Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Awesome Angelonias (Summer Snapdragons)

I've already given some winter presentations on new, exciting and trendy annuals.  We usually plant around 150,000 annuals here at RBG each spring which represent between 700 and 900 varieties.  I'm very pleased with our growing arrangements with five area nurseries that either start seed for us or will order plants for us as plugs and "bump" them in to larger containers to get some size before we pick them up and install them.  I believe that every talk I've done on annuals in the last 10 years has included summer snapdragons (Angelonia angustifolia).  Above is the variety 'Serenita Deep Pink' and note those exquisite blooms on a central stalk.  First described in 1846, this annual is one of many Angelonia species that are native to Mexico, Central America and tropical South America.  These annuals need full sun and do well in rich, moist soil. However, they are quite tolerant of sporadic drought and leaner soils and I can't say that I've ever seen a bad looking Angelonia.  Truly.  For many years, they could only be purchased as plants although now there are quite a few that can be started from seed (look for the Serena and Serenita series').  From being off the radar 12+ years ago to being so popular doesn't surprise me as they are very low maintenance and have high visual impact.  We provide decent soil and water and they do the rest.  While summer snapdragons run the color ranges of blues, violets, pinks and whites, there are some exciting new "bicolors" and a wide range of color shades now available.  Some day we'll do a collection of Angelonias but I'm having trouble keeping up with all the varieties.  Angelonia also has clean, glossy green foliage and continues to produce new flower spikes over the entire summer.  Most varieties will fall in the 10" to 20" height range and the best visual effect is when varieties are massed (planted 9" apart).  They are also wonderful components in the mixed, sunny container. The other Angelonia varieties that I've photographed and featured below have identification under the image.

We had about 2" of wet snow come down last night and freeze hard this morning.  The roads were challenging but not the worst I've observed this winter.  The landscape was beautiful with snow on the conifers and branching patterns of deciduous specimens.  I did some shoveling at the Parker Education Center and spent some office time working on the Home Garden Tour (July 20th), Spring Plant Sale (May 11th and 12th, 9 am-4 pm), presentations, plant orders, label lists, etc.  Dr. Gredler, Pat and Rose continued painting obelisks this morning and Vern came in to sand some more benches.  Dick H. came by this morning to plow out our parking lot and Bill O. did snow clearing touch-up at both buildings.  Janice was in to work on various projects and we also saw Kris K.

'Archangel Raspberry'
'Serenita Lavender Pink'
'Serena Blue'
'Sungelonia Deep Pink'
'Serenita Raspberry'
'Angelina Deep Plum'
'Angelface Pink'
'Serena Purple'
'Angelface Dark Blue Improved'
'SunDancer Pink'
'Angelface Blue Improved'
'Archangel White'
'Angelface Dark Violet'
'AngelMist Purple Improved'
'AngelMist Dark Purple' with Zinnia 'Star Gold'

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