Plant Talk

Exploring the science of plants, from the field to the lab

What’s Beautiful Now: Lazy Lotuses

Posted in What's Beautiful Now on July 11 2017, by Matt Newman

Week of July 9, 2017

There’s something about a lotus blossom lazily tousled by the breeze that makes us think “summer” around here, and this week that feeling is running high. The Conservatory Pools are quickly becoming the jewels of July as the lotuses—and their friends the water lilies—bloom under the sun. Meanwhile, the Perennial Garden is a party of foliage and flowers, and the Forest, as ever around this time of year, is the sort of zen escape sorely needed in this bustling city. Check it out!

Conservatory Pools

Conservatory Pools
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The waterlilies and lotuses are beginning to flower in brilliant yellow, purple, pink, and even blue. Don’t miss these serene and magical aquatic plants!

 

What’s Beautiful Now: Perfect Green

Posted in What's Beautiful Now on June 26 2017, by Matt Newman

Week of June 26, 2017

While the Rose Garden has begun its summer settling-down, there’s still color to be seen there! Elsewhere in the Garden, such as the Native Plant Garden and the Rock Garden, you can find peaceful, shady vistas peppered with attractive summer flowers. The Azalea Garden is a lush escape as well during this time of year, with large-leaved hostas and other rich foliage creating a rolling hillscape of greens.

Tree of the Week: Catalpa × erubescens ‘Purpurea’, purple catalpa

Tree of the Week: <em>Catalpa</em> × <em>erubescens</em> ‘Purpurea’, purple catalpa
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Look for the showy pyramidal clusters of white and purple flowers of this young tree near the Harding Lab at the bottom of the Tulip Tree Allée. The cultivar ‘Purpurea’ is named for its foliage, which emerges a dark-purple and fades to green over the summer. Another catalpa, Catalpa bignoniodes, can be found blooming along Garden Way. The large, nearly heart-shaped foliage of these trees adds an interesting texture to the summer landscape.

What’s Beautiful Now: Shapes of the Solstice

Posted in What's Beautiful Now on June 19 2017, by Matt Newman

Hydrangea quercifoliaWeek of June 19, 2017

While the roses have hit their spring peak, you’ll still find color in the collection throughout summer as we move on toward its September redux. Meanwhile, the lush greenery of summer is the pride of the Garden right now, with late spring flowers in all shapes and sizes making a showing throughout.

There’s no better place to catch it than in the Native Plant Garden, where speckled sunlight filters down through the tree canopy to light ferns and grasses in abundance. The Rock Garden continues its quiet, colorful reign as we move into summer, and the Perennial Garden is a manicured balance of flowers and foliage right now. See what’s beautiful at NYBG this week, just ahead of the summer solstice!

Perennial of the Week: Astilbe × arendsii 'Amethyst'

Perennial of the Week: <em>Astilbe </em>×<em> arendsii</em> 'Amethyst'
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Reaching heights of 30”–36”, Astilbe × arendsii 'Amethyst' is known for its tall and fluffy plumes of lavender-pink flowers. This perennial is clump-forming, yet graceful with its flowers emerging erect on a tall and slender stem above the mounds of fern-like leaves (about 12”–24” tall). You can find sweeps of this beauty in the Azalea Garden.

What’s Beautiful Now: Summer Heat

Posted in What's Beautiful Now on June 12 2017, by Matt Newman

While the herbaceous peonies that held the spotlight until now have bid us adieu for another spring, the Rockefeller Rose Garden quickly stepped in to take the stage, boasting thousands of beautiful flowers as the heat picks up at the Garden. Summer’s approach means a lush and sunny 250 acres to explore at NYBG, so grab your sunglasses and head outside!

Rose Garden

Rose Garden
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The Rose Garden is enjoying its first flush of color for the season! Make sure you don’t miss this garden at its peak.

 

What’s Beautiful Now: A Rosy Outlook

Posted in What's Beautiful Now on June 5 2017, by Matt Newman

Photo of rosesWeek of June 5, 2017

Of all our collections—some 50 in total—the Peggy Rockefeller Rose Garden is a stand-out in the spring, sweeping into June with a panorama of classic colors. Whites, reds, pinks, and yellows abound, and of our 650 rose varieties, there’s certainly something for everyone to love.

While our Rose Garden Weekend was a huge success, the roses are expected to continue showing off their best sides through this coming weekend at the least, so don’t miss out on their spring bloom! Meanwhile, the herbaceous peonies across from the Conservatory continue to delight everyone who passes by—you really can’t overlook them.

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What’s Beautiful Now: Blooming Like Catmints & Dogwoods

Posted in What's Beautiful Now on May 30 2017, by Matt Newman

Week of May 28, 2017

An odd coincidence of springtime is the sometimes simultaneous display of our Cornus kousa, or dogwood, and the aromatic arrival of Nepeta, or catmint. But they’re not the only beauties making themselves known across grounds this week. Look for the peak bloom of the herbaceous peonies, the continued reign of the tree peonies, the ongoing revival of the Rose Garden, and the Rock Garden’s transition from spring floral spotlights to lush summer escape.

