What’s in Bloom

25, Aug, 2011 Rose Kennedy Greenway Conservancy

Stunning blooms line the parks and garden beds. Stop along the way and check out these show stoppers while you soak up the last bit of summer on the Greenway.

Sunflowers (Helianthus annuus)

The demonstration garden in Dewey Square is showing off sunflowers of many colors, heights, and sizes. The seeds were lovingly sowed in this spring by our Green and Grow Apprentices. The ‘flowers’ of a sunflower are actually small flowers (called ‘florets’) crowded together in the flower head framed by large petals. These florets will mature into sunflower seeds, and are arranged in interconnecting spiral patterns that will mathematically allow for the most seeds to be packed into the flower head. One of our favorite sunflowers is Helianthus annuus ‘Chocolate’, which grows up to 5 feet tall and bears flowers with rich chocolate brown and red-hued petals.

Chocolate Sunflower

Chocolate Sunflower

Rose of Sharon ‘Aphrodite’ (Hibiscus syriacus ‘Aphrodite’)

Hibiscus syriacus has long been a celebrated ornamental shrub around the world. This Asian native was introduced to European gardens in the 16th Century, and has become widely grown and hybridized. ‘Aphrodite’ is blooming in our Fort Point Channel parks, along with white-flowered ‘Diana’ and lavender ‘Notwoodone’. ‘Aphrodite’ was bred from two earlier cultivars to be compact, drought-hardy, and long blooming. It produces rosy pink flowers with magenta throats. ‘Aphrodite’ grows from six to ten feet tall, and blooms particularly well during hot summers in full sun with regular watering.


Aphrodite Hibiscus

‘Kopper King’ Rose Mallow (Hibiscus ‘Kopper King’)

Another stunning plant in the Hibiscus genus is the Hibiscus ‘Kopper King’, a hybrid of North-American native Hibiscus moscheutos. Also blooming in the Fort Point Channel Parks, ‘Kopper King’ is a mid-height perennial with coppery-red leaves that produces light-pink flowers with fuschia eyes. Its gigantic flowers up to 12 inches in diameter are so convincingly tropical-looking it’s hard to believe that they are cold hardy!

Kopper King Hibiscus

Kopper King Hibiscus

Pink Velour Crape Myrtle (Lagerstroemia indica ‘Whit III’ Pink Velour)

A few of our Crape Myrtle varieties are blooming in the Urban Arboretum. Crape myrtles are beautiful multi-stemmed shrubs with attractive foliage and bark, making them an interesting landscape plant in all seasons. Lagerstroemia indica ‘Whit III’ Pink Velour is especially striking, with dark burgundy foliage and long-lasting magenta flower clusters.

Pink Velour

Pink Velour Crape Myrtle