What’s in Bloom I thru Q


Iris, Clarence

Clarence has earned a number of awards from the American Iris Society and continues to demonstrate why it’s not just another pretty face – great vigor, reliable rebloom to zone 4 and a wonderful sweet fragrance. It blooms in late spring and again in the summer/fall.

Location:  Fountain Garden. (2018)


Iris, Holy Night

Iris Holy Night, late April

Iris Holy Night, late April

Tall Bearded Irises are the royalty of the spring garden. They make stunning specimen plants and provide the landscape with large, awe-inspiring blooms on multi-budded, branched stalks.

Our garden visitors gravitate to this very dark purple ruffled bearded Iris.

Location:  Fountain Garden. (2018)


Japanese Maple, Bloodgood

Bloodgood Japanese Maple has a round shape with a height and spread of about 20 feet, making it nicely suited to residential landscapes. Its popularity is due mostly to the leaves, which stay red for most of the summer.

Leaves turn greenish red during hot weather in the southern part of its range. The multiple trunks are muscular-looking, picturesque, grey and show nicely when lighted at night. Fall color is reddish and less striking than other Japanese maples. Lower foliage branches can be thinned to display the attractive bark and trunk structure.

Location:  outside the Deck Overlook, just west of the Memorial Arch. (2015)


Japanese Maple Varieties

Shaina is a handsome dwarf Japanese maple, March.

Shaina is a handsome dwarf Japanese maple, March.

Gardeners can’t go wrong with Japanese maple. These trees add grace and beauty through the seasons. While the Bloodgood Japanese maple is a tried-and-true specimen, consider some of our other varieties, including dwarf and variegated Japanese maples. They feature a spectacle of vibrant leaf color.

Shaina is a handsome dwarf Japanese maple with a compact form. It’s freely branching growth becomes dense with maturity. New foliage emerges bright red and matures to a deep maroon-red. Shaina is well-suited for use as a small lawn tree or on patios and entryways. It is sun-tolerant, but welcomes midday to afternoon shade.

Variegated Japanese maples are excellent conversation pieces in the garden, March.

Variegated Japanese maples are excellent conversation pieces in the garden, March.

Variegated Japanese maples are especially beautiful in the spring.  They are multi-colored creating a unique and attractive look.  Variegated Japanese maples are excellent conversation pieces in the garden as they are quite different from anything else.  It’s best to plant these trees with full shade or morning sun and afternoon shade.

Crimson Queen has a delicate weeping effect, March.

Crimson Queen has a delicate weeping effect, March.

Crimson Queen has been around forever, but it’s still a dependable garden shrub with breathtakingly beautiful foliage spring through fall.  It is a low-branching, dwarf tree with a delicate weeping effect. It thrives in a bright dappled shade setting and is sun-tolerant in cooler regions

.Location: Entry Garden and west (right) of the Deck Overlook. (2018)


Japanese Maple, Coral Bark

The Coral Bark maple has attractive fall foliage.

The Coral Bark maple has attractive fall foliage.

The Coral Bark maple has beautiful red winter twigs which are the attraction with this fine Japanese maple. The bark on the new twigs turns bright coral red after the leaves fall and contrasts wonderfully against snow, sky, or grass.  The tree requires good drainage and partial shade.

Morning sun and afternoon shade is best. Dappled shade is great too. Once established it is very low maintenance.

The twigs show their unique color after the leaves fall.

The twigs show their unique color after the leaves fall.

Leaves emerge in April and display a pleasing yellow-green with plum to red edging. As the young leaves expand they soon age to light green for the rest of spring and then take on autumn-like hues of red and orange beginning in early summer.

Location: Fountain Garden. (2016)

Juniper, Blue Rug

fall colors

Blue Rug Juniper is one of the finest trailing junipers having a uniform, full centered growth habit with intense silver-blue evergreen foliage. Excellent for large scale groundcovers or cascading over walls. It is quite winter hardy.

