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The Huon pine from Tasmania is a member of the Podocarpus family and makes a large evergreen pendulous shrub, or small tree after many years. Slender branches of scale-like evergreen foliage droops in a very graceful fashion, 'weeping like a windblown fountain'. This appreciates a little shelter in most places, though is fully hardy, even in E. Scotland.
Masses of vibrant, deep red-pink flowers are seen late summer and stems show light grey and tan bark. A hybrid between L. indica and L. fauriei raised by Don Egolf in the USA, this, despite popular belief, flowers regularly in the Southern UK at least. Plants at Kew have been covered in flower in late summer for many years, including recent poor summers.
Lagerstroemia indica 'Cedar Lane Red' (new)
A very richly coloured cultivar raised in Georgia, USA, this Crape Myrtle has new growth flushed with red throughout the growing season and truly deep vibrant red flowers in late summer. Plant this against a warm wall to promote good flowering, though the plant itself is perfectly hardy. Best in the parts of the UK with reasonably warm summers.
One of the most distinctive evergreen trees one can see in west coast gardens, though is hardier than you might imagine, to below -10c. Often confused with Laurelia sempervirens, both species native to Chile. A medium sized semi-weeping evergreen tree with smooth pale grey bark, distinctive, toothed, aromatic foliage and small white flowers in spring.
Leptospermum myrtifolium 'Silver Sheen'
A lovely metallic looking, upright, medium sized evergreen shrub with lots of little narrow silver leaves on reddish stems. White flowers produced in July. Best in full sun in well drained neutral to acid soils, though doing well near here on lime. Hardier than many other species of Leptospermum.
Lespedeza thunbergii 'Edo Shibori'
A very distinctive Japanese form with pink and white bi-coloured flowers. As is typical of this late flowering sub-shrub the arching stems are weighed down in September and October by the massed flower display. Semi woody annual stems clad with pale green trifoliolate leaves rise to at least 1m or more from a hardy rootstock. Cut back hard in spring.
Lespedeza thunbergii 'Gibraltar'
New from the USA this is a selected large growing form to about 1.5m. Billowing panicles of rose-purple pea flowers over trifoliolate pale green leaves bow the stems to the ground under their weight in Sept and Oct. This tough sub-shrub is best hard pruned to the ground every winter. Any well drained, even poor soil in sun.
An evergreen species SW China. Dense panicles of white flowers with violet anthers are borne in summer, followed by small black fruits, this makes a medium sized shrub with small dark green glossy leaves; a good substitute for box and highly prunable, but also a great background plant. Hardy, though not the best for very cold, exposed sites.
Do not confuse this with a hedging shrub! This relative of the scourge of suburbia is altogether a finer thing. Marvellous for late summer flower, it produces drooping panicles of white, scented blossom in August and September up to 50cm long, when most things are over. An elegant shrub up to about 2m high, easy on virtually any soil, far too rarely seen.
A most unusual evergreen species of 'spicebush' from SE Asia. Forming a large shrub in the wild with very attractively shaped, relatively small, rounded foliage with an elongated drip-tip. The veins are deeply impressed and the leaves emerge covered in silken golden hairs, turning green with silvery undersides. Soft yellow flowers in spring/summer. Proven very hardy in the USA.
A rare and relatively recently introduced species from China, closely related to, but hardier than L. formosana, with 3-lobed leaves and new growth bronze-purple throughout the growing season, turning rich red-purple in late autumn. Makes a medium sized tree for any reasonable soil.
Liquidambar acalycina 'Spinners' (new)
A relatively recently introduced species from China, closely related to, but hardier than L. formosana, with 3-lobed leaves and new growth bronze-purple throughout the growing season, turning rich red in late autumn. 'Spinners' holds its autumn colour much longer into early winter. Makes a medium sized tree for any reasonable soil.
Liquidambar orientalis (new)
Endangered in the wild state in SW Turkey, where it inhabits marshy ground in a few river valleys, this makes only a small tree here in the UK. The foliage is deeply 5-lobed (with extra lobes on those lobes) and turns to fine red and orange shades in autumn. Hardy and tolerant of moist sites as well as ordinary soil. Not happy on thin chalk.
Liquidambar styraciflua 'Palo Alto'
To me this is the finest form of the American Sweet Gum, with its maple-like leaves turning a bright, long lasting, scarlet and orange in autumn. Will make a medium sized tree eventually. Very hardy and tolerant, but not for shallow chalk soils, though fine on thin limestone near here. Autumn colour is better if sited in full sun.
The rare Chinese Tulip Tree, differing from its big American cousin in its smaller stature and more ornamental, narrower waisted leaves more glaucous beneath and purplish on expansion. Similar tulip like flowers. Any ordinary soil. Wonderfully strong growing.
Lithocarpus fenestratus NJM 13.074 (new)
Found in Manipur, NE India, this handsome evergreen oak relative made a fine specimen tree with lustrous ovate foliage adorned with a drawn out drip-tip and a silvery underside. The leaves are highly attractive, drooping and suede-like on emergence. For a reasonably sheltered garden in not so cold areas.
An Australian member of this Proteaceous genus of evergreen trees and shrubs, forming an upright multi-stemmed large shrub with long narrow, toothed, evergreen foliage, and clusters of fragrant white Grevillea-like flowers in summer, much loved by bees. Not good on thin chalk soils, though remarkably hardy and suitable for much of the British Isles.
Lonicera aff. pamirica (new)
One of the many deciduous shrubby honeysuckles from Central Asia, this is from the Pamir Mountains of Tajikistan, where it makes bushy well branched shrubs to 1.8m. Foliage is relatively slim, greyish-green and paler under. Small flowers in early summer are followed by a mass of small bright red berries, the colour of red-currants. Extremely hardy and drought tolerant.
Lonicera caerulea var. kamtschatica 'Larisa'
The Haskap is a superb alternative to blueberries, especially for those without acid soils. Forming an extremely hardy deciduous shrub 1.5m x 1.5m, with sea-green foliage and yellowish-white flowers followed by elongated blue tinged fruit in June/July. 'Larisa' is a clone selected for abundant fruit production and flavour.
Lonicera caerulea var. kamtschatica 'Maries'
The Haskap is a superb alternative to blueberries, especially for those without acid soils. Forming an extremely hardy deciduous shrub 1.2m x 1.2m, with sea-green foliage and yellowish-white flowers followed by elongated blue tinged fruit in June/July. 'Maries' is a clone selected for abundant fruit production, sweet flavour and more compact growth form.
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