|Chapter Event Dates
Booth at the NJ
Flower and Garden
Booth at the NJLCA
Booth at the
and Greet Event
Booth at Atlantic
Dinner at Fernbrook Nursery
More events to be added soon….
|Dates to Remember
|February12 – 14
Atlantic City, NJ
11 – 12
19 – 20
28 – Mar 1
Elmwood Park, NJ
14 – 17
New Jersey Flower and Garden Show
13th Annual Land Ethics’Symposium
27 – 28
New JerseyNative Plant SocietyAnnual Meeting
March 21 – 24
The Flower Show
Meet and Greet
Short Hills, NJ
Atlantic Builders Convention
Atlantic City, NJ
August 2 – 4
2013 InternationalDesign Conference
Summer Plant Symposium
Dear APLD NJ Members,
Hello, my name is Jane Derickson and I’m your new Chapter President. I’m looking forward to an exciting year…..
Suzanne Bergeron is our new Treasurer. She will also keep her current duties as Secretary. Elaine Stevenson will continue as our Trade Show chair. Jock Lewendon, our Immediate Past President, will continue to stay involved as our Membership chair and Advocacy chair. Jeannie Marcucci will continue to be in charge of our Newsletter. As you can see there are some double duties being performed so if anyone would like to get involved we would definitely appreciate it.
January is gone! We did have a booth at NJNLA‘s NJ PLANTS show on January 22 – 23. There was a NEW LOOK to our booth thanks to Elaine Stevenson, who continues to out do herself! Many thanks to Elaine and all the people who helped staff the booth over the 2 days. In February we will have a booth at two more shows so please show your support by either staffing the booth or stopping by at the show to say hello. It’s a great time to meet new people and make new connections.
Our APLDNJ Winter Workshop on March 7 is shaping up to be an event you don’t want to miss. This years’ theme: Landscape Design – from Historic Preservation to Award Winning Presentations! will include 3 notable speakers. Click HERE for more information.
Botanic verses Common Name
Welcome to one of the more confusing aspects of plants – their names! Although the naming of plants was established to make plant identification easier and more efficient, it will take time to become familiar with the nomenclature process. Every plant has both a common name and a botanical name. Common names are initially more user friendly and easier to remember since they are typically words used in a country’s native language – and we may have heard them before! Unfortunately, they vary from country to country, as well as within regions of a country or even from gardener to gardener. Several years ago I was at the JC Ralston Arboretum at NC State, and the director referred to Cleome as Cat Whiskers. Cat Whiskers is a great name, which with some imagination described the plant perfectly. However, I had never heard of it before and would not have known to which plant he was referring if we had not been standing directly in front of the plant. I might add that the plants were also totally dead at the time, which certainly helped to further my confusion!
Botanical names are generally in Latin, although they are often derived from the ancient Greek or they can be ‘latinized’ names of people. For example, Charles Sargent, the first Director of the Arnold Arboretum becomes sargentii, as in Viburnum sargentii or Père Farges, the French missionary who was stationed in China becomes Fargesia as in Decaisnea fargesii (the Blue Bean Tree) or Fargesia rufa (Umbrella Bamboo). Organisms, both plant and animal began having Latin and Greek names during the medieval period, since it was the language of the scholars (the Bible was initially written in Greek). Initially, these organisms were given a polynomial description. This consisted of a genus (plural being genera), which is a group of similar plants followed by a cumbersome descriptive phrase that described the type of plant. For example, Catnip was called Nepeta floribus interrupte specatus pedunculatis (Nepeta with flowers in an interrupted pedunculate spike). Or Dianthus caryophyllus was Dianthus floribus solitariis, squamis calycinus subovatus brevissimis, corollis crenatus (Dianthus or Divine Flower with separate blossoms, scaly calyx and scalloped petal edges). Obviously, this style of describing an organism had inherent problems for those with memory dysfunction, including me! In 1753, a Swede by the name of Carolus Linnaes (Linnaeus) (1707-1778) identified this problem and created a simpler system: the Binomial Nomenclature System. Although he still used the genera name for the plant, he reduced the descriptive phrase to a one word descriptive name called the species. For example, he used the name cateria to describe the previously mentioned Catnip (Nepeta cataria). The advantages for this system are more than obvious, especially as the number of authored plants and animals proliferated.
