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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 211,603 different plants! View our 366,292 images and read our 140,244 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.)

Discover which plants grow well in your area, and which plants to avoid. Join the 58,508 gardeners, PlantFiles Pioneers and Uber Gardeners who contribute to PlantFiles, and share what you know.

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  The Latin word of the week  
Dodecatheon
(doh-dek-ATH-ee-on)

This genus of North American native plants is botanically known as Dodecatheon. Originally, Pliny gave this name to a spring flower, possibly the primrose, which was under the protective care of the twelve principal gods of Greek mythology. Dodecatheon are members of the primrose family.

The dozen-plus species of Dodecatheon are found mainly in the western half of the North American continent, although some species are native to northeastern Siberia. They are an early-blooming spring flower, with a distinctive "inside out" appearance to their flowers, which gave rise to the common name "shooting stars".

Their similarity to primrose led to another common name, "American cowslip." These flowers are on many states' endangered species lists, so care should be taken to not collect plants from the wild; there are reputable sources of nursery-grown plants and seeds if you want to try growing Dodecatheon in your woodland garden.

  The Plant of the Week  
Witch Hazel
Hamamelis virginiana

Witch Hazel Hamamelis virginiana Is a small aromatic tree or shrub that blooms in late autumn or early winter. The spreading branches have small yellow flowers with narrow, twisted petals that appear after the leaves have fallen. It prefers a sheltered, moist location similar to the understory habitat where it would naturally be found in the wild. Witch Hazel naturally occurs east of the Mississippi River from Canada in the North, to Florida in the south. Specimens have also been found in Texas as well.

The extract from the bark and leaves is mildly astringent and is used in cosmetics and toiletries. Folklore also has it that a Witch Hazel forked stick is the best choice for locating underground water.

The unique yellow flowers that bloom on bare branches creates winter interest in the garden when there is not much happening.

» Read more about this plant

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Image

Type of plant: Shrubs

Bloom color: Gold (Yellow-Orange)

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

Sun requirements: Sun to Partial Shade

Cold hardiness: Zone 3a to Zone 8b

Height: 8-10 ft. (2.4-3 m), 10-12 ft. (3-3.6 m)

Spacing: 10-12 ft. (3-3.6 m), 12-15 ft. (3.6-4.7 m)

  Bloom of the Day for January 27, 2015  
Image

Pompon Dahlia 'Oreti Duke'
(Dahlia)

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

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

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