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The Watersmart Garden

The Watersmart Garden: 100 Great Plants for the Tropical Xeriscape

Fred D. Rauch
Paul R. Weissich
Copyright Date: 2014
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  • Book Info
    The Watersmart Garden
    Book Description:

    Two of Hawai`i's foremost horticulturalists, Fred Rauch and Paul Weissich, have chosen 100 plants perfect for inclusion in Hawai`i's watersmart xeriscape gardens. These carefully chosen plants, all readily available and fairly simple to maintain, are described and illustrated in this guide to planning a water-saving garden for the tropical climate.The Watersmart Gardenwill help you to select and group plants to create a beautiful garden while saving our most precious resource?water. Xeriscape principles are carefully explained and made easy to incorporate in your garden. Plants are organized by size and by water usage, while thoughtful plant notes will guide the interested gardener in planning for everything from the beach garden to a lei maker's paradise. The book is beautifully illustrated with photographs of each plant in situ and with flowers or foliage in close-up.Fred D. Rauch, Ph.D.,is emeritus professor of horticulture at the University of Hawai`i, where he served as extension specialist in horticulture for twenty-five years.Paul R. Weissich,A.S.L.A., is a licensed landscape architect whose familiarity with tropical landscape species has resulted in numerous consultant assignments. Rauch and Weissich are the authors ofPlants for Tropical LandscapesandSmall Trees for the Tropical Landscape.

    eISBN: 978-0-8248-3915-4
    Subjects: Botany & Plant Sciences

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Acknowledgments
    (pp. vii-viii)
  4. Introduction
    (pp. ix-xviii)

    All gardeners know that plants vary widely in the amount of water necessary to maintain them in top landscape appearance. Ferns, anthuriums, and heliconias, for example, must be heavily and frequently watered, while oleander, adeniums, and aloes require but minimal irrigation. Unhappily, gardenwide sprinkler systems are usually programmed to cater to plants of the highest water need. The result is wasteful and costly, with the least thirsty plants often receiving just as much water as the most thirsty. This problem may readily be solved by adopting the water-saving techniques of xeriscape gardening.

    The term “xeriscape” was first coined by the...

  5. Ground Covers
    (pp. 1-25)

    Spreading rather rapidly and rooting as it spreads, this tropical African plant will mound up to 12 inches in height. Its silvery-gray foliage is a good color contrast for plants with dark green foliage. Its flowers are blue-violet in color and are carried on vertical spikes several inches above the foliage. One reference indicates the possibility of an unattractive flower odor, but this has not been demonstrated locally. Give it a well-drained soil and full sun. It is wind, heat, and drought tolerant and might be tried in beach gardens. It is an excellent ground and bank cover to combat...

  6. Small Shrubs: 2–6 Feet
    (pp. 28-63)

    Native to the east coast of South Africa, Swaziland, and north to Mozambique, this many-branched adenium will reach 6 feet in height. Its branches are supple, in some clones with a “weeping” habit, in others erect. Foliage is an attractive, light gray-green that enhances the color of its flowers, which may vary from rose to pink, carmine, or raspberry-lavender. It is drought, heat, wind, and salt tolerant. Plant it in full, hot sun in a very well-drained soil. It is a moderate grower. Use it as a strong color accent. The weeping clones are especially valuable in a rockery or...

  7. Medium Shrubs: 6–10 Feet
    (pp. 64-95)

    Growing up to 10 feet in height, this floriferous succulent from the east coast of South Africa north to Mozambique and neighboring countries to the west provides masses of fragrant red and white flowers. Plants with pure white flowers are known. Petals are pointed. The central white portion of the flower is strongly star shaped. It requires very well-drained soils. Plant it in full hot sun. Like its otherAdeniumrelatives, it is heat, wind, salt, and drought tolerant. It finds excellent use as a strong color accent in the xeriscape. Sabi star is deciduous, flowering for five months during...

  8. Large Shrubs: Over 10 Feet
    (pp. 96-131)

    A large, sprawling evergreen shrub from Southeast Asia bears red or green and yellow variegated foliage. An interesting cultivar, ‘Picotee Acalypha’ (A. wilkesiana‘Picotee’), has green and white variegated foliage with a white, fringed leaf. Growing to 15 feet in height, they develop their color best in full sun but will thrive in light shade. It shows moderate salt and drought tolerance. Use them as a very colorful hedge or screen or as a color accent among other less colorful plants.

    Growing to 30 feet in height, this tropical American shrub is useful as a hedge or screen and may...

  9. Small Trees: 15–30 Feet
    (pp. 134-167)

    Growing to a height of 30 feet, this bauhinia is moderately drought and wind tolerant but not salt tolerant. Plant it in full sun in a well-drained soil. It flowers much of the year. Yellow bauhinia is useful in the xeriscape as a color accent or tall screen. It has been used as a street tree. It is native to the wide geographical range from tropical Africa eastward to China. It is a moderate grower. (Height 30/Canopy 30)

    A small West Indian tree reaching 15 feet in height, this species flowers much of the year, bearing red or salmon-colored blooms....

  10. Medium Trees: 30–50 Feet
    (pp. 168-197)

    Reaching 40 feet in height, this hybrid from China flowers throughout the year, more abundantly during the cool months. It does not produce seed pods. It makes a good color accent or shade tree and shows moderate tolerance of drought and wind but none to salt. It is used as a street tree and is a colorful accent in the landscape. Give it full sun and a well-drained soil. (Height 40/Canopy 35)

    A superb tree from Madagascar, Colville’s glory bears masses of bright orange spikes in October-November when most flowering trees have finished blooming. It will attain 40 feet in...

  11. Large Trees: Over 50 Feet
    (pp. 198-201)

    Native to hot, semidry places from Guatemala to Honduras, this partially deciduous species will grow rapidly to 100 feet in height. During its brief, almost leafless period in winter and early spring, it becomes covered with masses of bright scarlet flowers. It fares best in dry leeward areas. It shows moderate drought, heat, wind, and salt tolerance. Use this tree as a powerful color accent in the large landscape, in parks, around government buildings, schools, and golf courses. It is also a good screening tree and windbreak. (Height 100/Canopy 80)

    Growing rapidly to 60 feet in height, this is one...

  12. Vines
    (pp. 203-212)

    A tropical American vine climbing to 50 feet bearing fragrant, yellow flowers all year, this species likes a loamy soil with good drainage. Usually seen in well-watered places, it is, however, moderately tolerant of drought and wind but is not tolerant of salt. A common cultivar is ‘Henderson’s Allamanda’ (A. cathartica‘Hendersonii’). It will grow on a fence or pergola and can be used to cover a bank. Light pruning will make it bushier. Another cultivar, ‘Stansell’s Double’, produces double flowers.

    An evergreen vine from tropical Africa climbing to 40 feet, this species is usually seen as a heavily pruned...

  13. Appendix A: Plant List Organized by Zone
    (pp. 213-216)
  14. Appendix B: Xeriscape Plants for Hedges, Windbreaks, and Screens
    (pp. 217-218)
  15. Appendix C: Colors for the Xeriscape
    (pp. 219-224)
  16. Appendix D: Xeriscape Plants for the Beach Garden
    (pp. 225-226)
  17. Appendix E: Evapotranspiration
    (pp. 227-228)
  18. Appendix F: Hawai‘i-Pacific Weed Risk Assessment Project (HPWRA)
    (pp. 229-230)
  19. Suggested Reading
    (pp. 231-232)
  20. Index
    (pp. 233-236)
  21. Back Matter
    (pp. 237-239)