Linnaeus grouped the plants together by the number and arrangement of the stamens, which are the pollen or male gametophyte baring part of the flower. Interestingly, he called the stamens husbands and the pistils (the female or egg baring portion of the plant) the wives. The flower was called the ‘Marriage Bed’! Actually, to the modern day non plant phyle, this is an interesting and understandable manner in which a flower could be described. However, in the 1700′s a reference to ‘sex’ was deemed inappropriate and Linnaeus’s work was not met with the most robust relief that one might think. In fact a competing and perhaps jealous botanist named Johann Siegesbeck went so far as to call it ‘loathsome harlotry’! With the same gusto that runs interoffice politics in large corporations, Linnaeus retorted by naming a common European weed, Siegesbeckia after poor Johann. The name is still in existence today. Moral of the story – never mess with a plant geek!
The binomial (two-name or two-part) nomenclature was rapidly accepted. At present, the plant kingdom is classified by the descending ranks of the plant tree. The example below is for Nepeta:
- Kingdom [Plantae]
- Division [Tracheophyta]
- Class [Angiospermae]
- Order [Lamiales]
- Family [Labiatae]
- Genus (plural genera) [Nepeta]
- Species (abbreviated spp or sp) [cataria]
- Botanical variety (abbreviated var)
- Cultivated variety (a cultivar, abbreviated clv) ['Walkers Low']
For the purpose of this class, we are principally concerned with the ranks from Genera down to cultivar. However, knowing the general traits of a family can help you narrow the possibilities of plant names, in case you come in contact with a plant you have not seen before. It will also be helpful if you wish to aspire to the level of plant geekdom.
Botanical names are presently classified by the International Code of Botanical Nomenclature and are revised every 5 years at the International Botanical Congress. This two part nomenclature consists of the genus (which is capitalized) and the descriptive species name (non -capitalized). When written, both names are either underlined or italicized. For example:
Nepeta cataria or Nepeta cataria
What exactly is a species? In Latin, it simply translates to ‘kind’. Obviously, there are many ‘kinds’ of organisms in nature! It is the descriptive aspect of the name and usually describes some aspect of the plant. For example:
- glauca is a waxy coating giving a portion of the plant a ‘blue’ color
- purpureum refers to something purple, such as the leaf, stem, center of the stem, root, etc.
- sargentii – a plant that was initially allowed to be given a species epithet for the person that discovered the plant, or in recognition of a person that promoted the travels or the discovery of the plant. Sargent was the first director of the Arnold Arboretum and his name is associated with many plants. Sasa veitchii is in recognition of the Veitch nursery that funded many expeditions to china. The law has been changed, and plants can no longer be given species names in honor of an individual.
- tomentosa refers to a wooly or tomentose part of the plant (usually the leaf or the stem)
- verticillata refers to a whorled or verticillata arrangement of the leaves or flowers
- And on it goes!!
To further complicate matter, plants are broken down into varieties (abbreviated var.) and cultivars. Cultivar is short for cultivated variety (abbreviated clv). For example: Geranium sanguineum var. striatum vs. Geranium sanguineum ‘Max Frei’.
- Geranium sanguineum var. striatum is a seed strain, which is shorter than the species population (height of 12″ verses 24″) and has light pink (occasionally white) flowers with deep pink venation within the flower. It is a population of plants found on the island of Lancaster off of the United Kingdom. The population is not sufficiently distinct to have a species title, but when this population is planted in isolation from the species, the seedlings will resemble the parent population. In other words, when planted separately, they seed true.
- Geranium sanguineum ‘Max Frei’ is a cultivar. It has deep pink flowers and unlike the species, only grows to 6″ tall. However, when planted in isolation, the seedlings will range in height from the cultivar height of 6″ to the species height of 24″. Gradually, almost the entire population will usually revert back to the 24″ height, although some may retain the shorter height.
