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New and Reintroduced Plants

from Pleasant Run Nursery

The list below contains plants new to our production for this year, or those which are being reintroduced into production after being unavailable for several years.

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    Acer saccharum Legacy® is a large, oval shade tree prized for the fiery red and orange autumn colors that adorn its dense crown of foliage. This sugar maple is tolerant of drought conditions, and its thick, glossy leaves are resistant to tattering caused by wind, as well as leafhopper damage. Utilized both for its ornamental value in the landscape as well as for the syrup produced by its sap, this particular cultivar of sugar maple is a fast grower and great for use as a specimen tree, shade tree, or street tree where it will not interfere with electrical wires or be heavily impacted by salt spray.

    Height: 50 Feet
    Spread: 35 Feet
    Zone: 4

    Upright spikes of uniquely shaped azure blooms of Aconitum fischeri appear mid-August to late October, taking on a tall vertical form in the garden and pairing nicely with other fall blooming perennials that prefer moist conditions. The flowers, which resemble the hoods of medieval monks, are wonderful for attracting many beneficial insects and are a primary food source for Old World bee species. Known for deterring deer, rabbits, slugs, and undesired insects due to its high toxicity. Spent flower spikes can be deadheaded to promote a second bloom, and deeply lobed foliage remains attractive in the fall.

    Height: 24 Inches
    Spread: 12 Inches
    Zone: 4

    Agastache x ‘Pink Pearl’ is an easy growing, drought-tolerant perennial that produces beautiful, dense spikes of fragrant, light pink blooms from early June to late September. The profuse blooms and mounding habit make this cultivar great for planting in the front of a perennial border or in containers, where it will attract hummingbirds and other pollinators throughout its long blooming period.

    Height: 16 Inches
    Spread: 16 Inches
    Zone: 6

    Cultivated in Britain and part of the popular and profusely blooming Swan Series, Anemone x ‘Dainty Swan’ produces large, two-toned blossoms of white tinged with purple-pink on the reverse side and golden yellow centers, which appear in June and continue into October. Perfect for refreshing the cottage or wildlife garden late in the season. Prized for maintaining its clumping habit, this windflower variety is a great addition to the mixed border or when planted in mass. Flowers can be used for fresh cut arrangements, and should be deadheaded as they fade to promote more blooms.

    Height: 24 Inches
    Spread: 24 Inches
    Zone: 5

    Antennaria plantaginifolia is a full sun loving, semi-evergreen native that is perfect for sites with well-draining, rocky soils. Woolly gray stems held above basal rosettes of paddle-shaped foliage produce the namesake fluffy, white flowerheads from April to June, which are a primary source of nectar for the American lady butterfly and are also visited by solitary bees. The life cycles of two different fly species are reliant on the leaves of this plant as a nesting site. Tolerant of poor soils and drought, pussytoes will create an excellent groundcover where many other low-growing perennials may have difficulty.

    Height: 6 Inches
    Spread: 12 Inches
    Zone: 3

    Perfect for the part-shade cottage or rock garden, this heat-tolerant, low-growing perennial snapdragon boasts sprays of pastel pink blooms from June to mid-September. Antirrhinum hispanicum ‘Roseum’ is a wonderful companion to other, more brightly colored summer-blooming plants, with its fuzzy silver-green foliage and soft, rose pink flowerheads making a show in the garden all season long.

    Height: 12 Inches
    Spread: 24 Inches
    Zone: 5

    The silvery gray foliage of GardenGhost™ wormwood is outstanding in the landscape, adding texture and contrast while maintaining its compact, mounding habit. This variety of Artemisia is highly disease and heat resistant, having been bred as an improved version of the ‘Silver King’ variety.

