Fragrant Abelia has very fragrant pink tubular flowers with white centers that bloom in May and June. The glossy green foliage turns orangey red in fall. Abelia mosanensis is very hardy and easy to grow. It is prized for its fragrance and may be used as a hedge. This species is more winter hardy than other Abelias and that's a good thing because it blooms on old wood. This plant was introduced from Latvia. (New name is Zabelia tyaihyonii).
Abelia x grandiflora 'Rose Creek' provides a wonderful presence in the landscape with its plentiful fragrant white flowers and red-tinged stems on new growth. 'Rose Creek' Abelia will bloom beginning in May and last through the summer into September. Blooms on new wood. Named ‘Rose Creek’ in reference to a creek of the same name located in Oconee County, Georgia. An introduction by Dr Michael Dirr. (New name is Linnaea × grandiflora 'Rose Creek'.)
A spreading, rounded shrub, 'Little Richard' Abelia has glossy dark green leaves that sometimes will be tinged bronze. Provides wonderful white, fragrant flowers through the summer until frost. The blooms attract numerous butterflies (New name is Zabelia dielsii 'Little Richard').
Acanthus mollis offers unusual pink-mauve flower spikes with white interior petals and purple calyces, held 3' to 4' above deeply lobed large shiny leaves. Bear's Breeches grows best in part shade and in a moist protected spot in the landscape. Too much shade will result in less or no flowers. This clump-forming perennial is grown as much for its attractive foliage as for its architecturally bold flower spikes. Native to the Mediterranean region, it flowers in late spring to mid summer with multiple vertical flower spikes. The leaves were the source of the Corinthian leaf motif developed and used as a decoration in ancient Greek and Roman art and architecture.
The pinkish mauve flower spikes with white interiors of Spiny Bear's Breeches look the same as those of Acanthus mollis, but the leaves look more spiny (they aren't) and the plant is more cold tolerant. This plant makes an amazing show for 2 months in the summer on the north side of our house. Best sited in part shade and well drained soil. Spinosus means spiny and comes from the stiff spines found on the margins of the leaves that resemble that of the thistle. The spiny leaves served as the pattern for the design on Greek Corinthian columns.
Few trees are as showy as the Paperbark Maple, with its cinnamon colored exfoliating bark. The fine-textured leaves have 3 leaflets and change from dark green with silvery undersides in summer to shades of red and bronze in fall. Acer griseum makes a neat oval-shaped small tree which fits into both small and large scale landscapes well. Originating from Central China, Paperbark Maple prefers full sun to partial shade in moist, well-drained soil. It will grow in a variety of soil types, including sand, loam, or clay and is adaptable to a variety of pH levels. One of the last Maples to develop fall color and the leaves persist into winter.
Armstrong Gold® ('JFS-KW78') Columnar Red Maple comes from the extensive selection work done at J Frank Schmidt's nursery in Oregon. Acer rubrum Armstrong Gold® has bright golden orange fall foliage on a very tight upright form. The branches grow at a steep, upward angle. Besides having good tolerance for a wide range of environmental conditions (as do Red Maples in general), Armstrong Gold® makes an excellent street tree because of the dense columnar form. The tiny red flowers appear in April and are followed by red winged samaras (seeds).
October Glory® Red Maple has green leaves following the attractive red flowers which are one of the earliest signs of spring for us in the Northeast. The fall color of October Glory® is a deep rich red and occurs 2 weeks later than other cultivars. The glossy dark green leaves with red stems have 3-5 lobes and are 3-6” across. This plant species plays larval host to the coral hairstreak butterfly. October Glory® is an oval-shaped, wet site tolerant tree that was found by our father, William Flemer III and has proved to be one of the best cultivars for southern hot summers.
Redpointe® ('Frank Jr') Red Maple is an attractive introduction of this very adaptable native tree, developed by J Frank Schmidt and Son Nursery in Oregon. They chose this selection because of its broad but upswept branching pyramidal habit. Acer rubrum Redpointe® has a strong central leader and leathery dark green foliage. The crowning glory is the vivid red early fall color, followed by a regular tidy silhouette in winter. One of the fastest growing Red Maples in the marketplace.
‘Green Mountain’ Sugar Maple comes from William Flemer III of Princeton Nurseries, from an original outstanding tree found by him in Vermont. Acer saccharum ‘Green Mountain’ is probably a hybrid between the Northern and Southern (nigrum) Sugar Maples, exhibiting both good heat and drought tolerance. ‘Green Mountain’ has a very regular oval silhouette and very showy orange to yellow fall color. With its superior heat tolerance and hybrid vigor, ‘Green Mountain’ can be used in urban situations as long as there is a good amount of soil for the roots.
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.
‘Sassy Summer Sangria’ Yarrow has dark red flat flower clumps on sturdy stems with ferny green foliage. The bloom period is extended through the summer months, especially if deadheaded after the initial flowering. Achillea ‘Sassy Summer Sangria’ has the darkest flower color of Walters Gardens’ ‘Sassy Summer’ series, all of which tolerate poor soils and dry conditions; rich soil tends to make plants tall and floppy. Pollinators love Achilleas while deer and rabbits do not.
‘Sassy Summer Silver’ Yarrow is an introduction by Walters Gardens in their ‘Sassy Summer’ series. The soft yellow flower clumps top tall sturdy stems, so Achillea ‘Sassy Summer Silver’ makes a good cut or dried flower. Like its ‘siblings’, ‘Sassy Summer Silver’ tolerates dry, poor soils and is not attractive to deer or rabbits. Deadheading prolongs the bloom period.
‘Sassy Summer Sunset’ Yarrow has deep orange flat flower chumps on tall sturdy stems. The bloom period extends from mid to late summer, especially if spent flowers are removed. Like the other ‘Sassy Summer Sunset’ series, Achillea millefolium 'Sassy Summer Sunset' is tough and resilient, tolerating dry and poor soils. The unusual color combines well with blues and purples.
‘Sassy Summer Taffy’ Yarrow is another showy member of Walters Gardens’ new Achillea series. The flat flower clusters are a deep pink when newly opened, and they mature to a softer pink which makes a bicolored look. The tall sturdy stems make Achillea ‘Sassy Summer Taffy’ a good cut flower as well as a tough long-lived perennial. Deadhead to prolong bloom period.
‘Peter Cottontail’ Yarrow has an unusual flowering habit because the white flowers are not in an umbel, but scattered thickly all over the green clump. Achillea ptarmica ‘Peter Cottontail’ looks like a tight ‘Baby’s Breath’ clump, with the advantage of being deer resistant and tolerant of poor dry soils. This Yarrow reblooms well if deadheaded.
The cobalt blue flowers of Azure Monkshood appear in late summer and early fall. Aconitum carmichaelii 'Arendsii' blooms for a long period, and Dr. Alan Armitage says "it's the best late flowering Monkshood in cultivation." It gets the common name Monkshood because the upper sepal of each flower develops into a large, helmet-like structure that somewhat resembles the hood worn by medieval monks. 'Arendsii' stems are unusually thick and are less likely to need support than other Monkshood. All parts of the plant are poisonous. Breed by German nurseryman Georg Arends at his nursery near Cologne.
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.
Dwarf Golden Sweet Flag is a wonderful plant for walkways as well as rain gardens and stream edges, because it is tolerant of foot traffic as well as significant moisture. The evergreen foliage is like tiny thick bladed grass tufts and when crushed, it releases an attractive sweet scent. The tufts slowly expand to make a short yellowish green mat. Try massing 'Minimus Aureus' as a groundcover near water gardens to help control erosion. Although it looks like a grass, Acorus gramineus 'Minimus Aureus' is actually more closely related to the Iris family.
'Ogon' Sweet Flag has bright yellow stiffly upright leaves that are a vivid addition to a wet site in the shade. The leaves release a fresh citrus scent when pinched or bruised. Clumps of Acorus 'Ogon' will get larger with age as they spread slowly by rhizomes. This Sweet Flag is evergreen so it provides great winter interest. Brighter light lends more golden color, while deeper shade highlights green. Introduced into the US by Barry Yinger.
PRN Preferred: Both salt and wet site tolerant, ‘Ogon’ adds a yearlong splash of chartreuse to the shade garden.
White Baneberry is also called 'Doll's Eyes' because the small white berries end in a black dot making this native (and toxic) fruit resemble the staring eyes of old fashioned dolls. The delicate white flower spikes appear above Astilbe-like foliage in spring, followed by the striking white fruit in summer. The flowers provide pollen but lack nectar. The pollen is collected by short-tongued bees. The berries are eaten by a variety of birds, thereby spreading the seed to other areas. The birds are immune to the toxic effects of the berries. All parts of this plant are poisonous. Actaea pachypoda naturalizes easily in moist but well-drained woodlands.
Snakeroot or Cohosh is a spectacular addition to the late summer flower garden with tall, rocket-like spires of ivory white, fragrant flowers which are held high above the green foliage. The bloom period is longer than a month and insects love it (great for nature photographers). Adds architectural height to the shaded part of the garden. Host plant for Spring Azure. Actaea racemosa is best in moist, shady locations.
Branched Bugbane has fragrant white flowers in late summer, over purplish bronze foliage. Try it combined with chartreuse foliaged plants to really make a impact. By mid summer the leaves take on a green hue. Bees and butterflies love the blooms. Per noted plantsman David Culp, Actaea do very well under Black Walnuts.
‘Chocoholic’ Bugbane is shorter than other dark purple Actaeas, but what it lacks in stature it makes up for in the beauty of its foliage. The leaves emerge in the spring as a dark bronzy purple and turn more green by mid summer. The fragrant mauve pink flowers age to white on tall flower spikes that tower over the foliage in the late summer, attracting all manner of pollinators. This is particularly attractive when paired with shade tolerant gold foliage plants. Consistent moisture is necessary for the best performance. It was discovered by Marco van Noort in the Netherlands as a seedling of 'Brunette'.
Five Finger Maidenhair Fern is a lovely woodland native, thriving in moist humus rich soils. Preferring cool summer temperatures, Adiantum pedatum is hardy all the way to zone 2. The bright green airy fronds are made more attractive by the shiny wiry black stems. Since Adiantum pedatum spreads by rhizomes on the surface of moist soils, it can eventually form an excellent woodland groundcover. This fern will not perform well in full sun or hot summer sites.
Creamy white flowers on Aesculus parviflora appear in summer on long panicles. Bottlebrush Buckeye offers golden yellow fall color. A dense, mounded, suckering, deciduous, multi-stemmed shrub which produces pear-shaped nuts (buckeyes) after flowering. Aesculus parviflora is a wonderful addition to the landscape to attract hummingbirds. Our neighbor nurseryman Dick Karkalits says it is an absolutely foolproof plant for just about any location, and we agree.
PRN Preferred: This shrub has everything - tolerant of sun, shade, dry or wet soil, showy flowers and native!
We grow our own selection of Red Buckeye, selected by us from a field of mature trees at Princeton Nurseries. The characteristics that guided our choices were clean, disease-free foliage, very dark showy 5" upright panicles in May, and a strong tree-form habit. We propagate our selection 'Splendens' from the seed of the five trees we moved to Pleasant Run Nursery. The resulting plants have the outstanding qualities of their parents, and we grow them as tree-form. Aesculus pavia 'Splendens' makes a tough beautiful small tree. Besides the flower display and the attractive dark green summer foliage, the fall color is a clean yellow and the brown chestnuts feed the wildlife.
