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.
Anise Hyssop, hailing from the Great Plains, is a wonderful native Agastache for use in more natural settings. Ranging from 2-4’ tall with flowers leaning on lavender in color this wonderful upright perennial will seed around in optimal conditions. Like all other Agastache this perennial is an absolute pollinator magnet. The foliage is fragrant and has an anise or licorice scent. Flowers start in late July and continues until late autumn.
‘Cordial Canary’ is in the Feathered Friends™ Series of showy new Ajugas from hybridizer Chris Hansen. Ajuga ‘Cordial Canary’ has lime-green to yellow ground-hugging foliage which is topped in spring by violet blue flower spikes. Like other Ajugas, ‘Cordial Canary’ thrives in light shade. The chartreuse to yellow foliage is semi-evergreen, so the seasons of interest are long. The running habit makes Ajuga ‘Cordial Canary’ a good addition to mixed containers.
‘Fierce Falcon’ Bugleweed, from Chris Hansen’s Feathered Friends™ Series, produces foliage that is lustrous and such a dark purple that it is almost black. The ground-hugging running habit makes this a great shade groundcover, and Ajuga ‘Fierce Falcon’ is even showier in spring, when the shiny foliage is topped by short cobalt blue flower spikes. Ajuga foliage is semi-evergreen to evergreen, depending on winter conditions, so the running habit of ‘Fierce Falcon’ makes a good addition to mixed pots.
‘Robin Hill’ Apple Serviceberry blooms in early spring, producing pink flower buds that open to soft pinkish white. The flower clusters mature to bluish purple fruit in early to mid summer, which is rapidly consumed by birds. The berries were an appreciated source of fruit for early settlers. The green summer leaves take on orange and red shades in fall. Amelanchier x grandiflora ‘Robin Hill’ is compact and resilient, both as a multi-stem and a single-stem tree. It is a cross between Amelanchier canadensis and Amelanchier laevis and supposed to be more resistance to mildew. We just started growing this cultivar in 2022 and have been very impressed with it. This is a good choice for urban and tight locations.
Earlybird™ ‘Red Yellow’ Columbine blooms in mid to late spring, producing yellow open petals surrounded by red spurred petals. The flowers face upward and are much larger than the native Columbines. The delicate green foliage of Aquilegia x Earlybird™ ‘Red Yellow’ forms a compact clump and performs best in some shade.
Part of the SunFern™ series of Wormwood, Artemisia gmelinii 'Olympia' is strikingly similar to what you would expect out of woodland ferns but for tough, sunny locations. The deeply dissected dark green foliage may well fool the novice into thinking it’s a fern but you and I both know this to be something much weirder and more novel.
Common Milkweed is an important host for larval Monarch Butterflies. Asclepias syriaca is native to pastures and open areas, where it thrives in average to poor dry soils. This is a big and rangy perennial which provides mid to late nutrition for many native pollinators when the showy pinkish lavender flower clumps abound. When cut, white sap is extruded which is somewhat toxic.
This naturally occurring hybrid of A. spectabilis and A. macrophylla makes a wonderful addition to a wilder looking garden. Lavender blue flowers cover a rosette of large (for asters) heart shaped leaves in fall time. ‘Twilight’ Big Leaf Aster can handle some shade but best flower production is in moist but well drained full sun locations.
‘Hello Yellow’ Blackberry Lily makes for a very bright splash of color in late summer when most other perennials are praying for reprieve from the heat and humidity. This Iris relative also boasts wonderful seedheads that I remember, fondly, playing with as a child like little maracas.
Side-oats Grama blooms in late summer and early fall, producing interesting side bracts (‘spikelets’) which hang down on one side of the stems. As the seeds mature, they dry to an attractive tan which looks like oats moving in the breeze. Bouteloua curtipendula is a Tall Grass Prairie Plant, growing vigorously in warm weather. It is a larval host for several skipper butterflies and moths, and the mature seedheads feed a multitude of birds and small mammals.
‘Yuletide’ Camellia blooms in late fall and early winter (hence the cultivar name). The single red flowers have showy yellow stamens in the centers of the flowers. Camellia sasanqua ‘Yuletide’ has an upright but compact habit, with lustrous dark green evergreen leaves. Since ‘Yuletide’ is a zone 7 Camellia, it should be planted in a sheltered spot and protected from winter winds and afternoon sun.