Varieties are populations of a species that have become isolated from the parent population, but do not differ significantly to merit a species rank of designation. Varieties usually have slight alterations in form, size, color of leaf or flower, or some other physical attribute and come true from seed. A cultivar is a selection often made by an individual and usually does not come true from seed. There are exceptions, such as Echinacea purpurea ‘Magnus’, a cultivar of Purple Cone Flower that does come true from seed. Cultivar status is not italicized, but is capitalized and parenthesized. For the person, university or company that is in the business of making money from plant breeding through the introduction of named selections, the cultivars are registered and a royalty for a period of 20 years comes back to the licensed legal entity under which the plant is registered. This was common practice for a number of years, until it became obvious that some very good plants took a much longer period of time to become popular in the trade. At the 20 years mark, they were still pulling in good royalties or were perhaps just becoming known and starting to attract good royalties. However, since the legal period of protection was at an end, any company was now free to produce the plant without paying royalties. This resulted in the initiation of Trade Marked names. These plants typically have an awkward or unpronounceable cultivar name and a well promoted Trade Mark name. The cultivar name has the typical 20 year term of protection, while the Trade Marked name lasts in perpetuity. Trade Marked names are proceeded by a TM signature and lack parenthesis around the name. An example is Cornus x CelestialTM (‘Rutdan’) PP #7204. After 20 years, plant patent 7204 (PP#7204) will expire and any company or person can reproduce and sell the plant as Cornus x ‘Rutdan’. However, since all the promotion has focused upon the Trade Marked name of Celestial, most people will not recognize the cultivar name and the plant will not sell. The name of Celestial is good for eternity, and the royalties will continue to be paid to the legal owner. Trade Marking is obviously key for plants of great worth, such as Magnolia grandiflora ‘Brackens Brown Beauty’ which is not Trade Marked and the plant patent has now expired.
The grex or ‘x’ that follows the genus indicates that the plant is a cross between two species. In the case of Cornus x ‘Rutdan’, it is a cross of Cornus florida and Cornus kousa. If the grex precedes a genus, than this indicates that this is a cross between two different genera. An example is X Fatshedera, which is a cross between the two genera of Fatsia and Hedera. As one can see, plant breeders and the legal system have made things a mess for us plant lovers! However, it does have beneficial financial returns. Dr. Michael Dirr – a common name in horticultural circles – recently explored remontent or repeat flowering in Hydrangea macrophylla species. His breeding led to the introduction of several new cultivars. In one year, one million cuttings of Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Endless Summer’ were sold at a royalty of 60 cents per cutting. A return of $600,000!
Another complication is the introduction of an intermediate rank in nomenclature of subspecies. Subspecies are normally abbreviated subsp or ssp, such as Molinia caerulea subsp. caerulea. The first subspecies described is always given the same name as the species. Subsequent subspecies are given different descriptive names, such as Molinia caerulea subsp. arundinacea. When subsequent subspecies are described, it is then assumed that the genus and species name refer to the original subspecies. That is, Molinia caerulea refers to Molinia caerulea subsp. caerulea. The various subspecies have minute differences from the original species and they will breed true if the populations are kept distinct and separate.
The difference between Varieties and Subspecies is very small – if a difference exists at all! Subspecies distinction is preferred on the West Coast (University of California) while varietal distinction is preferred on the East Coast (Harvard). Supposedly, varieties develop from geological isolation (a good example being Trilliums), while subspecies development can be traced to a single parent plant. If you give this some thought, varieties can no doubt be traced to a single parent plant as well. Both subspecies and varieties seed true, which is one of the major distinctions between these and cultivar status.
