|Look carefully to see the scales on the green leaves |
I am jumping up and down with excitement, Croton alabamensis now resides at Clay and Limestone. If you ever wanted a plant, couldn't find one and then had a kind and dear friend dig a seedling from his garden and give it to you, then you know exactly how I feel.
I am singing my happy song and dancing my happy dance. After years of searching for this rare shrub that is endemic to a few counties in Alabama, one county in Middle Tennessee (Coffee) and three counties in faraway Texas (Croton alabamensis var. texensis/Texabama croton). I now have one of my very own.
Thank you Paul for your generosity. (follow link to check out his great photos)
|glistening silver scales reflect sunlight helping it to survive the extremely dry conditions of its habitat.|
- it's not deterred by dry, poor, limey soil
- it easily braves hot summers like we've been having the past few years,
- it will grow in decent garden soil that is well draining,
- it grows in the full sun, but can appreciate a semi-shady location,
- it's native to Middle Tennessee,
- it's locally sourced, and
- it has year round interest.
A plant like that you've got to have~right? Absolutely. I thought you would agree.
|Alabama Croton has formed a thicket in Paul's garden|
|Even the flowers have scales Source: E. A Smith|
Of course, if it lives in my garden it must flower and provide for pollinators! It does! Mature shrubs produce 2" panicles of pale yellow blooms in the late spring, which are highly attractive to bees and butterflies.
Now that I've gotten you excited about my new find, you may be wondering where ever you can find them. Middle Tennessee gardeners contact Terri Barnes at GroWild, Alabama gardeners try contacting your local Native Plant Society and Texas gardeners go to Hill Country Natives.
Welcome garden bloggers, it's the first Wildflower Wednesday for 2013!
Wildflower Wednesday is about sharing wildflowers/natives no matter where you garden~the UK, tropical Florida, Europe, Australia, Africa, South America, India or the coldest reaches of Canada. It doesn't matter if we sometimes show the same plants, how they grow and thrive in your garden is what matters most.
I hope you join the celebration..It's always the fourth Wednesday of the month!
Gail Eichelberger is a gardener and therapist in Middle Tennessee. She loves wildflowers and native plants and thoroughly enjoys writing about the ones she grows at Clay and Limestone. She reminds all that the words and images are the property of the author and cannot be used without written permission.