Happy Independence Day to all readers from the U.S.A. As befits the Fourth of July, today is forecast to be hot and humid, with the highest temperatures so far this year. It seems we have finally left the prolonged period of cool, wet weather and have entered a more typical summer weather pattern with highs in the low to mid 90s (32-35 C) and occasional thunderstorms
1. Sinningia araneosa
Several of the Brazilian sinningias have proven winter hardy in my garden, but with only a single plant, I haven’t been willing to test this little beauty. I currently grow it in a plastic pot, exposed to full sun outdoors in summer and with a dry winter dormancy in the greenhouse.
2. Sinningia ‘Towering Inferno’
And here is one of the hardy varieties that grow well in the open garden. Sinningia ‘Towering Inferno’ is a complex hybrid that probably incorporates genes from S. aggregata, S. sulcata, S. tubiflora, and S. warmingii. Hummingbirds love the flowers, for obvious reasons.
3. Hemerocallis citrina
Hemerocallis citrina (syn. H. altissima) is a very tall daylily species, perhaps the tallest, with inflorescences about 6 feet (1.8 m) long. The flowers open before sunset, are strongly fragrant all evening, and collapse before dawn. Perhaps it should be called a nightlily?
4. Hemerocallis ‘Free Wheelin’
H. ‘Free Wheelin’ is an interesting spider daylily hybrid with enormous flowers, 9-10 inches (~24 cm) wide even with the curled tepals. I have never seen anything like it before. My young plant had only one inflorescence this year, so only a single flower at a time. Hopefully it will be bigger next year.
5. Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’
‘Lucifer’ is an absolutely gorgeous plant when in bloom, but think hard about where you want to grow it. The corms multiply rapidly underground and are almost impossible to remove completely, so once planted in a flower bed, it will be there forever.
6. Kniphofia ‘Lola’ (red hot poker)
Kniphofia flowers are more than a little bit garish, but this large form looks pretty good in a “hot colors” bed mixed with other bright red and orange flowers. In their native South Africa, the large Kniphofia species are pollinated by sunbirds, so it isn’t surprising that in North Carolina they attract hummingbirds. Some websites indicate that ‘Lola’ is a cultivar of K. uvaria.
The Propagator is the host of Six on Saturday. Head over there to see his Six and find links to the blogs of other participants.