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654


WATERMELON


the melon (it should produce a hollow “thunk”); check to see that the underside has turned from white to pale yellow; and make sure that tendrils where melon attaches to stem have darkened and withered. Cut (do not pull) melon from vine.


Watsonia


Iridaceae PERENNIALS FROM CORMS


ZZONES 4–9, 12–24; OR DIG AND STORE DECIDUOUS TYPE


FFULL SUN


O REGULAR WATER DURING GROWTH AND BLOOM


b


FLOWERS ATTRACT BUTTERFLIES AND HUMMINGBIRDS


CARE


Tolerates many soils but prefers good drainage. Plant in early autumn, setting corms 4 in. deep, 6 in. apart. Where hardy, corms can be left undisturbed for many years. In colder areas, you can grow W. borbonica as you would gladiolus: plant in spring for late spring and early summer bloom, then dig and store after foliage dies down. Because W. pillansii is ever- green, it cannot be dug and stored.


Wedelia hispida. See Zexmenia hispida


Wedelia trilobata. See Sphagneticola trilobata


Weigela


Caprifoliaceae DECIDUOUS SHRUBS


ZZONES 1–11, 14–21 FP FULL SUN OR LIGHT SHADE O REGULAR WATER


b Watsonia pillansii


These natives of South Africa are somewhat similar to gladio- lus, but there are differences. Watsonia’s sword-shaped, 21⁄2-ft.- long leaves are less rigid, and it has taller, slimmer fl ower spikes set with smaller, more trumpet- like, fragrant blossoms. W. borbonica (W. pyrami-


W


data). Deciduous. Blooms in late spring, bearing 21⁄2-in. fl ow- ers in pink, rosy red, or white on 4–6-ft. stems. Hybrid forms have pink, red, or lavender blooms. Foliage dies back after bloom, reappearing in fall. Does not need regular moisture dur- ing summer dormancy but accepts it if soil is well drained. W. pillansii (W. beatricis). Evergreen. Blooms in midsum- mer, with slightly branched, 31⁄2- ft. stems bearing 3-in., bright reddish apricot fl owers. Hybrids come in colors ranging from peach to nearly red. This spe- cies can take less moisture in summer after bloom is over.


Weigela ‘Variegata’


From China, Korea, and Japan, weigelas are valued for lavish springtime display of funnel- shaped, 1-in.-long fl owers. They aren’t attractive out of bloom, have no real fall color. Most are rather coarse-leafed and stiff, becoming rangy unless pruned. Use as background plants for fl ower borders, as summer screens, in mixed borders. W. fl orida (W. rosea). Fast growth to 6–10 ft. tall, 9–12 ft. wide, with branches often arch- ing to the ground. Pink to rose- red fl owers. The following selections grow about 6 ft. tall


FLOWERS ATTRACT HUMMINGBIRDS


and wide: ‘Bristol Snowfl ake’, white fl owers opening from pink- ish buds; ‘Java Red’, red-tinted foliage, red buds opening to deep pink fl owers; ‘Pink Prin- cess’, lilac-pink fl owers. ‘Wine and Roses’ reaches 5 ft. tall and wide, with deep purple new leaves that contrast nicely with its bright pink fl owers; foliage matures to purplish green, turns blackish purple in autumn. ‘Mid- night Wine’ reaches just 11⁄2– 2 ft. high and wide, with metal- lic burgundy foliage and deep pink fl owers. ‘My Monet’ grows 11⁄2–2 ft. high and 11⁄2 ft. wide with pink fl owers and leaves edged in white that turn pinkish in full sun. W. hybrids. These are


hybrids between W. fl orida, W. praecox, and other species. Here are some of the most common. ‘Carnaval’. To 4–5 ft. tall and


wide, with 11⁄2-in.-wide, blush pink to vivid pink fl owers that appear a little later in spring than others; reblooms in early fall. A hummingbird favorite. ‘Dark Horse’. Compact growth to 3 ft. high and wide. Bronzy purple leaves with lime-colored veins and bright magenta-pink fl owers make for a striking contrast. Good for low hedge or midborder shrub. ‘Minuet’. Dwarf variety to 3 ft.


high and 5 ft. wide. Purplish leaves. Flowers blend red, pur- ple, and yellow. ‘Variegata’. Compact growth to 4–6 ft. tall and wide, with deep rosy red fl owers and creamy yellow to white leaf edges. ‘Variegata Nana’ is 3 ft. high and wide.


CARE After fl owering, cut back stems that have bloomed to side shoots that have not fl owered; leave only one or two of these to each stem. Cut some of the oldest stems to ground. Thin new suckers to a few of the most vigorous. Another method is to cut back the entire plant about halfway just after blooms fade; do this every other year. Resulting dense new growth will provide plenty of fl owers the next spring.


for other plants that attract birds, see pages 95–99.


Westringia fruticosa ‘Morning Light’


This evergreen shrub from Australia has spreading, rather loose growth to 3–6 ft. tall, 5–10 ft. wide. Medium green to gray-green leaves have white undersides, are slightly fi ner and fi lmier in texture than rose- mary leaves. Small white fl ow- ers bloom from midwinter through spring in colder areas, all year in milder climates. Needs light, well-drained soil. Good near coast; wind-tolerant. Often sold as W. rosmarinifor- mis. ‘Wynyabbie Gem’, possibly a hybrid, has light lavender fl ow- ers. ‘Morning Light’ grows 3– 4 ft. tall and a little wider, has white fl owers and white-edged leaves. ‘Smokey’ is similar but slightly more upright with an overall grayer tint.


Few mild-climate plants have the ver- satility of Westringia. Despite its delicate looks, this Austra- lian native is really quite tough, needing little water once established.


Westringia


fruticosa COAST ROSEMARY Lamiaceae


EVERGREEN SHRUB


ZZONES 8, 9, 14–24 FFULL SUN NDLITTLE TO MODERATE WATER


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