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.
‘Golden Jubilee’ Purple Giant Hyssop combines large showy lavender blue flower spikes with stunning yellow foliage. Both the flowers and the leaves are fragrant and attractive all summer, especially if deadheaded periodically. Agastache ‘Golden Jubilee’ performs best in well-drained sites, and will self-seed nicely in sunny sites. ‘Golden Jubilee’ is a great addition to perennial gardens and meadows.
'Black Adder' Anise Hyssop has prolific deep blue bottlebrush flowers from mid summer to fall. 'Black Adder' is a cross between A. rugosa and A. foeniculum. Compact habit and excellent hardiness make this a very exciting Agastache. Dry site tolerant with deliciously fragrant foliage. Good drainage is essential for these plants as they will not survive a winter in wet clay soils. They are drought tolerant once established. From Coen Jansen.
'Blue Boa' Anise Hyssop is an improvement on 'Blue Fortune'. The large fragrant flower spikes are larger and deeper blue in color, verging on violet. The foliage is a bright green and wonderfully fragrant when touched. Agastache x 'Blue Boa' blooms for a prolonged time in mid to late summer, especially when deadheaded after the initial flowers flush. Although 'Blue Boa' Hyssop has proven itself to be very cold tolerant, it needs excellent drainage to survive our winters. Introduced by Terra Nova, and winner of a number of Horticultural Awards.
'Blue Fortune' Anise Hyssop has blue flowers mid summer to fall, and fragrant foliage. From the Trompenberg Arboretum in Holland. Agastache bloom time is prolonged by dead heading. Loved by butterflies and other insects. Leaves may be used in potpourris.
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.
The smoky bluish violet racemes of 'Purple Haze' Anise Hyssop start in July and keep going until fall. Agastache x 'Purple Haze' is a real butterfly and bee magnet, from those plant gurus of North Creek Nurseries. Hybridized by Coen Jansen of the Netherlands. Great for mass planting to create an impressive bluish purple haze in the garden, hence the name.
PRN Preferred: This fragrant native blooms for a very long period and has an excellent upright flower form.
The deep purple, nearly black shiny leaves of 'Black Scallop' ('Binblasca') Bugleweed have ruffled edges. Deep blue flower spikes appear on Ajuga in late spring. Great for a shade planting where grass is difficult to establish. Plant with other shade lovers and spring bulbs for an impressive show. From Mike Tristram of the UK.
The foliage of Ajuga reptans 'Burgundy Glow' is composed of stunning shades of pink, white and purple, with blue flower spikes adding to the show in late spring. Good for small spaces, containers and rock gardens.
'Catlin's Giant' Bugleweed has bronze leaves that are much larger than other Ajugas, sporting spikes of blue flower up to 8" tall in April and May. A rapid-spreading evergreen groundcover.
'Chocolate Chip' ('Valfredda') Bugleweed has tiny purplish chocolate foliage with violet blue flower spikes in late spring. This Ajuga makes an excellent dwarf groundcover forming a tight mat of foliage around stepping stones. It came to the US from Italy.
‘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.
‘Parrot Paradise’ Bugleweed is part of the Feathered Friends™ series hybridized by Chris Hansen. The foliage is a bright combination of chartreuse, bronze and red, topped by cobalt blue flower spikes in spring. Like other Bugleweed cultivars, Ajuga reptans ‘Parrot Paradise’ is an evergreen groundcover for shady locations. The habit is spreading, so it works well in shade as an erosion controller.
‘Pink Lightning’ Bugleweed is a departure from most Ajugas in having short mauve pink flower spikes instead of blue in mid spring. The crinkled leaves of Ajuga ‘Pink Lightning’ are an attractive soft green with creamy white edges, and they are colorful almost all year. ‘Pink Lightning’ was a sport found and introduced by Sunny Borders Nursery of Connecticut. A spring nectar source for hummingbirds and pollinators.
'Thriller' Lady's Mantle blooms in May and June, producing airy delicate chartreuse yellow flowers held above fuzzy bluish green leaves. 'Thriller' has somewhat larger pleated leaves and a more prolific bloom than the species, and like all Alchemilla mollis, the hairy leaves repel rain water so that the foliage has attractive silver water drops on if after a gentle rain. 'Thriller' performs best in shady, moist conditions.
‘Medusa’ Ornamental Onion gets its name because the green strap-like leaves curl and twist on the ends like Medusa’s hair. The light purple drumstick flowers emerge just above the foliage in late summer and early fall. When the bloom period is finished, you can still enjoy the dry seedheads. Similar in flower color and foliage color to ‘Blue Eddy’, but in a much larger form. Rich in nectar, the butterflies and bees love it but the rabbits and deer absolutely leave Ornamental Onions alone (so far…).
PRN Preferred: The twisty curly foliage is attractive all summer.
'Millenium' Ornamental Onion blooms in July and August, producing lots of 2" purplish lavender round clusters of flowers like drumsticks on 15" stems. The onion scented leaves are glossy and strap-like, making a thick clump from which the long lasting blooms arise. Very floriferous and strong upright stems make this an exceptional plant and a great addition to rock gardens, perennial borders and containers. Many insects and butterflies feed off them but deer and rabbits will not touch them. All Ornamental Onions do well under Black Walnuts. Allium 'Millenium' is the product of Mark McDonough's hard work with Ornamental Onions. 2018 Perennial Plant of the Year.
PRN Preferred: A long blooming selection with clean foliage, simply stunning in bloom.
Allium x cernuum, or nodding Pink Onion, is a tough deer resistant bulb plant which is crowned by multiple pink flower umbels. The blooms appear above the green strap-like leaves in July and August. These are followed by attractive tan seedheads. The clumps increase in size as time goes on and the bulbs can be divided and spread to make a lovely addition to short meadows in mid summer or try it in tough-to-grow areas, such as hell-strips. Great on green roofs. Self-seeds vigorously in the garden.
‘Forescate’ Chives have dark pink to lavender round flower heads held on straight stems above the edible tubular foliage. Alliums bloom heavily in summer and are perfect for sunny locations that have deer problems. Allium ‘Forescate’ is an excellent addition to rock or scree gardens (think ‘Beth Chatto’), and deadheading after the bloom period is a good idea because the schoenoprasum cultivars seed easily. A slightly taller, darker, more brilliant pink than the species. Is a effective accent in green roof meadows. ‘Forescate’ is very attractive to many pollinators. One of Roy Diblik’s favorite Alliums.
'Snowcap' Chives produces delicate white flowers above tubular foliage in early to mid summer. The bloom period is prolonged if Allium 'Snowcap' is deadheaded, which also keeps it from seeding itself in flowerbeds. The leaves are edible (this is a cultivar of edible chives), but are not touched by deer or rabbits. Alliums are bulbs, so 'Snowcap' is easily divided when dormant. A Mark McDonough introduction.
‘Blue Eddy’ Spiral Onion gets its name from its foliage, which is a neat bluish gray rosette of swirly flat blades. Allium senescens ‘Blue Eddy’ produces pinkish lavender ‘drumstick’ flowers above the rosettes in late summer through early fall. When the flowers are spent, they leave behind interesting dry seedheads that are a good addition to dried flower arrangements. Allium ‘Blue Eddy’ is excellent in rock gardens, containers and dry sites. Bred by Mark McDonough.
'In Orbit' Ornamental Onion blooms from June to September, producing large 3" globular flowers of lavender purple. The "Drumstick" blooms are 16" tall over green, deer repellent foliage. 'In Orbit' Allium is a very attractive cut flower, and the spent flower heads make a lovely addition to dried flower arrangements. Pollinators flock to all Alliums when they are in bloom.
‘Lavender Bubbles’ Ornamental Onion has deep purple drumstick flowers in late summer and blooming in masses above the blue green twisty foliage. The seedheads remain throughout fall. Both the blooms and the leaves are scented and as a result not touched by deer or rabbits. Hummingbirds and pollinators, however, love Allium ‘Lavender Bubbles,’ which provides a good source of food at an important time of year. ‘Lavender Bubbles’ is a good container plant for sunny locations, and a great addition to rock gardens.
‘Pink Planet’ Ornamental Onion was introduced by Intrinsic Perennial Gardens for its numerous large lilac pink drumstick flowers. Allium ‘Pink Planet’ has blue green flat leaves which are topped by 18” blooms in mid summer. The seedheads turn tan when the bloom season is over, and make interesting dried elements in the fall and winter landscapes. Allium ‘Pink Planet’ was hybridized by Brent Horvath. A good choice for well-drained rock gardens and pollinator gardens.
‘Windy City’ Ornamental Onion is a showy introduction by Brent Horvath and Intrinsic Perennial Gardens. The globular dark purple flowers are held above the green flat leaves on 18” sturdy green stems in mid summer. The seedheads turn tan in the fall and persist well into winter. They make an attractive addition to dried arrangements. Allium x ‘Windy City’ is a good addition to green roofs, sunny balconies and well drained sunny perennial gardens.
‘Summer Beauty’ Ornamental Onion produces a quantity of flat refined strap-like leaves in spring, topped by soft pink round umbels on long stalks starting in June. Allium x lusitanicum 'Summer Beauty' continues blooming almost all summer, and the dried round seedheads add interest to the winter landscape as well. Try them spray painted cool colors (as our good friend Simple does), or added to dried arrangements. Roy Diblik of Northwind Perennial Farm loves using ‘Summer Beauty’, and told us he had first seen it thriving in someone’s driveway.
Amelanchier laevis has white flowers in early April. The reddish purple fruit of Allegheny Serviceberry is loved by birds. Good reddish orange fall color of Amelanchier laevis makes it a wonderful landscape choice to provide interest for each season. A wet site tolerant plant, A. laevis has an added attribute of retaining its leaves throughout the summer unlike A. canadensis, and it also has heavier and fewer stems forming the clump.
Small white flowers of Amelanchier x grandiflora Autumn Brilliance® emerge from pink buds in April. Apple Serviceberry has berries in June that will turn magenta to purple and are prized by many birds, including Mocking birds. Autumn Brilliance® has brilliant orange-red fall color (hence the cultivar name). A wet site tolerant plant introduced by nurseryman Bill Wandell of Illinois. This Amelanchier has an added attribute of retaining its leaves throughout the summer unlike A. canadensis.
‘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.
The delicate light blue flowers of Arkansas Amsonia appear in May. It also has stunning orange and yellow fall foliage. A true tough multi-season plant plus Amsonia hubrichtii produces a latex-like sap that deer tend to avoid. This low maintenance native perennial is a slow grower; it may take 1 to 2 years before it's true beauty is revealed. A showstopper when planted in mass. Full sun and moist, well-drained soils create the best fall color; however, it will grow in a range of light and soil moisture conditions. Native to the Ouachita Mountains in central Arkansas, where it was discovered in the early 1940's by Leslie Hubricht. 2011 Perennial Plant of the Year, and Dr. JC Raulston's favorite perennial.
PRN Preferred: Excellent fall foliage display, makes an impact when planted in mass.
'Storm Cloud' Blue Star is the prettiest Amsonia we have seen, with large terminal clusters of bright sky blue star shaped flowers set off by almost black stems, the stems are particularly showy as they emerge in the spring, looking like thin black Asparagus. The narrow leaves open to an attractive dark green. Amsonia 'Storm Cloud' was found in moist shade in Alabama by those extraordinary plantsmen, Tony Avent and Hans Hansen, and they picked a particularly apt name for this beautiful native.
