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The Weekly Bloom: Week of July 2nd


Summer is really here, as I’m sure you’ve noticed! Though I always lament the passing of the spring flowers, the heat loving plants are out in force!

 • Pricklies: The Yuccas are in full bloom now, with their lovely bell-shaped white flowers. Make sure you peer up at the hugest yucca flower (Yucca elata) that I myself have ever seen, in the courtyard just in front of the Boettcher Memorial Building. It is 15 feet tall if it is an inch. Also in bloom in this area and elsewhere, the red spikes of the Hesperaloe, a true heat lover.

• Bug Friendly:  Two bright beauties are made to lure pollinating insects: Monarda didyma, also called Bee Balm, and Asclepias tuberosa, known as Butterfly Weed. These colorful flowers can be seen throughout the Gardens.

• And One More: One of my favorite, Lespedeza var. (Bush clover), is blooming in the Japanese Garden now, and will soon bloom in the Cottonwood Border. Its delicate look belies its ability to stand up to the heat.

Favorite lunch spot this week: Head to the obvious spot—the Monet Deck—for shaded tables with a view: north to the waterlilies, or south to the restful kitchen garden (Le Potager.)

Gardens to spend time in: The Rose Garden is a joy; the Plains Garden offers a tranquil scene on a cloudy day or in the evening; Le Potager just looks so tidy and bountiful!


Janice Sorensen

On my recent visit to DBG Conservatory I saw a vine that I loved seeing grow around my Mother's Nursing home in Louisiana. I never could get the name. Can you tell me the name of a vine with lavender blooms hanging from the faux tree? I think it is a thunbergia? It is NOT the morning glory-like flowering vine. I would love to know more about it and if I can plant it here in Denver. The past winter in south LA (lows getting down into the teens and 20s) caused the vines to die back but they grew back. Thank you for any help you can share. Janice
Ellen Hertzman

Hi, Janice-- I checked with Nick Daniels, one of our Conservatory Horticulturists. He confirms that it is a Thunbergia--Thunbergia battiscombeii. Chances are high that, with Denver temps regularly going down to zero, this plant would not survive a winter here. In addition, it may require the higher humidity of Louisiana (or our Conservatory!) However, Nick says it is always worth a try, because we have been surprised before!
Janice Sorensen

Thank you Ellen and Nick for the name, Thunbergia battiscombeii and the info. Janice I'll just enjoy it where I do see it on visits back in my native LA.

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