Facts on Plants & Flowers


No matter where you live, there is a tree, shrub, vine or flowering plant that you can grow successfully. If it originates from a different country or growing zone, study its specific requirements to determine how to provide for all its needs. Consult local nurseries or gardeners for useful advice. Almost any plant can bridge the gap and thrive. It really is a small horticultural world, after all.

Easter Lily History

The fragrant Bermuda Easter Lily, or Lilium longiflorum eximum, came originally from the Ryukyu Islands of Japan. The trumpet-shaped flowers bloom in the spring. Bermuda Easter lilies arrived in Oregon in 1919, thanks to a World War I veteran, Louis Houghton with a suitcase of hybrid bulbs that his family and friends planted. From that enterprise stems today's "Easter Lily Capital of the World" along the California-Oregon border. After Easter, plant the bulbs about 3 inches deep in well drained soil in a sunny location. Carefully spread the roots out to give the plant room to grow. Note though that Easter lilies are toxic to cats.

Bengal Native

The Bengal clock vine or blue sky vine, or Thunbergia grandiflora, is a perennial native of northern India. Its 3-inch wide blue or white cup-like flowers bloom almost year long, usually between March and November. The clock reference describes the way that it twines around in a clockwise direction as its rope-like stems and dark green leaves progress along walls or other surfaces. The Bengal clock vine is a member of the Acanthaceae, or Ruellia genus, family. This vine requires minimal watering or attention to thrive. However, it cannot withstand frost or cold weather conditions.

Tropical Benefits

There are more than 250 species of hibiscus worldwide, including annual or perennial herbs, flowering shrubs and small trees. Linnaeus named the showy Hibiscus rosa-sinensis on the assumption that it originated in China. This tropical plant grows indoors and outdoors. It is possible to enjoy a potted hibiscus even if you live in a cold climate, provided that you cosset it during the cold winter months. Ensure that the potted hibiscus gets several hours of direct light daily and no drafts. Room temperature watering is best, and ensure the roots do not sit in water. Regular fertilizing encourages more flowers.

Showy Significance

The small yet showy strawberry tree, or Arbutus unedo, is native to Ireland and the Mediterranean. It is an evergreen that can reach up to 30 feet tall, although most cultivars are under 12 feet high. The tree exhibits glossy green leaves and very attractive, drooping panicles of pinkish flowers and small dark pink or red fruit used in Europe for wines and preserves. It is salt and drought tolerant, enjoys full sun, but needs shelter from winter winds.

Essential Watering

Mophead hydrangeas, or Hydrangea macrophylla, are prominent pink or blue floral globes outdoors. They also make eye-catching cut flowers indoors. Give hydrangea shrubs a location with morning sun, afternoon shade and plenty of water, and they will do the rest with long lasting summertime blooms. They are native to Japan.

Keywords: Hibiscus rosa-sinensis, Bermuda Easter lily, mophead hydrangeas

About this Author

Based in Northern California, Maureen Katemopoulos has been a freelance writer for more than 25 years. Her articles on travel, the arts, cuisine and history have appeared in publications such as "Stanislaus Magazine," "Orientations," "The Asia Magazine" and "The Peninsula Group Magazine." She holds a Baccalaureate degree in journalism from Stanford University.