Location: Entry Garden (2017)


Juniper, Grey Owl

Grey Owl Juniper is a finely textured evergreen shrub with arching branches clothed with soft, silvery-gray needles. Very effective planted in masses as a tall groundcover. Best with partial sun in desert climates. Requires little maintenance. Drought tolerant when established.

Location: Entry Garden (2017)



Lantana Bandito Rose

Lantana Bandito Rose

Lantana in our Tulsa zone are usually considered annuals because of our colder weather in the winter. If we have a mild winter this plant can come back in the spring.

Lantana’s aromatic flower clusters (called umbels) are a mix of red, orange, yellow, or blue and white florets. Other colors exist as new varieties are being selected. The flowers typically change color as they mature, resulting in inflorescences that are two- or three-colored.

If you have a hot, baked spot, lantana is your answer. This hardworking plant not only thrives with little moisture and in full, unyielding sun, it does so with ease.

In fact, lantana is a flower that seems to have it all: it produces an abundance of brightly colored flowers all summer and fall; it’s a magnet for butterflies and hummingbirds; it’s easy to grow and a great choice for containers.

Little Lucky Lemon Cream Lantana


Lucky Lemon Cream and Bandito Rose Lantana are newly introduced varieties. They bloom up to three weeks earlier than other compact lantanas. They bloom from spring through fall and grow in a mounded compact shape.

Location:  outside the gates along the curved drive below the Entry Garden. The butterflies have been abundant.(2018)


Lemon Tree

Lemon Tree

Lemon Tree

Yes, you can grow lemons in Tulsa.  Our lemon tree has been growing for several years.

Spring blooms turn into green fruit that gradually turn lemony-yellow. We over-winter the tree in our Greenhouse, then move it outside once the weather warms.

Location:  In the Herb Garden near the back door to the barn. (2017)


Sunshine Ligustrum

Sunshine Ligustrum, March

Sunshine Ligustrum, March

Ideal as a hedge in the landscape, Sunshine Ligustrum offers year-round golden foliage that flourishes in full sun. This sterile, non-invasive cultivar will not re-seed into the landscape. In fact, it doesn’t bloom at all, which is good news for allergy sufferers!

Sunshine Ligustrum is a compact golden gem.  It sports yellow-gold foliage all year long, and it absolutely lights up a garden.  Height and spread: 4 to 5 feet.

Location: Near the lower fence line in the Boulder Garden. (2018)


Lobelia, Techno Blue

Here is an annual that will catch your eye with its low growing habit and lots of flowers. It shows off its stuff from late June through mid August. It grows in sun to partial sun with intense, cobalt blue flowers that have a good mounding and trailing habit and will not melt down in the heat as the old varieties. Its tiny narrow leaves remain green in color throughout the season.

Location: Entry Garden; its wonderful blue color gives the visitor a cooling feeling. Fountain Garden: It’s bright blue flowers stand out in plantings. (2018)


Loosestrife, Purple

Purple loosestrife is an erect perennial herb with a square, woody stem and opposite or whorled leaves.

Loosestrife plants grow from four to ten feet high, depending upon conditions, and produce a showy display of magenta-colored flower spikes throughout much of the summer. Mature plants can have from 30 to 50 stems arising from a single rootstock.

In the wild this plant is widely recognized as an invasive species that is difficult to control. However, horticultural species such as ours are sterile and can be used in your garden.

Location: near the pond on the lower path of the Boulder Garden.(2017)



Loropetalum as an attractive specimen plant, March

Loropetalum as an attractive specimen plant., March

Loropetalum, Weeping variety, April

Loropetalum, Weeping variety, April

Loropetalum is a dense, tight growing, cold-hardy shrub with leaves that are ruby red when they first emerge and then range through tones of bronze and varying shades of green.

The leaves are delightful on their own, but then you get the added pop of frazzled fringy pink flowers in the spring and fall.

Loropetalum leaves add such interest and good contrast with other plants that we use these plants throughout the Linnaeus Teaching Garden.

Loropetalum grow as shrubs both upright and weeping.

