Acacia pycnantha, or golden wattle, is a small tree native to southeastern Australia, and is, in fact, its national floral emblem. It is widely naturalized throughout the Mediterranean basin. It is sensitive to cold, but in milder winters, can bloom with spectacular effect.
Lenten Rose, helleborus orientalis, is a late winter flowering, clump-forming perennial native to the Levant (orient). It is so named because it blooms during Lent, and its color is Passion purple.
Muscari armeniacum, or grape hyacinths, are bulbous perennials native to Eurasia (like Armenia!). They are among the first flowers to bloom in Spring. Given the right conditions, they love to multiply and naturalize. Each of these clumps of flowers here at Gratus originated from a single small bulb, smaller than the size of your fingernail.
Pyrus calleryana, or Bradford Pear, is a deciduous, hardwood, ornamental tree native to China and Vietnam. It is widely planted for its showy white spring blossoms and reliable orange-red fall foliage. It produces small hard inedible fruits, loved by birds, who happily disperse their seeds, making the tree invasive in many parts of the country. One of the first to bloom here at Gratus.
Hyacinthus orientalis, or common or Dutch hyacinth, is a widely planted bulbous plant native to southwestern Asia. The flower stem is called a raceme and produces up to 50 highly fragrant and beautifully colored flowers.
The first ornamental to bloom each year at Gratus. The double flowering purple plum is a cross between Prunus mule, or Japanese apricot, and the cherry plum, Prunus cerasifera, from southwestern Europe.
Acer rubrum, or red maple , a common deciduous tree of Eastern and Central North America, is widely planted as an ornamental for its spectacular fall foliage.
Acer x freemanii is a hybrid of two common native deciduous trees of Eastern and Central North America: the Red Maple, acer rubrum, and the Silver Maple, acer saccharinum. This common selection provides the adaptability and rapid growth of the silver maple with the superior fall color of the red maple. One of the first trees to turn here at Gratus, and a favorite.
Cornus kousa, or Chinese Dogwood, is a small, deciduous flowering tree native to East Asia. It typically flowers later, up to one month, than our native dogwood, Cornus florida. Pictured here are the sweet edible fruits, looking so luscious in the early autumn.
The driveway into Gratus, lined with Cupressus sempervirens “glauca” or Italian Cypress native to the Mediterranean, and Populus nigra “Italica” or Lombardy popular native to the Po River region of northern Italy. Nice combination.
Rhus copallina, or winged sumac, sometimes referred to as flame leaf sumac, is a small deciduous shrub/tree native to Easter North America. This particular impressive clone is known as “Lanham’s Purple” and is quite rare in cultivation.
Chamaecyparis lawsoniana, "Golden Showers". A stunning golden weeping form of Port Orford Cedar or Lawson's Cypress. It is actually not a cedar or cypress, and native to the Pacific Northwest. One of my favorites.
Helianthus, or common sunflower. Native to North America, this beloved flower represents loyalty and longevity, projecting the energy of the sun itself.
Symphotrichum oblongifolium. Fall or Aromatic Aster. Hardy American perennial that blooms late summer into fall in shades of blue, lavender, and pink.