Tree of the Week: Cornus kousa, flowering dogwood

Tree of the Week: <em>Cornus kousa</em>, flowering dogwood
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Look for the expanding white floral bracts of Cornus kousa in bloom throughout the Garden. Wonderful specimens of this small statured tree can be found near the staircase into the Peggy Rockefeller Rose Garden and along the path within the Burn Family Lilac Collection. Be sure to walk through the Benenson Ornamental Conifer collection to see many unique cultivars of this great species.

What’s Beautiful Now: Peony Power

Posted in What's Beautiful Now on May 22 2017, by Matt Newman

The peonies are in prime form this week, and are not to be missed as they put on a parade of color beyond the Conservatory doors. The tree peonies, likewise, are showing off and living up to their fanciful cultivar names—bringing the blooms just as the nearby Rose Garden begins to tease its earliest color.

In the Native Plant Garden, you can find a taste of early summer in the rich greens and small, bright flowers, while the Rock Garden continues to grow into its lush seasonal colors.

Perennial of the Week: Paeonia lactiflora various cultivars, herbaceous peony

Perennial of the Week: <em>Paeonia lactiflora</em> various cultivars, herbaceous peony
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Glorious showy blooms are held above rich green foliage on these peonies. Amidst the Matelich Anniversary Peony Collection, you will find a wide range in form from single to fully double, with satiny petals in white, pink, coral and red. They offer up scents of rose, lemon, honey, or musk that sing of Spring and even warmer days to come! You will find this collection along Perennial Garden Way, with more than 150 herbaceous peonies reaching their peak in mid-May.

What’s Beautiful Now: Greenest Acres

Posted in What's Beautiful Now on May 15 2017, by Matt Newman

Photo of Magnolia x wieseneriThis week the herbaceous peonies are sitting in the spotlight, just as their buds begin to burst into whorls of white, red, and pink along the pathway before the Haupt Conservatory. These brief but beautiful flowers are a must-see in spring!

Elsewhere in the Garden, the azaleas are still showing some color as they begin their decline, and the greenery of our 250 acres is on full display, filling out the Forest with the airy glow of millions of new leaves. You won’t regret a stroll on our miles of trails.

Check out what else is happening at the Garden this week.

Perennial of the Week: Amsonia hubrichtii, threadleaf bluestar

Perennial of the Week: <em>Amsonia hubrichtii</em>, threadleaf bluestar
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Though native to the Ouachita Mountains in central Arkansas, Amsonia hubrichtii is not a common perennial. This erect, clump-forming perennial reaches three feet in height and width. Noted for its powdery-blue spring flowers, feathery green summer foliage, and golden fall color, this plant is popular for its versatility of use in borders, native plant gardens, rock gardens, and open woodland areas. You can find this beauty around the Perennial Garden and the Azalea Garden.

 

Larry Lederman’s Lens: Renewal

Posted in Ledermans-Lens on May 9 2017, by Matt Newman

Larry Lederman‘s lens takes you to the Garden when you can’t be there and previews what to see when you can.


LilacsFor those who weren’t able to make it to The New York Botanical Garden during the height of its blooming crabapples and daffodils, Larry Lederman has the solution. During a late April trip to the Garden, he spent time exploring the grounds with his camera, capturing the rainbow of contrasting colors to be found on Daffodil Hill and its surroundings.

Whites, pinks, reds, and purples mingle with the soft creams and yellows of the daffodils, while a quick stop over in the Burn Family Lilac Collection reveals the fragrant clusters of flowers that define one of our most popular collections this time of year.

You can still find blooming crabapples and lilacs here in early May, while tulips throughout the grounds and the undeniable spectacle of the Azalea Garden now move into the spotlight. Stay tuned in the coming weeks as the spring show and its many acts continue to unfold.

Lilacs

Lilacs
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Magenta buds of Syringa x hyacinthaflora 'Esther Staley' unfold into sweetly scented pink flowers. This early blooming lilac cultivar has twice won Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Merit, in 1961 and again in 1993.

 

What’s Beautiful Now: Azaleas, and More Azaleas

Posted in What's Beautiful Now on May 8 2017, by Matt Newman

When the daffodils have faded and the cherry blossoms are snoozing for the season, you can always count on the Azalea Garden to bring the next big pop to our 250 acres. And that’s exactly what this week is about. As of right now, the azaleas are at about 90% of the way to peak bloom, and we expect this weekend—during our Mother’s Day Weekend Garden Party—to see the height of color before they begin to fade.

With the flowers coming going at a rapid pace, you won’t want to miss out!

Perennial of the Week: Trillium grandiflorum f. polymerum 'Flore Pleno', double large-flowered trillium

Perennial of the Week: <em>Trillium grandiflorum f. polymerum</em> 'Flore Pleno', double large-flowered trillium
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Trillium grandiflorum forma polymerum ‘Flore Pleno’ comes from a naturally occurring sport and has upright, bright-white, double flowers. This rhizomatous plant forms clumps at an excruciatingly slow pace, which is, perhaps, one of the reasons it is so highly coveted. If you find yourself meandering through the Native Plant Garden, don’t forget to look down! You can find this beauty and other delightful trilliums sprinkled across the landscape.