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').
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.
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.
As autumn approaches, and temperatures cool, however, 'Tiger Eyes' starts to metamorphose into something altogether more beautiful.
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.
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.
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.
But until then, I'll enjoy every minute I can of this autumn spectacle. Happy Foliage Follow-Up and Garden Bloggers Foliage day, everyone!