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PlantFiles: The Largest Plant Identification Reference Guide - Dave's Garden

PlantFiles is the largest plant database in the world, with information and photos for 205,641 different plants! View our 356,900 images and read our 131,393 detailed and helpful comments. Search for a plant by its common or botanical name using the green button below, or scroll down the page and browse through hundreds of popular cultivars, or search for plants by their characteristics (height, hardiness, etc.)

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  The Latin word of the week  
Echinacea
(ek-in-AY-shee-a)

The cone flower's botanical name is Echinacea. It is from the Greek word echinos, meaning hedgehog or sea urchin, referring to the spiny seed heads of the flower. The Purple Coneflower is a popular member of this genus.

It has long been esteemed for its herbal qualities and was widely used by the Native American Indians and the white settlers, who used it to treat snake bites, rabies, and other wounds.

In the late 1800s, a traveling peddler from Nebraska, one Joseph Meyer, began making a tincture from the root of Echinacea. He touted his tonic as being able to prevent and/or cure poisonous snake bites, giving rise to the pejorative term "snake oil salesman."

Despite its colorful history, Echinacea is one of the most popular herbal remedies used throughout the world today, mainly for warding off colds and flu symptoms.

  The Plant of the Week  
Redflower False Yucca
Hesperaloe parviflora

The coral-red flowers of Hesperaloe parvifolia tower on 5-foot stems that sway gently above a clump of yucca-like foliage, an attraction to hummingbirds. Unfortunately, the soft foliage is also a temptation to deer.

Hesperaloe are closely related to yuccas and agaves, and create rosettes forming from underground rhizomes. The hardy, evergreen succulent is a native Texas and northern Mexico, so it is no surprise that it is drought-tolerant and a good choice for xeric landscaping in zones 6 and warmer. In the late 1980s, the plant was identified as a potential agriculture crop when University of Arizona professors discovered unusual strength the leaf fiber, 3 to 4 times greater than premium softwood pulp.

Since then, many advances have been made in domesticating this plant, and it is now seen as a sustainable source of agricultural fiber. One hectare of hesperaloe could produce as much pulp and fiber as 60 hectares of boreal forest.

The genus name means "western aloe", and refers to Hesperis, a greek mythological figure representing the evening; the specific epithet "parviflora" refers to a somewhat sparse flowerhead. Nonetheless, the flowers are an attractive addition to a perennial border or xeriscape arrangement, and its leaves are much softer than its lookalike yucca cousins.

» Read more about this plant

10 vendors have this plant for sale.

Image

Type of plant: Perennials

Bloom color: Red

Bloom time of year: Late Spring/Early Summer, Mid Summer, Late Summer/Early Fall, Mid Fall, Late Fall/Early Winter

Sun requirements: Full Sun

Cold hardiness: Zone 5a to Zone 10b

Height: 36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

Spacing: 24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

  Bloom of the Day for April 21, 2014  
Image

Renard's Cranesbill
(Geranium renardii)

Type of plant: Perennials

Bloom color: White/Near White

Bloom time of year: Late Spring/Early Summer, Mid Summer, Late Summer/Early Fall

Sun requirements: Sun to Partial Shade

Cold hardiness: Zone 6a to Zone 8b

Height: 6-12 in. (15-30 cm)

Spacing: 12-15 in. (30-38 cm)

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