Plant Pick: White and Red Oaks

White oak leaves Recently I was asked to identify an oak at the edge of a woodland where a new house had been built. This was a woods tree, with whitish bark somewhat resembling a hickory tree: clearly a white oak. Another clue was the rounded lobes on the leaves. The Latin name for white…

heliopsis scabra in bloom with yellow flowers

Plant Pick: Helianthus annuus, Sunflower

Recently I read the Boston Sunday Globe article about a field of 3,000 sunflowers that artist Euka Holmes has planted in front of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. What a great idea to take advantage of the full sun and bring a smile to the faces of passersby! And another artist, Elizabeth James-Perry, has surrounded the…

Image of Kousa dogwood close-up on flowers

Plant Pick: Cornus kousa, the Kousa dogwood

This Asian dogwood comes into bloom in early June. It is resistant to many pests and diseases, including the anthracnose virus that has impacted our native white and pink dogwood trees. The bark of its trunk features exfoliated patches that provide year-round interest. Heart-shaped, dark green leaves are tough enough to withstand the summer heat. There are many…