'Blackhawks' Big Bluestem is a beautiful Andropogon selection from Brent Horvath of Intrinsic Perennial Gardens. The 4' stems emerge with green blades in spring, but the foliage takes on shades of deep purple in mid summer. The turkey foot inflorescences appear in August and turn into airy, light catching seedheads for added fall and winter beauty. Andropogon gerardii 'Blackhawks' got its name from its origins in Illinois (Chicago Blackhawks), and it thrives in prairie like conditions.
'Red October' Big Bluestem is an exciting color breakthrough for this tough native grass. The leaves are tipped with burgundy and held on tall upright green stems in summer. The fall the foliage turns a bright scarlet red for several weeks after the first frost. 'Red October' also has red turkey-foot-shaped seed, particularly showy when backlit. The sturdy upright stems are an attractive tan in winter. An important food source for winter birds. Introduced by Intrinsic Perennials.
‘Black Mountain’ Bluestem is a tough native grass which was found on Black Mountain, North Carolina by Terry Dalton of the North Carolina Arboretum. He chose it from his family’s wild meadow because of its compact stature and attractive blue green foliage. Andropogon ‘Black Mountain’ is showy in the fall when the stems take on reddish hues and the silvery inflorescences catch the light. ‘Black Mountain’ is happiest if left alone, so do not fertilize or irrigate once it is established.
Broom-sedge or Beardgrass is a tough native grass that adds great beauty to sterile, dry meadows and open fields. The green upright stems take on shades of reddish burgundy in September, as they are coming into flower. The seedheads of Andropogon virginicus are an airy silver displayed all along the grass stems, and are particularly stunning when backlit by afternoon light. The fall and winter color of the strong upright stems is a bright orange tan. Its seed provides winter food for song birds and it is a host plant for the Zabulon Skipper butterfly. Andropogon virginicus is tolerant of high salt, drought, and wet or dry soils, making it an excellent plant for roadside habitats.
Snowdrop Anemone or Windflower blooms in April, with single 5-sepaled white flowers on delicate stems above the dissected green foliage. The single flowers have showy yellow anthers in the cupped center and are lightly fragrant. Anemone sylvestris spreads by rhizomes to make an attractive underplanting groundcover, and is an excellent naturalizer in woodland settings. The lovely flower display is followed by interesting wooly seedheads. Repeat bloom may occur in the cooler weather of early autumn.
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.
Anemone x 'Honorine Jobert' is a Japanese Anemone with tall single white flowers, blooming for numerous weeks from late summer into fall. It prefers moist, humus-rich sites, and will make a large clump in time. A vigorous, low-maintenance plant, with dense, compact mounds of basal foliage which grows about 12-18 inches tall, but when in bloom the plants are 3-4 feet tall. It spreads by shallow creeping rhizomes. The flowers are visited by numerous bees and butterflies and make a good cut flower. After flowering concludes, rounded seedheads remain at the end of the stems for additional interest. ‘Honorine Jobert’, was discovered in Verdun, France in 1858. 2016 Perennial Plant of the Year.
‘Jasmine’ (‘IFANJ’) Windflower is one of the Fantasy™ series of compact, floriferous Anemones. The dark pink single flowers start in August and bloom for an extended period into fall. Anemone Fantasy™ ‘Jasmine’ was bred in the Netherlands, by Innaflora BV, the hybridizers of other Pretty Lady™ Anemones. Introduced in the USA by Plants Nouveau.
The semi-double pinkish lavender flowers of 'Pamina' Japanese Anemone appear on compact plants. Flowers bloom late summer into fall often extending to first frost. Planted in mass they make a very display late in the season.
'September Charm' Japanese Anemone has a silvery cast to its tall pinkish rose single flowers. One of the hardiest of the Anemones, it expands gradually to make an impressive group. Fall blooming.
'Cinderella' Windflower is another compact beauty from the Pretty Lady™ series of Anemones. The flowers appear in August and September, with thick textured single soft pink petals. Anemone 'Cinderella' has thick short flower stems so the blooms do not flop. Blooming for an extended time in mid summer to early fall, this introduction from Plants Nouveau also produces interesting fluffy white seedheads after flowering.
'Pocahontas' Windflower is a lovely compact introduction from the Pretty Lady™ Series of Anemones. The large double flowers are a bright bubblegum pink, making quite a show in July, August and September. The blooms are followed by cottony white seedheads in the fall. Anemone 'Pocahontas' is a heavy bloomer, so it is showy in the front of a mixed boarder and in late summer containers. The strong stems make 'Pocahontas' a useful cut flower, as well as resistant to flopping.
'Red Riding Hood' Windflower is an addition to the Fantasy™ series of Anemones, developed by Yoshihiro Kanazawa of Japan. The rose red single flowers cover the compact plants starting in late July and continuing into October with the prolonged bloom period and the strong compact habit, Anemone x Fantasy™ 'Red Riding Hood' makes and excellent late summer to fall container plant.
PRN Preferred: This Japanese hybrid is both an extremely heavy bloomer and a tight compact plant.
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.
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.
Our native Columbine, Aquilegia canadensis blooms in April and May, producing beautiful downward facing flowers of red and yellow. They hover above the attractive biternate green foliage, and serve as an important source of nectar for hummingbirds on their northern migrations, as well as native pollinators. Aquilegia canadensis seeds itself well in meadows and edges of the woods, and adds a lovely graceful note to spring flower displays. Columbine prefers partial shade conditions but will tolerate more sun with adequate moisture.
Aquilegia canadensis 'Little Lanterns' is a dwarf selection of our native Columbine that has a lot of flower power. 'Little Lanterns' Columbine has downward facing flowers of red and yellow in April and May, a favorite for hummingbirds. Use this lovely cultivar in open shade gardens, woodland gardens or naturalized areas. Continue to water plants after bloom for a wonderful groundcover of attractive foliage.
Earlybird™ ‘Purple Yellow’ Columbine has large bicolored flowers with soft yellow center petals and purple spurs. The blooms appear in mid to late spring over attractive delicate foliage. The habit is compact and the big flowers face out and upward instead of hanging down. Aquilegia x Earlybird™ ‘Purple Yellow’ performs best in some shade and cooler temperatures.
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.
'Sun King' Golden Aralia is a very large showy perennial, producing chartreuse yellow compound leaves which hold their striking color all summer. Foliage retains good yellow color throughout summer unless grown in too much shade. The 2' tall white flower spikes appear in late summer, and are followed by purplish black berries. Barry Yinger found this Aralia in Japan (in a department store's garden section!) and brought it to the US. This is a great plant to light up the back of shady perennial beds.
'Massachusetts' Bearberry has small shiny evergreen leaves with small pinkish white bell-like flowers in April and May, often followed by red fruits. The berries provide winter forage for many mammals, including bears. Arctostaphylos is a prostrate, flat-growing plant best grown in acid soil and sandy, well drained sites. Grows well in poor infertile soils. There are large colonies of Bearberry in the NJ Pinelands. 'Massachusetts' produces abundant flowers and fruits; it has smaller leaves than the species. The leaves feed several species of caterpillar, such as the Hoary Elfin. Selected by Bob Tichnor of Oregon from seed collected in Massachusetts. It is also salt tolerant.
Aronia arbutifolia 'Brilliantissima' is a deciduous shrub with white flowers in May. The bright red fruit of this Red Chokeberry ripens in late summer and persists into winter. The glossy foliage turns brilliant red in fall. This cultivar differs from the species; it is more compact, produces larger and more numerous fruit plus has superior red fall color. It forms a suckering colony and is wet site and salt tolerant.
Ground Hug™ Black Chokeberry ('UCONNAM012') was developed in Connecticut by Dr Mark Brand, to answer the need for tough native groundcover shrubs. Aronia melanocarpa Proven Winners® Color Choice® Ground Hug™ stays low while suckering to a wide, densely branched groundcover thicket. The delicate white spring flowers are followed by glossy black fruit in late summer (an important food source for wildlife). Then the crowning glory is the vivid orange and red fall foliage. Because of Ground Hug's™ vigorous spreading habit it would work well as a slope stabilizer. (used to be Ground Hog)
Low Scape Hedger® Black Chokeberry ('UCONNAM166') is a selection of our native Aronia, chosen for its compact upright habit. In mid spring Low Scape Hedger® produces a quantity of showy white racemes held above the lustrous green foliage. During the summer the dense habit makes a good choice for short hedges. In the fall the leaves turn striking shades of orange and red, brightening up the landscape for a prolonged period before dropping. Fruit production is limited, but native pollinators benefit. Developed by Dr. Mark Brand and Dr. Bryan Connolly of U. Conn.
Low Scape Mound® Black Chokeberry ('UCONNAM165') is an unusual Aronia melanocarpa form produced by Drs. Mark Brand and Bryan Connolly of U. Conn. Low Scape Mound® performs as a groundcover instead of an upright shrub, so it works well as an erosion control plant as well as an edger. The green spring foliage is topped by lots of attractive white racemes. The showy flowers are followed by shiny black fruit in late summer, providing important food for wildlife. The fall color is a deep red, persisting for several weeks. A good native sub for Deutzia.
PRN Preferred: The habit of this versatile native is both low and broad, and the foliage is beautiful throughout hot summers and cool falls.
'Viking' Black Chokeberry has glossy dark green leaves which turn a striking red in fall. The white, spring flowers are followed by large purplish black fruit, which birds love (and they are full of anti-oxidants). The site adaptability (Aronia melanocarpa 'Viking' likes both wet and dry conditions) and the suckering habit make it an excellent shrub for reclamation use, as well as an attractive landscape plant. Dr. Mark Brand of Connecticut found this native beauty. 2020 PHS Gold Medal Plant!
PRN Preferred: A good shrub for wetland reclamation plantings, a more compact variety with very large glossy foliage.
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.
'Silver Mound' Artemisia is one of the most striking examples of silver leaved perennials. The fine, feathery foliage makes a tight cushiony mound in dry sites, and retains the attractive habit throughout the summer if periodically given a light trim. Artemisia 'Silver Mound' does bloom periodically, but the flowers are insignificant and should be removed to maintain the silver cushion look. The low compact size of 'Silver Mound' makes it a good candidate for rock gardens and summer containers.
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.
'Powis Castle' Wormwood has showy silver foliage with a finely textured appearance, and needs a dry site. The foliage is sharply aromatic. The hybrid was selected by British gardener A. J. Hancock in the late 1960's, and used to line walls and terraces surrounding the castle. Sold to promote the National Trust gardens, it was introduced in 1972 by the National Trusts’ Powis Castle in Wales.
Miniature Goat's Beard has delicate Astilbe-like spikes of creamy white above deeply cut green foliage, blooming in June. Dr. Alan Armitage feels that Aruncus aesthusifolius is more heat tolerant than the bigger Aruncus, and he's right, from our experience here in New Jersey. Adequate moisture is necessary, pairs well with ferns and hostas in the shade garden, it can also be used in rock gardens due to it diminutive size. Miniature Goat's Beard often produces attractive fall foliage in shades of bronze and purple.
Goat's Beard has large white Astilbe-like flowers in June, held well above the plant. It prefers moist, shady locations and it is particularly gorgeous planted in masses. The flowers attract numerous butterflies, pollinators and bees. Aruncus dioicus is dioecious (separate male and female plants). Both flower but the male plants are more floriferous having numerous stamens per flower while the female flower has only 3 stamens. The genus name Aruncus comes from the Greek word for goat’s beard. Best if pruned back after flowering to promote bushy growth.
