Petered Out

A great time was had by all who attended and met Peter Grande in person. Peter's opening brought out the most first time visitors we've ever had at the nursery & gardens. It's truly quite an event to witness the largest inflorescence "flower" to ever occur in North Carolina. Despite the nearly constant caressing, Peter could only keep it up for 44 hours, and by mid-day Sunday, he was literally petered out. Fingers crossed for good seed set, which we should know in a month or two. Thanks to our great staff who both grew Peter and then hosted the long hours of visitation. Special thanks also to amorphophallus guru and JLBG adjunct researcher Alan Galloway, for sticking with us for the entire event and sharing his amazing knowledge. Peter has a twin brother, which could grace us with his presence in the next couple of years...the wait is back on.    Read more [...]

Peter Grande – A Living Sculpture

Here are a few images from the blessed event, starting when Peter began to open around 2pm Friday 4pm Friday - Do you think this view from below makes his hips look big? Below...a view from above @ 4pm Friday as the spathe unfurls, creating a bicolor effect Fully open around 7pm Friday evening having a Georgia O'Keeffe moment By 5pm, it the female parts were receptive, so it was time for the artificial insemination to begin.To reach the female parts, we cut three window in the base of the spathe. Inside are hundreds of female ovaries/stigmas, covered in a sticky syrup to hold the pollen. Next, we made a withdrawal from our sperm bank and recovered the pollen from our own Amorphophallus albus that flowered a few weeks earlier. Our goal is to create a winter hardy, offsetting version of Amorphophallus titanum that we could grow in the ground here. Small paintbrushes are used to apply the pollen to all of the stigmas. The final step is for our surgical Read more [...]

A Really Large Peter

Our Amorphophallus titanum, Peter Grande, continues to expand, hitting the 76″ tall mark today. This ties it for the 30th tallest flower (inflorescence) recorded in US history. Flower opening, which starts between 3 and 4pm, could begin any day now…stay tuned!  Plantsman Alan Galloway, one of the worlds’ leading authorities on the genus Amorphophallus will also be on hand for the grand opening to chat about anything amorphophallus. 

Amorphophallus titanum…the countdown to flowering has begun

This morning, the flower bud on our Amorphophallus titanum, Peter Grande measured 67"...that's one big Peter! Only 7 more inches to make it into the top 100 tallest Titanum inflorescences in history. We're still expecting flowering to start this Friday for our Summer Open Nursery and Garden Days, but with the caveat that nature really doesn't care about our plans, so the viewing dates could change. We've added a special Titan page to our website that includes a live feed Peter video cam, fascinating new Titanum trivia, and an amazing sortable spreadsheet of every known Amorphophallus titanum to flower in cultivation. Despite spending three years compiling the table, we sure there are a few others that we missed, so please let us hear from you with any additions and corrections. We hope you'll make plans to come see Peter in his full glory as soon as he's ready.  Read more [...]

Guess who is visiting for Summer Open Nursery and Garden???

Yes, it's our first flowering of Amorphophallus titanum...the Titan Arum.  The scheduled release date is July 6, 2018, so tell all your friends and come join us. We will continue to update the progress in case the date of the opening night performance changes. June 22 with our Taxonomist, Zac Hill 6.25.2018...not sure what it's been eating over the weekend, but darn, it's put on some weight and height...40" tall so far. We probably would have flowered one sooner, but back in winter 2005, we heard news that the heat went out in the UNC Charlotte Botanical Garden greenhouses, killing their flowering-size Amorphophallus titanum, so we donated out largest specimen as a replacement.  Here is our visit to see "Bella" ready to flower in 2007.    Read more [...]

Flowering Pitchers

Although most folks grow our native pitcher plants for the foliage (pitchers), we think the flowers are pretty darn incredible.  Here are a couple of the earliest flowers species from the garden yesterday. 

Sarracenia flava putting on an incredible show.

The lovely pink-flowered Sarracenia rosea stays close to the ground, but what a color.

Amsonia ‘Storm Cloud’ before and after

In 2016, we introduced Amsonia ‘Storm Cloud‘ in conjunction with our friend Hans Hansen of Walters Gardens. Above is the same plant when we discovered by a stream, growing in deep shade in Central Alabama. What a star it has become, evidenced by the photo below.

Amsonia ‘Storm Cloud’ @ Juniper Level Botanic Garden

Double Your Pleasure

Flowering in the woodland garden this week is the diminutive Anemonella ‘Schoaf’s Double’…so very cute. Hardiness is Zone 4a-8b. 

We’re also working with a new double form that our research horticulturist, Jeremy Schmidt found on a botanizing trip in Tennessee. Here it is this week in the garden. 

Sweet as a Candy Striper

Epimedium ‘Candy Striper’ is our 2011 introduction, but it took us this long to take a decent photo. Epimediums are particularly challenging to photograph since they don’t hold all their flowers in a single plane. So, would anyone buy it based on this image?  If so, we’d love to offer it again.  Hardiness Zone 5a-8b.

Here’s a new image of Epimedium ‘Domino’ from the garden this week…isn’t that amazing! You can’t go wrong with this gem.