Kelly Norris

Candy Shop

On this day in 2009, the botanist Kelly Norris wrote a post about the color of Fall and his favorite plants in a post called Candy Shop. Here's what he wrote:

"Today I’d like to share with you some of my favorite “candies” from around the Iowa State University campus...
Dream no longer of purple smoketree, the purple blight on the landscape. Instead think a little bigger, heftier, and prettier. American smoketree boasts conspicuous, smoky flower clusters in mid-summer, puffing out like billowy clouds of not-so-pink cotton candy.
My next find [is] a colony of dwarf fothergilla (Fothergilla gardenii). These happy companions to daphnes and rhododendrons look sumptuous this time of year with... greens, yellows, oranges, and reds. Perfect for borders or that small bed where you’d like a shrub but don’t have [much] room.
[A] most elegant specimen [is] Chionanthus virginicus, our native fringetree... Dangling, silvery-white blossoms adorn all limbs of the plant in late spring... The best part of the show comes along in fall when lime green foliage ages to baked gold, providing a glowing backdrop for chocolate chip-like drupes that dangle where flowers once did.
Heptacodium miconioides(seven sons flower) [was] dripped in bright pink this morning, thanks to the colorful sepals left behind from the white flowers that finished several weeks ago. [They are]... sweet to look at!
My last plant of note is a red twig dogwood (Cornus sericea).I know…what could be so fascinating about the most overplanted dogwood in American history? Just take a look at this amazing specimen’s fall color... Even the most ordinary plants can earn their keep when you take a moment to look past what makes them ordinary..."

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Kelly Norris
Kelly Norris

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