Succulents That Like Stress
If there's a good thing about our too-hot Southern California summers, it's that heat makes certain succulents turn color. A case in point is Aloe nobilis, which in my garden grows in nutrient-poor decomposed granite with minimal water. In winter, the same plant reverts to green. Such 'stressed' succulents---which seal moisture in their leaves as effectively as Glad-Wrap---are fine. They perk up and send out new growth when the weather cools and the rains return. Not all succulents turn…
DAILY GARDENING INFO
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Dolichos lablab 'Ruby Moon' (RUBY MOON HYACINTH BEAN) A vigorous mounding vine with dark burgundy foliage, amethyst flowers and showy dark violet bean pods in late summer. Very desirable annual for cold climates. Excellent in containers. Perennial in the South. Vine. Edible. Garden loam is best. USDA zones 7 and warmer; annual elsewhere.
Heuchera 'Sashay' - This sport of 'Purple Petticoats' has deeply cut, ruffled leaves which are dark green on top contrasted by luscious burgundy below. The unique substance and leaf color provide dramatic interest in both landscapes and containers. Award of Garden Merit winner.
Shot this at a lovely garden called Powell's Wood- Astelia, Variegated Asarum, Carex 'Frosty Curls', 'Golden Globes' Lysimachia, Asarum canadense, Mondo grass. fine-foliage.com
Sempervivum 'Carmen' is one of the cultivars that has stood out in our trials, while most hen and chickens fade away in our summer heat and humidity. This 1972 introduction from Helen Payne makes large 5" wide rosettes, spreading by short stems to make a 12" wide patch in 5 years. The thick leaves are green, but tipped in red. In winter, the entire rosette turns a lovely violet. Sempervivum 'Carmen' is a perfect choice for the well-drained rock garden.
(syn: Dysosma difformis) The Chinese mayapples are amazing, and Podophyllum difforme is one of the stars. This stunning mayapple is composed of the typical one stem, one leaf trait that defines most of the genus, but each leaf is quite unique in its unusual quadrangular shape and also in the dramatic, purple patterning on the top side. In late spring, the clusters of red-purple flowers hang just beneath the foliage. A light-shade, woodland site with rich, slightly moist soil is best. Unlike…