Yippee, it's snowing outside again. Just kidding, as folks around Greater Kansas City are getting a bit stir crazy this uniform cold and dreary winter. I never thought I would want our normally bi-polar winters back, we could sure use even a brief warm up!
Greenhouse #6 is full of springtime warmth in both flowers and fragrance. This photo shows Cyclamen in the foreground with multi-colored Ranunculus behind them, then pink stocks and red Kalanchoe in the back.
On a snowy day, a lovely white Ranunculus just doesn't elicit as beautiful response as it otherwise would. Ranunculus are close relatives of our wild buttercups, hybridized to produce large double flowers of a fine crape paper like substance. They are among our most popular of spring flowers we display at Powell Gardens. They are great in outdoor containers during our cool spring season but do not last beyond that. Some complain they are not perennials but isn't part of the beauty in a flower the fact that it is ephemeral?
Yellow flowered Ranunculus look more like their wild buttercup ancestors and the warm color is more inviting on a snowy white day.
Greenhouse #6 is also the home to sweet single Stocks (Matthiola incana) that emit a marvelous spicy perfume. Stocks are another great annual for spring or fall but will not perform in summer's heat.
Stocks also come in double flowered form, some visitors prefer the showier double flowers to the singles but I, like the bees, prefer the single flowered varieties. If only I could send the fragrance along with this image!
Greenhouse #6 also houses Dynasty Red Dianthus (a.k.a. pinks) which are a smaller flowered relative of the carnation. They still have the fine carnation scent but they are very reliable spring annuals, readily surviving the summer and the following winter as well.
Vivacious Floral Lace Purple Dianthus have some pretty shocking colored blooms pairing vivid purplish pink with red.
Kalanchoe is one of the finest blooming succulents that has now become a beloved winter blooming house plant. Succulents are a theme in our current conservatory display and that is where you will see a variety of these plants currently in full bloom. The pronunciation of this plant's name is also varied: I say ka-len-KO-ee while others say ka-LON-cho!
Here's a closeup of a yellow-flowering Kalanchoe.
How about a Kalanchoe in light pink?
This Kalanchoe has molten, hot pink flowers.
Shamrocks (Oxalis tetraphylla 'Iron Cross') are also starting to bloom in Greenhouse #6, though we all enjoy this plant for its exquisite foliage. We annually give away a variety of shamrocks on St. Patrick's Day.