'Chantilly Lace' hybrid Goatsbeard blooms in late spring and early summer, producing masses of airy creamy white sprays above the attractive green foliage. Aruncus 'Chantilly Lace' is an excellent addition to shade gardens, with strong vigor and increasing clump size over many years. This showy native is part of the Proven Winners® perennial program, from Walters Gardens.
The soft green leaves of Canadian Ginger appear in pairs in spring and are followed closely by weird, hairy, burgundy brown 3-lobed flowers which attracts pollinators such as crawling flies and beetles with its fragrance. It requires high organic matter soil that maintains constant moisture until the plant is established. Asarum canadense spreads rapidly in forest understory sites. Ants carry seeds back to their nests dispersing and creating new plants. They are the larval host for the pipeline swallowtail. Asarum canadense is a great native groundcover that does well in deep shade and is perfect for a woodland garden or to help with erosion control.
The lustrous green leaves of European Wild Ginger are evergreen and leathery in texture. The flowers are small, inconspicuous 3 lobed burgundy brown hairy oddities which appear in late spring to early summer. Flowers are pollinated by flies and the roots have a mild ginger scent. It is a creeping groundcover that spreads well in shady moist sites.
The large shiny dark green leaves of Chinese Ginger have heavy silver mottling. The interesting burgundy brown flowers are found beneath the leaves. It is semi-evergreen and slow growing. Prefers a dry site. Hardy to zone 6 but may overwinter in zone 5 if protected. Best planted with the crown level to the soil, avoid planting this plant too deep.
Swamp Milkweed is a great addition to wet sites, stream banks and butterfly gardens. Fragrant white-to-pink milkweed flowers appearing in July and August on tall, clump-forming plants. The flat cymes are followed by interesting seed pods. Asclepias incarnata is an important Monarch butterfly nectar source and is an important food source for the larval stage of Monarch butterflies. It tolerates dry sites as well as wet conditions.
‘Cinderella’ Swamp Milkweed is a great native for bogs, ponds and streams. The small bright pink flowers are produced in showy umbels (flat crowns) from July to early fall, providing an important source of nectar and pollen to butterflies and other pollinators. Besides having an attractive vanilla scent, the blooms of Asclepias ‘Cinderella’ make a good long-stemmed cut flower. Like all Milkweeds, ‘Cinderella’ is deer resistant and an important host for Monarch butterfly larvae.
'Ice Ballet' Swamp Milkweed produces fragrant bright white milkweed flowers in flat clumps (umbels) in July and August. An important native host for Monarch butterfly larvae, Asclepias 'Ice Ballet' is an excellent addition to rain gardens, bioswales and moist meadows. The white latex is repellent to deer and rabbits, so the clumps get larger and showier with time. The blooms are followed by the classic milkweed pods which release silky white seeds when ripe.
'Soulmate' Swamp Milkweed blooms in July and August, producing clumps of fragrant mauve pink flowers. Asclepias incarnata 'Soulmate' thrives in moist and wet sites, so it works well in rain gardens, bioswales and wet meadows. Milkweeds are critical for Monarch caterpillars, and many pollinators are drawn to the flowers, Asclepias 'Soulmate' naturalizes well in wet locations because of the airborne milkweed seed production in fall.
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.
Lovely orange and yellow flowers in June and July, followed by small spindle-shaped seed pods which when ripe will open to release silky seeds to be dispersed in the wind. Butterfly Weed is an important plant for butterflies, the leaves are a food source for monarch butterfly caterpillars and the flowers are a nectar source for many butterflies. Typically grows in clumps 1 to 3 feet tall, and is found in dry, rocky open woods, prairies, fields, and roadsides. It must have a dry site and seeds readily given the right conditions. This species does not have milky-sapped stems. Asclepias tuberosa pairs well with other native plants such as asters, coneflowers and ornamental grasses. Once established Butterfly Weed is very drought tolerant but difficult to transplant due to the large taproot.
Whorled Milkweed is a tough native perennial which serves as a critical food source for all stages of Monarch butterfly development. The delicate white umbel shaped fragrant flowers appear from June through autumn, on top of the narrow leaves. Asclepias verticillata is one of the last milkweeds to go dormant, making it a valuable late season food source for Monarch butterflies and their caterpillars. The common name ‘Whorled’ refers to the way the leaves circle the stems. Because of Asclepias verticillata’s white sap, Whorled Milkweed is not eaten by deer or rodents. The silky seeds are released in fall from the pods (also useful in dried flower arrangements). The fall foliage color is yellow. This species will colonize to form a large patch.
'Mango' Pawpaw is a slow growing tropical looking tree which bears delicious yellow fruit in October. The fruit is large and smooth skinned, with delicious soft flesh surrounding a few brown seeds. All Pawpaws are significant hosts for butterflies and moths, and are still commonly found in patches in old farmyards because settlers depended on Asimina triloba for the delicious fruit.
'Pennsylvania Golden' Pawpaw is an early ripening form of our largest native fruit. The flesh is yellow and the taste is reminiscent of mango, banana and pineapple. Pawpaw ice cream is one of the greatest desserts we have ever eaten. Asiminas are important hosts for the larvae of the Zebra Swallowtail Butterfly, as well as the Pawpaw Sphinx Moth. Pawpaws are often found colonizing shady riverbanks along the Mid Atlantic and Southern plains.
'Prolific' Pawpaw has large delicious early ripening fruit in early fall. The flavor is complex, with hints of banana and mango, resulting in the old common name of 'Poor Man's Banana'. The 3 lobed hanging flowers in early spring are among the more interesting bloom forms, with 3 fleshy brown petals and a somewhat unpleasant odor (since they need flies and beetles to pollinate them). The leaves are large and tropical looking.
'Sunflower' Pawpaw, a somewhat self-fertile variety of a wonderful but under utilized native fruit tree. Asimina triloba 'Sunflower' Pawpaw's yellow fruit is ready in October.
'Sweet Alice' Pawpaw was found by Homer Jacobs in West Virginia in 1934, and became a common farmyard fruit tree because of its large sweet orange yellow fruit produced in September and early October. The habit is somewhat more compact than some other selections and the fruit set is plentiful. All Pawpaws fruit best when planted near 1 or more other cultivars, because cross pollination between different clones is important for a good fruit set. The interesting purple brown flowers appear in April and May.
'Wilson' Pawpaw was found in the wild in Kentucky. The fruit is medium to large sized and has golden yellow flesh when ripe in the fall. The interesting purple brown flowers are produced in early spring and are set all along the branches. Since all Pawpaws except 'Sunflower' are "self-incompatible", it is best to plant 2 or more cultivars for good fruit set. The harvest period is fairly long for Pawpaws, as the fruit ripens over a month.
We grow a broad selection of these wonderful but underutilized native Pawpaws. They are all ultimately 25' and perform best in full sun. Their delicious yellow fruits ripen in September or October and taste like a combination of mango and banana custard. The fruit production is the most prolific when they have a pollinator. The interesting tri-lobed purple brown flowers appear along the stems in mid spring. The beautiful Zebra Swallowtail Butterfly and the Pawpaw Sphinx Moth depend on Asiminas in order to reproduce. Contact us for our cultivar list.
The soft blue flowers of 'Wood's Light Blue' Fall Aster appear on disease resistant foliage in August to September. Bred for compact habit, long bloom period and heavy flowering; it eventually forms a large mat. An important source of late season nectar and pollen for bees and butterflies. Try it in the front of a perennial boarder of a container. Hybridized by Ed Wood in Portland, Oregon.
'Wood's Pink' Fall Aster has dark pink flowers with yellow centers over disease resistant foliage. It blooms August to September and forms a large mat eventually. One of the Wood's series, and an Aster which will eventually spread to make a large patch. 'Wood's' selections have shown excellent resistance to mildew and rust.
'Wood's Purple' Fall Aster has magenta purple flowers with yellow centers, disease resistant foliage, and blooms August to September. Forms a large mat eventually. Genus name comes from the Latin word aster meaning star for the shape of the flowers. One of the Wood's hybrids.
‘Avondale’ Blue Wood Aster is a late blooming native, producing lots of small light blue daisies with yellow to burgundy centers. Aster cordifolius ‘Avondale’ starts blooming in late August and lights up woodland margins and meadows well into fall. Unlike most other Asters, ‘Avondale’ is relatively deer resistant. The nectar and pollen are both important sources of food for butterflies and native pollinators and the seeds are loved by sparrows and thrushes. Introduced by North Creek Nurseries. (New name is Symphyotrichum cordifolium).
'Eastern Star' White Wood Aster is shorter than the species and has dark burgundy stems to set off the white daisy-like flowers better. 'Eastern Star' is a low mounding perennial that blooms in September and October. White Wood Aster tolerates a wide range of soil types and handles dappled shade to full shade. Plants form colonies from underground rhizomes and tend to self-seed. Aster divaricatus 'Eastern Star' is a host plant for Pearl Crescent and Checkerspot caterpillars and its winter seeds are enjoyed by songbirds, like goldfinches and juncos. Found by Roger Rache in a coastal Rhode Island native population, it was first introduced by Canyon Creek Nursery, later grown in our region by Northcreek Nurseries (new name is Eurybia divaricata).
PRN Preferred: More compact than the species, flowers even in dry shade.
‘Snow Flurry’ White Heath Aster is a native groundcover which performs beautifully in late summer and early fall. The short sturdy stems become covered with white daisy-like flowers which attract pollinators and songbirds. Because of its vigorous stoloniferous habit, Aster ericoides ‘Snow Flurry’ makes a good erosion control choice. The species name ‘ericoides’ refers to the heather-like appearance. (New name is Symphiotricum ericoides ‘Snow Flurry’).
'Bluebird' Smooth Aster has lots of showy bluish violet flowers in late summer and early fall over clean foliage. 'Bluebird' is a great introduction from the Mt. Cuba Center in Delaware. Ranked as the #1 Aster in an evaluation study at Mt. Cuba Center. Strong stems do not need staking if cutback somewhat in June. Carl Hesselein's favorite Aster for flower color, disease-free foliage and upright stature in the garden. (New name is Symphyotricum laeve.)
PRN Preferred: Tons of flowers with no staking required. Winner!
'Lady in Black' Calico Aster is an unusual native Aster because the foliage is just as showy as the flower display. The narrow leaves start the summer as a deep plum or purple, gradually changing to bronze when 'Lady in Black' blooms in late summer and early fall. It becomes covered with delicate white daisies with rosy pink centers, complimenting the dark foliage and attracting all types of butterflies and other pollinators. The open habit can be improved by cutting plants back to 6" in June. This native selection was found in Holland. (New name is Smyphyotrichum lateriflorum.)
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.
Aster novae-angliae 'Alma Potschke' is a New England Aster with showy deep pinkish rose flowers appearing in late summer and early fall. The habit is tall, like the native species which lights up the autumn New England Llandscape, but the vibrant fushsia pink color really stands out. Asters provide a nectar source for butterflies as well as a host plant for their larvae. (New name is Symphyotricum novae-angliae).