    Height: 12 Inches
    Spread: 30 Inches
    Zone: 4

    Begonia grandis, commonly referred to as Hardy Begonia with its hardiness zone of 6-9, is the only Begonia capable of surviving through Mid-Atlantic winters. Drooping clusters of fragrant, pink inflorescences attract pollinators from July to October. Hardy Begonia is a great consideration for woodland sites with Black Walnut trees due to this plant’s resistance to the allelopathic properties and its capability of handling partial to heavy shade. Begonia grandis prefers moist, well-drained, organic soils, and will reproduce by small bulblets as well as by self-seeding in ideal conditions. Plants will do best if given winter protection.

    Height: 24 Inches
    Spread: 24 Inches
    Zone: 6

    Bergenia x DRAGONFLY ‘Sakura’ is a versatile, evergreen groundcover that is great for adding color to borders, pathways and mass plantings with part or close to full shade. Upright clusters of semi-double, hot pink flowers reminiscent of cherry blossoms appear from mid-March to early May, and make excellent cut flowers when used in fresh arrangements. Likewise, the foliage, a dark greenish-purple that turns a deep blackish, reddish purple in winter, is also an excellent addition to floral arrangements. The common name of this plant, Pig Squeak (which is arguably the greatest common name ever), refers to the sound the leaves make when rubbed together due in part to the thick, rubbery, foliage texture.

    Height: 10 Inches
    Spread: 12 Inches
    Zone: 4

    Amongst some of the most popular perennials are the Bellflowers with their nodding, indigo-purple, cup-shaped flowers. A wonderful choice for edges, borders and container plantings, the trailing habit of Campanula portenschlagiana ‘Birch Hybrid’ makes an adaptable groundcover and can be used for planting in wall crevices. This low-growing dwarf hybrid produces vigorous blooms throughout the summer into the fall, from June to September, and will undergo an extended bloom period if spent flowers are removed. Considered to be evergreen in mild winter climates, and prefers part shade in warmer summer climates.

    Height: 6 Inches
    Spread: 12 Inches
    Zone: 4

    Rising Fire® (‘Uxbridge’) American Hornbeam originated in Ontario and was introduced by J Frank Schmidt and Sons. Carpinus Rising Fire® has all the great attributes of Carpinus caroliniana, but the habit is columnar and tight. Its neat green summer leaves take on shades of orange and red in fall, and its 2” hanging seed bracts provide food for wildlife in the fall and winter. American Hornbeam is a very adaptable tree which will thrive in both woodland and urban sites.

    Height: 30 Feet
    Spread: 15 Feet
    Zone: 4

    Fringed, thistle-like flowers emerge from scaled buds above silvery gray foliage from May to July, attracting bees and butterflies to the cottage garden or mixed border. Centaurea montana ‘Amethyst Dream’ is a showy, herbaceous perennial that offers striking contrast between the shaggy, royal purple blooms and the soft gray foliage that make great additions to containers and cut flower arrangements. Spent flowers can be deadheaded to prolong bloom period. An introduction by Blooms of Bressingham, and a ‘RHS Plants for Pollinators’ selection by the Royal Horticultural Society.

    Height: 18 Inches
    Spread: 24 Inches
    Zone: 3

    Chrysanthemum Mammoth™ ‘Coral Daisy’ is a Hardy Mum variety that produces large, semi-double, coral-colored flowers with bright yellow centers consistently throughout the fall, from August to November. A member of the Mammoth™ series, no pinching or pruning is required to ensure a long bloom season, and its tall mounding habit makes this Mum is a great addition as the seasonal backdrop to smaller fall-blooming species. Aromatic, dark green foliage tends to deter deer. Best when planted in spring so that root production can establish prior to winter. The Mammoth™ series was previously published under My Favorite™ and Maxi-Mums, all cultivated as shrub cushion growth habit varieties by the University of Minnesota – so you know they are cold hardy!

    A fall favorite of butterflies, Chrysanthemum Mammoth™ ‘Lavender Daisy’ is a Hardy Mum variety that produces large, semi-double pinkish lavender flowers from August to November. A member of the Mammoth™ series, no pinching or pruning is required to ensure a long bloom season, and its tall mounding habit makes this Mum is a great addition as the seasonal backdrop to smaller fall-blooming species. Aromatic, dark green foliage tends to deter deer. Best when planted in spring so that root production can establish prior to winter. The Mammoth™ series was previously published under My Favorite™ and Maxi-Mums, all cultivated as shrub cushion growth habit varieties by the University of Minnesota – so you know they are cold hardy!

