Here we are at the juncture of summer and fall; up north there is no doubt that the deciduous trees are already showing color. In the south I can clearly see the dog woods are turning their own special shades of red. That observation brings us to the annual fall showcase. As those of you who live in the south east know the tree foliage is somewhat lacking more often then not due to the large numbers of conifers. Honestly as much as I appreciate conifers and their role in the biology, they are somewhat lacking in the color department simply because they are some special shade of green all year long. Keep in mind the golden color of pine straw it self is its own seasonal color that I honestly appreciate in the landscape for what it is and does.
|Portulacaria afra - Elephant bush|
I thought I'd post a picture of the loquat plant in full bloom. This is one of the sustainable 365 plants I've spoken of before in both lecture and blog post. Generally a loquat will bloom sometime between late September through early November and be full of fruit somewhere between late February and April. The fruits are small and orange with relatively large seeds but the flavor is tart and sweet and very strong given the size of the fruit. This is one of the few winter-ripening fruits that works especially well in North Carolina. I might add these plants with time can take on a tree form and are evergreen, so in landscape use they present evergreen exotic foliage. I might add this plant is not related to the Kumquat which is a citrus under the scientific name of Citrus japonica.