The stunning deep purple daisy flowers of 'Purple Dome' New England Aster appear in August on compact upright plants. A wonderful introduction from a wonderful plantsman, Dr. Richard Lighty, and the Mt. Cuba Center. Asters naturally grew in moist prairies and meadows in the eastern US thriving in full sun. Great for erosion control and pollinators love it. Pinch back stems before mid summer to promoter fuller more floriferous plants, this will also control the height and prevent if from flopping. Can self-seed so it is best to cutback after flowering to prevent seedling varieties in the garden. New England Aster is a larval host to the Pearl Crescent Butterfly caterpillar and the Checkerspot Butterfly caterpillar. It provides nectar for bees, hoverflies, skippers, and butterflies and is especially important as a late-season nectar source for migrating butterflies. (New name is Symphyotricum novae-angliae.)
'October Skies' Aromatic Aster has medium blue flowers in September and October. 'October Skies' is tolerant of dry, poor soil sites. Plants form low mounding colonies from underground rhizomes. 'October Skies' blooms about 2 weeks earlier than 'Raydon's Favorite'. Loved by butterflies, bees and other pollinators and an important addition to the garden for late fall gardens. A Primrose Path introduction (New name is Symphyotricum oblongifolium).
Masses of delicate clear blue flowers appear on 'Raydon's Favorite' Aromatic Aster in September and October. 'Raydon's Favorite' is tolerant of dry, rocky sites which makes sense because it was found in San Antonio, Texas by Raydon Alexander. Aromatic Aster is adaptable to a wide range of soil conditions and can tolerate heat, pollution, and soil compaction. Since it's foliage is fragant it is usually left alone by rabbits, rodents, and deer. One of famed plantsman, Rick Darke's favorites (New name is Symphyotricum oblongifolium).
PRN Preferred: A consistantly excellent performer.
Aster tataricus 'Jin-dai' is a Tatarian Daisy with bluish lavender flowers with yellow centers which bloom from September through November. A. 'Jin-dai' sports large tropical leaves all summer. Found in Japan by Rick Darke and Skip March. It was discovered at the Jin-Dai Botanical Garden in Tokyo, Japan. It grows shorter than the species, which can reach 7-8 ft. in height. Tatarian Daisy can rapidly spread by rhizome. An exceptional long-blooming, dramatic perennial; looks great in combination with ornamental grasses and Solidago varieties.
Dwarf Chinese Astilbe has pinkish lavender flowers in July, and blooms later than most Astilbes. 'Pumila' is a dwarf plant which spreads more quickly than most other Chinese Astilbes, eventually making a large mat, and tolerates drier sites than many Astilbes.
'Visions' Chinese Astilbe has vivid pink flowers in July, over attractive lustrous foliage, Chinese Astilbe blooms later than the Arendsii hybrids.
PRN Preferred: Better drought tolerance than most other Astilbes, perfect choice for dry shade. Compact variety.
‘Visions in Pink’ Chinese Astilbe has upright soft pink flower spikes in June and July. Because of the density of the blooms, the flower display is very impressive. Astilbe chinensis cultivars have lustrous dark green foliage, and are more dry site tolerant than earlier flowering Astilbes. The excellent deer resistance makes this a wonderful addition to the woodland garden.
'Visions in Red' Chinese Astilbe has reddish pink blooms in July held up by reddish stems and bronzy green foliage. Later blooming than most Astilbes.
'Visions in White' Chinese Astilbe blooms in June and July, producing dense creamy white spikes over glossy green foliage. 'Visions in White' is exciting because of its good tolerance for drier conditions. Like other Astilbe chinensis cultivars, 'Visions in White' extends the bloom time for Astilbes into early summer. Excellent for shade gardens and woodland edges.
The tall purple flowers of 'Purple Candles' Chinese Astilbe appear in June. Late blooming and relatively dry site tolerant. Chinese Astilbe varieties are noted for having better sun and drought tolerance than most x arendsii hybrids. Flower stalks can remain for additional ornamental interest in the garden.
PRN Preferred: Very tall flower spikes, more drought tolerant.
'Delft Lace' Astilbe is a very beautiful newcomer to the Plume Flower scene, with dark pinkish salmon buds which open up to fragrant apricot pink delicate plumes, set off by contrasting red stems. The dissected foliage is also attractive, with a silvery overlay on the bluish green leaves. It blooms in June and makes an awesome show.
PRN Preferred: The delicate dissected leaves and the colorful flowers are tougher and longer lasting than those of most other Astilbes.
‘Bridal Veil’ Hybrid Astilbe blooms throughout May, with lots of gracefully arching white plumes held above light green fern-like foliage. Astilbe 'Bridal Veil’ is a good addition to a small shade garden, or is lovely in masses in woodland landscapes. Astilbe x arendsii are hybrids, the result of crosses between Astilbe Chinensis, Astilbe Japonica, Astilbe thunergii, and Astilbe astilboides. These hybrids were developed in Germany by George Arends in the 1920s.
'Deutschland' Hybrid Astilbe has lots of white flowers in May and June above light green leaves. A vigorous selection for shady spots, with a strong delightful fragrance.
'Erika' Hybrid Astilbe has tall light pink plumes in May and June on reddish stems, bronzy new growth, and an upright habit. An excellent cut flower that lasts and lasts in the vase.
‘Fanal’ Hybrid Astilbe has arching plumes of deep red flowers in June. The bronzy green foliage clumps have delicate dissected leaves, out of which come the upright flower stems. Astilbe x ‘Fanal’ does best in moist cool sites, and makes a good cut flower.
The plumes of 'Peach Blossom' Hybrid Astilbe are peach with pink undertones in May and June over medium green foliage. In general, Astilbes are long-lived perennials that are most comfortable when grown in rich soil and light shade to filtered sun. They will grow in full shade, but will not bloom as prolifically there.
'Red Sentinel' Hybrid Astilbe has red flowers in May and June on red stems over dark green foliage. A dependable heavy bloomer. Perfect in a shady spot with dappled light; prefers moisture so water regularly for abundant flowers and nice foliage.
'Rheinland' Hybrid Astilbe has fluffy clear pink blooms in May and June over a mound of lush green foliage, adding a light, airy quality. A tough, reliable Astilbe.
The dense upright plumes of snow white flowers of 'White Gloria' ('Weisse Gloria') Hybrid Astilbe appear in May and June over dark green foliage. Extremely showy in a mass. It is resistant to rabbits and deer, but attractive to butterflies.
White Astilboides has tall large Astilbe-like white flowers in June, over huge round dramatic leaves that resemble lily pads. Leaves can grow to 2-3' in diameter, and have a have table-like surfaces, hence the species name. Astilboides tabularis pairs well with ferns and hostas. This hard to find plant will be sure to make a statement in any garden. Prefers moist sites. It used to be classified as a Rodgersia.
Lady Fern has green lacy foliage, and is a deciduous clump. It is relatively sun tolerant, in spite of its fine foliage. Athyrium filix-femina is found in rich moist woods, thickets, fields, meadows and ravines throughout northern North America. A good filler for moist woodland gardens.
The medium green delicate foliage of 'Lady in Red' Lady Fern is set off by deep burgundy red stems for a striking effect. Athyrium filix-femina Lady In Red grows slightly smaller than the species. A deciduous clump.
Japanese Painted Fern has very showy fronds, soft grayish green with an overlay of silvery hues accented by contrasting dark maroon midribs. Fronds will become greener with the summer heat. It is a deciduous creeper. Athyrium nipponicum 'Pictum' was the 2004 Perennial Plant of the Year.
‘Regal Red’ Japanese Painted Fern lights up shady spots with a beautiful combination of silver and burgundy red coloration on the delicately cut fronds. The dark red is displayed primarily on the interior of the frond, and it leaches outward to bright silver outer edges. Although a slow spreader, Athyrium nipponicum ‘Regal Red’ will eventually colonize a shady location well.
'Ghost' Lady Fern is a hybrid of A. filix-femina and A. nipponicum 'Pictum'. This fern combines the best of its parents in its brilliant silvery coloring on a light green background. The habit of Athyrium x 'Ghost' is somewhat upright and the color lights up dark spots amazingly. A deciduous clump which slowly widens, 'Ghost' was found in a garden in Richmond, Virginia as a spontaneous seedling.
'Emily Rose' Aucuba is a dark green female selection with superior cold tolerance. The slender lustrous leaves are evergreen , and make a great setting for the large shiny red fruit. The berries color up in mid to late winter, and are retained well into the summer, providing a log lasting show. Any male form planted nearby will provide adequate pollination. Aucuba 'Emily Rose' was an introduction from Hines Nursery of California.
'Hosoba Hoshifu' Aucuba is a showy evergreen for shady locations, with long narrow shiny green leaves speckled liberally with bright yellow spots. 'Hosoba Hoshifu' is a female Aucuba, which produces shiny red long lasting fruit when planted near a male form (most green and yellow Aucubas are male). The fruit is large and very showy as it persists throughout the winter. Plant in a sheltered spot protected from winter winds and afternoon sun.
'Rozannie' Aucuba is a compact evergreen form which has large, very lustrous green leaves. They look almost artificial because they are so shiny and perfect. Even more amazing are the enormous bright red berries which remain on 'Rozannie' for several months. Since birds (and deer) do not eat the fruit, the show goes on for a long time. A compact female form, tolerant of a wide range of soils. Per landscape designer Lisa Fernandez, the plant looks lush and gorgeous, even planted in the dreaded super shady corner of Collins Park in Philadelphia. Nothing had survived there in the past and Aucuba 'Rozannie' has flourished.
Aucuba japonica 'Variegata' has shiny green leaves sprinkled with gold spots, and is evergreen. Variegated Japanese Aucuba is often called 'Gold Dust' Aucuba. Best foliage colors generally occur in part shade locations; the gold spots on the may fade in too much shade.
The tall white pea-flowered spikes of Baptisia alba var. macrophylla appear in May and June. Black peapods add interest into the fall and winter. A very long lived perennial.
Blue False Indigo, also known as Redneck Lupine, has blue pea-like flowers and glaucous trifoliate leaves. Asparagus-like buds emerge from the ground in early spring and grow to form a dense bushy long-lived perennial. Baptisia australis blooms in May and June and is frequented by bees and butterflies. After flowering deep purple seed pods develop adding interest and sound to the garden. All Baptisia have deep tap roots and spend the first year or two developing them so site them carefully and expect the real flower show in the third year. Also Baptisias are very roadside salt and dry site tolerant. 2010 Perennial Plant of the Year.
PRN Preferred: Easy to grow and does not grow too big.
The yellow pea-shaped flower spikes of Baptisia sphaerocarpa appear in mid summer over disease resistant green foliage. Clump is long lived and increases in size every year.
‘American Goldfinch’ False Indigo is a large floriferous Baptisia, with bright yellow spikes of pea-shaped flowers for a prolonged period in late spring and early summer. The flower spikes are followed by large round seed pods which are held above the neat green foliage throughout the summer. Baptisia ‘American Goldfinch’ is a large, problem-free perennial with a very long lifespan, so give it plenty of room when planting. Another great introduction from Walters Gardens.
‘Blue Bubbly’ False Indigo is part of Hans Hansen’s Decadence® Deluxe series. Baptisia ‘Blue Bubbly’ produces 18” spikes of purple blue pea-shaped flowers starting in late spring. Baptisias make large long-lived clumps which tolerate a wide range of soils and conditions. Plant them in the back of sunny perennial beds and don’t plan to move them unless you have a backhoe.
