Mandarin Hat or China Hat Plant (Holmskioldia sanguinea) is well named due to the flower shape. It does in fact resemble a hat from the far east. This Asian shrub flowers most heavily between October and May. This is ideal for South Florida since this shrub is an excellent hummingbird nectar source and that is the time when the Ruby-throated Hummingbird is present here.
If you want to maintain the plant’s compactness, do some selective pruning after it flowers. In addition to the red and orange varieties, there is a lesser grown yellow variety. I would say hummingbirds seem to hone in on the red and orange flowers more than the yellow variety.
Richard Lyons Nursery currently has this plant in stock now and it is in full bloom.
It is a good time of year to check in on a winter bloomer that attracts hummingbirds, the Powderpuff shrub (Calliandra). Attaining a height of 6-12′, the red and white varieties only bloom in the winter, while the pink variety blooms year round. Just like the Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow shrub featured a couple of weeks ago, The Powderpuff shrub is aptly named. The flowers consisting of many stamens form a ball resembling a ‘Powderpuff’.
Richard Lyons Nursery has all three varieties for sale.
Sansevieria: If you are familiar with this botanical name, the first thing that comes to mind is Sansevieria trifasciata. Now if you are not familiar with this botanical name, I bet you are familiar with the common names of Snake Plant or maybe even more familiar with Mother-in-Law’s Tongue. A long flat thick succulent leaf, green in the middle and yellow on the edges. It grows in clumps and spreads via underground rhizomes and is on Miami-Dade County’s invasive plant list. However, there are many cultivars of this plant that stay small and clump and are not considered invasive. There are other species as well which can be grown here in S. Florida either in the landscape or in decorative terra cotta pots.
Richard Lyons Nursery, currently has these plants to offer:
Sanseveria cylindrica var. patula ‘Boncel’ (African Spear), a very attractive plant for a shallow wide container which it will fill in no time.
Sansevieria trifasciata ‘Hahnii’ (Bird’s Nest Sanseveria), also makes an excellent plant for a decorative pot, but it can also be used for garden borders.
Sansevieria trifasciata ‘Jade Dwarf Marginated’ (Dwarf Snake Plant), also an excellent border plant for the garden.
Finally, we have the largest of this group of plants, Sansevieria canaliculata, attaining a height of 3-4 feet. Very narrow, almost cylindrical, except for a small indent running the length of the leaf. A very nice specimen plant.
It is peek flowering season for one of the more colorful shrubs in the South Florida landscape, with an unusual common name. I am referring to the Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow shrub (Brunfelsia grandiflora). While it starts blooming in late September or early October, and continues into the springtime, mid-November thru December really is at its most spectacular.
Now, for an explanation of its common name: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow is referring to the three color phases of each flower. This gives the appearance that the shrub has three different colors of flowers, but in fact, every flower starts out purple, fades to lavender, and then to white before falling off. That is why, you only see white flowers on the ground. Since flowers continue to bloom each day, you do in fact see three different colors at the same time. Yesterday they were purple, Today they are lavender, and Tomorrow they will be white. By the end of the day, all of the white stages of the flowers fall to the ground. Each flower blooms for approximately three days.
Richard Lyons Nursery currently has this shrub in stock.
Cabbage Tree or Horseradish Tree? Turns out, both are correct depending on the species of Moringa. Moringa stenopetala (Cabbage Tree) and Moringa oleifera (Horseradish Tree) are the two common species of Moringa. Both have become popular with the health craze, due to the amount of protein, calcium, iron, and vitamins A, B12, and C in their leaves.
These two species are heralded as a powerful anti-aging agent, improves sleep, stabilizes blood sugar and blood pressure, and acts as an anti-inflammatory.
Richard Lyons Nursery has both of these species in stock.