Creepers Featured Plants for February
Syringa reticulata subsp. pekinensis Gimborns China Pearl
The name Syringa comes from the Latin Greek meaning Shepherd’s flute because of its hollow stem. Lilac is deciduous and produces flowers that emits a strong and sweet scent. They are in the Oleaceae family and the common lilacs are Syringa vulgaris, Syringa reticulata (Japanese lilac), and Syringa mayeri (Korean lilac). Syringa reticulata subsp. pekinensis a.k.a Syringa pekinensis originates from Northern China, is a large shrub that can grow between 6-10m in height and can be shaped as a clear stem or multi-stem. It is a slow growing tree as it can only reach 3m after 10 years. It bears white clusters of dense white flowers in June. The bark is deep red, smooth but peels off and resembles the bark of Prunus serrula. The small pearl white flowers sit in clusters on a panicle inflorescence (triangular or conical in shape), grow in pairs and develop at the terminal of the branch. Leaves are usually simple, light green, oval to cordate (triangular) in shape. It is shade tolerant and winter hardy.
Hamamelis x intermedia Westerstede
The Latin name Hama bears the meaning “the same” and melis (melon) means fruit, referring to Witch hazel which has beneficial uses for skin inflammation. It is used as a cut flower and some cultivars have a long shelf life and long spell of flowering such as H. intermedia ‘Arnold Promise’. Hamamelis x intermedia Westerstede flowers are yellow and sweet scented. The flowers are made of 4 long thin strap shape petals and 4 short burgundy sepals. They are deciduous but flowers remain in winter, adding colour and fragrance in the garden during the cold months and are attractive to birds. No serious pest and disease disorder.