Golden Falls® (‘NC2015-12’) Eastern Redbud is an introduction from the JC Raulston Arboretum. The large heart-shaped leaves appear in spring in shades of chartreuse and yellow. They follow the display of pink pea-shaped flowers which cover the weeping branches. Cercis canadensis Golden Falls® tolerates summer sun without scorching as much as other yellow Cercis do, so the foliage is showy all summer. The strong weeping habit makes Golden Falls® a good candidate for tight locations.
Winecraft Gold® (‘MINCOJAU3’) Smokebush was bred in France by Corinne Liquiere. The neat round leaves emerge in orange to chartreuse shades, maturing to lime green by mid summer. Cotinus coggygria Winecraft Gold® is crowned with greenish pink smoke-like inflorescences in early summer on old growth, so do not prune in spring. The habit is compact and the fall foliage is a clean yellow. Winecraft Gold® is more scorch resistant than earlier yellow cultivars.
The Velvet Fog® (‘SMNCCPP3’) Smokebush combines beautiful blue green foliage with a large production of reddish pink smoke-like flowers in mid summer. Cotinus The Velvet Fog® is an introduction from Tim Wood’s work at Spring Meadow™, chosen for its prolific, long-blooming qualities as well as its showy clean foliage. With its dense growth habit, the Velvet Fog® makes a good deer resistant hedge as well as an attractive specimen.
‘Emily McKenzie’ Montbretia is a wonderful iris relative with striking coral-orange flowers with red banding along its throat. As with all other Crocosmia, 'Emily McKenzie' should be planted deeper than typical or protected by extra mulch due to its winter hardiness, or lack thereof. Well worth the effort, your garden will be rewarded with wonderful bright oranges and reds from late spring through August.
Clusterhead Pinks is a Dianthus oddity hailing from the alpine regions of central and southeastern Europe. Like all Dianthus, D. carthusianorum prefers soil with sharp drainage but the brilliant pink flowers of this gem stand 2-3 feet above the foliage, not unlike one of our favorites Verbena bonariensis. Equally at home in a prairie or rock garden, this exciting Dianthus species deserves much more attention that it currently gets in the trade. It probably owes its name to the Catholic order of the Carthusians, who cultivated it early on in their monastery gardens and as medicinal plant.
Kahori, meaning fragrant in Japanese, is a Cheddar Pinks that has been around for several years without the attention it truly deserves. A repeat bloomer from late spring through summer this Dianthus boasts deep pink flowers that just never know when to quit. Oh yeah, it’s also fragrant in case you were wondering! Low mounding, medium green foliage stays clean when other lesser Dianthus start to look ratty in the heat.
A wonderful improvement over the typical species, 'Valentine' Bleeding Heart produces deep red flowers as opposed to the soft pink of straight Dicentra spectabilis. The foliage is beautifully and deeply dissected and is accompanied by arching stems of stunning red flowers in late spring. Like the species, expect Dicentra spectabilis 'Valentine' to look like it has seen better days as the summer progresses so be sure to plant material around it that can mask its tired appearance.
‘Pink Diamonds’ Fern-leaved Bleeding Heart is an introduction from Walters Gardens with both showy flowers and foliage. The fern-like leaves are steely blue, and the two-toned pink heart-shaped flowers bloom from late spring through most of the summer. Dicentra x ‘Pink Diamonds’ thrives in sunny locations with good drainage, as well as partial shade sites. Since ‘Pink Diamonds’ comes from alpine Dicentras, it is very cold tolerant, and should be a good addition to roof gardens.
‘Jurassic Gold’ (‘Hollasic’) Wallich’s Wood Fern has amazing spring fronds in shades of yellow, gold and orange. The semi-evergreen foliage matures to bright green in summer, forming an attractive clump that lights up shady locations. Dryopteris ‘Jurassic Gold’ is named for is named for the Jurassic Coast in Southern England, but I assume that is also a nod to the fact that Ferns are a very ancient plant group. The very striking fronds make ‘Jurassic Gold’ a good container candidate for shady locations.
Tropical look on zone 6 plant, yes please! 'African Night' Pineapple Lily is a South African native with thick basal foliage and erect flower stems reminiscent of its namesake. Think of Kniphofia on steroids. Eucomis camosa 'African Night' breaks dormancy late spring with near black foliage that ages to a dark green as summer progresses and blooms rosy pink in color late summer into fall. As a result of its heritage, it definitely needs to be planted deep and have a good layer of mulch on top of it through winter.
