Field of Science

Firday Fabulous Flower - It's a beauty "bush"!


A very large, very old shrub blooms every year about this time no matter what the winter weather has been like. It's covered by pinkish flowers and is quite striking!  However the bush is rather course when not in flower.  As you can see it has flowers rather like honeysuckles and it is in the Carifoliaceae.  TPP thinks it's more of a specimen plant that is pretty in flower, easy to grow, and reliable.  Kolkwitzia amabilis, the beauty bush, introduced around 1900 from central China belongs in most largish gardens, but is a rather old-fashioned plant.  Our gardens came with this plant and it is clearly decades old, decades  ago.  

Friday Fabulous Flower- woodland peony


Here is a woodland spring ephemeral that you probably have not seen before.  It is not a native, but since our gardens are so shady this quiet addition seemed logical.  It is about the size of and grows rather like a Trillium.  Several ivory-colored perianth parts surround numerous stamens and a small number of pistils.  This is Peonia japonica.  In general it does not like being moved or crowded. Several plants are scattered around our wilder gardens.  The seeds take two years to germinate, and several years to flower, so it is not at all common. Except among us (rare) peony enthusiasts.