Crop Vignette: Hosta

Plant Information Hosta is a genus of plants commonly known as hostas, plantain lilies and occasionally by the Japanese name giboshi. The genus is currently placed in the family Asparagaceae, subfamily Agavoideae, and is native to northeast Asia (China, Japan, Korea and the Russian Far East). Hostas are widely cultivated as shade-tolerant foliage plants. Hybridization […]

Crop Vignette: Hydrangea

Plant Information The genus Hydrangea is expansive and includes approximately 1,000 species, hybrids, and cultivars, which can be deciduous or evergreen shrubs up to 10 ft tall, small trees or climbers reaching up to 98 ft. They are native to Asia and the Americas, with the greatest species diversity in eastern Asia, notably Korea, China, […]

Crop Vignette: Salvia

Plant Information Salvia is the largest genus of plants in the family Lamiaceae, with the number of species estimated to range from 700 to 1,000. There are 3 main regions for radiation of Salvia: Central and South America with approximately 500 species, Central Asia and the Mediterranean with approximately 250 species, and eastern Asia with […]

Crop Vignette: Gerbera

Plant Information Gerbera belongs to the genus of plants Gerbera in the Asteraceae (daisy family). It is native to tropical regions of South America, Africa and Asia. The first scientific description of a gerbera (Gerbera jamesonii) was published in 1889. This species is known as Transvaal daisy or Barberton daisy or African daisy. The domesticated […]

Crop Vignette: Coleus

Plant Information Coleus, also commonly known as painted nettle, flame nettle, and painted leaf, is a native of Southeast Asia through to Australia. In the most recent taxonomic classification, coleus now belongs to the genera Plectranthus and Solenostemon in the family Lamiaceae. The common garden Coleus (Coleus blumei = Plectranthus scutellarioides = Solenostemon scutellarioides) is […]

Crop Vignette: Pansy

Plant Information Pansies are members of the Viola genus, a taxon of flowering plants in the violet family Violaceae, with around 400–500 species distributed around the world. Viola, was named by Greeks in the 4th century BCE and was cultivated for its medicinal properties. Pansy or garden pansy is the common name for diverse cultivated […]

Crop Vignette: Petunia

This first appeared as “EHC Corner: Petunia, the worthless tobacco” in the IR-4 Newsletter 50(1):14. Plant Information Modern petunia varieties we know and love are derived from two petunia species discovered in South America during the mid-1700’s through early 1800’s. The Latin name Petunia originated from one of the native Tupi-Guarani words ‘petun’ meaning ‘worthless […]

Crop Vignette: Holiday Greenery

This first appeared as “EHC Corner: Holiday Greenery” in the IR-4 Newsletter 49(4):13. Plant Information The smell of cedar, pine and other evergreens are synonymous with the winter holidays. Whether wreaths or boughs hung inside or out, this greenery visually signals the start of the US holiday season and its aroma brings back childhood memories […]

Crop Vignette: Aster and Sneezeweed

This first appeared as “Spotlight on Ornamentals: Spring Forward for Fall” in the IR-4 Newsletter 48(2):8. It is currently late spring, so it seems a little unusual to be talking about fall color but growers are already producing plants for fall color. Autumn in most parts of the United States brings spectacular color to foliage […]

Crop Vignette: Orchid

This first appeared as “Spotlight on OrnHort: The Exotic Orchid” in the IR-4 Newsletter 48(3):8. Orchids have been regarded as one of the most prized flowering plants, especially the large flowering tropical species. During the Victorian era, plant collectors explored tropical zones and brought back to Europe many different species. Many of the Latin species […]