‘Autumn Gold’ Maidenhair Tree is a symmetrical male Ginkgo with an attractive spreading habit. Ginkgos are dioicous, and the fleshy seeds from the females smell awful, so its important to select male cultivars. Ginkgo biloba ‘Autumn Gold’ was an introduction by Saratoga Horticultural Foundation in 1955, chosen for its shape, pest resistance and great tolerance of difficult urban conditions. The fan-shaped green leaves turn a lovely yellow in fall, and make a beautiful gold carpet when they fall. Ginkgos are among the oldest living trees, with fossils of their leaves from 150 million years ago.
Summer Sparklers® (‘ESM Chispa’) Baby’s Breath blooms for an extended period from late spring through mid summer. The delicate white semi-double flowers are produced in dense panicles which completely cover the compact plant. Gysophila Summer Sparkler® keeps blooming if deadheaded, and its lightly fragrant clusters make wonderful cut or dried flowers. A big improvement from Walters Gardens and a long blooming member of the Carnation family.
Orange Sunrise™ (‘KLMT’) Vernal Witchhazel comes from Roy Klehm’s extensive breeding work with Hamamelis. The flowers appear on the bare branches in late winter, in shades of light orange. The strap-like petals are showy at a time of year when there is so little in bloom, and Orange Sunrise™ supplies nourishment to winter pollinators on warm days. The summer foliage is green, turning yellow in fall. Propagated by cuttings, so no suckering.
‘Beholden’ Vernal Witchhazel is a great cross between Hamamelis ‘Amethyst’ (purple) and Hamamelis ‘Holden’ (yellow to orange). Like Chris Lane’s introduction ‘Holden’, Hamamelis vernalis ‘Beholden’ is a very early Witchhazel, starting to bloom in late fall. The strap-like flower petals are a vivid orange and fragrant, on a sturdy non-suckering shrub (propagated from cuttings, not grafted). The great Hamamelis expert Tim Brotsman hybridized this lovely native.
‘Blue Moon’ Vernal Witchhazel blooms in February and March, producing purple to bluish violet strap-like flowers. The fall color is shades of yellow and the habit is vase-shaped. A classic eastern woodland shrub. We grow Hamamelis ‘Blue Moon’ on its own roots so suckering is not a problem.
Grape Fizz™ (‘KLMNN’) Vernal Witchhazel is an introduction by Roy Klehm. The ribbon-like winter flowers are reddish purple and fragrant. They are borne on bare branches and provide important food to winter pollinators on warm days. The foliage is green, turning to shades of orange and yellow in fall. Hamamelis vernalis Grape Fizz™ is compact in habit, and grown on its own roots instead of being grafted.
‘Spring Bounty’ (‘KLMPP’) Vernal Witchhazel was introduced by Roy Klehm. The flowers appear in late winter and early spring, in attractive shades of reddish purple. The green summer foliage is followed by yellow leaves in the fall. Hamamelis vernalis ‘Spring Bounty’ is a tough native shrub that performs well in sun and shade. Since it is propagated by cuttings rather than grafting, it does not suffer from suckering understock.
‘Upchurch’ Ozark was selected by Brian Upchurch, a great nurseryman from North Carolina. The ribbon-shaped flowers open in late winter in shades of orange and yellow. The habit is more upright than most Witchhazels, making this native shrub a good choice for tighter spaces. Hamamelis vernalis ‘Upchurch’ is a good source of food for pollinators active in winter. We grow it on its own roots to avoid suckering problems.
Woodland Joy™ (‘KLMLL’) Vernal Witchhazel is another attractive selection by the great plantsman Roy Klehm. The ribbon-like flowers are shades of deep orange, displayed on bare branches in winter. Hamamelis vernalis Woodland Joy™ has nice green foliage throughout the summer, followed by yellow leaves in the fall. With the winter fragrance, Witchhazels are a welcome cut branch inside the house. Suckering will not be a problem because Hamamelis vernalis Woodland Joy™ is propagated by cuttings.
‘Vincent’s Red’ Common Witchhazel came to us from Ohio Hamamelis King Tim Brotzman. The original plant came from Connecticut, and was selected because the spidery flower petals are red at the centers, shifting to orange and yellow on the tips. Hamamelis virginiana ‘Vincent’s Red’ starts blooming in late fall and continues into early winter. Witchhazels thrive in both sun and shade and are common in the Northeast woodland understory.
‘Gadsden Goliath’ Daylily blooms in mid summer, and produces huge (9.5”) spider-like red flowers with deep yellow midribs and throats. The flowers are held on 36” scapes emerging from narrow green blade-like leaves. The flower shape is unusual and showy in the back of perennial beds. Hemerocallis ‘Gadsden Goliath’ is tolerant of a wide range of soil conditions. Introduced by Reinke in 1990.
