Up, Up, Under

Quick, name a plant beginning with the letter “U”.

Yeah, I paused also. Then I went poking around on a botanical web site and found this beauty.

Umbrella tree
Umbrella tree

Tall, slender trunk with large, oval leaves. At the size of 24×10 inches you could snatch a large leaf as an emergency umbrella.

My visit was at the end of July. This is long after the white, showy flowers of May have vanished. This native of the Appalachian Mountains, the Blue Ridge, and adjoining areas — including Missouri — will be worth a spring visit.

Thinking of planting one? Don’t venture too far north for this member of the magnolia family. It will do well in part shade and prefers soil where the moisture remains constant.