    A prolific fall bloomer, Chrysanthemum Mammoth™ ‘Red Daisy’ is a Hardy Mum variety that produces large, deep red, semi-double flowers from August to November. A member of the Mammoth™ series, no pinching or pruning is required to ensure a long bloom season, and its tall mounding habit makes this Mum is a great addition as the seasonal backdrop to smaller fall-blooming species. Aromatic, dark green foliage tends to deter deer. Best when planted in spring so that root production can establish prior to winter. The Mammoth™ series was previously published under My Favorite™ and Maxi-Mums, all cultivated as shrub cushion growth habit varieties by the University of Minnesota – so you know they are cold hardy!

    Chrysanthemum Mammoth™ ‘Dark Bronze Daisy’ is a Hardy Mum variety that produces dense displays of daisy-like flowers with bright yellow centers surrounded by petals of rich, autumnal hues consistently throughout the fall, from August to November. A member of the Mammoth™ series, no pinching or pruning is required to ensure a long bloom season, and its tall mounding habit makes this Mum is a great addition as the seasonal backdrop to smaller fall-blooming species. Aromatic, dark green foliage tends to deter deer. Best when planted in spring so that root production can establish prior to winter. The Mammoth™ series was previously published under My Favorite™ and Maxi-Mums, all cultivated as shrub cushion growth habit varieties by the University of Minnesota – so you know they are cold hardy!

    North American native Clematis virginiana is a fragrant, autumn-blooming vine with a rapid growth habit. It typically occurs in woodlands, thickets, and other low-lying areas, and scrambles up other vertical plants or structures for support. Without support, this prolific grower will sprawl in a dense, tangled mat along the ground. Small, fragrant white flowers cover the vine from August to October, at which point fluffy seedheads will begin to display. Woodbine is known to be an aggressive self-seeder and can be quick to establish by suckers, making it a great selection for quickly covering trellises, vertical supports, or acting as a native groundcover in areas with moist, rich, well-drained soil. Flowers are attractive to pollinators including hummingbirds.

    A selection of the Mountain Frost™ series by Darwin Perennials, Dianthus hybrida Mountain Frost™ ‘Ruby Glitter’ (‘KonD1400K6’) is an eye-popping variety of bi-colored Cheddar Pinks that is sure to add visual interest to the sunny border or rock garden. Deep red petals with splotches of light pink rebloom continuously from June to November over top a tidy mound of silvery blue-green foliage. Capable of handling wet and rainy conditions as well as drought once established.

    Dianthus hybrida Mountain Frost™ ‘Ruby Snow’ (‘KonD1400K6’), a selection by Darwin Perennials, is a unique and versatile variety of Pinks that features creamy white petals with ruby red eyes in the centers. Like the rest of the Mountain Frost™ series, these Alpine Pinks are known for their consistent mounding habits and long reblooming period from June to November. Characteristic silvery gray-blue foliage contrasts nicely in the rock garden or sunny border.

    A selection by Darwin Perennials, Dianthus hybrida Mountain Frost™ ‘Red Garnet’ (‘KonD1335K1’), is chosen for its striking, deep red blooms that first appear in late spring around early June and continually bloom through summer and fall, as late as mid-November and early December in mild winters. Tidy, mounding habit exhibits silvery, blue-green foliage and makes a wonderful accent to the pathway or pollinator garden. Once established, this plant can tolerate periods of drought and dry conditions.

