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The Huon pine from Tasmania is a member of the Podocarpus family and makes a large shrub, or small tree after very many years. Slender branches of scale-like evergreen foliage droops in a very graceful fashion, though the plant remains conical. Not for the very coldest areas, this appreciates a little shelter in most places, though is tougher than you may imagine.
Lagerstroemia 'Tuskegee' (new)
Masses of vibrant, deep coral-pink flowers are seen late summer and stems show attractive bark. A hybrid between L. indica and L. fauriei raised by Don Egolf at the US National Arboretum, this, despite popular belief, flowers regularly in the Southern UK at least. Plants at Kew have been covered in flower in late summer for many years, including recent poor summers.
Laureliopsis philippiana (new)
One of the most distinctive evergreen trees one can see in west coast gardens, though is hardier than you might imagine, to below -10c.. Often confused with Laurelia sempervirens, both species native to Central and South Central Chile. A medium sized evergreen tree with pale grey bark, distinctive, toothed, aromatic foliage and small white flowers in spring.
Leptospermum myrtifolium 'Silver Sheen'
A lovely metallic looking, upright, medium sized evergreen shrub with lots of little narrow silver leaves on reddish stems. White flowers produced in July. Best in full sun in well drained neutral to acid soils, though doing well near here on lime. Hardier than many other species of Leptospermum.
Leptospermum scoparium 'Chapmanii'
A form of the common manuka or tea tree, found near Dunedin, NZ over 100yrs ago. The small leaves are brownish green and the flowers, borne en-masse in May and June, are bright rose (that being a vivid bright pink) with a dark eye. Requires the shelter of a wall, unless you live somewhere mild, and neutral to acid soil.
Lespedeza thunbergii 'Edo Shibori' (new)
A very distinctive Japanese form with pink and white bi-coloured flowers. As is typical of this late flowering sub-shrub the arching stems are weighed down in September and October by the massed flower display. Semi woody annual stems clad with pale green trifoliolate leaves rise to at least 1m or more from a hardy rootstock. Cut back hard in spring.
Lespedeza thunbergii 'Gibraltar' (new)
New from the USA this is a selected large growing form to about 1.5m. Billowing panicles of rose-purple pea flowers over trifoliolate pale green leaves bow the stems to the ground under their weight in Sept and Oct. This tough sub-shrub is best hard pruned to the ground every winter. Any well drained, even poor soil in sun.
Ligustrum delavayanum (new)
An unusual evergreen species from SW China. Dense panicles of white flowers with violet anthers are borne in summer, followed by small black fruits, this makes a medium sized shrub with small leaves, suitable for hedging. Hardy, though not the best for very cold, exposed sites.
Lindera aggregata (new)
A most unusual evergreen species of 'spicebush' from SE Asia. Forming a large shrub in the wild with very attractively shaped, relatively small, rounded foliage with an elongated drip-tip. The veins are deeply impressed and the leaves emerge covered in silken golden hairs, turning green with silvery undersides. Very hardy in the USA.
A rare and relatively recently introduced species from China, closely related to, but hardier than L. formosana, with 3-lobed leaves and new growth bronze-purple throughout the growing season, turning rich red-purple in late autumn. Makes a medium sized tree for any reasonable soil.
Liquidambar styraciflua 'Palo Alto'
To me this is the finest form of the American Sweet Gum, with its maple-like leaves turning an extremely bright, long lasting, scarlet and orange in autumn. Will make a medium sized tree eventually. Very hardy and tolerant but not for shallow chalk soils. Autumn colour is better if sited in full sun.
Liquidambar styraciflua 'Rotundiloba' (new)
An old cultivar, found in North Carolina about 1930, this form of sweet gum has most distinct foliage with attractive rounded lobes. Autumn colour is yellow to red or purple. As usual, a medium to large hardy tree for most soils, other than thin chalk.
Liquidambar styraciflua 'Worplesdon' (new)
One of the finer cultivars of the species in my opinion, having longer narrower lobes than usual and orange, yellow and red autumn colour, being lighter and brighter than many cultivars. As usual it will make a medium sized tree for most soils apart from thin chalk and thriving in rich moist soil. Autumn colour is better if sited in full sun.
The rare Chinese Tulip Tree, differing from its big American cousin in its smaller stature and more ornamental, narrower waisted leaves more glaucous beneath and purplish on expansion. Similar tulip like flowers. Any ordinary soil. Wonderfully strong growing.
Liriodendron chinense x tulipifera
A newly available hybrid between the N American and Chinese Tulip trees. As one might expect, it visually sits between the two parents, the leaves with reasonably deep lobing, turning to a rich, deep yellow in autumn. Tulip-like flowers yellow-green with orange markings in summer. Will make a large vigorous, impressive tree for a big garden or park.
A large evergreen shrub or small erect tree with magnificent, much divided, fern-like foliage and rusty coloured velvety stems. Short racemes of buff and scarlet flowers in July. Though growable in sheltered spots in the south (a big plant grows at Wakehurst Place, Sussex), it is ideally a plant for western seaboard gardens where it is hard to equal for foliage.
Lonicera elisae (new)
Introduced from China by Roy Lancaster in 1983 this has made a medium to large winter flowering hardy shrub. Blue-green foliage is very heavily flushed purple in summer and the slender tubed, trumpet shaped, pale primrose yellow flowers are pink tinged and hang in clusters from the bare stems in late winter, giving off a subtle but lovely scent. An excellent intro.
Luma apiculata (syn. Myrtus luma)
A stunningly beautiful evergreen large shrub or small tree with gorgeous smooth, cinnamon-orange bark peeling in patches to reveal the white inner bark. Masses of white myrtle flowers in late summer followed by edible black fruit. For a sheltered garden unless you live on the west coast, though these are from plants known to have taken extreme cold.
Lyonothamnus floribundus subsp. aspleniifolius
'Catalina Ironwood'. A highly desirable, fast growing, slender, small evergreen tree with very attractive fern like foliage and handsome red-brown and dark-grey shredding bark, kinda like a mini redwood trunk. Big plates of white flowers in early summer. For a sunny, sheltered site. Very surprisingly totally hardy, even in extreme winters like Jan or Dec 2010.
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