Red Horse Chestnut, Aesculus carnea ‘Fort McNair’

IMG 2577 1024x768 Red Horse Chestnut, Aesculus carnea ‘Fort McNair’

This Red Horse Chestnut is a tree that would not necessarily have occurred in nature, but this gorgeous cultivar brings together the best of both of it’s parents, the Buckeye, and the Horse Chestnut.

Buckeye and Horse Chestnut trees are in the same family, and they both share a similar leaf pattern and flower type, but with the cross from the Buckeye Asculus pavia, and the Horse Chestnut Aesculus hippocastanum, a bright 5-8 inch pink or red flower is produced with trademark yellow throats.  I particularly like this flowering variety because the flowers have such a tropical look to them, and because the ‘Fort McNair’ variety was created nearby in DC!

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Three Knockout Trees Full Of Spring Blooms

Spring blooming trees make a huge impact on defeating the winter blues, and in a competitive house market promise to lure potential buyers straight to your door.

When you want a cool weather focal piece in your yard, but are ready to steer toward something more unusual than the common Cherry Tree, here are three knockout choices sure to please.

IMG 2442 768x1024 Three Knockout Trees Full Of Spring BloomsIMG 2438 768x1024 Three Knockout Trees Full Of Spring BloomsIMG 2437 768x1024 Three Knockout Trees Full Of Spring Blooms

The Saucer Magnolia

This bloomer produces blossoms the size of a woman’s hand, and covers the tree in bright purple and white tipped flowers. Tight buds appear beginning in February or mid-March at the latest, and this magnolia has a reputation as one of the earliest blooming trees you can buy.  This variety is the ‘Alexandrina Dark Clone,’ which has the distinction of 10 inch wide open blossoms, and white interior petals with purple exteriors.

The wood of this tree is soft like many ornamentals, and this tree can be prone to sooty mold and scale.  The Saucer Magnolia can be grown with success across coastal areas, and in all but the coldest and windiest climates since it is prone to snap under the weight of heavy snows and wind. It will not do well in open prairie developments, and is healthiest in habitats similar to its home environment, Japan. Its ideal growing conditions are in moist well mulched beds, with filtered sunlight, and it looks particularly good mixed in with a shrub border. It tops out at 20 to 30 feet in height. [Read more...]