    Introduced by Kieft-Pro Seeds in 2002, Echinacea purpurea ‘Cheyenne Spirit’ boasts a beautiful, uniquely mixed palette of red, pink, yellow, orange, cream, white and purple flowers with brown centers. Full bloom occurs from June to August, with sporadic blooms occurring into September and October. If spent flowers are not deadheaded, blackened Coneflower seeds make a nutritious food source for Goldfinches and other songbirds in winter. Winner of the All-American Selections® award in 2013, and Europe’s FleuroSelect Gold Medal award for its performance in the garden. This selection is great for attracting hummingbirds and butterflies to the pollinator garden, and can used in fresh and dried cut flower arrangements. Echinacea purpurea types are host plants for the larval stage of Chloryne nyceteis, the silvery checkerspot butterfly caterpillar.

    Foeniculum vulgare ‘Purpureum’, also known as Bronze Fennel, is a strongly aromatic flowering perennial that is known as an ornamental as much as it is a culinary herb. Finely textured, feathery, fragrant foliage emerges purple and later becomes gray-green, followed by upright umbels of yellow flowers from June to July. The yellow blooms contrast beautifully with the purple foliage in the naturalistic or herb garden amongst other mid-summer flowering perennials. If spent flowers are not deadheaded, they will become aromatic, anise-scented seedheads, which will later self-seed in the garden. Fennel is a host plant for Swallowtail Butterfly larvae.

    Introduced by Princeton Nurseries in 1967, Ginkgo biloba Princeton Sentry® is a columnar, male cultivar of Gingko that is tolerant to many adverse conditions. Capable of handling urban sites, polluted and compacted soils, as well as saline conditions, this Ginkgo cultivar is a popular choice as a street tree. Chartreuse, two-lobed foliage turns a uniform golden yellow in autumn and persists on the tree for several weeks, eventually dropping and creating a golden, halo-like carpet around the base.

    Found around an abandoned homestead in the mountain town of Boone in Avery County, North Carolina by State Extension Agent, Jeff Owen, Gladiolus dalenii ‘Boone’ is noted for being an adaptable, long-lived, and cold hardy – that’s right, COLD HARDY – perennial Gladiolus. Upright flower spikes display a gradient of pastel peach-apricot to pale yellow with red-tinged throats at the centers, emerging atop soft blue-gray spear-shaped foliage from June to July. Known to remain upright throughout the bloom period without flopping, so staking is not necessary. Attractive to hummingbirds and bees, and multiplies easily by underground corms.

    Hibiscus x ‘Valentine’s Crush’ is Proven Winners® solution to ‘Cranberry Crush’ of the Summerific® collection, with brighter red flowers and a more upright, columnar habit than its predecessor. Open blooms are large, flat and showy at 7-8” across, showcasing purple eyes with yellow anthers at the center of cranberry-red petals. This North American native is perfect for acting as the “thriller” in a container planting, or for being the standout specimen in the garden during its long blooming period from July to October. Rose Mallow is a great consideration for planting at the edge of the sunny pond edge or bog garden where soil is consistently moist and fertile.

    The twisted, corkscrew-like stems of Juncus effusus ‘Big Twister’ are a showstopper in the wetland garden or pond edge where it will provide a tangled textural quality with its dramatic clumping form. This North American native Rush is capable of handling some standing water, and due to its low maintenance requirements and ability to adapt easily, can also be used in containers as an accent plant, or as a filler in cut flower arrangements.

    Native to a vast expanse of North America, this diminutive and inconspicuous Path Rush is an ideal groundcover for wetland restoration or areas that receive consistent moisture. A fantastic option for sites where heavy clay soils dominate, and can also handle tough conditions such as roadsides or where soils tend to be compacted. If given the right conditions, Juncus tenuis is capable of becoming slightly weedy and should be considered for wet, sunny areas where reseeding and spreading are desired.

    Easy to grow and a prolific summer bloomer, Kalimeris integrifolia ‘Daisy Mae’ is a must-have, low maintenance perennial that bees and butterflies adore. White, daisy-like flowers with golden yellow centers bloom continuously from July to September over a compact mound of dark green foliage. This dutiful perennial is highly tolerant of drought conditions, and thrives in both heat and humidity. Birds will consume the leftover seedheads if spent flowers are not cut back.

