New England

October, 2013
Regional Report

Favorite or New Plant

Seven-son Flower
A flowering shrub or small tree with the unusual common name of seven-son flower, Hepatcodium miconioides grows 10-15 feet tall and 10 feet wide, with an irregular, arching habit. Its leaves emerge chartreuse in the spring, changing to deep green as they mature. But the real show begins in late summer when clusters of fragrant white flowers come into bloom for a month or longer. The flowers are arranged in whorled sets of seven, giving rise to the plant's common name. Flowers are not the end of the display, however. As they fade, bright red, petal-like calyxes are revealed that add an additional season of color, persisting on the plant until late fall. The pale, peeling bark adds more interest during the winter months. Hardy in zones 4-8, this easy to grow plant has a fast growth rate, few insect or disease problems, and is tolerant of dry soils. It prefers full sun, but will adapt to part shade and does best in well-drained soil of average fertility. Its flowers are formed on the current season's wood, so prune in early spring before new growth begins.

Shows & Events

Selecting Native Plants for the Maine Garden
Learn about which native trees and shrubs to use in different horticultural settings based on their habitat preferences in nature in this two-day course at the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens on October 17-18 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day. The course, which will include both classroom time and short forays into the botanical and local gardens, will be taught by staff horticulturist Justin Nichols, who has been professionally maintaining gardens for 20 years, including five years at Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens. Cost is $120 for members; $150 for non-members. The Gardens is located at132 Botanical Gardens Drive in Boothbay, ME. For more information or to register, go to http://www.mainegardens.org/calendar/certificate-program or call 207-633-4333.

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