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The Green Thumb Almanac Library of Select Plants contains varieties of plants chosen for their superior performance in the garden.

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What's in a name? Leaf Characteristics

Posted on February 11, 2018 at 10:55 AM

It is not uncommon, in the botanical world, to identify a plant from a leaf sample. The shape, texture or color of a leaf can give you a clue as to what it's botanical name might be. Also, if you know the botanical name of a plant, you can often get an idea of what it might look like. For instance, Helianthus salicifolius, is also known as Willow-leaved Sunflower. Salicifolius means 'with willow-like leaves.' The following is a partial list of descriptive speci...

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Butterfly Weed

Posted on January 24, 2017 at 11:20 AM

Asclepias tuberosa - Butterfly Weed

  • Height: 2 - 3' T x 2' W
  • Hardiness:  USDA hardiness zones 4 - 9
  • Uses:  Meadow or Prairie Gardens, Beds & Borders, Cut Flower

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Not Your Momma's Poinsettia!

Posted on December 18, 2016 at 9:05 PM

For generations nothing has quite said 'Merry Christmas' like a bright red poinsettia...but why should we have to settle for just red?  Now is the time for millenials and those non-traditionalists among us to celebrate because the poinsettia world has exploded with a variety of new colors!

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Upright Elephant Ear 'Calidora'

Posted on August 10, 2016 at 7:00 PM

Alocasia macrorrhiza 'Calidora'  Upright Elephant Ear

  • Height:  12' - 15'  tall and 6' - 8'  wide
  • Hardiness:  USDA hardiness zone 9-11
  • Uses:  Beds & Borders, Containers

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Parrot's Feather

Posted on August 10, 2016 at 6:10 PM

Myriophyllum aquaticum Parrot's Feather

  • Height:  1 - 6 inches tall, spreads 2 - 3 feet
  • Hardiness:  USDA hardiness zones 6 - 10
  • Uses:  Water Gardens

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Persian Shield

Posted on August 10, 2016 at 5:45 PM

Strobilanthes dyerianus Persian Shield

  • Height:  18 -36 inches tall
  • Hardiness:  USDA zones 9 - 11, annual in northern zones
  • Uses:&#...
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Variegation is the Spice of Life!

Posted on July 24, 2016 at 9:35 AM

So the heat index is 105 degrees F., and your summer flowers have decided that it's too hot to bloom.  What's a gardener to do?  I decided to take a trip to the garden center to find a solution.  The place to go in Kansas City is Family Tree Nursery.  They are known for quality bedding plants with big beautiful flowers.&...

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Daffodil or Jonquil?

Posted on March 8, 2016 at 12:00 PM


Posted on March 22, 2015 at 8:00 PM

Euphorbia marginata  Snow-on-the-mountain

  • Height:  to 3 feet
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What's in a Name? Color Clues

Posted on March 22, 2015 at 8:20 AM

Botanical plant names contain a wealth of information.  The species name (or specific epethet) usually gives us information about the plant.  It may indicate where the plant is from or its growth habit.  For instance the name Cornus alba, the common dogwood tree, tells us that its flowers are white; alba = white.  The following is a list of some common color terms that you will find in the plant world.

ater, atro- = dark, blackish

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Lantana 'LusciousĀ® Citrus Blend'

Posted on March 19, 2015 at 12:00 AM
Lantana camara  Lantana ''Luscious® Citrus Blend'™

  • Height...
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Juncus 'Curly Wurly'

Posted on March 18, 2015 at 9:50 PM
Juncus effusus 'Curly Wurly' Corkscrew Rush
  • Height:  12 - 18" tall, space ...
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