Coastal and Tropical South

April, 2009
Regional Report

Web Finds

Florida Gardener
Many great Web sites get a glance, but once we find the information we're seeking, we surf on to other sites. That can mean we miss good information well-presented, such as can be found at this link within Florida Gardener: Flower, Leaf, and Plant Forms. (Don't worry, you don't need to fill out these forms.) The page includes diagrams and the wonderful names for the various types of plant parts we encounter. Knowing how to describe a flower, for example, can get you closer to its name and family connections. If you've ever wondered why some flowers are called "spike" and some "raceme" and others "panicle", you'll see what makes each its own. Or if you struggle through crossword puzzles needing to know another word for "toothed leaf" you'll find several choices here with drawings to show why the word you seek might be "dentate," "serrate," or "crenate" and you'll learn the difference.

Favorite or New Plant

Anastasia
After she bought our first clothes dryer, my mother used the clothesline to grow passionflowers, among other things. By midsummer, the blue flowers covered the space between the storage room and tool shed. Where sheets and jeans used to hang, Passiflora vines created a shady canopy, running from end to end along the lines. Those native passionflowers have some competition for sheer beauty from close relatives like rosy pink 'Anastasia'. Its blousy habit makes for lots of leafy exuberance with flowers like jewels set in green. If you don't have a clothesline, train this one on a big obelisk or a pole surrounded by chicken wire for it to hang onto.

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