This collection of S-named flora spans a variety of plant life, encompassing vibrant sunflowers, succulent strawberries, aromatic sage, colorful snapdragons, diverse squash, nutritious spinach, delicate sweet peas, majestic sycamores, vital sorghum, and resilient sedum, showcasing nature’s rich diversity.
Sorghum is a genus of about 25 species of flowering plants in the grass family, Poaceae. Some of these species are grown as cereals for human consumption, in pastures for animals as fodder, and as bristles for brooms. Sorghum grain is a nutritious food rich in protein, dietary fiber, B vitamins, and minerals.
Sorghum is either cultivated in warm climates worldwide or naturalized in open plains. In 2021, world production of sorghum was 61 million tonnes, with the United States as the leading grower. Sorghum was domesticated from its wild ancestor more than 5,000 years ago in what is today Sudan.
Sedum is a large genus of flowering plants that is found on almost every continent. The plants come in a wide variety of heights, colors, and forms. Also known as stonecrop, most sedums are hardy, drought-tolerant succulents with thick, fleshy leaves that vary in shades. They typically have tiny, star-shaped flowers that bloom late in the growing season.
In general, the genus is divided into two categories: low-growing sedum and upright sedum. The low-growing sedums stays short and spread, whereas the upright sedum forms vertical clumps and looks great along borders and in flower beds. The best time to plant sedum is in the spring after the danger of frost has passed but before summer heat arrives. Sedum generally has a moderate growth rate, but this can vary by species and variety.
Sunflowers are annual plants with a large daisy-like flower face. They are known for their bright yellow flowers with brown centers that ripen into heavy heads filled with seeds. Sunflowers are heliotropic, which means they turn their flowers to follow the movement of the Sun across the sky from east to west and then return at night to face the east, ready again for the morning sun.
This happens during the earlier stages before the flower grows heavy with seeds. There are many varieties of sunflowers available today, so there’s bound to be one that fits your garden. Most sunflower varieties mature in only 70 to 95 days. The largest sunflower varieties grow to over 16 feet tall, while smaller varieties have been developed for small spaces and containers and rarely grow larger than a foot tall.
Strawberries are one of the easiest fruits to grow. They are best grown in locations that get full sun. Strawberry plants come in three types: June-bearing, everbearing, and day-neutral. June-bearing varieties bear fruit all at once, usually over a period of three weeks. Everbearing varieties produce a big crop in spring, lightly in the summer, and another crop in late summer/fall.
Day-Neutral varieties produce fruit continuously through the season, until the first frost. Strawberries are grown as perennials in Zones 5-8 or as annuals in Zones 9-10. The three main types of strawberries are June-bearing, everbearing, and day-neutral. June-bearing strawberries grow well in Zones 6-10. Everbearing types produce two crops (one in June and one in September). Day-neutral types will produce a continual but smaller crop from June to September.
Snow Bush, scientifically known as Breynia disticha, is a striking tropical shrub appreciated for its vibrant foliage and easy maintenance. Native to Southeast Asia and the Pacific Islands, it has found its way into gardens and landscapes worldwide, adding a splash of color and texture.The Snow Bush gets its name from the distinctive variegated leaves that resemble a dusting of snow. The leaves are typically green with splashes of white, cream, or pink, creating a visually captivating display. In optimal conditions, it can grow up to 6 feet tall, though it is often pruned to maintain a more compact size.
This versatile shrub thrives in partial shade to full sun and prefers well-draining soil. It is relatively drought-tolerant once established, making it suitable for a variety of garden settings. With its year-round interest and minimal care requirements, the Snow Bush is a popular choice for adding color and texture to gardens, borders, and containers in tropical and subtropical climates.
Sage, also known as Salvia officinalis, is a perennial, evergreen subshrub with woody stems, grayish leaves, and blue to purplish flowers. It is a member of the mint family Lamiaceae and native to the Mediterranean region, though it has been naturalized in many places throughout the world.