Berry White® (‘Renba’) Hardy Hydrangea which has its flower color progression spelled out in its name- white blooms maturing to berry pink and red. Hydrangea paniculata Berry White® is a mid-sized First Editions® introduction with roundish white panicles starting in July. The blooms age through shades of pink, raspberry red and wine red, before staying tan throughout the winter. The cooler the nighttime temperatures, the deeper the red colors.
Limelight Prime® (‘SMNHPH’) Hardy Hydrangea starts blooming in mid summer, producing cone-shaped lime green panicles which rapidly turn white. The habit of Hydrangea Limelight Prime® is more compact than the original Limelight®, and the stems are sturdier so the flowers do not flop after rains. As the summer temperatures cool, Limelight Prime® takes on shades of rose pink. The seedheads are tan and an interesting addition in winter. The cold tolerance and compact habit make this a good candidate for large containers.
Quick Fire Fab® (‘SMNHPM’) Hardy Hydrangea differs from Hydrangea Quick Fire® because the flowers are very large mopheads rather than more open panicles. Hydrangea Quick Fire Fab® begins blooming earlier than most paniculatas, and produces a quantity of white blooms which age to rose and then red as the days shorten and the night grows cooler. They make great dried cut flowers, holding the red colors through the winter.
Emerald Spire® (‘Jefgreen’) Flowering Crabapple came from the breeding work of Dr. David Lane of British Columbia. This is a very tight upright Crabapple which produces fuchsia pink flowers in mid spring. Malus x adstringens Emerald Spire® has large bright green foliage which is disease resistant. Emerald Spire® Crabapple has large bright red fruit in fall, adding another season of beauty. Since Emerald Spire® is slow growing as well as very upright, this is a good candidate for small gardens, narrow spaces and street trees.
‘Purple Haze’ Catmint produces a multitude of lavender blue flower spikes, displayed on a mat of aromatic grayish green foliage. The bloom period of Nepeta x ‘Purple Haze’ is very long, especially if cut back after the first heavy flowering. This member of the Mint family is attractive to a variety of pollinators and unattractive to deer and rabbits. An introduction from Terra Nova® Nurseries. ‘Purple Haze’ would make a beautiful hanging basket plant because of its prostrate habit.
Russian Sage is a wonderful resilient perennial for dry, sunny and sandy locations. Perovskia atriplicifolia produces showy blue flower spikes in July and August, providing nectar for a number of pollinators. The foliage is beautiful as well, with delicate dissected silvery leaves on woody stems. Russian Sage is thoroughly deer, rabbit and groundhog resistant (that’s the voice of experience!).
‘Katsura’ Japanese Andromeda produces strings of white fragrant bells on pendent panicles in early spring. The new growth emerging in spring in vivid shades of bronze and red. The new leaves mature in summer to a lustrous green. The flower buds for the next year start developing in the summer and add to the winter interest by taking on shades of purple and red. Pieris japonica ‘Katsura’ is evergreen and should be protected from afternoon winter sun.
‘Moonshine’ Lungwort is the most silvery of the Pulmonarias we grow. The small ice blue flowers appear in mid spring over the mildew resistant foliage. The leaves are more rounded, with narrow dark green margins and green flecks on the bright silver surfaces. Pulmonaria x ‘Moonshine’ is a Terra Nova® introduction which seems to handle our warm and humid East Coast summers well.
‘Sissinghurst White’ Lungwort blooms in mid spring, with clusters of white flowers emerging from pale pink buds. The foliage is dark green speckled with white flecks. Pulmonaria x ‘Sissinghurst White’ is named for the famous English “White” garden at Sissinghurst Castle designed by Vita Sackville-West.
Mountain Mint is a member of the Mint family, which explains the fragrance emitted when the foliage is crushed and its unattractiveness to deer and rabbits. The white flowers are produced in mid to late summer, held in dense clusters which attract a multitude of pollinators and butterflies. Pycnanthemum virginianum thrives in wet meadows and other moist sites, making it a good native choice for sunny rain gardens. It's substantial production of nectar makes this an important candidate for pollinator gardens.