‘Blueberry Sundae’ False Indigo is part of the Decadence® Deluxe Series from Walters Gardens. The flower spikes are a deep indigo blue and are produced for an extended period from late spring to early summer. The blue green foliage is clean and attractive, and Baptisia ‘Blueberry Sundae’ displays large black seedpods in the fall. Baptisias are deer resistant and long-lived.
‘Cherries Jubilee’ False Indigo is one of the Decadence® series from Proven Winners. The peashaped flowers emerge as maroon buds on sturdy spikes in late spring, opening to a combination of maroon and yellow. As the blooms mature, they take on more yellow tones. Baptisia Decadence® ‘Cherries Jubilee’ is relatively compact, and has bluish green clean foliage which has the added advantage of deer resistance.
Decedence® 'Lemon Meringue' is a new introduction from Hans Hansen's extensive breeding program. The lemon yellow pea-shaped flowers are held on tall charcoal colored stems above bluish green foliage. A tough, long lived native perennial, Baptisia 'Lemon Meringue' is a colorful addition to the back of perennial borders as well as an excellent candidate for prairie gardens and dry meadows. Decadence® Lemon Meringue is drought tolerant, deer resistant and long blooming.
PRN Preferred: Attractive contrast between the bright yellow flowers and the charcoal stems.
‘Pink Truffles’ False Indigo is in the exciting Decadence® Deluxe series from Hans Hansen and Walters Gardens. The soft pink pea-shaped flowers emerge in late spring and cover the tall green spikes. They age to a soft lavender and the green summer seed capsules turn black in the fall. Bees and pollinators love Baptisia ‘Pink Truffles’, which is extremely long lived like its siblings.
‘Sparkling Sapphires’ False Indigo is another great new Baptisia cross from the amazing work of Hans Hansen. Baptisia ‘Sparkling Sapphires’ produces violet blue flower spikes in late spring through early summer, attracting butterflies and pollinators. The habit is somewhat compact for a Baptisia. Large black seed pods follow the flower display in summer, adding another interesting visual note.
Decadence® 'Vanilla Cream' False Indigo has 10" spikes of vanilla pea-shaped flowers in May and June. The petioles are dark gray, making an attractive contrast to the opening flowers. The clean disease free foliage matures to grayish green in summer, making a wide clump topped by dark charcoal round seedheads. Baptisias are very long lived perennials and are useful in the back of mixed borders as well as in meadows. From Hans Hansen's Decadence® series.
‘Dark Chocolate’ False Indigo blooms for an extended period in late spring. The flower spikes are covered with dark brown to purple pea-shaped flowers, crowning the compact habit of Baptisia x ‘Dark Chocolate’. The showy blooms are followed by dark round seedpods in the summer. ‘Dark Chocolate’ False Indigo is another long-lived perennial from the breeding work done by Hans Hansen of Walters Gardens.
‘Pink Lemonade’ False Indigo is an unusual bicolor Baptisia from the extraordinary work of Hans Hansen. The peashaped buds of the flower spikes emerge a soft yellow in late spring. As the flowers mature, they take on hues of raspberry pink, set off by charcoal stems. Since the spikes continue to produce flowers for an extended time, both colors are on display simultaneously. Baptisia ‘Pink Lemonade’ is part of Proven Winners’ Decadence® Deluxe series.
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.
‘Freckle Face’ Blackberry Lily has several seasons of interests, with flowers in late summer followed by seedheads in fall and early winter. The 2” showy flowers are produced in quantity, displaying bright orange petals with lots of red dots. The seedheads emerge in fall and look like blackberries because of the shiny black berry clusters. Belamcanda chinensis ‘Freckle Face’ is an improvement on the pale orange species, and comes from Walters Gardens in Michigan.
‘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.
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.
Dura-Heat® ('BNMTF') River Birch has lighter bark than Heritage® Birch, showing lovely whitish tan exfoliating bark at a young age. Since it hails from Georgia, its heat tolerance is excellent, with the result that its compact dark green leaves are retained all summer. The fall color is yellow, and its striking bark makes it a particularly welcome addition to the winter landscape. Like all River Birches, Dura-Heat® is very tolerant of wet sites and resistant to typical Birch diseases.
Heritage® ('Cully') Riverbirch is one of the best Birches for the Northeast. Discovered in a St. Louis suburb and tested and introduced by the extraordinary plantsman Earl Cully. Noted for it's cold hardiness, beautiful creamy exfoliating bark, disease and borer resistant, wet site tolerant, fast growth habit, we could go on and on...
‘Dragon Lady’ Crossvine produces showy salmon red trumpet-shaped flowers in early to mid summer. Bignonia ‘Dragon Lady’ is vigorous and fast growing, so it does well on strong tall trellises. The semi-evergreen dark green foliage turns shades of bronze and purple in fall. ‘Dragon Lady’ should be pruned vigorously just after blooming to keep it neat and tidy.
Hardy Orchid has rosy purple flowers in May, like miniature Cattleyas. It is a native of the grassy slopes of central and southern Japan and the cool mountain slopes of China. Over time is will naturalize and slowly spread. Bletilla striata prefers moist, well drained soil but will handle some dryness once established. Best planted in spring or early summer.
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.
'Blonde Ambition' Blue Grama is a lovely low maintenance native grass which has unusually shaped inflorescences. The orange to straw colored flowers are held horizontally off the stems, so that they look like tiny feathers. 'Blonde Ambition' produces chartreuse flowers (instead of purple for the species) on taller flowering stems. This is especially lovely when back lit by afternoon sun. When planted in mass, Bouteloua 'Blonde Ambition' can serve as an infrequently mowed lawn, since it does best in full sun. It was introduced by David Salman of High Country Gardens, and brought to our attention by Steve Castorani of North Creek Nurseries.
PRN Preferred: A fun whimsy appeal, what other grass has horizontal seedhead that last well into the winter?
The beautiful seed heads of Quaking Grass start appearing in June and are a wonderful addition to cut and dry flower arrangements. Seed heads make a lovely sound in the wind. Prefers a dry, well drained site.
Heartleaf Brunnera blue forget-me-not-like flowers which appear over heart-shaped leaves for eight to ten weeks starting in early to mid-spring through June. Due to the rough texture of the leaves, deer and rabbits tend to leave Brunnera macrophylla alone. A native to several regions of Eastern Europe and Asia, it must have a moist spot and part to full shade. A slow spreader and will also self-seed.
'Silver Heart' Heartleaf Brunnera blooms in April and May, with cobalt blue flowers held over stunning silver and green heart-shaped leaves. The leaves are similar to the other new silver-laced cultivars but Brunnera 'Silver Heart' has thicker, more pubescent foliage, so it tolerates our hot East Coast summers better. All Brunneras perform best with moderate but consistent moisture, and the effect of the large blue flowers over the silver foliage is spectacular in the spring.
'Black Knight' Butterfly Bush boasts fragrant purplish violet flowers starting in late June. This Buddleia has a vigorous and large habit, and blooms all summer into fall.
'Miss Molly' Butterfly Bush starts blooming in July and continues all summer without deadheading. The fragrant flowers are pinkish rub red and plentiful. Buddleia davidii 'Miss Molly' is a midsized Butterfly Bush, so it works well in the back of perennial beds as well as a low hedge. Butterflies and hummingbirds consume the nectar all summer. Another beauty from Dr Dennis Werner of NC State, who crossed 'Miss Ruby' with 'Attraction' to produce 'Miss Molly'.
Flutterby Petite® 'Blue Heaven' ('Podaras #8') Butterfly Bush is a new introduction to the groundcover Buddleia world, with blue fragrant flowers all summer over low growing silvery foliage. It is largely sterile, and is a great nectar source for hummingbirds, butterflies and other insects. A Ball Ornamentals introduction from hybridizing work by Peter Podaras.
PRN Preferred: Although quite compact in habit, Petite® ‘Blue Heaven’ is a very heavy bloomer all summer and shows better cold tolerance than many other ‘dwarf’ Buddleias.
Lo & Behold Ruby Chip® (‘SMNBDD’) Butterfly Bush has the same shocking pink blooms as Buddleia ‘Miss Molly’, but on a dense compact habit. The flowers start in June and are produced all summer, especially if occasionally deadheaded. The green deer resistant foliage is dense and tight, so Buddleia Ruby Chip® makes a great addition to sunny perennial borders. Megan Mathey of Spring Meadows Nursery is the breeder of this dwarf beauty.
'Purple Haze' Butterfly Bush is an exciting new groundcover Buddleia with a low mounding habit and an all summer display of bluish purple fragrant flowers. The foliage is green, the flowering branches are arching, and the flowers are sterile. Another breakthrough from Dr. Dennis Werner of NCSU.
Pugster Blue® ('SMNBDBT') Butterfly Bush blooms throughout the summer and into the fall, producing large blue flowers on sturdy short stems. The growth habit of Buddleia x Pugster Blue® is very compact, making this a good candidate for containers and perennial borders. The blooms are fragrant, and attract butterflies and other pollinators all summer. The Pugster® series from Spring Meadow shows better winter cold tolerance than other dwarf Buddleias.
Pugster Pinker® (‘SMNBDB’) Butterfly Bush has large deep pink fragrant flower spikes on a compact, sturdy plant all summer. The Pugster® series shows good cold tolerance and does not require pruning because of the neat compact habit. Megan Mathey is the breeder and Spring Meadow Nurseries is the introducer through the Proven Winners® program.
Pugster White® (‘SMNBDW’) Butterfly Bush is a compact but sturdy Buddleia, with large fragrant white flowers. The short stature means that the Buddleia x Pugster White® does not need the pruning that earlier large cultivars have required. Also, the Pugster® series is somewhat more cold tolerant than several earlier Buddleia cultivars. This would make a good potted plant for sunny patios in summer.
Pugster® Amethyst ('SMNBDL') Butterfly Bush is a more cold tolerant compact Buddleia, with large lavender purple blooms on short sturdy stems. Pugster® Amethyst starts blooming in June and keeps on flowering until early fall. A Spring Meadows introduction, this Buddleia is recommended for use in rock gardens, perennial beds and tighter sites than most Buddleia can handle.
As many of you are already aware, the threat of Boxwood Blight is increasing in our area. At PRN, we are taking additional steps to provide healthy Boxwoods. First, we only source from growers who can provide Boxwood Compliance Certificates. Additionally, we are limiting access to our Boxwoods at the nursery. This is being done to reduce the risk of spreading the disease to healthy plants. Boxwood Blight is often transmitted through spores carried on shoes and clothing, and resistant but healthy Boxwoods have been shown to carry the disease as well. Customers will be able to view and order Boxwoods from PRN but they will be a “PRN Pull Only”. These extra precautions will keep PRN clean from Boxwood Blight so you can feel reassured that you are purchasing healthy, disease free Boxwoods which will thrive at your job site.
NewGen™ Freedom® (‘SB300’) Boxwood comes from years of testing by Saunders Brothers Nursery of Virginia, in their Boxwood Blight resistance trials. Freedom® and Independence® are both highly resistant to both Blight and Boxwood Leafminer. Buxus NewGen™ Freedom® is the taller of the two, with a rounded but vigorous habit. It makes a beautiful green hedge or foundation planning, and benefits from a light yearly pruning to maintain the tight shape.