Sage has a long history of medicinal and culinary use, and in modern times it has been used as an ornamental garden plant. The common name “sage” is also used for closely related species and cultivars. Cultivated forms include purple sage and red sage. The specific epithet officinalis refers to plants with a well-established medicinal or culinary value.
Snapdragons, also known as Antirrhinum majus, are very popular short-lived garden perennials that are usually grown as annuals. They are a mainstay of classic flower gardens, with infinite uses, from mixed border gardens to flower boxes to patio containers. The common name derives from the shape of the individual flower heads, which resemble the snout of a dragon, and which even open and close in a snapping motion, as often happens when pollinators open the jaws to reach the pollen.
Bright snapdragon flowers bloom profusely throughout cool weather in intensely saturated colors (almost every hue) and are real standouts in either the spring or fall garden. The flowers start blooming at the bottom of the stalk and work their way up, making for a long period of bloom.
Although snapdragons tend to slow down and stop blooming in heat of mid-summer, if you keep them watered, they will perk up and carry your garden through the fall. Snapdragons come in many varieties and sizes, from a few inches tall to spires approaching 4 feet. There are tall varieties and dwarf varieties and just about everything in between.
Squash is a genus of flowering plants in the gourd family, many of which are cultivated as vegetables and for livestock feed. Squash is native to the Andes and Mesoamerica. Five edible species are grown and consumed for their flesh and seeds. They are variously known as squash, pumpkin, or gourd, depending on species, variety, and local parlance. Most Cucurbita species are herbaceous vines that grow several meters in length and have tendrils. T
he yellow or orange flowers on a Cucurbita plant are of two types: female and male. The female flowers produce the fruit and the male flowers produce pollen. There is debate about the taxonomy of the genus, as the number of accepted species varies from 13 to 30. The five domesticated species are Cucurbita argyrosperma, C. ficifolia, C. maxima, C. moschata, and C. pepo.
Spinach is a leafy green flowering plant native to central and Western Asia. It is of the order Caryophyllales, family Amaranthaceae, subfamily Chenopodioideae. Its leaves are a common edible vegetable consumed either fresh, or after storage using preservation techniques by canning, freezing, or dehydration. Spinach is an annual leafy green vegetable that grows best in cool weather. There are many different varieties of spinach that range in appearance.
Often the leaves are smooth and medium to dark green in color. Spinach plants have an erect growth habit and will produce small yellow-green flowers on spikes in hot weather before going to seed. Spinach is fast-growing and can be ready to harvest in as little as one month after it’s planted as seed. In most climates, it grows best when planted in the spring or fall.
Sweet Pea, also known as Lathyrus odoratus, is a flowering plant in the legume genus. Originating in the southwest of Italy and the islands of the Mediterranean, sweet pea has been used in gardens since the 17th century. Sweet peas lend a cottage feel to gardens. Fast-growing sweet peas are an instant nostalgic reminder of the beautiful, rambunctious old-fashioned gardens. These vintage varieties were selected for their vibrant colors and intense fragrance.
It reached its modern form under the work of Scottish nurseryman Henry Eckford, who developed dozens of cultivars during the late 1800s. Modern sweet pea cultivars come in almost every color except yellow, but not all newer sweet pea varieties are fragrant. The mature size will depend on the type you choose to grow but expect the vines to reach 6 to 8 feet tall. They are often grown on bamboo tripods but typically along a trellis or fence for support.
The term “Sycamore” has been applied to several types of trees but with somewhat similar leaf forms. The American sycamore tree, Platanus occidentalis, is a deciduous tree that grows 75 to 100 feet tall—the largest deciduous tree in North America. One characteristic that’s special about a sycamore tree is its bark. Outer sycamore tree bark is brown and peels away from the trunk to reveal a lighter inner bark.
Sycamore trees grow best in deep, moist, rich soils. The best time to plant one is late winter or early spring. They have a fast growth rate and a good tolerance for pollution, wind, wet soil, and even drought. However, their large size can make sycamore trees a problem, as their widespread, shallow roots can damage pavement, underground pipes, and more.