Streetspire® (JFS-KWIQX’) Hybrid Oak is a beautiful fastigiate tree, it features shorter and sturdier branches with better branch angles. Handsome dark green leaves which become a rusty red in fall, then leave drop cleanly which is unusual for this group. The leaves are lustrous and similar to Quercus alba leaves. Quercus Streetspire® was chosen by Keith Warren and J Frank Schmidt and Sons Nursery for its excellence as a street tree. It shows great tolerance of a wide range of soil types and urban conditions. A cross between Quercus robur and Quercus alba.
Autumn Rouge® (‘Conlea’) Hybrid Azalea blooms in both late spring and early fall. The large semi-double flowers are a deep reddish pink. The evergreen foliage is attractive all year, taking on darker shades in winter. Rhododendron Encore® Autumn Rouge® comes from the hybridizing work of Robert E. Lee, introduced and promoted by Flowerwood Nursery in Alabama. Dr. Michael Dirr says that Autumn Rouge® is one of the hardiest Encore® Azaleas.
Black-Eyed Susan is considered a biennial, but since it seeds so readily, Rudbeckia hirta does not disappear from the garden. This native wildflower has deep yellow petals surrounding a black cone, which are an important food source for pollinators and songbirds, such as the goldfinch. It is the larval host plant of the Silvery Checkerspot butterfly and attracts a specialist Mining bee. Over the winter, their seeds provide food for songbirds, such as the goldfinch.
‘Blackjack Gold’ Three-lobed Coneflower starts blooming in mid summer and continues into early fall. The deep yellow rounded petals surround black cones, covering the green foliage for a longer time than many Rudbeckias. The flowers are somewhat smaller and borne on sturdy stems, making Rudbeckia triloba ‘Blackjack Gold’ a good cut flower. Introduced by Jelitto Seed, ‘Blackjack Gold’ is considered a biennial which reseeds in gardens but can overwinter well if deadheaded before fall.
‘Prairie Glow’ Three-lobed Coneflower produces bicolored daisy-like flowers. The delicate gold petals have red eyes surrounding the black cones. The bloom period of Rudbeckia triloba ‘Prairie Glow’ starts in July and continues into early fall, especially if deadheaded. Three-lobed Coneflowers are an important food source for native bees, beetles and butterflies because of the long flowering season. A biennial, ‘Prairie Glow’ seeds readily in meadows, gardens and sunny disturbed areas like roadsides.
‘Purple Knockout’ Lyre-leaf Sage is a native Sage which has bright purple basal foliage, especially in spring and early summer. The flower spikes are largely inconspicuous but attract bees and butterflies. Salvia lyrata ‘Purple Knockout’ seeds readily and can form a dense groundcover in a sunny location, much like purple Ajugas do in shade. ‘Purple Knockout’ performs best in well drained sites, and with its showy basal foliage would make a good green roof candidate.
Blue Vervain is a tall narrow clumping native which produces candelabra-like panicle spikes in mid to late summer. The small violet and purple flowers emerge sequentially, climbing up the short stems of the panicles. Verbena hastata provides nectar for a wide variety of bees and native pollinators, provides seed for Cardinals, Sparrows, and Juncos and its leaves are food for the larvae of several butterflies including the Common Buckeye Butterfly. This is a great native for rain gardens, wet meadows and pollinator gardens. Deadhead to prolong bloom display.
Blue Diddley® (‘SPVACBD’) Chastetree has a very compact form, but a multitude of cone-shaped lavender blue flowers from mid summer to fall. Vitex agnus-castus Blue Diddley® can be regarded as a very rigorous perennial, as it periodically dies to the ground (like many dwarf Buddleias), only to spring back up in late spring. Dead wood should be pruned out, and periodic deadheading will intensify the bloom display. Attractive to hummingbirds and butterflies, not attractive to deer.
Summertime Blues™ (‘Helen Froehlich’) Chastetree blooms from mid summer to fall, producing large upright lavender blue spikes with black stems. Vitex x Summertime Blues™ comes from the hybridizing work of Kris Jarantoski, formerly of the Chicago Botanic Garden, so you know it’s winter hardy. The habit is compact and rounded, making Summertime Blues™ a good mid-sized shrub for sunny well-drained locations. Introduced by Plants Nouveau.
‘Excalibur’ Adam’s Needle has evergreen sword-like foliage from the basal rosette. The sharp leaves are a vivid glaucus blue green with lots of white thread-like filaments curling off the edges. In mid summer Yucca filamentosa ‘Excalibur’ puts out tall sturdy 4’ scapes crowned with large creamy white flowers. Other common names for Adam’s Needle are Spanish Bayonet and Needle Palm, and it is native to beaches, sandy areas and open fields in the Southeast.