Plant of the Month
Location: Grid Q-30 along the east side gravel road, north of the Xeriscape Garden
Russian Sage has become a very popular
landscape plant in the past few years. For a
long time, the straight species and a couple of
selected cultivars were all that were available.
However, in 2014 for some reason there was an
explosion of new cultivars, and there have been
additional releases in the past two years.
Russian Sage, Perovskia atriplicifolia, species and cultivars 7-20-16
In 2014 we were asked to develop a memorial
for Harley Wright, a retired U of I librarian.
Her daughter mentioned that she really liked
Russian Sage, and serendipitously all of a
sudden there were lots of new selections to try.
I have always like the contrast between silvery
blue foliage and the dark burgundy of the red
leaf Japanese Barberry. There have been
several new selections of Barberry in recent
years as well, so we combined the two to make
a display/trial of the new selections.
'Lacey Blue' Russian Sage, Perovskia atriplicifolia 7-20-16
There are now seven different cultivars in the
bed, along with some of the original species.
The species is clearly the largest of the
selections. 'Lacey Blue' seems to be the most
compact, 'Silvery Blue' has the most
distinctive foliage (and the latest to flower) and
'Crazy Blue' is the deepest blue flowers.
It has been a remarkably cool and damp July in
Moscow, which has been a stark contrast to last
year’s hot, dry, smoky weather. That weather
is probably generally good for most plants,
although there are lots of things like tomatoes
that would prefer a little more heat.
Unfortunately, some of the plants that love the
cooler weather are the broad leaf weeds, like
dandelions, thistles and plantain. So, a lot of
time has been spent spraying and pulling weeds
Pond skimmer at work 7-20-16
Another big effort is trying to keep up with the
aquatic weed growth in the lower pond. Last
year we purchased a new piece of equipment
which is designed to skim the surface of the
water, then filter out the weeds. If the wind
cooperates and the weeds collect in the right
corner we usually collect about four or five
wheelbarrows full each day it runs. At that rate
we are barely able to keep some open water
Native Roots collection 7-20-16
Saturday, July 23
Science Saturday in the Arboretum
Palouse-Clearwater Environmental Institute
10:00 am at the Red Barn