New Gen™ Independence (‘SB108’) Boxwood was found as a chance seedling near Williamsburg, VA. The Boxwood Kings of Saunders Brothers selected it after years of observing Independence® because of its proven excellent resistance to both Boxwood Blight and Boxwood Leafminer. Buxus New Gen™ Independence® is the best replacement for English Boxwood in size and shape. The evergreen foliage maintains its deep green color well in the winter.
'Little Missy' Little Leaf Boxwood is an excellent substitute for Buxus 'Justin Brouwers' is areas where Boxwood Blight is increasingly a problem. The Buxus microphylla cultivars are much more resistant to the effects of the blight, and 'Little Missy', with it's compact mounding habit and diminutive size works well where really small Boxwoods are needed. The leaves are lustrous dark green and tolerate sun well. Buxus 'Little Missy' does well with trimming, so it can be used to make knot gardens and short formal hedges.
Baby Gem™ ('Gregem') Little Leaf Boxwood is a sport of Buxus 'Winter Gem' with a tighter habit and neater foliage. Although Buxus Baby Gem™ eventually reaches the size of its parent, it is slower growing and needs little pruning. The summer color is a good dark green, and Baby Gem™ does not bronze in winter. An introduction from Greenleaf Nursery of Oklahoma.
'Jim Stauffer' Little Leaf Boxwood is a vigorous and formal microphylla cross, with good cold tolerance. Buxus microphylla var. japonica 'Jim Stauffer' maintains a neat rounded habit with little pruning, and makes an attractive foundation plant or tight hedge. This Boxwood has shown good resistance to both Boxwood Blight and Leaf miner.
'Winter Gem' Little Leaf Boxwood has large glossy evergreen leaves with bronze backs and an upright rounded habit. Winter color is a bronzy green.
'Dee Runk' Common Boxwood has glossy dark green foliage that makes its conical shape a standout. It is evergreen, disease resistant and slow growing and is an exciting newcomer to the Boxwood scene.
Fastigiate Common Boxwood has dark green foliage which often has a bluish cast to the evergreen leaves. The habit is a neat upright cone, somewhat wider at the base than B. 'Dee Runk'. Buxus s. 'Fastigiata' shows minimal bronzing in the winter, and makes an impressive formal specimen.
'Vardar Valley' Common Boxwood is an unusually tough Buxus sempervirens, with excellent insect and disease resistance coupled with attractive green foliage that has a distinctive bluish cast. It was found by Edgar Anderson of the Arnold Arboretum and Missouri Botanical Garden in 1945, along a river in Macedonia. After years of observation it was named and released by the Arnold Arboretum because of its proven excellence. Slow growing and compact, it forms an excellent low maintenance shrub for shady locations.
A cross between B. sinica var. insularis and B. sempervirens, 'Green Gem' Boxwood is a slow growing round evergreen that combines excellent hardiness with good winter color. An introduction by Sheridan Nurseries of Ontario, Canada.
'Green Velvet' Boxwood is a very hardy selection from Sheridan Nurseries in Canada. Glossy evergreen foliage on a round maintenance free shrub.
Korean Feather Reed Grass has beautiful airy pinkish inflorescences in September, above strong green foliage. It is shade and moist site tolerant and blooms much later than other Feather Reed Grasses. Calamagrostis brachytricha does sometimes self-seed but is manageable.
PRN Preferred: Unsurpassed inflorescenses in the shade, combines with other perennials in mass for a striking impact.
Calamagrostis x acutiflora 'Karl Foerster' has tan seedheads, is early blooming and has an upright habit; it starts blooming in mid June. A 2001 Perennial Plant of the Year, 'Karl Foerster' Feather Reed Grass was named after our friend Tim Foerster's cousin, the great German nurseryman. The blooms have a wheat-like appearance and are a good cut flower. Winter foliage is a pale tan, and 'Karl Foerster' shows excellent salt tolerance. Karl Foerster found this lovely spontaneous cross at the Hamburg Botanical Gardens.
'Overdam' Feather Reed Grass has green and white foliage and tan upright inflorescences. Thriving in both sun and shade, this is one of our favorite grasses. Winter color is a whitish tan.
The pale blue flowers of Calamintha nepeta 'Blue Cloud' appear during the summer over delicate, fragrant foliage. It reblooms well if cut back after initial blooming. Dry site tolerant. Bees, butterflies and insects love the flowers and we lovethe minty fragrance of the foliage. Calamintha makes a great filler in the garden and can also be used as an edging. Native to Europe and the Mediterranean region.
Calamint is a tough informal-looking groundcover that is covered with small fragrant white to lilac flowers from mid summer to early fall. The grayish-green delicate foliage has a minty fragrance which makes it deer and rabbit resistant. Leaves may be dried for potpourris or sachets. Pollinators flock to the blooms. Calamintha nepeta subsp. nepeta is a good addition to walls and rock gardens.
American Beautyberry has pinkish lavender flowers in June and July that produce magenta violet fruit along the stems for a spectacular fall show. It is best to remove old canes for rejuvenation of the shrub because the flowers and fruits appear on new shoots. Best fruiting is in full sun but plants will tolerate light shade. Callicarpa americana berries are a good food source for songbirds and small mammals.
'Early Amethyst' Beautyberry abounds with large quantities of small lilac fruits in the fall. Originally from Brookside Gardens in Maryland. This is the same plant as C. 'Issai', per Barry Yinger. Purple beautyberry is easy to grow and low maintenance and once established are quite drought tolerant. Planting in mass improves cross-pollination and fruit production. Small mammals and birds eat the fruit.
Wine Cups or Purple Poppymallow is a native groundcover which forms a wide sprawling mat of green dissected leaves. The large magenta-purple cup-shaped flowers appear from late spring through summer, and are especially showy on sunny days. Callirhoe involucrata produces a deep tap roof, which makes it tolerant of dry conditions but difficult to move. Will flourish in hot, sunny west facing beds and slopes or spilling over walls. Host plant for Gray Hairstreak. The sprawling habit would make Wine Cups a good candidate rock gardens.
Calycanthus floridus has dark maroon flowers in May and June that are often fragrant. Plants will vary from no scent to highly fragrant; the flower fragrance has been described as a combination of melon, pineapple, strawberry, and banana. Sweetshrub is wet site and dry shade tolerant and the fall color is yellow. Sweetshrub is also referred to as Carolina Allspice and is native from Virginia to Florida. Sweetshrub's leaves are aromatic when bruised and the shrub will sucker and often forms colonies in the wild. Calycanthus is distantly related to Magnolias.
'Athens' ('Katherine') Sweetshrub has yellow flowers in May and June that are consistently fragrant. A great introduction from Dr. Michael Dirr in Athens, Georgia; originally provided to him by Mrs. Symmes. It was named after his daughter Katherine. It is wet site tolerant. Cut branches can be brought inside to provide strong fragrance.
'Michael Lindsey' Sweetshrub has reddish brown flowers that are consistently, gorgeously fragrant, blooming for a prolonged period in April and May over dark, lustrous green foliage. Fall color of is clear yellow to gold. Selected by Allen Bush of Holbrook Farm & Nursery in North Carolina and named after the young son of one of his staff members. Per Dr. Michael Dirr, “Calycanthus floridus 'Michael Lindsey' is the standard by which other introduction will be measured." It is also wet site tolerant. Extremely verticillium resistant per Rick Darke.
PRN Preferred: Heavy bloomer, fragrant flowers, lustrous foliage with good fall color. Reblooms sporadically throughout the summer.
'Burgundy Spice' Sweetshrub represents a radical color change in Calycanthus foliage, with lustrous deep burgundy leaves throughout the summer. We selected for darker foliage over a number of years, coming up with 2 beautiful purple colored sports. We chose the best one to name Calycanthus floridus var purpureus 'Burgundy Spice'. The maroon flowers appear in May and June, and have the classic mango and pineapple fragrance of good Sweetshrub selections. The fall foliage adds another season of enjoyment, turning attractive shades of yellow and amber.
'Hartlage Wine' Sweetshrub has amazing reddish maroon flowers with yellow centers starting in May and continuing to fall. A very exciting Sweetshrub named after an extraordinary plantsman, Dr. J.C. Raulston, developed by Richard Hartlage and the JC Raulston Arboretum. It used to sport my favorite plant name, xSinocalycalycanthus x raulstonii.
PRN Preferred: The showy red and yellow flowers are produced throughout the summer.
'Korean Fire' Camellia has bright red single flowers on an upright plant. A very cold-hardy Camellia, considered one of the best of the C. japonica cultivars. Introduction found by Barry Yinger in Korea. Blooms in April and May and is evergreen.
Camellia ‘Victory White’ is a spring blooming japonica selection which produces large white anemone-form flowers in April and May. ‘Victory White’ Camellia was introduced from Japan by K Sawada in the 1930s. The habit is vigorous and upright, with lustrous evergreen foliage. The semi-double white flowers have bright yellow stamens crowning the centers.
‘Kanjiro’ Camellia blooms in late fall and early winter, producing masses of semi-double cerise pink flowers. The evergreen foliage is lustrous and dark green. Camellia sasanqua ‘Kanjiro’ is a zone 7 Camellia, so it needs to be planted in a protected location, avoiding exposure to afternoon sunlight and winter winds. The reward for siting it correctly will be lots and lots of flowers.
‘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.
Camellia x 'April Blush' has semi-double blush pink flowers with yellow anthers in April and May. An introduction from Dr. Clifford Parks, 'April Blush' is an evergreen spring blooming Camellia.
Camellia x 'April Kiss' has rosy red formal double flowers and an upright habit and heavy bud set. 'April Kiss' is a Dr. Clifford Parks selection that blooms in April and May and is evergreen.
'April Remembered' Camellia is an early spring blooming evergreen, at its peak in April. The large semi-double flowers are a creamy soft pink, with yellow stamens accenting the centers. This is another zone 6 beauty from Dr. Clifford Parks and Camellia Forest Nursery, and it is equally useful as a specimen or as a hedge. Just make sure it has wind and sun protection in the winter.
Camellia x 'April Rose' has double rosy pink formal flowers and blooms in April and May. 'April Rose' Camellia is an introduction from Dr. Clifford Parks and is evergreen.
Camellia x 'April Snow' has white rose-form flowers and blooms in April and May. 'April Snow' Camellia is an introduction from Dr. Clifford Parks and is evergreen.
Camellia x 'April Tryst' has showy red anemone-form flowers, and is an introduction from Dr. Clifford Parks. It is spring blooming and evergreen.
'Arctic Rose' Camellia has rosy red formal double flowers displayed on an upright plant. It is evergreen and blooms in April and May. From Dr. Ackerman's breeding work.
‘Ashton’s Pride’ Camellia is one of the hardier fall blooming Camellias, producing semi-double soft pink flowers in November and December. Pollinators take advantage of the pollen producing yellow stamens. Camellia x ‘Ashton’s Pride’ is a cross between Camellia japonica and Camellia oleifera, hybridized by Dr. William Ackerman at his farm in Ashton, Maryland. Protect from winter sun and wind for best results.
‘Londontowne Blush’ Camellia is a hardy C. oleifera cross with C. japonica, and produces single soft pink blooms in November and December. The shiny evergreen foliage is displayed on a rounded compact habit. Camellia x ‘Londontowne Blush’ is another cold tolerant hybrid from Dr. Ackerman and the National Arboretum.
Camellia x 'Long Island Pink' has single pink flowers that bloom in the fall and a nice compact habit. 'Long Island Pink' Camellia was found on Long Island, NY and is evergreen.
