Thursday, December 21, 2017

Winter Solstice, and a Farewell to Fall Color

This being the winter equinox, one last tip of the camera to autumn, and a couple species that are particularly dynamic in the evolution of their fall color. Oak-leafed hydrangea has a broad color pallet in fall, from bright orange to this mottling of burgundy and something akin to purple.

Showy stonecrop (Sedum spectabile), not native but not invasive either, evolves in the fall from green to pink to burgundy to chocolate. Extending its ornament into winter, its upright disks of flowers become hooded with snow. This year, they didn't make it to the chocolate stage, instead turning a rich bronze with contrasting yellow leaves below.

By chance, we planted the oak-leafed hydrangeas and Sedums with Virginia sweetspire, a native that also has a very rich and complementary fall color. All three of these are easy to propagate, in order to gradually expand on an initial planting.

(Photos taken Dec. 4)

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