    Winner of the All-American Selections Award in 1999, this tropical looking, cold hardy perennial Red Hot Poker is the perfect mixture of beauty and versatility! Kniphofia x ‘Flamenco Mix’ features bright, fiery flowers of red, orange, and creamy yellow over top of slender, grass-like foliage from June to September. A favorite food source for hummingbirds and butterflies, this drought tolerant South African native is a great vertical accent for the full sun garden, or as the stand-out specimen in a container planting.

    Breaking away from the traditional floral color gradient of the genus, Kniphofia x ‘Gold Rush’ boasts pure, brilliant yellow blooms all summer long from June to September. The tropical appearance of this drought tolerant perennial is a great addition to the full sun perennial border, or container planting, where it can act as the linear element of a composition with its overall height of 4-5’. Unique, sunshine yellow blooms stand upright above blue-green, grass-like foliage, and are often visited by hummingbirds and butterflies.

    Kniphofia x ‘Lucky Lemons’ is a cold hardy perennial with a tropical appearance, with lighter yellow flowers in comparison to its cousin, Kniphofia x ‘Gold Rush’. Tubular, pastel-to-creamy yellow blooms appear slightly later than other Red Hot Poker types, usually from July to September. Slender, grass-like foliage adds a wonderful textural contrast as a backdrop or central planting to shorter, summer-blooming perennials. Native to South Africa, sun-loving, Red Hot Poker is drought tolerant and can be used in the rock garden or in poor soil areas, where it tends to deter deer and rabbits.

    Kniphofia x ‘Backdraft’ is a selection from the Pyromania® collection by Proven Winners® which features a stunning gradient of bright, fiery reds and oranges that fade to a creamy yellow on upright flower spikes. Bringing serious drama to the summer landscape, the bold inflorescences persist in the garden with a remarkably long bloom time from June to September. The tropical appearance of this cold hardy South African perennial adds an air of exoticism to the full sun garden or container with its slender, grass-like foliage and explosion of color when in bloom.

    The perfect vertical accent to the full sun perennial border, Kniphofia x ‘Hot and Cold’ of the Pyromania® collection is covered with upright, bi-colored flowers over its long blooming period from June to September. The coral-tangerine to creamy white bi-colored flowers add drama and a tropical feel to the landscape, contrasting against the blue-green grass-like foliage. This South African native is highly drought tolerant, and is known to deter deer and rabbits while attracting pollinators like hummingbirds and butterflies.

    Perfect for adding the vertical accent to the full sun perennial border, Kniphofia x ‘Rocket’s Red Glare’ is a selection from the Pyromania® collection that presents a fiery, rainbow palette of sunrise red to creamy yellow with its long-lasting blooms. From June to September, the unique, exotic-looking blooms continuously appear above strappy, arching blue-green foliage. Like the other Red Hot Poker types in the Pyromania® collection, the blooms remain sturdily upright throughout the bloom season and do not require staking. This South African native requires good drainage and can tolerate sandy or rocky soils.

    A golden yellow flowering member of the Pyromania® collection, Kniphofia x ‘Solar Flare’ promises consistent blooms from June to September that are sure to attract hummingbirds and butterflies to the full sun perennial border or container garden. This Red Hot Poker selection brings drama to the landscape with its upright spikes of long-blooming, bright yellow flowers over top of slender, arching, grass-like foliage. This cold hardy perennial is a great consideration as a backdrop or as a central, vertical accent to shorter, summer-blooming perennials.

    Beautiful, bold, black-leaved Lagerstroemia Thunderstruck™ White Lightning™ ('JM4') is a fast-and-easy-growing, cold hardy Crapemyrtle that is prized for its stunning, glossy, dark burgundy-black foliage and prolific white blooms from June to September. The tallest of the black-leaved Crapemyrtles, this particular selection is a cross of the popular Lagerstroemia ‘Natchez’ with Lagerstroemia ‘Ebony and Ivory’, boasting a wider canopy and taller stature than ‘Natchez’, as well as the similar, dramatic, darkly-colored foliage of ‘Ebony and Ivory’. This is a wonderful specimen tree that can (and should!) be admired for its appearance – from the color contrast between the creamy white blooms and dark foliage, to the finely exfoliating bark that provides winter interest.

