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Although this could very well be a picture of me finding a new treasure at a favorite nursery, it's actually an illustration by David Catrow for a children's book called Plantzilla.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Acer conspicuum 'Phoenix' is my Favorite Plant This Week.

 
At a nursery the other day, I saw an old friend, Acer conspicuum 'Phoenix.'  It's golden autumn foliage and red coral branches looking quite fine against the blue (really, it happened) sky.
 
 

I have one in my own garden but right now a particularly tired giant grass is lying over the top of it so we'll just look at these images instead.
Hardy in zones 5a through 8b and growing to only six to ten feet, (some sources say larger) this very slow growing, tree is great for smaller gardens. 
While the foliage is lovely in the fall, I grow this one mostly for the terrific winter bark color.
 
You can see why this group of maples is also called snake bark maples.  

 


 As you can see from this picture lifted from Flora Wonder Blog, the colors intensify as winter sets in.  Mine glows from across the garden in the winter when the bright shot of warm color is especially welcome.  Surely you could find room in your garden for such a beauty.  Can you imagine it in front of dark evergreens?  Maybe some golden twig dogwood at its feet? 




For more of this weeks favorite plants, head on over to Danger Garden and check out the comments for links to other gardeners' posts!

24 comments:

  1. Beautiful colors. The stem is like a pepparmint candy bar. Happy weekend, Peter!

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  2. What a beautiful small tree, with interesting un-maple-like leaves. So many possibilities, so little space.

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    1. It's the passionate gardener's lament! Unless, of course the passionate gardener is fortunate enough to live on a large property and has some gardening help.

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  3. What Alison said, so many cool plants and I want them ALL!!! Seriously though funny that a plant in a nursery triggered thoughts of one in your own garden that you can't see at the moment. Perhaps time for that grass to go away?

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    1. Well, the grass usually stands up straight and tall but got beat down by the heavy September rains and after 7 years, it's just now achieved the desired size. It will get an earlier haircut this year so that the maple can stand out! We need more space!

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  4. Oh yes. And maybe on the other side, an Aronia with its red berries dangling in pretty clusters. Yep. I can totally see it. Very nice.

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  5. Every winter people ask me about mine. I'm big on colored bark for the winter garden.

    Deirdre in Seattle

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    1. Has yours been painfully slow to grow? That would be my only complaint about mine.

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  6. Ooooh! I want this plant. Conspicuum indeed: llustrious/notable/famous/striking
    visible/clearly seen/in sight/full view. (Latin dictionary). Fantastic pix. I love the little critter on the leaf in the first pic.
    .

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    1. It is pretty special! Saw these at Watson's Thanks, glad you liked the pictures.

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  7. I've never seen anything like that bark - wonderful!

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  8. Hmmm...infront of dark evergreens? I could do that.

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  9. Peter, you're right, it's very pretty maple. I love its bark, the red color and stripes. Need to say all varieties of maple have pretty barks but this one is red. Have a nice weekend!

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    1. The maple family sure gives us a lot of beauty!

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  10. Thanks Peter - that's a new one for the wish list.... What amazing bark, and fab photos!

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  11. Oh WOW! Those colors are incredible together...!!!!!!!!!!

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  12. Interesting to see the colour of the bark change - since I read Satu's comment, all I can think of is peppermint candy!

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    1. And soon peppermint candy will be everywhere you look!

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Thanks so much for taking the time to comment! I love to hear your thoughts.