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Author: 
Kyla Dippong
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Photo by Beverly IsraelyYou can find pretty Tulipa saxatilis ‘Lilac Wonder’ blooming at West 14th Street. Photo by Beverly Israely
 

Excuse me, what’s that flower? We hear this question every day at this time of year. You may not recognize it. It’s your old friend the tulip.

These are species tulips, which look very different than their larger Dutch cousins, the hybridized garden tulips. They are smaller by one-third to one-half, and their foliage is often finer. Also referred to as botanical tulips or wild tulips, they are less susceptible to pests and diseases. Your fancy tulip cultivars may provide flash but are short-lived. You will generally have to replant annually. Species tulips, on the other hand, are true perennials – they return every year, and many will naturalize.

Author: 
Kyla Dippong
EnlargeThe seed heads of the swamp rose mallow add texture to the High Line's winter garden. Photo by Juan Valentin

The High Line’s planting design is inspired by the self-seeded landscape that grew up between rail tracks after the trains stopped running in the 1980s. Today, the High Line includes more than 300 species of perennials, grasses, shrubs, and trees – each chosen for their hardiness, adaptability, diversity, and seasonal variation in color and texture. Some of the species that originally grew on the High Line’s rail bed are reflected in the park landscape today.

EnlargeSwamp rose mallow in summer. Photo by Eddie Crimmins

This week we share one of our gardeners’ current favorites with you.

Hibiscus moscheutos ssp. palustris, the swamp rose mallow, is a year-round star of the wetland plantings on the Diller – von Furstenberg Sundeck. It is hard to miss in the summertime, thanks to its huge (up to six inches) saucer-shaped pink flowers. Although each flower only opens for one day, the plant continues to produce blooms throughout the season. It has stand-out leaves, which spread to the size of a large hand and have a smooth, velvety texture. These large leaves and flowers give the swamp rose mallow a tropical feel, but it is a great New York native, with many cousins native to warmer climates. This fast growing herbaceous perennial can reach more than six feet tall, and grow almost as wide, producing a shrub-like habit. Where it has space it can spread easily and colonize large areas.

Author: 
Kyla Dippong
Photo by Friends of the High LineVirgin’s bower (Clematis virginiana) adds beauty and character to a winter garden – but don't mistake it for the invasive Clematis terniflora! Photo by Friends of the High Line

The High Line’s planting design is inspired by the self-seeded landscape that grew up between rail tracks after the trains stopped running in the 1980s. Today, the High Line includes more than 300 species of perennials, grasses, shrubs, and trees – each chosen for their hardiness, adaptability, diversity, and seasonal variation in color and texture. Some of the species that originally grew on the High Line’s rail bed are reflected in the park landscape today.

This week we share one of our gardeners’ current favorites with you.

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