)

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  3. This is a new plant to me Amy, I don't know if it is available in the UK. Checking it out on Google, I see that it is sometimes called the Barometer Bush, because it is said to flower profusely just before rain, when growing in desert like conditions. It certainly is a very attractive and useful plant, especially in dry gardens.

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    1. I can't deny the Barometer Bush moniker as we did indeed have rain today ;-) I have wondered whether it was available outside the region as it is such an excellent plant in an appropriate climate.

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  4. Replies
    1. Isn't it??! It's proving to be a very special plant :)

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  5. Very pretty. So glad to hear you've had rain!

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  6. Such a pretty plant. The colour is astounding Amy. I can see why you are fond of it and glad to read you've had some rain.

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    1. Thanks a lot, Angie! I'm now on the lookout to add more of these... ;-)

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