Euphorbias to Know and Love

by Leslie Cox; Monday; August 7, 2017

Euphorbia griffithii 'Fireglow'One is hard pressed to find another genus to rival Euphorbia. Containing over 2,000 species, it is one of the largest of the plant genera. It is also one of the most varied.

Ranging from annuals to perennials, from small rock garden groundcovers to towering trees over 70 feet (21.3 m) tall, from desert-dwelling to aquatic, from prickly succulents to species with cordate-, lanceolate-, or linear-shaped leaves, this genus has it all.

Respectable low-growing mounds look lovely at the front of the border; prostrate mat-forming varieties drape wonderfully down a barren concrete wall or across a rockery. Stately columnar forms provide vivid focal points in perennial borders while beautiful cultivars of Euphorbia pulcherrima, or poinsettia, grace festive tables at Christmas. Some species are evergreen or semi-evergreen, others disappear for the winter to brightly reappear in spring.

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Grey Hairstreak Butterfly

by Leslie Cox; Saturday; August 5, 2017

Black-banded HairstreakWe had a Grey Hairstreak butterfly appear in our garden recently. This is the first one we have seen here. And yet, they are an abundant species across much of North America. Seems strange, but we are not complaining. All pollinators are welcome in this garden.

Known as Strymon melinus in the science world, it is the only Hairstreak species in Canada…ranging across the southern region of the country from British Columbia (BC) to Nova Scotia. However, the range of this butterfly species does extend much further where it is found throughout the United States, Central America, and into northern regions of South America.

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A Problem with Cucurbits

by Leslie Cox; Saturday, July 22, 2017

Cucurbita maxima 'Uchiki Red Kuri' with all male flowersI have been receiving queries lately about the lack of fruits on cucumber and squash plants. This prompts me to write about the Cucurbitaceae family in this blog. So here goes…

FYI: The Cucurbitaceae family encompasses cucumbers, summer squashes, winter squashes, pumpkins, gourds, watermelons, and muskmelons.

As a food grower…or grower of food…it is a little alarming to see a healthy plant with lots of flowers but no tiny fruits developing. Especially since summer is progressing and we want to harvest at least a few crops.

The current problem is: all of the flowers are male.

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