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One of the Far Eastern trifoliate maples, with three leaflets per leaf, its relatives include such superb species as A. griseum and A. maximowiczianum. This one has characteristic pale grey-brown, flaking bark and some of the best autumn foliage colour of any tree, usually being a brilliant scarlet-orange. A slow growing very hardy small tree.
Acer wardii (new)
Found at 3110m asl in NE Kachin, Burma, this extremely rare maple is virtually never offered for sale. A small elegant tree with relatively small three lobed leaves, each lobe ending in a drawn out tip. Autumn colour is bright red in full sun, orange to yellow if shaded. This should be hardy in most places most of the time, but better in mild areas come Armageddon.
Acer x conspicuum 'Phoenix'
A snake-bark maple predominantly for winter effect, when the bare shoots glow in a ridiculously bright red, with white stripes. It is, however, an all-round handsome tree with bold foliage, turning clear yellow in autumn, and a beautiful habit, forming a spreading small tree for most soils. The older stems and trunk turn, over time, to a light orange-pink.
A very unusual evergreen from Tasmania. This Choisya relative makes an upright small to medium sized shrub with dainty three fingered aromatic foliage and flat clusters of white flowers in May, and occasionally again in autumn. Very hardy in cold inland gardens through the cold of Jan and Dec 2010, but best sited with some shelter.
'Californian Buckeye'. A superb, but totally neglected, very dwarf Horse Chestnut making a small spreading tree with fragrant white flowers tinted pink in dense erect panicles in mid summer. Small, neat, very attractive foliage emerges very early in the season, though is not affected by frost. Hardy and drought tolerant. In my top 10 trees.
Aesculus pavia 'Purple Spring' (new)
This form of the US native Red Buckeye starts its season with attractive, long lasting bronze-purple flushed foliage before the upright panicles of peachy-pink flowers are seen in early summer. Slow growing, making a large shrub to about 2m eventually. Best in a sunny spot for optimal flowering. Very hardy
A very handsome eastern Asian foliage plant with maple like leaves, and clusters of small but very beautiful flowers in June and July, like little white lilies with recurved petals and yellow stamen, dangling from the undersides of the branches. Eventually a medium sized deciduous shrub or sometimes a small tree. Rarely encountered but hardy and easy.
Albizia julibrissin 'Rosea'
Unique among foliage plants hardy throughout southern UK and a real taste of warmer climes with its exceptionally beautiful, feathery, Mimosa like foliage and sprays of light pink, fine brush-like fragrant flowers in late summer on a small tree with spreading, layered branches. An absolute gem for a place with reasonable summer warmth. Untouched here Jan '10.
Albizia julibrissin 'Rouge selection'
A new form of the species selected in France for the very rich flower colour, being a strong red-pink. Exceptionally beautiful, feathery, mimosa like foliage and sprays of fine brush-like fragrant flowers in late summer on a large shrub or small tree with spreading, layered branches. An absolute gem for a warm sunny corner or sheltered courtyard. Likes heat.
Alnus subcordata NJM 13.009 (new)
Hailing from the Caucasus and the Hyrcanian forests bordering the Caspian Sea, where we found this growing with Pterocarya fraxinifolia, Parrotia persica, Quercus castaneifolia etc. A very vigorous species making tall characterful specimens in time, with splendid trunks. Broad foliage up to 15cm long. The male catkins are seen very early in the season.
Another of the Chilean myrtles, this one makes a large, dense, aromatic, evergreen shrub or small tree, smothered by a multitude of small white fragrant flowers in May. The small leaves emerge strikingly copper coloured, turning glossy green. The edible berries turn from red to black. Fairly hardy, though needing sensible positioning in cold areas.
Aralia aff. foliolosa NJM 13.061 (new)
Found in the botanically rich Eastern Hills of Manipur, NE India, at 1850m asl, this made a typically spiny specimen with huge bipinnate foliage and heads of black fruit. Expect a specimen up to perhaps 3m tall. Hardiness as yet untested, though undoubtedly hardy in the milder regions of the UK at least.
Aralia sp. NJM 13.033 (new)
Found in the botanically rich Eastern Hills of Manipur, NE India, at 1822m asl, this made a typically spiny specimen to circa 8m tall, with huge bipinnate foliage and heads of black fruit. Expect a smaller specimen here. Hardiness as yet untested, though undoubtedly hardy in the milder regions of the UK at least.
A 'Monkey Puzzle' relative from cool highland areas of S Brazil, which eventually has a most unique and highly ornamental crown shape, different from A. araucana. This rarity has definite potential across large areas of the British Isles and Europe, surviving -15c in Germany and almost totally unscathed by the hellish January 2010 at Westonbirt arboretum, Glos!
Named after the Marina area of San Francisco, this is absolutely THE strawberry tree to plant. Wonderful peeling bark, changing from cinnamon-red to sandy-yellow, briefly, in autumn. Large glossy foliage, big clusters of red-stained white flowers in autumn, and vigorous growth. Generally hardy, in any unimproved free draining soil; acid or alkaline.
Arbutus unedo f. rubra
The red flowered form of the common Strawberry Tree, bearing bunches of bright red-tinged white flowers in autumn simultaneously with the abundant, small, rounded wild strawberry-like fruit. Develops a gnarled appearance after many years with shredding bark. Good for exposed coastal sites but perfectly hardy inland. Suited to acid or alkaline soils.
Arbutus x andrachnoides
Hybrid Strawberry Tree. Truly one of the loveliest of small evergreen trees and one I would not be without. Very beautiful cinnamon-red peeling bark on usually very picturesque gnarled stems. Clusters of white flowers in late autumn, and strawberry-like, rounded fruit over glossy foliage. Perfectly suited to acid or alkaline soils. Hardy.
Ardisia japonica 'Ito Fukurin'
Very new to cultivation here, a variegated Japanese selection of this evergreen non-aggressively mat forming plant for a leafy position in shade. Glossy leaves are grey green with a very fine white margin; the Japanese name meaning 'thread picotee'. Small pink and white star shaped flowers in spring, followed by red fruit in autumn, persisting into winter.
The Argan is endemic to the Souss valley of Morocco and makes particularly picturesque and gnarled specimens, often photographed by tourists with their branches laden with goats. Extremely drought tolerant, this tree's nuts produce one of the worlds finest culinary oils. Try it here against a hot sunny wall. Never offered before in the UK?
Aronia x prunifolia 'Nero' (new)
Purple Chokeberry. A large fruited form of this very hardy N American deciduous shrub, reaching 2m tall. Grown equally for its bunches of purple-black fruit in autumn, which contain very high levels of antioxidants, and the arresting scarlet and burgundy autumn leaf colour. Fruit are tart when raw but superb cooked or used in jams etc. Not for shallow chalk.
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