Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Foliage Follow Up - October 2012

FFU October 2012
Well, ok, I admit it...I'm late for both Foliage Follow Up AND Garden Bloggers Foliage Day...but better late than never, right?

This month I've decided to focus on a single plant, one of my favorite foliage plants in my garden, 'Tiger Eyes' Staghorn Sumac (Rhus typhina 'Tiger Eyes' or 'Balitiger').

sumac foliage  2370
Sumacs are native to pretty much every part of North America...and are most often seen wild on roadsides and other disturbed areas. Most of them are fairly unassuming during much of the year, although they do have interesting curving branch structure. It is during fall, however, that they are un-missable. To see a thicket of them along the highway is to risk veering off the road...they are ablaze with rich crimsons, smoldering oranges and vibrant gold.

sumac foliage  2369
The best thing about 'Tiger Eyes' is that it's foliage is an unusual (and ever-changing) variety of colors during the year. When they emerge, they are bright gold, and fade to a pleasing chartreuse during most of the growing season...one of my favorite colors.

sumac foliage  2368
As autumn approaches, and temperatures cool, however, 'Tiger Eyes' starts to metamorphose into something altogether more beautiful.

sumac foliage  2366
Slowly at first, and then more rapidly as the days wear on, the whole shrub turns a vibrant gold. For me, since I don't get much sun during the year, I'm lucky to get this slight blushing of red, but I've seen the same shrub grown in full sun and it's spectacularly red in those conditions.

sumac foliage  2360
Even though mine isn't quite as dramatic as it could be, if given better conditions, it's still the highlight of the garden right now...eclipsing everything else with it's dramatic display of ever-changing foliage.

sumac  2333sumac  2318
On cloudy days, 'Tiger Eyes' is luminous, but on sunny ones, it's ablaze with light and color. It's situated to catch the long, slanting rays of sun, while most of the garden around it is still pooled in shadow.

sunny sumac  2325
As beautiful as this display is, however, it won't last long, sadly. Already, our steady rains have started to batter it, and leaves are falling day by day. Soon, all that will remain is it's twisted skeleton.

sumac  2334
But until then, I'll enjoy every minute I can of this autumn spectacle. Happy Foliage Follow-Up and Garden Bloggers Foliage day, everyone!

51 comments:

  1. Oh boy! That is a gorgeous plant! I love yellow's and roses even, especially as you say when it get shaded in afternoon - they seem to pop in the darker light. Lovely post! Thanks! Need to keep this one on the want list!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's a gorgeous plant, LT...very adaptable :-)

      Delete
  2. Stunning photos, the plant leaps out in the autumn light.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're so right, the light right now makes a big difference :-)

      Delete
  3. I've got a gardening friend in town who is hoping I too will discover the joys of sumacs -- he's hoping to get me a division in the spring. I do love the fall foliage!

    I'm surprised you have a sumac in your small garden, as they're known for their spreading behavior. Perhaps yours is too young to have started marching?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You definitely need one, Alan...and you have room for a small grove of them ;-) To be honest, I was (and still am) a little nervous about suckering, but so far, after about 4 years, not a single sucker...so I'm hoping it stays that way! 'Tiger Eyes' is supposed to be much less vigorous/aggressive than other Sumacs.

      Delete
  4. Thankfully two of my neighbors have planted Sumacs where I can enjoy their fall color. Even better than trying to find space for one in my garden! Hopefully some of your neighbors appreciate the gift you've given them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's really the perfect solution for us, isn't it! We get to enjoy some things, but don't have to give up space for them ;-)

      Delete
  5. That's so bright, I think I like the golden yellow even better than red. It just glows. I planted a species sumac once, and it suckered like crazy. Literally made me fear for my garden, and it was a pretty big garden. Have you had any problem with Tiger Eyes suckering?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love it too! I haven't had any suckers so far, after 4 years...so I'm hoping that as long as I don't disturb the roots (which can apparently cause suckering), it will behave.

      Delete
  6. Has yours continued to be well behaved? I covet this one so much--it's gorgeous.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I always fear to say anything, lest I tempt fate...but yes! So far, so good...not a single sucker. These are supposed to be far less inclined to sucker than the species. Also, disturbing the roots at all supposed trigger an emergency "I'm going to die!" response...which makes them sucker...so I try to be EXTRA careful whenever I work around it! I hate to recommend it TOO highly, in case it did sucker, I'd feel forever guilty. Then again, i can't imagine it's any worse than letting something like Tetrapanax loose (which so many people do)!

      Delete
  7. You have a wonderful eye for siting and photographing your plants! I love Tiger Eyes & mine has been quite well behaved!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! I'm so glad to hear others have had good luck with 'Tiger Eyes'...it's such a gorgeous plant.