    Limonium latifolium is a sun loving, salt tolerant perennial known commonly as Sea Lavender for the sprays of tiny, blue-lavender flowers that rise above basal rosettes of leathery, semi-evergreen foliage between July and September. Long lasting, heat tolerant blooms make a great textural addition to the well-drained garden bed, and make an excellent cut flower in arrangements. The Latin name Limonium refers to the Greek term “leimon”, meaning “meadow”, and specifically refers to salt meadows in the case of this sea-side European native perennial.

    White Cardinal Flower has all of the attributes that are known and loved in the red-flowering straight species, with the addition of pure white blossoms instead of the typical scarlet red. From July to October, the white, two-lipped flowers emerge overtop of a basal rosette of chartreuse foliage, attracting both hummingbirds and butterflies. The foliage color of White Cardinal Flower is also lighter than the straight red species, taking on more of a chartreuse hue than the typical green. This late season bloomer is tolerant of clay soils and works well along the stream bank or in other moist, low-lying areas.

    Showstopping royal purple and white spikes of bi-colored flowers stand erect over velvety, blue-green, palmate foliage, blooming from late April to June. The sturdy, upright structure and mounding habit that Lupinus polyphyllus Westcountry™ ‘Blacksmith’ has to offer make it the perfect vertical accent to shorter early-summer flowering perennials, with the deep purple contrasting nicely with the typical white, pink and yellow flowers of the mid-to-late spring. Lupines are known to attract butterflies and even the occasional hummingbird, but are typically deer and rabbit resistant.

    Like the warm rays of light pouring out of city windows at night, the stunning creamy yellow and burgundy-purple bi-colored flowers of Lupinus ‘Manhattan Lights’ of the Westcountry™ series stand tall and noble above blue-green palmate foliage, blooming from mid-May to early June. The floral colors of this mounding perennial are truly something to behold, a feat of many years of trial and error in Lupine cultivation. The striking and unique floral color of this Lupine cultivar as well as its upright, sturdy, mounding habit make it the perfect mid-garden vertical accent where it can act as the backdrop to smaller, late-spring blooming perennials. Lupines are known to attract butterflies and even the occasional hummingbird, but are typically deer and rabbit resistant.

    Bold spikes of deep red, upright flowers with hints of creamy white emerge above mounding blue-green palmate foliage from late May to early June. Lupinus ‘Red Rum’ of the Westcountry™ series is the culminative effort of many years of Lupine breeding by George Russell of WEst Country Nursery.  The erect, sturdy flowers of this Lupine cultivar make for the perfect vertical accent to the pollinator garden or mid-garden border, where it will be appreciated by butterflies and hummingbirds alike.

    Revered for its glossy, deep burgundy foliage, Monarda bradburiana ‘Midnight Oil’ is the first North American cultivar of the species to be offered in the green industry, originally introduced in 2022 by Brent Horvath of Intrinsic Perennial Gardens in Illinois. Early flowering some three to four weeks prior to other tall Bee Balms, with blooms persisting from mid-May to late June. Spidery, two-lipped, light pink blooms with magenta splotches transform into ornamental seedheads that remain on the plant until the winter months, unless removed to prolong flowering in the late spring or early summer. Monarda bradburiana ‘Midnight Oil’ is a vigorous, easy growing, heat and drought tolerant selection that attracts hordes of pollinators over its blooming period, and is capable of handling some light shade.

