Etelärinne

Magnolia acuminata - cucumber tree

On Etelärinne (Southern Slope) at Mustila, a large old cucumber tree which had survived even the cold winters of the 1940s, was finally destroyed in the 1970s by a combination of midsummer frost, dry summer, and an early cold winter. Only the stump was left, but from it sprouted a shoot, which has again grown to flowering size. The pale green blooms appear around Midsummer (about 21-22 June), and are easy to miss among the foliage. The showiness of the species does not lie in the flowers, but rather in the luxuriant general appearance and the large leaves, which can reach 20 cms.

Ribes glandulosum - wild, or skunk currant

Wild currant opens its foliage early and the flowers pass almost unnoticed. The tasteless berries are red, the autumn colour varies from orange to wine-red.

Wild currant is a useful ground-cover plant due to its prostrate habit. It is completely hardy and suitable for use on slopes and in rock gardens in a variety of conditions. The self-rooting of the branches when they are in contact with the soil helps it to spread. At Mustila, wild currant grows along the ditch that flows into the Oak Forest, under the red maples.

 

Euonymus europaeus - common spindle

Common spindle is a deciduous, monoecious (i.e. male and female flowers on the same plant) species native to Europe, with only a wedge-shaped extension to its range extending into Asia, beyond the Caspian Sea.

The spindle’s flowers draw little attention but in autumn the fruit are much more attractive. They open into four red sections with dangling orange-coated seeds. In open situations the autumn colours, in shades of red, can also be impressive. There are several varieties available, whose fruits vary from white to crimson.

Hippophae rhamnoides - sea buckthorn

Sea buckthorn has an attractive shape and can easily be identified by its leaves, which are linear in shape, grey-green above and silvery below. The bud scales and young shoots have shield-like starry hairs. This is a pioneer shrub and does not tolerate shade; but it does tolerate direct sunlight, wind, flood and even salt. It is widespread throughout Europe and western Asia, though sufficiently open areas are rare.

Carpinus caroliniana - American hornbeam

American hornbeam occurs naturally over a large area in eastern North America. It thrives in shade and often grows in the forest under a canopy of larger species, on moist lake shores and river banks. It grows as a multi-stemmed shrub or small tree with an attractive crown. The dark grey, smooth and shiny bark emphasises the ridges of the trunk, which look like tensed muscles under the bark.

Rhododendron degronianum - Metternich’s rhododendron

The Ice Ages dealt severely with Finland’s flora, as they did on the other side of the world, in Japan. A variable group of evergreen rhododendrons can be found in the Japanese mountains which are believed to have survived the Ice Ages in warm coastal refuges. These relicts spread again as the ice sheets withdrew, and finally survived only in the mountains as the climate became too warm for them elsewhere. These changes are suggested as the reason for the variability nowadays of the species Rhododendron degronianum, with its different shapes of leaf, flower, and habit.

Lilium martagon - Martagon lily (Turk’s cap lily)

A tall Martagon lily may hold as many as 50 speckled turban-shaped flowers on its stem. The amount of speckles and the shade of its colour may vary between specimens even on the same stand. The Martagon lily is fragrant at night and attracts sphingids that feed on the nectar of its flowers. The Martagon lily tolerates full sun but apart from most other lilies, it also blossoms in the shade of trees and makes a perfect woodland species.