      Delete
  8. That sumac is great...I need to scout out that and the slightly-more-common Rhus lanceolata in gardens to see what they are up to. Should be peaking soon. Since the Rhus trilobata in the wild and some gardens are really getting hit by this drought... Your's looks stunning with the two-toned orange-yellow, at least to my eyes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I really love all the Sumac, David, and if I had room, I'd get a whole little thicket going...I'm not sure if 'Tiger Eyes' is as adaptable to drought like you experience down there...but around here, they seem fine with pretty much no irrigation all summer :-)

      Delete
  9. The Sumacs are really starting to turn red in east central Texas now. They really shine and yours are great looking, that gold is different than here!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know...and I'm a little sad I won't probably ever get that REALLY dramatic crimson you see in the wild...but I'm content with what I have...for now ;-)

      Delete
  10. wow, i love it, I might just have to get a Sumac one day. it really is a hell of a display and I love seeing autumn foliage

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yay! I hope you do, it's a great plant with an exceptionally long season of interest :-)

      Delete
  11. Nice plant and place. I planted a tiger eyes also this fall. I will have to move it come spring with a new bed.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm trying to remember if I've seen it in any of your posts, Greggo...hmmm. It would certainly look smashing anywhere you put it in your garden...can 't wait to see what you come up with!

      Delete
  12. Beautiful. There are sumacs planted along the center strip of Chicago's Lake Shore Drive and they are also spectacular right now.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. OMG...I bet they are gorgeous...that Midwest weather is what really triggers the amazing autumn color. It seems that the harsher the weather, the better the color.

      Delete
  13. I love those Sumacs too! I keep stoping to take pictures of them as I walk around SE Portland. So pretty at this time of the year!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Me too, Anne...just can't get enough of them :-)

      Delete
  14. That certainly is a beautiful plant!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Absolutely mesmerizing foliage, Scott. Isn't it often the case that the most beautiful moment for a plant is all too brief? But it's worth it for that moment nonetheless. I never see 'Tiger Eyes' here in central Texas, but we do have a native flameleaf sumac (Rhus lanceolata) that can be quite stunning, by Texas standards of fall color anyway.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's very true, Pam...so often their moment in the spotlight is too brief. I'll have too look up that Sumac...I think I know which one that is :-)

      Delete
  16. Stunning. There are some Rhus near my office which blaze orange and red every autumn.

    ReplyDelete
  17. They are all beautiful, but that last one is spectacular. I also posted only one plant today unlike my normal posts!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Haha...it's kind of nice, focusing on one thing at a time, isn't it!

      Delete
  18. Superb images of that wonderful Tiger Eye Sumac. How much suckering does yours do? I've grown one here in a container for five years now and am contemplating planting it in a shrub border.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well...so far, no suckering at all, Deanne...and it's been in the ground for about 4 years. I do think that the likelihood of it suckering might increase if you transplant it, however...be very careful ;-)

      Delete
  19. You have become a vaunted spokesman for 'Tiger Eyes'. It was a star when I saw it in your garden, and looks to be getting better and better. I can hear others muttering along with me: "must have one".

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hahaha...I think you all SHOULD get one, Ricki...especially you...you have lots of room to play with. I'm thinking it would look amazing with Fothergilla.

      Delete
  20. Wow...love your lovely fall colors-such a vivid golden plant and captured so beautifully!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Lee...I just love me some good fall foliage :-)

      Delete
  21. I have had no suckering from mine in the last 5 years or so. Mine is next to a Sambucus 'black lace'.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. OOOO...that sounds like a smashing combo, Marie...I bet it looks fabulous right now!

      Delete
  22. I have always loved sumacs. They were some of the most colorful plants in fall when I lived back east. Your 'Tiger Eye' is such a gorgeous rich gold that I'm not sure I don't like that slightly better than the stronger orange-toned examples. But this time of year, I'll take all I can get of either color!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hahaha...I agree...I can't get enough of fall color...I sort of wish all the trees would get their act together and start turning already!

      Delete
  23. How beautiful Scott./ We all need one of those in the garden for the fall foliage alone. Spectacular!

    ReplyDelete
  24. that golden foliage looks divine, Scott, all glowing with the light through it. beautifully photographed.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Beautiful photos of that gorgeous plant!! Love the cutleaf and the colors in the fall really make it outstanding.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Magic, Scott. Pure magic! Staghorn Sumac is one of my all-time favorites. The colors--and the variations of color on the same plant--can be indescribable. Gorgeous!

    ReplyDelete
  27. Beautiful plant and photographs.

    ReplyDelete