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Mystery plants revealed for week of Dec. 7

by Janet Carson | December 13, 2020 at 9:31 p.m.

Gazania rigens or African Daisy is the name of this plant. I was at my sister’s house in Arlington, Texas last weekend and her gazanias were still in full bloom. There wasn’t a damaged leaf. She planted these annuals in late April and they were still blooming strong in December! I would say that is some bang for your buck. A few people guessed the perennial gaillardia,

and I can see why, with a similar color pattern, but different foliage. My only reason for not loving gazania is that they close up at night and open only during the day (on rainy or cloudy days they don’t fully open either). Plant breeders are giving us more color options.

When I was working, I didn’t get to see too much of the blooms. They do have vibrant, bright blooms in a variety of mixed colors of orange, yellow and red and do best in full sun.

Snowberry – Symphoricarpos albus

is a deciduous shrub in the honeysuckle family. The common name comes from the pure white berries that form in late summer and persist throughout the winter, even after the leaves have fallen. White to pink flowers appear first, followed by the berries. Twelve species are native to the United States. You may be more familiar with the coralberry - Symphoricarpos oribiculatus with pink berries that is native.

Snowberry plants produces suckers and can spread slowly, over time. The fruits are poisonous so not usually eaten by deer. It prefers partial shade in the southernmost climates. It can be six feet or more in time.

Senecio candicans or Sea Cabbage or Angel Wings

is a plant that is perennial from central Arkansas southward. I took this picture at the Montreal Botanical Gardens where it was being grown as a summer/fall annual. It almost looks like Dusty Miller on steroids.

Large, silvery and velvet-like leaves are the most striking feature.

Like most silver foliaged plants, it needs a well-drained soil. It does best in full sun. The white foliage makes a stark contrast to colorful flowers.


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