Table of contents:
- Group I - the most promising species
- Group II - less promising species
- Group I II - unpromising species
Video: Heather Plants Rare In Culture
Our garden has been studying plants of the heather family (Ericaceae) for 37 years. Despite the rather harsh agro-climatic conditions, we managed to collect a fairly rich collection. It now numbers 24 genera, 123 species, 70 varieties and forms of heather, 66 hybrids of our selection of rhododendrons and hybrids of free pollination. This is one of the largest heather collections in our country.
White multifoliate (Andromeda polifolia)
The most widely represented species and varieties of the genus rhododendron (Rhododendron L.). For the most part, they amaze with the splendor of forms, bright colors, an abundance of flowering, a variety of autumn colors of leaves and are irreplaceable in garden compositions. True, in recent years, gardens with restrained, discreet beauty and natural outlines are becoming more and more fashionable. Representatives of the heather family may well satisfy these needs of gardeners. Nowadays, varieties of common heather (Calluna vulgaris (L.) Hull), species and varieties of erica herbacea (Erica herbacea L.) and erica darlens (Erica × darleyensis Bean) are mainly used for this purpose. The rest of the family members are still not widespread in culture.
Common heather (Сalluna vulgaris)
Every year, a variety of species and varieties of heather grows on sale, they are mainly purchased from abroad and do not always grow successfully in the conditions of central Russia.
Long-term experience of working with heathers allowed us, based on the study of their winter hardiness and the ability to generative development, to identify promising and unpromising species for introduction in central Russia.
This work summarizes the results of the introduction of representatives of heather plants, which are not yet widespread in culture in our country, only 90 species from 21 genera.
Erica herbacea Alba
Group I - the most promising species
The group includes 13 genera, 41 species. These species are quite winter-hardy. Most of them, even in unfavorable winters, are not damaged or slightly damaged, they bloom almost every year and abundantly, many bear fruit and have full seed reproduction. All species have retained their natural growth form.
Many species of this group have reached a very respectable age in our culture: Albrecht's rhododendron (Rhododendron albrechtii) - 35 years old, tall blueberries (Vaccinium corymbosum) - 34 years old, red grass (Vaccinium praestans) - 30 years old, etc.
Albrecht's rhododendron (Rhododendron albrechtii)
Redberry (Vaccinium praestans)
Redberry (Vaccinium praestans)
Shield blueberry, or tall blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum)
Shield blueberry, or tall blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum)
The decorativeness of the species in this group is different. There are many beautiful flowering species, for example: narrow-leaved calmia (Kalmia angustifolia), profusely flowering pieris (Pieris floribunda), common heather (С alluna vulgaris), privet lyonia (Lyonia ligustrina), species of the Erica genera (Erica L.), wild rosemary (Ledum L.), rhododendron (Rhododendron L.).
Narrow-leaved Kalmia (Kalmia angustifolia)
Lionia privet (Lyonia ligustrina)
Marsh Ledum (Ledum palustre)
Representatives of the genus Leucothoe D. Don stand out for their beautiful evergreen foliage (their flowers are located under the leaves), species of the genus Gaultheria are attractive for their unusual fruits.
Miquel's Gault (Gaultheria pyroloides)
Miquel's Gault (Gaultheria pyroloides)
Menziesia pilosa (Menziesia pilosa)
Some species, for example Menziesia ferruginea and Menziesia pilosa, have small nondescript flowers, bloom poorly and are not very decorative. Unfortunately, many of our native species, for example: Vaccinium myrtillus, V. palustre, V. uliginosum, V. vitis - idaea, also do not differ in abundant flowering and fruiting in our country and are much inferior in decorativeness and productivity to foreign species: V. angustifolium, V. corymbosum, V. praestans. In this group:
White multifoliate (Andromeda polifolia L.) and its varieties
- Common heather (C alluna vulgaris (L.) Hull) and its varieties
- Marsh myrtle (Chamaedaphne calyculata (L.) Moench)
- Erica herbacea (Erica herbacea L.). and its varieties and forms
- Erica x darleyensis Bean
- Erica spiculifolia Salisb.