Botanical names are most typically followed by an authority or author who was the person that first identified or named the plant. For example, it is Nepeta cataria (L), with the L standing for Linnaeus. Authors have to describe and identify the plant, as well as publish this description, assuring the public that this is a new plant that has not been previously introduced. In some cases, plants may have had two names in common use at one time, for example Hosta and Funkia. Although Funkia was the original name in commerce, it was later discovered that N.T. Host was the original author and was given ultimate credit and name recognition. Obviously, prior to the rapid dissemination of the written word of the modern day, there were multiple names and descriptions of the same plant. In some cases, a plant is reclassified to a different genus upon further study. For example, the native grass Uniola latifolia was originally described by Michaux. A botanist by the name of Haris Yates determined that this grass was best described under the genus Chasmanthium, and the name was changed to Chasmanthium latifolium. Hence you will now see the authority as C. latifolium (Michaux) Yates, acknowledging both describing authors.
The complexities of plant names extend far beyond this simplified account. Most cultivars are reproduced by asexual methods, such as division, cutting or budding in order to maintain the desired plant characteristics. Obviously, this refutes the aim of nature, which is sexual and enhances genetic diversity. To the gardener and the designer, this is a point of constant attention and contention. How do you design and plant the garden such that the original integrity is maintained and seedling plants do not alter the original design intent? Obviously, good design as well as plant and maintenance knowledge is needed in order to design a garden that will remain true to your thoughts for many years to come. This is one of the aims of this course, and hopefully one of your lifelong pursuits. For the natural purist, cultivar selections are not the plant of choice, due to the reduced genotype and selection created by a monoculture. For the controlling – and perhaps over-controlling – designer, the need for an exact height, flower or leaf color, etc prescribes that the cultivar or variety is the plant of choice.
These battles, along with other not yet known, will continue to wan and grow as different trends become fashionable or demand attention. There will never be clearly defined answer and ultimately it is the heart and energy of the designer which will define which is best for a particular garden. Best of luck in your decisions!!!
Written by Bruce Crawford, Director at Rutgers Gardens
|Happiness is a Native Landscape
written by Laurel Von Gerichten
A few years ago, I had no idea that I would become an advocate for native plants. For one, the New York Botanical Garden, where I received my Certificate in Landscape Design, is an institution devoted to collecting plants from all over the globe.
Secondly, I had for many years worked in my own garden, enthusing over the bright blossoms in nursery catalogs, hoping to find space for the latest favorite, which back then was most certainly not native.
And thirdly, my mindset was that of a diligent homeowner, following the gardening advice given in magazines for such tasks as fertilizing the lawn, shearing the shrubs, and spraying for bugs.
I was keeping my lawn mowed and flowerbeds tidy, doing the right thing. Why then should I change?
Upon graduation from the NYBG I joined Metro Hort, a group of professionals meeting monthly in NYC. I remember coming away from one particular lecture feeling somewhat shocked at what I had heard.
The message, delivered by Dr. Douglas Tallamy, head of the entomology department at the University of Delaware, was that biodiversity depends upon native plants. If this were true, then what were we doing in the horticultural trade, extolling the exotics? “Pest-free” took on a whole different meaning: a plant that might as well be plastic because it supports no life. And if insects were important after all, then what was I doing with the poison sprayer?
My whole orientation started to change from that day, as I attended more lectures and symposia, read books, observed with a new eye, and began to learn about biodiversity, venturing further into subjects such as geology, wetlands, soil science, plant communities, plant response to feeding, and organic practices. Fascinating discoveries in these fields reveal how much more we have to learn about nature and proper environmental stewardship. As naturalist and Harvard entomologist Edward O. Wilson writes in Biophilia, “..it is possible to spend a lifetime in a magellanic voyage around the trunk of a single tree.”
In contrast to my increasing awareness of biodiversity and the inter-connectedness of systems, my suburban neighborhood consists of houses skirted by foundation evergreens with lawns, overrun by mowing and leaf-blowing crews, extending to the curb. In such a setting, a landscape as garden sanctuary and habitat for wildlife seems a foreign concept. And yet, when reviewing the planting plans that introduce natives, my clients respond with enthusiasm to the choices I offer. Many of the native shrubs and perennials are unknown to them and thus, ironically, “exotic”.
