Stuck indoors a lot in winter? Let’s plant something interesting to view from your windows!
Most broadleaf evergreens like rhododendrons curl their leaves tightly in the cold for self-preservation. This isn’t that attractive over time. Why not try something different? Textured bark might be one solution.
One of my favorite native woodland plants is the Moosewood, often called striped maple. Acer pensylvanicum is a small to medium understory tree with green stems and trunks, highlighted with prominent silver or white stipes, especially in winter. This change in bark color is the plant’s method of photosynthesis during the shortest days of the year. In spring, large dark green leaves appear and the stems turn lighter in color. The Moosewood’s leaves turn a brilliant yellow in the fall.
Nurseries may also stock the European and Asian counterparts to our North American striped maple and are called snakebark maples. Look for ‘Mozart’ with its white striped branches that turn red in winter. ‘Winter Gold’ has yellow-green twigs in summer that transform to bright orange-gold in winter. I grow Acer tegmentosum ‘Joe Witt’ with white blushed stems.
Site these plants in dappled shade with even moisture and watch them take off!