Get Growing Blog

It’s Poppin’: June 7th


June sometimes feels like a lull between the spring wildflowers that we eagerly anticipate in April and May and the bold, colorful blooms of mid-summer. This week, let’s take a look at some of the early summer blooms to discover around both of our campuses.

Cleveland Botanical Garden

Irises are in their prime and can be found throughout the gardens this weekend. Look for the dual-colored petals of Iris ensata ‘Returning Tide’ in the Japanese Garden. Make sure to stop by the Butterfly Garden as well to see the striking red flowers of Lilium canadense, an Ohio native lily. Native lilies are quite rare to spot in the wild because they are an especially tasty snack to white-tailed deer, so catching this charismatic flower blooming in the gardens is an exciting sight.

Holden Arboretum

This week, I was particularly drawn to several plants in and around the Eliot and Linda Paine Rhododendron Discovery Garden. On the walk there, you can’t miss the swath of foxglove beardtongue (Penstemon digitalis) blooming in the streamside meadow along the Norweb Tree Allee.

Take a moment to get closer—you will almost certainly catch a bumblebee buzzing among the flowers and climbing into the tube-shaped flowers for a sip of nectar. Moving to the Discovery Garden, look for the showy flowers of Phlox ‘Fashionably Early Crystal’ near the entrance and the incredible display of Oenothera fruticosa ‘Fireworks’ south of the pergola. Finally, continuing on toward the Helen S. Layer Rhododendron Garden, you will get the chance to see the incredible and complex flowers of Kalmia latifolia ‘Ostbo Red’ near the bridge next to Logsdon Pond. This incredible mature specimen was accessioned in 1975 and is a highlight of early June in the Rhododendron Gardens.

Alexandra Faidiga

Alexandra Faidiga

Plant Recorder

Alex Faidiga is the Plant Recorder in the Horticulture and Collections Department at HF&G. She earned her Masters degree at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville where she studied plant evolutionary ecology and the impacts of climate change on native plants. She was excited to return to her hometown of Cleveland in 2022 to work for HF&G, one of the many places in northeast Ohio where she discovered her love for plants at a young age.

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