Elements of an Exotic Garden

001 (287x300)Trachycarpus fortunei – Chinese Windmill or Chusan Palm is the hardiest and most common palm species in coastal BC. This RHS Award of Garden Merit winner features dark green fan-shaped leaves with males bearing pendant yellow flowers in early summer and females producing bluish-black berries. The trunk is covered with coarse brown hairs. Grows 15-20′ high by 8′ wide. Zone 8.

015 (283x300)Hedychium coccineum ‘Tara’ (syn. H. x moorei, H.densiflorum, H. gardnerianum) – This Ginger Lily is another RHS Award of Garden Merit winner and is the hardiest of Hedychiums to grow in temperate gardens. It produces fragrant orange flower spikes over bluish-green foliage from June to Sept. They can be overwintered by mulching heavily. Grows 5-8′ high by 3′ wide. Hardy to zone 7.

013 (291x300)Musa basjoo (syn. M. japonica) – Japanese Fibre Banana can be successfully grown outdoors down to zone 6 if the stems and rhizomes are properly insulated. It produces multiple stems (new shoot are ‘pups’) eventually forming a grove, with individual stalks dying after flowering (it takes several years to mature). RHS Award of Garden Merit. Grows 15-20′ high by 8-12′. Zone 6.

eucpauciflorasub.niphophila (299x300)Eucalyptus pauciflora subsp. niphophila – The Alpine Snow Gum is an extremely hardy Eucalyptus Tree and an RHS Award of Garden Merit winner. It is native to high elevations in Australia and is the best choice for coastal BC gardens. This tree features blue-green lance-shaped leaves (adult foliage) and mottled bark of white, grey and brown. Grows 15-20′ high by 9-12′. Zone 8.

016 (280x300)Phormium cookianum subsp. hookeri ‘Tricolor’ – This New Zealand Flax features arching blades of green and creamy-yellow with fine red edges that form a bold clump. Yellowish-green fleshy flowers are produced in summer but are rarely seen here in coastal BC. It is also an RHS Award of Garden Merit winner and can be grown as a container specimen. Grows 24-30″ high by 30-36″. Zone 8.

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