- Erica four-dimensional (Erica tetralix L.)
- Erica vagans L.
- Gault (Gaultheria cuneata (Rehd et Wils) Bean)
- Gaultheria pyroloides Hook. F. Et Thoms. Ex Miq.
- Gaultheria procumbens L.
- Narrow-leaved Kalmia (Kalmia angustifolia L.)
- Ledum columbianum Piper
- Ledum glandulosum Nutt.
- Large-leaved wild rosemary (Ledum macrophyllum Tolm.)
- Marsh Ledum (Ledum palustre L.)
- Greenlandic Ledum (Ledum palustre ssp.groenlandicum (Oeder) Hultén)
- Leucothoe catesbaei (Walt) Gray
- Leucothoe (Leucothoe fontanesiana (Steud.) Sleum.)
- Leukotoe Walter (L. walteri (Willd.) Melvin.)
- Lyonia ligustrina (L.) DC.)
- Menziesia rusty (Menziesia ferruginea Sm.)
- Menziesia pilosa (Michx.) Juss.)
- Pieris abundantly flowering (Pieris floribunda (Pursh) Benth. Et Hook.f.)
- Albrecht's rhododendron (Rhododendron albrechtii Maxim.)
- Atlantic rhododendron (Rhododendron atlanticum (Ashe) Rehd.)
- Kamchatka rhododendron (Rhododendron camtschaticum Pall.)
- Caucasian rhododendron (Rhododendron caucasicum Pall.)
- Equal rhododendron (Rhododendron fastigiatum Franch.)
- Rhododendron rusty (Rhododendron ferrugineum L.)
- Rhododendron harsh-haired (Rhododendron hirsutum L.)
- Rhododendron Ungern (Rhododendron ungernii Trautv. Ex Regel)
- Angus-leaved blueberry (Vaccinium angustifolium Ait.)
- Blueberry (Vaccinium atrococcum (Gray) Heller)
- Shield blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum L.)
- Blueberry (Vaccinium myrtillus L.)
- Marsh cranberry (Vaccinium palustre Salisb.)
- Redberry, or bug (Vaccinium praestans Lamb.)
- Blueberry (Vaccinium uliginosum L.)
- Lingonberry (Vaccinium vitis - idaea L.) and its varieties.
- Rhododendron campanulatum D. Don,
- Rhododendron degronianum Carr.,
- Rhododendron occidentale (Torr. Et A. Gray) A. Gray,
- Rhododendron pachytrichum Franch.,
- Vaccinium arctostaphylos L.,
- Vaccinium deliciosum Piper.,
- Vaccinium macrocarpon Ait.
- Enkianthus campanulatus (Miq) Nicols
- Erica arborea L.
- Erica ciliaris L.
- Erica cinerea L.
- Erica erigena R. Ross
- Erica multiflora L.
- Erica scoparia L.
- Erica terminalis Salisb.
- Gaultheria mucronata (Linn.f.) Hook et Arn.
- Gaultheria schallon Pursh.
- Gaultheria wisleyensis March.ex DJ Middl.
- Pieris japonica (Tunb.) G. Don.
- Rhododendron ambiguum Hemsl.
- Rhododendron carolinianum Rehder
- Rhododendron concinnum Hemsl.
- Rhododendron decorum Franch.
- Rhododendron micranthum Turcz.
- Rhododendron fortunei Lindl.
- Rhododendron kaempferi Planch.
- Rhododendron kiusianum Makino
- Rhododendron obtusum Hort. ex Wats.
- Rhododendron poukhanense H. Lev.
- Rhododendron racemosum Franch.
- Rhododendron reticulatum D. Don ex G. Don f.
- Rhododendron rubiginosum Franch
- Rhododendron searsiae Rehd et Wils.
- Vaccinium ovatum Pursh
- Zenobia pulverulenta (Willd.) Pollard.