They can also make a very attractive potted specimen plant. The pretty foliage shows off the interesting limb structure.  Look for two such plantings on either side of the Vegetable Garden entrance.

fringy pink flower, mid-March

fringy pink flower, mid-March

Location:  numerous locations in the Boulder Garden, Fountain Garden, and more. (2018)


Loropetalum, white varieties

Loropetalum - Shang White variety, March

Loropetalum – Shang White variety, March

Loropetalums have a naturally elegant, layered habit that works beautifully in any landscape or container garden. By selecting a dwarf variety like Emerald Snow (Shang-white loropetalum), you can give your shears a rest, and never worry about pruning again.

This flowering evergreen is covered with white blooms in spring and sporadically throughout summer and fall against dense, green foliage with lime green new growth. It matures at 3 to 4 feet tall and wide.

‘Shang-white’ serves well in foundation plantings and is adaptable for culture as a potted plant. This plant is easy to care for and maintain in size.  Its natural propensity to remain small to maturity makes it valuable for landscape uses in smaller home gardens.

Location:  along the path in the Boulder Garden and in a pot in the Herb Garden.(2017).



We all admire the beauty of  lotus blossoms. Additionally, these plants provide a tremendous amount of benefit.

Lotus can fix nitrogen from the air courtesy of their root nodules, making them useful as a cover crop.  They provide shade and protection for fish and other aquatic life, and help reduce algae bloom and evaporation.

Throughout many cultures the lotus has become a powerful image and spiritual symbol of purity, wisdom and enlightenment. The lotus plant starts its life rooted in the mud and over time rises through the water to blossom above the water into a beautiful, radiant flower which always brings an uplifting feeling.

Location: Water Garden. (2018)


Sweet Bay Magnolia

Sweet Bay Magnolia is an exceptional southeastern native tree that remains small and yet blooms well enough to become a carefree specimen. Perfect for smaller suburban landscapes where M. grandiflora is too large. Tall form is ideal for separating multistory homes or for shading side yards. Integrate into woodlands or to add relief against fine textured evergreen conifers. A natural for historic sites in the South.

Location: East End of Entry Garden (2018)


Mahonia, Leatherleaf Japonica ‘Bealee’

Leatherleaf Mahonia with blue berries, April

Leatherleaf Mahonia with blue berries, April

A member of the barberry family, Leatherleaf Mahonia is usually found in open woodlands. It is shade tolerant, but will grow in full sun, and is also drought-resistant. This evergreen shrub begins to flower in late winter through early spring. Each flower is about ¼ in. across. The flowers are pollinated by insects.

An attractive evergreen shrub, Leatherleaf Mahonia produces clusters of fragrant yellow blossoms which progress into clusters of green, then mature to deep blue fruit. The ripe fruits are covered by a waxy coating which has a powdery blue appearance. Birds rapidly devour them.

Location: along the walk just east of the Deck Overlook.

Look for specimens in other locations throughout the garden including in the Fountain Garden.(2018)


Mecardonia, GoldDust

Want an easy ground cover for full Oklahoma sun that is self-cleaning, no deadheading necessary, and is covered with yellow flowers from May through October? Proven Winners has found it for you – GoldDust Mecardonia.

The small dark green leaves provide a good contrast to the bright little yellow flowers. It is also excellent in containers.

Location:  Entry Garden. (2018)



Ninebark, April

Ninebark, April

Ninebark is a medium-large, multi-stemmed shrub in the Rose family with a height and spread of 6 to 9’. The arching branches are crowded and dense with the older, most vigorous shoots showing heavy exfoliation (hence the common name).

Flowers emerge in late April on the new season’s growth and are white, tight, and  dense. The fruit, usually 5 to a cluster, forms immediately after flowering, progressing in color from rosy pink to soft buff through the summer until ripening in early fall.

Ninebark is drought tolerant after establishment and very long-lived. It can be transplanted from containers at any time, but the ideal time is when it’s dormant. It can grow quite large but is extremely amenable to selective pruning, which allows its owner to keep it looking perfect for the area in which it was planted.

