Loises: Garden Delights With a Natural Twist

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Loisirs (plural of lois) are a type of tree also known as “wild yam” or “dominant wild yam”. The genus comes from the word lily. The most common species in North America is the greater gloxinias which are native to the eastern United States and Canada. It is estimated that over sixty million acres of this landscape shrub is planted across ten states in the United States. This is a member of the spire family of shrubs.

Loises come in many shapes and sizes; however they all share one basic similarity: They are typically green, straight with a short trunk and leaves, growing to about two feet tall. They are also referred to as “wild yam” because of their pale green color. Also known as “hilly branches”, “brushy shrub” or “woodspeakers”, they tend to grow higher than most trees in the same category. They may reach six to nine feet high and grow between four and five feet wide. Smaller versions are known as leafy shrubs.

Although Loises look almost identical to junipers and pines, they are actually different plants. They share the following common characteristics: A taproot (or lateral roots), long roots (up to twelve inches long); flowers, usually two; bark, which varies in color; and a fissured bark (or cambium). These traits are related to those of Junipers and Pines and share a similar distribution across the United States. However, they do differ in their habitat and prefer wooded areas, like brush lands and mountains.

Loises are fast growing, beautiful plants that can thrive in almost any conditions. Because of this they make an ideal cut flower; their small size is perfect for container gardens and hanging baskets; and their bright colors make them perfect for borders, along roads and other surfaces. They are relatively maintenance free because they don’t need to be treated with fungicides; they don’t need to be repotted often; and their leaves rarely drop. The only requirement is water.

As with most conifers, Loises prefer full sunlight. If they are planted in a well drained, rich soil, they will produce healthy blooms. Loises should be planted in moist soil; they do very well in full sun. Because of their low fertility and quick growth, they are good for beginning gardeners and need to be tended to regularly.

Some of the best places to grow Loises include: in sunny areas near a stream or other water source; in containers on a raised bed; in rockery; in well drained soils; in sunny areas; in thickets; and in coastal areas. Although some of these plants are hardy, especially in rockery, they should be treated as early as possible to keep them healthy. Loises should be separated from other plants if they are placed in a container or raised bed. For best results, keep them in groups of three or four and remove any weeds from between the groups.


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