Kamchatka rhododendron (Rhododendron camtschaticum)
Equal rhododendron (Rhododendron fastigiatum)
Ungern's rhododendron (Rhododendron ungernii)
Group II - less promising species
It includes 8 genera, 20 species. This is a transitional team group. The species here are heterogeneous in their stability.
There are, for example, winter-hardy species here, but due to their young age they have not yet entered the generative phase - these are Empetrum nigrum L., Loiseleuria procumbens (L.) Desv., Leucothoe axillaris (Lam.) D. Don, Rhododendron oreodoxa Franch., Rhododendron aureum Georgi, Rhododendron makino Tagg ex Nakai., Rhododendron insigne Hemsl. et EH Wils, Rhododendron metternichii Siebold et Zucc., Rhododendron wardii WW Sm.
There are species that are winter-hardy and that have died for accidental reasons, they require re-introduction, for example, Bryanthus musciformis (Poir.) Nakai., Rhododendron williamsianum Rehder et EH Wilson.
Elliottia bracts (Elliottia bracteata)
Eubotrys racemosa Nutt also belongs to this group - with a sufficiently large age (12 years) and good winter hardiness, it has not yet entered the generative phase, so the status of this species is still uncertain.
It is difficult to say something about the tree-like oxydendrum (Oxydendrum arboreum (L.) DC). At home in the United States, this tree is from 4 to 25 m tall, and it is unlikely that it will appear before us in all its beauty. We have it in our collection for 6 years, it freezes badly in unfavorable winters. It remains to be hoped that it will remain in bushy form and at least please with the magnificent scarlet-red color of the leaves in the fall.
This group also includes species that do not freeze slightly in normal years, bloom and bear fruit, but suffer in critical cold winters, some flower buds die, others have perennial shoots, so they bloom and bear fruit irregularly, only after warm winters. These are types such as
Leucothoe grayana Maxim,
Degron's Rhododendron (Rhododendron degronianum ssp degronianum)
Moreover, most species develop normally, retaining their inherent growth form in nature. For example, Rhododendron p achytrichum has reached a height of 2 m in our country. Others are losing it, for example, Leucothoe grayana has a very dense, almost cushion-shaped bush at a height of 0.4 m, which was probably facilitated by frequent frost damage in youth.
It is difficult to judge the decorativeness of these species due to their unstable winter hardiness and irregular flowering. Perhaps some of them will be more stable over time, with special hope for their reproduction.
Group I II - unpromising species
Includes 8 genera of 29 species.
Most of the species of this group have a large mortality rate or die completely after the first 1-2 winters in the open field. Flower buds either do not lay at all, despite their mature age, or they regularly freeze out, these species bloom rarely and only after very favorable winters. As a result, seed reproduction is difficult or more often impossible for them, and practically all of these species have not survived in our collection. At the same time, many species were tested in a large number of samples, so Daboecia with anthabrica was involved 12 times, Erica cinerea - 13, Gaultheria schallon - 11, and others, they were planted in different years. This is very important as winters have not been stable lately, and we had the opportunity to test these species in different weather conditions. Some specimens of the species of this group were able to stay in the collection longer,some even for a significant period, for example, Japanese pieris (Pieris japonica) - 10 years, Rhododendron ambiguum even 20 years, but they did not develop well, were severely damaged in winter, flowering was one-time, scarce or none at all, and the plants later died. Among the dead there are many species with southern ranges that have failed to adapt to our cold winters (most species are Erica, Gaultheria, etc.). In this group:
Daboecia canthabrica (Huds.) K. Koch.
Rhododendron racemosum (Rhododendron racemosum)
Thus, a fairly large number of tested species (41) turned out to be in the group of the most promising species. In addition, there is hope that some species from the 2nd group will later move to this group as they adapt. These species can be successfully used in green building in central Russia.
Recently, our collection has been replenished with interesting species: 3 species of Gaylussacia Kunth, Elliottia bracteata (Maxim.) Benth. et Hook.f., Phyllodoce coerulea (L.) Bab., Rhododendron tschonoskii Maxim and some others. We hope that their introduction in our garden will be successful.
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