Growing at Gratus...

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.

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Growing at Gratus...

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.

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Growing at Gratus...

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.

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Growing at Gratus...

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.

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Growing at Gratus...

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.

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