Ninebark is very adaptable and undemanding, only asking for as much sun as possible and average soil a little in the acid range. It is perfect in a border with other large flowering shrubs such as Weigela, Spiraea, Forsythia and Viburnums.

Location:  Boulder Garden next to the west stream. (2018)


Oleander, Variegated

Variegated Oleander has dark pink flowers that bloom in summer under full sun. It is heat, drought, and salt tolerant which make it the perfect accent plant for a more aggressive climate.

This classic shrub has variegated leaves, dark green with creamy yellow edges, that add drama to the garden, spring through fall.

Oleander responds well to an occasional shower. It will grow up to 4′ with a dense, upright habit if located in full sun and well-drained soil.

Location:  in a large planter on the East side of the Memorial Arch. (2015)


Orchid, Hardy

Hardy Orchid, April

Hardy Orchid, April

Yes, there are orchids you can grow outside in the garden. These are called hardy or terrestrial (meaning in the ground) orchids. Growing this group of plants can be easier than you think provided you choose the right species and pay attention to a few cultural needs.

The main principle for success is good soil drainage. Another key point is that they don’t need much fertilizer. Usually some compost incorporated at planting, and applied around them in future years, is all that is needed.

Three additional tips will help you have success with hardy orchids. After blooming, remove old flowers. This keeps plant energy going into the roots and not into seed production.

When weeding, grasp and hold the orchid plant while pulling weeds. This helps keep you from pulling up the orchid with the weed. The orchid roots are generally shallow, with the weed roots growing under them.

Then, for extra winter protection you may wish to add a couple inches of weed-free straw or pine needles on top. If using leaves, make sure they are ones that don’t pack down tightly.

Location:  below the Deck Overlook at the top of the Boulder Garden. (2017)



Hilo Gold

Are you an orchid fan?

The Linnaeus Garden was given a beautiful collection of orchids in memory of Kenneth W. Fielder, American Orchid Society Judge, and his wife of 60 years, Garney V. Fielder. The orchids are all different varieties of Vanda orchids, one of Mr. Fielder’s favorites.

Not knowing anything about orchids, I cannot say if the varieties we have are easy to grow, but I can say that these lovely orchids have been blooming steadily throughout the summer. And that they are stunning.

Our varieties include Carol Holdren Crownfox, Heide Nute Crownfox, and Boonyarit Delight.

Location:  in the shaded sitting area just south of the Herb Garden and Greenhouse. (2017)


Oreganos and Marjoram

(Shown in the picture from left to right)

Greek Oregano is the true oregano, (used in Greek cooking) which has excellent flavor and is a hardy herb. It grows best in full sun with good drainage.

Golden Oregano grows as a low, perennial spreading herb. Its bright golden color is ornamental, but edible. It grows best in full sun.

Italian Oregano enhances classic Italian cooking. It thrives in lower humidity and well drained soil. The flavor is most intense just before flower forms. It can be used as an edging plant.

Golden Tipped Marjoram grows in mounds of gold- tipped green foliage. The flowers are light pink, and the plant can be used as an ornamental or for cooking. Its taste blends well with beef, poultry, or in soups.

Location:  Herb Garden. (2016)


Osteospermum, White Lightning and Blue-Eyed Beauty

Osteospermum White Lightning - in November after first frost

Osteospermum White Lightning – in November after first frost

Grow White Lightning in any climate.

Cheery crisp white daisy blooms with a yellow center are striking even “asleep,”. Its yellow undersides makes it appealing even when the flower is closed on cloudy days. And it presents well when the flowers partially close and both colors are visible.

Osteospermum White Lightning also looked great in the Linnaeus Garden well into the fall. After our first frost in early November, it looked as crisp and cheerful as it did in summer.

Osteospermum Blue-Eyed Beauty, yellow with blue eyes

Osteospermum Blue-Eyed Beauty, yellow with blue eyes

These prolific plants produce stunning flowers all summer long.

The Osteospermum Blue-Eyed Beauty is a one-of-a-kind African daisy with stunning blue eyes, that also continues blooming from early spring through autumn. These prolific plants mound 12″-14” and produce armfuls of really pretty cut flowers that will be the talk around your dinner table; in the garden, these plants are star performers in both sun and shade.