    Pachysandra procumbens is a groundcover that is native to the Southeastern US and parts of the PA-NY-NJ tri-state area. It forms a dense carpet, spreading slowly by rhizomes over time to form colonies. Whorled foliage emerges from a fleshy stem, starting as a blue-green and mottling with bronzy-silver through the growing season. A perfect consideration for the woodland or shade garden, this deer resistant, semi-evergreen groundcover is tolerant of, and adaptable to, many different soil types as long as it has full to partial protection from harsh sun. Pachysandra procumbens is known to be drought tolerant once established as long as it is protected by full shade. Fragrant white blooms appear in early April and are somewhat inconspicuously concealed by the new flush of spring foliage. Allegheny Spurge is a great native substitute for over-used, aggressive groundcovers such as Vinca or English Ivy, and is generally considered to be more attractive than its Japanese cousin, Pachysandra terminalis.

    Paeonia suffruticosa ‘Kaoukamon’ is known for producing beautiful, dark maroon flowers with golden yellow stamens that emerge in mid-to-late spring, usually around mid-April, and last until mid-to-late June. The lightly scented blooms are smaller than other Tree Peony varieties but are a wonderful option as the focal point for the pollinator garden, where they’re sure to be visited by butterflies. This long-lived perennial will bloom best in full sun, but can handle part shade and moist - but not overly saturated - soils. Finely lobed foliage takes on a lovely color in the fall, ranging from golden yellows, to brilliant oranges and reds, making this Tree Peony a multi-seasonal favorite. The dark maroon buds and open blooms make excellent, dramatic additions to both the garden as well as to fresh cut flower arrangements.

    Ruffled, scarlet orange-red blooms with dark centers and purple stamens brighten up the landscape from June to July with their frilly, crepe-paper-like petals and pubescent, thistle-like foliage. Papaver orientale ‘Turkenlouis’ displays very large, cup-shaped flowers that are anywhere between 4-8” in diameter, standing out among the mixed perennial border. Oriental Poppy benefits from having companion plants that will conceal its late summer appearance, as the foliage emerges prior to the mid-to-late summer blooms, and dies back in late summer after the plant is done flowering. Toxic properties make this plant unpalatable to deer and rabbits, while butterflies are known to frequent the bright, showy flowers.

    Penstemon calycosus, commonly called Calico Beardtongue or Long-Sepal Beardtongue for… well… its long sepals, is a favorite of various pollinators including Sphinx moths, butterflies and long-tongued bees that visit its pink-mauve flowers from June to July when it’s in bloom. Native to eastern North America and parts of the Midwest, the snapdragon-like, lipped flowers range in color from pink-mauve to lavender to light purple with a white inner lip, standing upright over glossy, semi-evergreen foliage. Foliage forms in a low-growing, basal-rosette and takes on a gorgeous, bright red fall color. Calico Beardtongue is shade tolerant, but less drought tolerant than other Penstemon species, and prefers moist but well-drained soils.

    Penstemon hirsutus, known commonly as Hairy Beardtongue, is a highly versatile perennial that gets its name for the hairy, protruding lower lip of the trumpet-shaped flowers on upright stalks, producing a showy display of soft lavender-violet from May through late June. The foliage of Hairy Beardtongue is the larval host for the Baltimore Checkerspot Butterfly, and the late spring flowers attract various bee species, hummingbirds, and other pollinating insects. The foliage puts on a lovely display of red color in the fall. Penstemon hirsutus is highly adaptable to both full sun and full shade, as well as both moist and dry soil conditions.

    Phlox paniculata Luminary® ‘Backlight’ is the bright white flowering showstopper in the Luminary® collection, which was bred to produce a prolific flowering tall Garden Phlox with exceptional color as well as disease resistance. From July to September, showy upright panicles of brilliant white flowers over dark green leaves attract various pollinators to the center of the perennial border or moonlight garden, where the glow of the moon illuminates the stark white petals and gives this upright perennial its namesake. This particular selection prefers full sun, but is tolerant of very light shade conditions, as well as high heat and humidity.