One of my beginning native projects was for a small house surrounded by lawn and a chain-link fence. A corner view shows newly-planted shrubs in the bed cut out of the lawn curving around an existing dogwood.
The loamy soil and full sun encouraged fantastic growth of the plantings, unlike anything I’d seen in my own yard with much shade and more clay.
In their third season, this is the view of shrubs and perennials surrounding the dogwood.
Against the “grove” of Chokeberry (Aronia arbutifolia- Photinia pyrifolia) with its red berries wave wands of Goldenrod (Solidigo rugosa), mingling with the white tufts of Snakeroot (Eupatorium rugosa) and blue blossoms of Asters. Native plantings have transformed a small featureless yard into a spectacle of abundance that also renders the chain link fence invisible.
A recent project was “reimagining” a small entry courtyard in a condominium complex. The previous plantings, distorted from years of shearing, had been removed to repair termite damage.
Inspired by a trip to Zion Canyon in Utah, I created a lush “floodplain” on both sides of the pathway which I envisioned as a meandering stream.
With sweet pepperbush (Clethra alnifolia), winterberry (Ilex verticillata), inkberry (Ilex glabra), Virginia sweetspire (Itea virginica), and a serviceberry (Amelanchier sp.), there are changing blossoms and foliage color, berries, and fragrance. My client loves how the plants move in response to the wind, a scene of animation in contrast to the former stationary forms. As the plants mature, the pathway will provide a welcoming journey full of soft textures and many shades of green.
Both clients have views that attract them just outside their doorsteps. Perhaps already they are seeing new things, like the amazing activity of bees, butterflies, and other flying insects, or the hungry robin who discovered fruit on the Amelanchier. I am encouraged to continue using natives for other projects, especially when I heard two different clients say that they feel happy living where they do now, after years of indifference. I had not realized that a garden full of life can have this kind of psychological effect, so I was moved and pondered how that could be. E. O. Wilson defined “biophilia” as “the innate tendency to focus on life and lifelike processes.” I believe that, as my clients become involved in the natural world outside, their spirit of biophilia is being nourished, thanks to the natives.
Laurel Von Gerichten, APLD, is president
of Laurelbrook Design, Inc.
- a landscape design firm she established in 2006.
Native plant communities feature
prominently in her planting designs.
Editor’s note: This article originally appeared in Spring 2012 issue of The Designer published by the Association of Professional Landscape Designers (APLD).
PHOTOS OF PAST EVENTS
The Duke Farms tour – this past June 19th
|The tour begins
|Paul Smith explaining the bio-swales
|the very large community garden
|the Farm Barn – Orientation Center
|A word about our Featured Sponsor…
|About The Terre Company of NJ, Inc.:
The Terre Company was founded in 1925 and has been owned by the Feury family since 1960. The company originally started as a farm-fertilizer blending company that serviced the New Jersey “Truck Farms” (hence the name “Garden State”) which supplied New York with fresh vegetables and fruit. As the farms developed into residential homes, golf courses, and sports fields, the Terre Company adapted to the changes. In 1979, The Terre Company moved to its current 5 acre facility located in Clifton, New Jersey. This facility allowed the company to service its markets from an ideal location, and provided room for the expansion of product offerings. The company then began to provide a far more extensive line of products to accommodate a more diverse group of customers.
In 1987, the nursery division of Terre was established, making The Terre Company a true one stop shop for the turf and landscape market. Terre now services the golf course, landscape, sports field, and garden center market in New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, and Pennsylvania. Products available include grass seed, fertilizer, chemicals, plant material, mulches, soils, and a host of miscellaneous related products.
Vice president of the Nursery Division, Tom Fuery at our
Sponsor “Meet and Greet” event earlier this year.
|Some of our Bronze Sponsors….
Our GOLD Sponsor:
A Call for Submissions….
Anybody looking to submit articles or photos for future newsletters please send your questions and material to:
APLD New Jersey Chapter Writer