Location:  above our test beds along the curved drive (2016)


Oxalis, Zinfandel

Zinfandel Oxalis, April

Zinfandel Oxalis, April

One look at this plant and you will guess its common name – Shamrock. Zinfandel Oxalis has dark plum-colored shamrocks the size of your palm with clusters of blush pink, lily-shaped flowers.

This old-fashioned shamrock houseplant is now high fashion, with its elegant foliage, abundant delicate flowers, and vigor. Only 6 to 10 inches high with a spread to 12 inches, this plant’s tiny leaf clusters and bright flowers are massed on trailing stems that spill over the sides of shaded window boxes and containers.

Though this shamrock is frost tender, it is easy to overwinter indoors, and is a nice houseplant.  It has made it through several winters at the Linnaeus Teaching Garden without a problem.



Zinfandel Oxalis, April

Zinfandel Oxalis, April

Location:  along the steps of the Boulder Garden and by the Memorial Arch. (2018)


Pansy – A Traditional Favorite

Pansies planted in the fall in the Entry Garden

Pansies planted in the fall in the Entry Garden

The fall garden has been drenched with color from the planting of pansies throughout the Entry Garden and tucked into all the hidden areas of the Boulder Garden.

No other plant performs as well as pansy in cool-season flower beds.

These cold-hardy annuals thrive in the fall, routinely overwinter for most of Oklahoma, and provide unmatched early season color.

Color assortment and intensity help bring life to a typically drab time of year. Flower size ranges from small to large.

Location:  throughout the Linnaeus Garden adding color in both fall and early spring. (2015)


Pear, Asian

Asian Pear espalier along the Vegetable Garden fence, March

Asian Pear espalier along the Vegetable Garden fence, March

Asian pears are a popular symbol of spring in East Asia, and are a common sight in gardens or the countryside.

Asian pear is a woody perennial with a crown of branches that begin atop a single stem or trunk. It is grown for its fruit which is commonly called the apple pear because of its crisp texture.

We grow our Asian pear along the fence in the Vegetable Garden to demonstrate how you can grow fruit trees in a small area.

Location:  Vegetable Garden, along the wall as an espalier (2018)



Penta Graffiti Red Lace

Pentas are semi-tropical shrubs grown as annuals that seem to be tailor-made for butterflies and humming birds. The nectar-rich flowers grow in clusters over a long blooming season in vibrant red, pink, and purple shades that act like a beacon to butterflies and humming birds.

If you want an annual that is up to Tulsa’s heat in the summer and can still look gorgeous in August, this is your plant.

Location:  Boulder Garden, Entry Garden entrance (2017)



Miss America Peony, April

Miss America Peony, April

Herbaceous peonies, which have foliage that dies back during the dormant season, are quintessential perennials. They stay where you put them, live for an astounding 40 to 50 years, and require very little attention.

Peonies survive the harshest winters, easily resist drought, and aren’t bothered by hungry deer or rabbits. Think of them as garden workhorses – particularly beautiful workhorses.

We have two beautiful peonies growing side by side in the woodland shading of the Entry Garden

Location:  Entry Garden. (2018)

Miska Itoh Peony, April

Miska Itoh Peony, April


Peppers, Ornamental

Ornamental peppers close-up

Ornamental peppers close-up

Capsicum annuum, are early-maturing peppers that point straight up on this miniature ornamental. This plant is perfect for fall containers or as a delightful front-of-the-border standout.

If you want some color in your fall landscape, this plant is truly an eye catcher. It produces large numbers of tiny peppers which mature from green to yellow to blazing red, and, they can be used to add sizzle to a menu item.

Location:  Vegetable Garden (2016)


Petunia, Supertunia

Supertunia Bubblegum

Supertunia Bubblegum

Supertunias are a vigorously trailing species of an ever-blooming, long living petunia from Australia. They will provide long term color in full sun areas throughout the season, and can grow nearly an inch a day. They are ideal for baskets, beds, balconies, and combination plantings. Supertunias are very heat and drought tolerant once established in the ground or pot.

