Liquidamber styraciflua, or American Sweetgum, is a large, deciduous tree, native to the southern temperate zones of Eastern North America. It’s name in Latin, liquid means fluid, and amber, referring to its sap or resin. It is a commonly planted ornamental because of its stunning fall colors.
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.
Aesculus glabra, or Ohio Buckeye, in the horse chestnut family of flowering, deciduous trees, native to temperate North America. Aesculus in Latin means edible acorn, and glabra means smooth or hairless, referring to the outside fruit cover. Although it looks like a chestnut, it is moderately toxic and should not be eaten. Lovely in your fall arrangement or wreaths.
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.
The term conifer derives from Latin and means “cone-bearing”. Cones are the reproductive structures of conifers and contain the seeds. Most people refer to them as “pine cones”, but in fact all conifers bear cones, including spruces, firs, redwoods, larches, etc. This photo is the developing cone of a Norway spruce (Picea abies, “Aurea.”)
Note that it hangs down from its branch-this is important as we examine other types of cones.
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.
Table grapes are ready at Gratus Vineyards!
Table grapes are cultivars of the wine grape, Vitis vinifera. They are big, juicy, sweet and many are seedless. They come in white, red, and blue-black varieties. This cluster is Flame Seedless, and ready to pick and eat immediately. In the U.S. , California is the biggest producer, of course!
Alstroemeria x hybrida, also known as Peruvian Lily, is a herbaceous perennial native to South America. It grows from tubers, and blooms in vibrant colors throughout the entire summer. It is very popular in the commercial cut flower industry.
Veraison at Gratus Vineyards. Change in the color of berries indicates the onset of fruit ripening. The countdown to harvest is on!
Rudbeckia hirta, also known as coneflowers or Black-eyed Susans, are herbaceous perennials native to North America. There are a number of stunning cultivars in hues of gold, orange, and Amber and bloom all summer long.
Digiplexis, an intergeneric hybrid between digitalis purpurea and isoplexis canariensis, is a tender perennial that unlike it foxglove parent, provides continuous flowering throughout the summer, as well as being more drought and sun tolerant!
Phlox paniculata. A perennial flowering plant from the eastern US, a beauty I fondly remember from childhood in Pennsylvania. It blooms in vibrant colors all summer into autumn.
Vitex agnus-castus. A flowering tree from the Mediterranean, known to both the Romans and Greeks. Vitex in Latin means “weave” and agnux and castus mean “chaste” in Greek and Latin. Thus, it gets its name, the Chaste tree, for its purported aphrodisiac powers.
Dahlia hortensis. A striking flowering herbaceous plant native to Mexico and Central America. It grows from tubers, not bulbs, which are different. Dahlias bloom all summer in a variety of striking sizes and colors and make a great cut flower. The Dahlia flower Is symbolic for the ability to draw upon one’s inner strength to succeed.