January flowering tree?

Discussion in 'Outdoor Gardening in the Pacific Northwest' started by fiddick, Aug 9, 2003.

  1. fiddick

    fiddick Active Member

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    Location:
    Orillia, Canada
    I'm looking for a tree that will flower on Vancouver Island in January. All that I can come up with are possibly Prunus subhirtella 'Autumnalis' and Hamamelis mollis -- both of which might not reliably flower then. Are there any other trees that might flower on the island in January?

    thanks for any info, Larry
     
  2. Joan

    Joan Active Member

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    I cannot think why you say Hamamalis mollis will NOT bloom in January on Vancouver Island, unless you are very far north and very high! There are so many great cultivars of this large shrub/ small tree. It certainly is a reliable January bloomer for z 7/8 lower mainland as is Prunus autumnalis which comes in weeping forms as well as the well known standard form. How tall a tree do you want!
     
  3. fiddick

    fiddick Active Member

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    Location:
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    Well, I didn't exactly say that they would not bloom in January, I just had my doubts that they would do so reliably -- from what I had read H. mollis tends to bloom in February, not January. I suspected that it might bloom a little earlier on the island -- the location I'd be planting it at is a bit on the mild side -- hardier eucalyptuses, grevilleas and fremontedendron seem to do well there (but maybe we've just had a stretch of warm winters?).

    The height isn't as important (though I'm not really interested in a shrub, or a hellebore for that matter) as the longevity of the plant -- I had also read that P. s. Autumnalis is a bit short-lived. I'm planting this for flowers on a child's birthday so I'd like something that would stick around for awhile.

    Anyway, thanks for the info. I've seen H. mollis at many shops around the mainland and the island, but P. s. Autumnalis seems much more difficult to track down. Anyone have any advice where I might look for this?

    cheers, Larry

     
  4. If your district has the tender plants you have listed persisting you will see flowers on Hamamelis mollis in December some years. The common, twiggy, semi-double pink autumn cherry is Prunus x subhirtella 'Autumnalis Rosea'. The P. x subhirtella 'Autumnalis' has white flowers with fewer petals on a comparatively coarse (thick-twigged) tree, seems to be quite rare in North America.

    The weeping pink Higan cherries belong to P. pendula, despite being listed under P. x subhirtella. Compare them at flowering time with P. x subhirtella and you will see that they have longer flower stalks, longer, more slender-pointed leaves and other differences.

    Viburnum x bodnantense also has a long, Nov-Mar bloom period but has fragrant flowers, is smaller-growing* and more upright than the pink autumn cherry and does not become blighted frequently, unlike the cherry, nor will it ever be attacked by cherry bark tortix.

    Another longtime, cool season bloomer is Grevillea victoriae. Hummingbirds have been checking mine out, even though they are still just in bud.

    *P. autumnalis 'Autumnalis Rosea' had reached 36' x 3'6" x 29' and 29' x 5'6" x 40' in Seattle by 1990
     

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