Supertunias do not need to have their dead flower heads removed to continue flowering and they are not leggy. They grow fast and therefore need ample moisture and fertilizer.

Location: Entry and Boulder Gardens – absolutely beautiful throughout the summer.(2017)

Supertunia Vista Silverberry

Supertunia Vista Silverberry


Phlox, John Fanick

If you like to watch butterflies and humming birds in your yard, this tough phlox which grows in 3′ tall clumps is a winner. It was named after an outstanding San Antonio nurseryman.

John Fanick Phlox is a hardy perennial with showy clusters of light pink blossoms with darker pink throats accompanied with dark green foliage. It has a compact growth habit and is heat and drought tolerant.

Location:  Boulder Garden – don’t be surprised to find butterflies enjoying it.(2017)


Phlox, Robert Poore

The name phlox is derived from the Greek word for flame. ‘Robert Poore’ is a garden phlox cultivar that typically grows in an upright clump to 3′-4′ tall. Fragrant, tubular flowers are violet-pink. Individual flowers are densely arranged in large, terminal, pyramidal clusters in summer atop stiff, upright stems which seldom need staking.

Robert Poore, also known as garden phlox, is a good fresh-cut flower and a staple of the perennial border. It mixes well with other perennials and provides long summer bloom. Garden phlox is attractive to hummingbirds and is a good selection for inclusion in a bird garden.

Location:  Boulder Garden right next to the steps (2018)


Pineapple Lily

Pineapple Lilies are a group of summer flowering perennials that are truly a show stopper. Our guests to the garden keep asking about this unusual plant. In the early spring this bulbous perennial’s leaves appear and make you ask “What is it”? Then the long flower stem starts to appear sporting blooms that really do resemble the fruit of a pineapple. It is winter and summer hardy, but does seem to appreciate afternoon shade.


Location:  Entry Garden and along the upper Boulder Garden walk. (2018)


Pitcher Plant, Tropical Hanging

This Southeast Asia and Australia native plant is a sight to see. It forms pitchers (or Monkey cups) that hang from trees.

Starting with a normal looking leaf, the leaf develops a tendril at its tip which later curves upward to make a pitcher. At maturity, the pitcher inflates with air, fills with liquid, then opens to entice prey.

Location:  Greenhouse (2017)




Native to the American Tropics, plumerias are fabulous additions to the home garden, whether grown in containers or, where winter hardy, the ground. The source of flowers for Hawaiian leis, they range in size from compact shrubs rarely exceeding 4 feet in height to small, rounded trees that reach 30 feet. Showy clusters of flowers grow up to 6 inches across appear atop large, leathery, oblong leaves for months on end. The waxy, five-petaled blooms may be star shaped, saucer shaped, or pinwheel shaped. They exhibit a dizzying range of colors and patterns. Most are highly fragrant. Propagation is easy by seeds or tip cuttings.

Location: in front of the barn  (2017)


Rio Grande™ Scarlet Purslane

Rio Grande™ Scarlet Purslane

Purslane, or portulaca, is a rugged performer that thrives in heat and keeps flowering all summer long.

New cultivars such as Rio Grande™ Scarlet Purslane from Ball Seed have vibrant, electric colors and large blooms that are ideal for heat-loving landscapes. They are perfect for full sun baskets and containers. Our Rio Grande™ Scarlet Purslane has shown vibrant color all summer into September.

Location:  at the bottom of the Boulder Garden walk (2018)

Pyracantha, Red Elf Dwarf

fall foliage

Red Elf™ Dwarf Pyracantha is an attractive, compact, rounded shrub that displays bright red berries throughout fall and winter, against glossy, dark, evergreen foliage. Good selection for containers. Excellent as a low hedge or divider, and a stunning choice for espalier on a low wall. A disease resistant variety.

 Location: Boulder Garden (2017)

More What’s In Bloom: WIB A-C WIB D-H WIB I-Q WIB R-Z