Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Bidens as Groundcover

Photo by Linda Langelo


The plant pictured above called Bidens ferulifolia is a short-lived perennial often times grown as an annual.  It is usually gone after the first frosts.  Those frosts have come and gone. Surprisingly at 11 degrees Fahrenheit and with some snow on the ground it is still blooming.  It does have a southern exposure which would help a bit with the overnight temperatures.  This plant does not want to quit. It almost seems like spring with these in bloom.

This plant is from the Asteraceae Family.  There are 51 species of Bidens.  There are other species such as Bidens pilosa which is an annual flowering all summer into fall. 

Bidens has many common names such as beggarticks, black jack, burr marigolds, cobbler's pegs, Spanish needles, stickseeds and tickseeds.  WOW!  No wonder it is confused.  Comparing Bidens to Ratibida columnifera or Prairie Coneflower which is a hardy perennial in eastern Colorado, the Ratibida has stopped blooming.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Eastern Plains Cemetery Landscapes

Vona Cemetery photo by Linda Langelo

Cemetery head stones need protection from the high winds on the plains.  As cemeteries go the Vona Cemetery is kept neat and clean with a few smaller trees along the rows of head stones.  Along the outside are cedars slowing the onslaught of high winds and snow. 
As the cedars are aging, cemetery board is looking to replace the cedars.  Here are a couple of selections they are interested in as follows:

  • Woodward columnar juniper

    Juniperus scopulorum 'Woodward'—4 feet wide by 20 feet tall- very columnar and very well adapted to our environment.

  • Pinyon pine - Pinus edulis -- 20 feet wide by 30 feet tall; needing very little regular water; very drought tolerant.

  • Hot Wings Tatarian Maple-- Acer tataricum 'GarAnn' PP 15,023 – is deciduous and grows to 18 feet tall and 18 wide.  It is not pH sensitive like most maples and deals well with drought once established.   Take a look at the photos below.
Photo by Plant Select

Photo by Plant Select
 Hot Wings has leaves that do turn red in the fall.  The samara which are the seeds in the picture above can stay on the tree through September during some seasons. 

Beyond these selections there are many other possibilities to our cemeteries looking nice.  Listed below are a couple of other selections for the eastern plains of Colorado:
  1. Little Leaf Mahogany or Cerocarpus intricatus would make a nice addition to any windbreak.  It has flowers that turn into attractive feathery seed pods.  This is a smaller shrub growing to 5 feet by 4 feet wide.
  2. Russian Hawthorn or Crataegus ambigua would have very showy white flowers in spring.  It is a hardy plant and tolerates the extreme weather conditions of the plains.  It grows to 16 feet wide and 20 feet tall.
  3. Seven-Son Flower or Heptacodium miconioides would have many attractive features including an exfoliating bark.  This is a late season flowering shrub with white flowers.  The sepals which cover the flower petals are also an attractive red color before the petals open.   
  4. Smith's Buckthorn or Rhamnus smithii is a shrub which can be placed to line the windbreak with a sold green deciduous plant material.  After it flowers there will be black berries.  The flowers are insignificant.  It is very drought tolerant and can withstand the extreme weather conditions on the plains.
If you wish to take a look at any of these plants go to the following link:  http://plantselect.org