CO-Horts Blog

Monday, February 27, 2017

Celebrate Mardi Gras in Your Garden!

Posted by: Deryn Davidson, Boulder County Extension

Tomorrow is Mardi Gras a.k.a. Fat Tuesday a.k.a. (loosely) the last day to get all of your partying out before entering into a period of fasting and good behavior for Lent. Most people think of New Orleans and Bourbon Street, beads and King Cake, but for the purposes of this blog I thought, how can I relate Mardi Gras to plants? Well, as it turns out I couldn’t find any rich tradition of people partying in their gardens or eating particular plants for the celebration. 

However, what I did come across is that horticulturists and plant breeders LOVE the idea of a non-stop party in the garden when it comes to plant cultivars!! There are many, many plants with the cultivar ‘Mardi Gras’ and I have to think this is because of their fun, festival of colors or their non-stop blooming (partying).

Below is a list of plants with snippets of their descriptions that can bring a non-stop party to your garden (please note, not all of these will do well in CO gardens, but I thought would be fun to see the wide array of plants that use the name ‘Mardi Gras’). 

Laissez les bon temps rouler!!!

Floribunda Rose ‘Mardi Gras’

True to its type, this wonderful new Floribunda will bloom non-stop through the season. The strong color is a mix between yellow, orange and pink which produces a spectacular display that is not affected by the heat. Perfect as a specimen, in combination plantings or as a compact hedge.

Variegated Abelia ‘Mardi Gras’
© Richie Steffen / Great Plant Picks

Synonyms: Abelia grandiflora ‘Mardi Gras’
A festival of color splashes across the foliage of this compact semi-evergreen shrub. In spring, the new growth is tipped in bright pink which softens to a sparkling mound of creamy white and green leaves. In early summer, lightly fragrant shell pink flowers appear; these flowers dot the shrub extending its bloom time from summer until early fall. Unlike many of the other variegated abelias, ‘Mardi Gras’ is a strong grower and is not prone to losing its variegation over time.

Sneezeweed ‘Mardi Gras’

Mardis Gras produces a riot of multicolored blooms for six to eight weeks in summer. Yellow petals, lavishly splashed with orange red, form wildly patterned stiff skirts around deep brown, mounded center cones. The 'tie-dyed' flowers are 1½ to 2 inches in diameter. Gorgeous in a pot!

Dahila Mardi Gras Mix
No description associated, but clearly these dahlias are down to party!!

Mardi Gras Rhododendron

One of the first yak hybrids, this is still an outstanding variety. Bright reddish-pink buds emerge in early to mid-May and open to trusses of 3" wide white flowers with pink highlights and blooms young. It has dark green leaves with tan indumentum underneath. A compact grower that is also sun tolerant. The flowers appear in clusters about 5 inches in diameter, quite large given the compact size of this shrub. Expect them to reach their glory in late spring in most climates. All we can say is:It is an unforgettable show.

Aeonium ‘Mardi Gras’

Aeonium ‘Mardi Gras’ (USPP 21407) displays a riot of colors, much like the festival for which it was named.  Rosettes of lemon yellow leaves with emerald green mid stripes blush ruby rose’ especially when grown in bright light or when temperatures are cooler.  Aeoniums are winter/spring growers, and will appreciate a cooler, shady area during their dormancy in the hot summer.

Radish Mix, Mardi Gras

Festive mix of colors and flavors.
Full Description
We've blended a vibrant mix of spicy purple roots, mild yellow and white varieties, and earthy flavored black radishes for a festive and beautiful addition to salads and party trays. Sow every two weeks for bountiful harvests all season.

Coleus 'Mardi Gras'
Great plants for your flower bed. Shade or sun these plants will stand out... Beautiful foliage makes a great addition to your gardens Most times you can install coleus in full sun areas... In the south they may burn a little but in the north they will prosper great!!! 

Amaranth 'Mardi Gras Parade'

The lustrous clover-like blooms of Mardi Gras Parade shine like party decorations on multi-stemmed, upright 1 - 1½' plants. These many petaled, almost iridescent globe-shaped blossoms will light up the garden at midsummer when other summer annuals begin to fade. We've selected a stunning blend of glowing, vibrant red, rich apricot orange, and luminous carmine. Butterflies flock to their shimmery blooms that are easily dried as everlastings for bright pleasure year round.

Sarracenia 'MARDI GRAS' (no photo available, but this is carnivorous pitcher plant!)
Sarracenia 'Mardi Gras' produces maroon and white pitchers with flared mouths and wide, frilly lids.  They have a vigorous growth habit and flower readily.

Hemerocallis ‘Mardi Grass Parade’ (no photo available)

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