Median Gardener – Gifted a Candlestick Tree

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Yesterday we happened upon this beautiful median on a residential street in Montrose. It was so unexpected. What caught my eye was this lush plant. I could not remember the name…C…something. I have seen it growing around Houston for years. I know it dies back in a freeze and knew I would look up more on it when I got home. We noticed an older gentleman weeding so I walked over to ask the name. He said its a Candlestick tree. Then he asked if I would like one 😊 Of course but I have a meeting can I get it after?We talked to the client about the beautiful media and they told us he does it all himself. What a wonderful gift to the neighborhood! After the meeting I went back out to find the Gardener. He was still there in the garden and said he had done enough weeding. And we chatted about the plants. 20170722_131725He told me yes he planted all of them, getting them on sale here and there. He is 75 and has a slight accent, German perhaps.  I rarely talk to strangers but he was very calm. I think people that dig in the dirt are the best!20170722_131712I asked how the long strip is watered and he told me by hand. Takes four long hose connected and about an hour. I am so impressed. And you know these bushes where buzzing with bees. This is a real pollinator cafe! He said sometimes he rips things out and plants new or moves things around. A real gardener! He had little pots in the ground and pulled one out for me to take home.20170723_072812I love the leaves! I have come to recognize the structure as most likely in pea family, Fabaceae (Leguminosae). Commonly known as the legume, pea, or bean family, are a large family of flowering plants, like Bluebonnets. The botanical name for this plant is either Senna alata, Cassia alata. It has several common names such as; Empress candle plant, Candle Bush, Carrion Crow Bush, Candlesticks. It is originally from South America. It can grow up 6-8 feet in just a few months. It will die back in a hard freeze but is generally hardy in our area either from the roots or reseeding. Here is a new leaf on my plant about to unfold. 20170723_072801These plants are very showy  and are considered a shrub or small tree with yellow candle-like flowers that can reach 18 inches high. They prefer sunny open areas. Interestingly they also have medicinal uses as an antibacterial and anti-fungal. The flowers have been used for treating ringworm infections for a long time.

Instagram photo collage! IMG_20170723_073131

Happy Gardening