    The shining star of the Luminary® series, Phlox paniculata ‘Opalescence’ offers stunning upright panicles of cotton candy pink flowers with dark pink centers that bloom consistently throughout several weeks in midsummer over top of lanceolate, dark green foliage, typically from mid-July into early September. This selection is highly resistant to powdery mildew and is also tolerant of part sun conditions, making it a wonderful tall Garden Phlox for mass plantings or as a group in the perennial border. Fresh blooms make an excellent cut flower as the “thriller” in an arrangement, and are attractive to various pollinators such as butterflies, bees, and the occasional hummingbird.

    Phlox paniculata Luminary® ‘Ultraviolet’ is the improved version of Phlox paniculata ‘Nicky’, featuring vibrant, fluorescent magenta blooms that appear prolifically over bronzed, dark green foliage from July to September. This tall Garden Phlox remains upright and has high powdery mildew resistance, making it a great selection for the mixed perennial border. While best bloom set will occur in full sun conditions, this particular Tall Garden Phlox is tolerant of part sun conditions. The brightly colored, consistent blooms attract bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds, and make for a great addition to fresh cut flower arrangements.

    Prunus x yedoensis ‘Akebono’, meaning ‘daybreak’ in Japanese, is a lovely, small deciduous tree that provides multiple seasons of interest and attracts birds to the specimen or cottage garden. Delicate, light pink double blooms appear in early spring around late March to early April, filling the canopy with a soft mist of blooms that is akin to the pastel palette of an early spring morning sky. Small black fruits follow in the summer, that are a favorite of native and migrating bird species alike. Its glossy, dark green foliage achieves a rainbow of beautiful reds, oranges and yellows in autumn before dropping. Prunus x yedoensis ‘Akebono’ was introduced to the trade in 1925 by W.B. Clarke Nursery in San Jose, California. Seedlings of the cultivar were provided to the Washington D.C.’s Tidal Basin in the National Mall, where they intermingle amongst some 2,000+ other Yoshino Flowering Cherry trees in order to signify the cordial relationship between Japan and America. In fact, in Japan, the ‘Akebono’ cultivar is called ‘Amerika’.

    Pulmonaria x ‘Raspberry Frost’, which was introduced as a sport variety of Pulmonaria x ‘Raspberry Splash’ by Terra Nova Nurseries, features vibrant raspberry to coral-red blooms in early spring from March to May. This discovery is noted for its attractive foliage that remains semi-evergreen through mild winters and exhibits splotchy variegated patterns of silvery green and creamy white, as well as creamy white leaf margins, which distinguish it from its original form. Lungwort tends to be deer resistant, but is attractive to hummingbirds and will provide early season interest to the pollinator garden where it is tolerant of part to full shade conditions.

    As its common and species name imply, Rhododendron atlanticum is a deciduous Azalea that is native to the coastal plain regions of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and along the Eastern seaboard as far south as Georgia. A small-to-medium sized shrub that typically ranges from 2-3’ but can occasionally reach 6’ in height, Coastal Azaleas are also sometimes considered to be Dwarf Azaleas due to their short stature. Light pink to white blooms appear in terminal clusters from April to May and produce a somewhat musky fragrance – in fact, the potent aroma of Rhododendron atlanticum is a sought-after trait for many Azalea breeding programs, and is often used to help cultivate sweet-smelling Azalea varieties. Flowers attract various pollinators including hummingbirds, butterflies and bees. The Azalea Society of America lists this species as one of the seven in the “White Group” category, the majority of which are native to the Eastern United States.

    Rhododendron austrinum, known commonly as the Florida Azalea or Florida Flame Azalea, is a native woodland shrub that produces clusters of gorgeous, fragrant blooms from April to May which give this plant its namesake. An explosion of yellows, peaches, and orange-reds appear in terminal clusters on top of loose, rangy branches, attracting hummingbirds and butterflies. It is also possible to grow this species as a houseplant. Deciduous foliage takes on a range of yellow and bronze-orange in the fall. Florida Azalea is a Winner of the American Rhododendron Society’s Rhododendron of the Year Award for 2011.