Spring Flower Fair Pre Sale Plants

For Rutgers Gardens Members Only

In 2013 we found a few plants that are very difficult or typically very expensive to purchase and – as a benefit of being a Rutgers Gardens Member –we are offered them for sale to the members in advance of the spring sale. 

Please check back as we get closer to see what we have found for 2014!

Babyray Elephant Ear Flaming Silver

Alocasia ‘Babyray
Babyray Elephant Ear
1 qt $8.00

Alocasia 'Babyray' is a mini version of its parent, Alocasia 'Stingray'!  The leaf has a fascinating shape, looking very much just like a miniature stingray.  Alocasia 'Babyray' makes is a great conversation piece that is easy to grow and will mature to around 16-18" tall.  Babyray grows well as a container or bedding plant in soils that are well-drained to moist.  Light shade is ideal.  As a container plant, it can be brought inside for the winter and placed in a bright SW window.  If it was bedded out, dig the tubers after the growth has been frosted, wrap them in newspaper and place them in a cool, high humidity environment (such as a basement) for the winter.    

Pieris japonica
‘Flaming Silver’
( 15-18”)  $45.00                                       
Pieris, often called Andromeda are renowned for their early spring displays of bell-shaped flowers that appear in clusters at the apices of the stems.  The flowers of Flaming Silver are white and fragrant, but they are merely the beginning of the show!  Following the flowers, the new growth initially appears as an attractive dark red, before fading to pink with a fine white margin and then finally to green with the margin remaining.  Hardy to zone 5, this is an interesting and rare plant for that shady portion of your garden!  Soils should be enriched with humus.  The plants are drought tolerant once established.


spinach Sunshine

Gynura crepioides 'Okinawa Spinich'
(1 qt.)                         $6.00           

Gynura crepioides, commonly known as 'Okinawa Spinach' is commercially grown in China and is native to Indonesia.  This is a plant that provides both great ornamental appeal as well as nourishment!  The top of the leaves are dark green and the undersides are a very dramatic purple, making it easy to combine with other flowering plants.  Both the stems and the leaves can be eaten raw or cooked. 'Okinawa Spinach' displays a unique flavor with a faint hint of pine, and will add a beautiful aesthetic element to your cuisine.  Best grown in full sun and in soils that are moist yet well-drained.  Grows 1-2’ tall.

Vaccinium x 'Sunshine Blue'
(#3 container, 15-18” container)                             $35.00           

Sunshine Blue is a compact plant that grows to only 3-4’ tall.  Bell-shaped, white flowers adorn the stems in May followed by medium sized, dark blue blueberries that ripen in mid season (June).  The foliage is a dark green with an attractive bluish cast and turns to attractive shades of red and purple come the frosts of autumn.  The red stems provide an attractive winter accent.  Effective on its own or as a hedge, Sunshine Blue grows best in full sun to light shade in humus rich soils that are not prone to excessive drought in summer. Rather unique to blueberries, this cultivar is also self-pollinating, but does yield a better fruit crop if a different blueberry clone is planted nearby. 

Japonica Ginger

Rhodea japonica
(3 gal) $22.00
Rohdea japonica
or Sacred Lily is a fantastic yet still little known plant from Japan that has a number of great attributes for the garden.   In Japan it is known as a plant of ‘good fortune’ and is given as a gift at housewarming parties or as a birthday present.  The evergreen leaves are up to 18” long and 3” wide, producing a noticeably bold and attractive texture during any month of the year.  The flowers are small and not particularly showy, but it is the highly ornamental red fruits that color up in November and persist until mid spring, that truly enlivens the winter garden.  The fruits are about 3/8” in diameter and appear on 4” stems in cluster of up to 20 fruits!   Plants prefer light to heavy shade and are not particular as to soil moisture, as I have seen it growing in boggy soils as well as well-drained woodlands soils.  In addition, the plants are highly deer resistant!!  Hardy to zone 6.  The plants provided for this presale are large, mature specimans!

Zingibermalayensis 'Midnight Ginger'
(1 qt) $10.00  

This fascinating tropical plant has an attractive and dense upright habit, maturing to 2-3’ tall, with glossy, black-purple foliage.  Although not edible, it is in the same genus as the true ginger and the fresh cut stems and leaves smell just like fresh ginger!  It produces truly unique yellow basal blooms (pictured above) in spring and summer that gradually change to bubblegum pink! It is best planted in light shade in soils that do not become excessively dry.  'Midnight Ginger' is a tender perennial and performs best when temperatures remain above 50 degrees and should be brought inside as temperatures drop.  Overwinter in containers in a bright window.

Hypericum inodorum

Hypericum inodorum 'Pumpkin'
(#3 container, 15”-18”) $ 37.50

Hypericum inodorum 'Pumpkin' – Pumpkin Saint John’s Wort - This selection was actually bred for the cut flower industry as the abundant fruit display provide a wonderful, long lasting display.   However, it is also wonderfully magical as a garden ornamental.  Hardy to zone 5, it has bright yellow flowers in the spring, followed by dense clusters of pumpkin-peach colored berries in the fall.  ‘Pumpkin’ makes a wonderful addition for both the spring and fall garden.  Provide a site with full sun and well-drained soils that are not drought prone.