Category: Horticulture

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Loropetalum chinense

Loropetalum chinense , also known as Chinese Witch Hazel, is an alternative to azaleas, camellias, and gardenias. They work well in full sun to partial shade. No serious pest or disease problems have been noted.   Two selections, ‘Blush’ and ‘Burgundy’ boast rich bronze-red to red-purple new foliage that matures to a deep olive- or purple-green. As winter approaches, the leaves turn a brilliant orange-red. The small blooms appear sporadically throughout the growing season and range... Read More
Posted by Zoo Info at Wednesday, March 20, 2013


Forsythia and Flowering Quince are the reminders that spring is just around the corner. The yellow buds burst forth with glorious color. They provide that late winter/ early spring color needed in the garden. After their blooms,  the foliage fills out for the season. Forsythia shrubs are found in zones 5 – 8, perfect for a Memphis garden. They love full sun and well-drained soil.  The plant taxonomy of border forsythias is Forsythia x intermedia . They are a hybrid of greenstem ( F.... Read More
Posted by Zoo Info at Sunday, March 10, 2013

Leatherleaf Mahonia

Another winter bloomer, Leatherleaf Mahonia, Mahonia bealei , is a shade loving shrub. It is a tough evergreen that tolerates any soil combination. The showy yellow flower clusters are on two to five inch long stems (racemes). The blue grape-like fruit (which is inedible) is displayed in April. The leaves are pinnately compound with 9-13 holly-like leaves. It is a great drought tolerant plant to consider when planting a xeriscape. It is also pest and disease resistant. When you want to... Read More
Posted by Zoo Info at Thursday, February 14, 2013

Flowering Bamboo

At the Pheasant #3 Exhibit at the China Exit, we are having an extraordinary event. The Bamboo is flowering. According to research, there is not one particular effect such as temperature, water, drought or fertilization that creates such an event. It just happens. Sometimes bamboo recovers and the stand will survive. Other times, it dies after producing seeds. The bamboo that is currently flowering is Pseudosasa japonica , also known as Arrow Bamboo.   Horticulture will follow this... Read More
Posted by Zoo Info at Monday, January 21, 2013

Perennial Beds around the Zoo

Throughout the Memphis Zoo are perennial beds. These are plants that will return year after year, go dormant, or are foundation plantings such as trees and large shrubs. During the winter months, Horticulture is busy making improvements to these perennial beds. The Tortoise/Azalea bed was recently given an update. It is located to the left of the Tortoise yard. It began as a few azalea shrubs and iris plants. The site is very shady under cypress trees.   The azaleas were dug up and set... Read More
Posted by Zoo Info at Monday, January 7, 2013