PRN Preferred: A compact neat form, very cold tolerant.
'Northern Exposure' Camellia blooms for an extended period in late fall and early winter. The pale pink flower buds open to large white blooms set off by bright yellow stamens. 'Northern Exposure' always sets multiple buds, and since they open progressively over several months, the flower display is a very showy addition to the late fall garden. Like all Camellias, 'Northern Exposure' has lustrous green evergreen leaves and prefers shade and protection from winter winds.
'Snow Flurry' Camellia produces a large quantity of double and semi-double white flowers in late fall and early winter. Resulting from a complex series of crosses by Dr. William Ackerman and the National Arboretum, 'Snow Flurry' has shown excellent cold tolerance. The habit is somewhat floppy when young, and periodic pruning before the emergence of new growth would help with that. Evergreen and shade loving, Camellia x 'Snow Flurry' is a great addition to the winter garden.
Camellia x 'Spring's Promise' has single reddish salmon flowers in spring, with some blooms opening consistently in the fall. It has glossy evergreen foliage.
PRN Preferred: Blooms in both spring and fall.
'Survivor' Camellia blooms in early fall, with large single white fragrant flowers that start out tipped by soft pink on the ends of the petals. It is evergreen and upright in habit. Its name indicates its excellent cold hardiness, and it results from a C. sasanqua and C. oleifera cross made by Dr. Clifford Parks.
Camellia x 'Winter's Joy' has a semi-double fuchsia pink flower on a narrow upright form. Makes a good hedge in shady locations. From Dr. William Ackerman, Camellia x 'Winter's Joy' is fall blooming and evergreen.
The flowers of 'Winter's Snowman' Camellia are a white, semi-double anemone-form. From Dr. William Ackerman, Camellia x 'Winter's Snowman' is fall blooming and evergreen with a narrow upright habit.
'Winter's Star' Camella has light pinkish lavender single flowers starting in October on an open habit. From Dr. William Ackerman, Camellia x 'Winter's Star' is fall blooming and evergreen. Makes an excellent hedge for shady locations.
‘Winter's Star White’ Camellia comes from the prolific work of Dr. William Ackerman of Maryland fame. Camellia x ‘Winter’s Star White’ is a cross between Camellia oleifera and Camellia hiemalis, which gives it excellent cold tolerance. The flowers appear in late fall and early winter, crowning the lustrous evergreen foliage. They are single white blooms, and they bloom earlier than Camellia japonicas, so they tend not to be affected by winter freezes.
‘Rapido Blue’ Carpathian Bellflower blooms from late spring into early summer, producing a cloud of violet blue bell-shaped flowers over a mat of ground hugging green foliage. Campanula carpatica ‘Rapido Blue’ is an earlier bloomer than older cultivars of Carpathian Bellflowers, and produces very uniform growth. Because of its excellent tolerance, ‘Rapido Blue’ would be a beautiful addition to shady green roofs.
‘Rapido White’ Carpathian Bellflower is covered with white bell-shaped flowers starting in late spring. Campanula carpatica ‘Rapido White’ is a good summer rebloomer if deadheaded after the initial heavy flowering. ‘Rapido White’ makes a refined groundcover and is a good addition to rock gardens and mixed containers for sunny locations.
Adriatic Bellflower forms a mat of bright yellow foliage topped by clusters of star-shaped light blue flowers in late spring. The species was discovered growing at the base of Italy’s Mt. Gargano in 1827. Campanula garganica ‘Dickson’s Gold’ performs best when protected by light shade. The habit is vigorous, spreads indefinitely by prostrate to decumbent stems to make a low golden mat eventually.
'Freya' Clustered Bellflower is covered with lilac purple star-shaped flowers in May and June. The foliage is green and somewhat pubescent, and flowers for almost 4 weeks. Campanula glomerata 'Freya' is more floriferous than the straight species, with its flower stems comprising about 2/3 of the height of the plant. An introduction from Arie Blom of the Netherlands.
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.
Harebell or Bluebell is found in many locations, particularly in Scotland (as well as the Midwest). The fine green foliage clumps produce delicate stems that are topped by light blue nodding flowers in clumps in early summer. If deadheaded, Campanula rotundifolia will rebloom, especially in cooler climates. Harebells are a good choice for naturalizing, as they seed themselves well in woodland edges.
'Iridescent Bells' ('Irbella') Bellflower blooms in June and July, with fragrant light lavender bell-shaped flowers which emerge from eggplant purple buds. Visited by bees and hummingbirds, 'Iridescent Bells' is the perfect addition to cottage gardens and the perennial boarder; a good cut flower. The green foliage is clean and Campanula 'Iridescent Bells' has an upright habit, displaying the hanging flowers nicely. If deadheaded after blooming this Bellflower reblooms in the late summer and early fall. A Burpee Introduction which has been praised by the Royal Horticultural Society.
'Kent Belle' Canterbury Bells is a long blooming beautiful perennial which produces 2" violet blue hanging bells from June through August. The flowers are produced in quantity, bending the stems over with their weight at times. Campanula x 'Kent Belle' spreads slowly to make a good sized clump, and is very attractive in both sunny and shady mixed perennial beds. The long stems make lovely cut flowers. An introduction from England.
'Pink Octopus' Bellflower has very unusually shaped blooms which actually look like pink Octopuses. The hanging bright pink petals are very narrow and long, and are carried above fuzzy dissected leaves. Campanula x 'Pink Octopus' spreads rapidly in average soil, making a showy groundcover when in bloom in June and July.
'Sarastro' Bellflower is a hybrid from Sarastro Nursery in Austria, producing a neat green clump with beautiful dark purple downward facing bells held on 18" spikes. Campanula x 'Sarastro' is a cross between C. punctata and C. trachelium, hybridized by Christian Kress. Most Campanulas need cool summer temperatures to thrive, but 'Sarastro' Bellfloower is much more heat tolerant, which makes it a good candidate for mid Atlantic perennial gardens. Use as a slow groundcover, or naturalized on the edge of the woods.
'Morning Calm' Chinese Trumpetcreeper has huge open-faced flowers that are orange, apricot and yellow. Flowers are very attractive to hummingbirds. Slower growing and more woody, Campsis grandiflora 'Morning Calm' knows its place in the landscape better than the native form. The species is native to eastern and southeastern China. 'Morning Calm' was introduced by the JC Raulston Arboretum in Raleigh, NC in the mid 1980s.
'Stromboli' Trumpet Vine has very large open-faced deep red flowers that start appearing in mid July. The bloom period is into August, and 'Stromboli' produces a quantity of 3" trumpets throughout its blooming season. This native vine is an important summer food source for hummingbirds.
White-tinged Sedge is a native clump-forming Carex with arching thread-like foliage. The fine texture of Carex albicans makes it an excellent lawn substitute for shady locations with dry to moist soil conditions. The insignificant scaly flower spikes emerge in May and are interesting but not showy. Since Carex albicans self-seeds, it can make an effective groundcover for erosion control. Intermingle with other shade loving flowering perennials.
Eastern Narrowleaf sedge is an attractive green fine bladed native which thrives in both moist and dry shady sites. The habit is somewhat upright and Carex amphiloba forms a compact evergreen clump. This shiny green sedge makes an excellent substitute for Liriope; especially in gardens where "Native" is the choice.
Appalachian Sedge is a fine-textured green clump-forming Carex that performs really well in very shady dry woodlands. The habit is arching, like a green fountain, so Appalachian Sedge is particularly attractive in mixed shade containers. This cool-season sedge looks its best in the spring and fall, and its leaves that turn a nice straw color during the winter. Grows well on slopes and is a host plant for several caterpillars. The very fine texture makes it a great filler plant.
Cherokee Sedge is an increasingly rare native that tolerates a wide range of conditions throughout the Southeast. The fine green foliage is fountain-like in habit, and the clumps slowly widen to make a natural looking groundcover. It tolerates dry conditions but is happiest in moist sites. Since it is deer resistant as well as at home in both sun and shade, this Carex deserves more usage. Avoid hard cutback.
'Blue Zinger' Glaucous Sedge has beautiful grayish blue foliage that is similar in color to Festuca 'Elijah Blue', but 'Blue Zinger' is much more tolerant of different sites, going from shade to full sun. Carex flacca 'Blue Zinger' spreads rapidly to make a good tight groundcover.
Gray's Sedge is a tall Carex which thrives in wet and shady locations. The light green semi-evergreen foliage grows 2', and is topped by 3' flower stems. The blooms rapidly turn to fascinating 1" spiky stars which are attractive in flower arrangements, fresh or dried. Carex grayi thrives in moist to wet conditions, so it naturally occurs along stream banks and edges of ponds. It is a striking addition to rain gardens and bioswales, and tolerates full sun if kept moist.
Bunny Blue® ('Hobb') Glaucous Woodland Sedge has steel blue evergreen foliage produced by a neat, easily divisible clump. Carex Blue Bunny® prefers a woodland location, but will tolerate sun if the moisture is good. Because of its bright color and neat habit, it looks particularly attractive when colonizing a shady site (both moist and dry). A selection by Bob and Lisa Head of GardenDebut.com.
‘Everglow’ Japanese Grass Sedge is a new introduction in the EverColor® series from Irish hybridizer Pat Fitzgerald. ‘Everglow’ is a morrowii selection, but unlike Carex ‘Ice Dance’, this sedge has multicolored, fine evergreen blades with stripes of green, white and soft orange. The orange color intensifies in cooler fall temperatures, so Carex ‘Everglow’ is a great choice for winter containers. Like its siblings, ‘Everglow’ is a clumper.
'Ice Dance' Japanese Grass Sedge has green and white striped foliage. 'Ice Dance' is a great evergreen groundcover that can cover a large, shady area rapidly and easily. 'Ice Dance' spreads slowly to fill in and unlike other sedges, does not form clumps. The small flowers appear above the foliage in May. Native to Japan and introduced to the US by Barry Yinger.
'Everillo' Weeping Sedge starts the summer season with lime green mounding foliage that rapidly turns a vivid yellowish gold. Like its relatives, 'Evergold', and 'Everest', 'Everillo' is evergreen, so it lights up the garden throughout the year. Carex 'Everillo' was found by Pat Fitzgerald of Ireland, as a naturally occurring sport of 'Evergold'. The graceful, flowing habit of the narrow leaves makes this sedge an excellent addition to mixed containers.
PRN Preferred: Bright gold evergreen foliage lights up the garden all season long.
'Everest' ('CarFit01') Weeping Sedge is a lovely sport of Carex 'Evergold', with ivory white margins bordering the dark green evergreen leaves. The soft flowing foliage does well in woodland settings and in mixed shade containers, as its bright white stripes make a showy display. The habit is clumping. Found in 2006 by Pat Fitzgerald of Ireland.
PRN Preferred: More vivid and vigorous than its ‘Evergold’ parent. Foliage arches up from the crown and weeps gracefully.
'Evergold' Golden Sedge has yellow and green striped evergreen foliage. It is stunning as a container plant. This sedge looks good virtually year-round, and Bruce Crawford of the Rutgers Gardens has found that it is tolerant of full sun and poor soils as well. Wow! This species is native to dry woods and rocky slopes throughout Honshu Island, Japan.
Pennsylvania Sedge has fine green leaves which are semi-evergreen, spreading slowly by rhizomes to form a tough groundcover in shady areas. Plants are monoecious, male flowers appear in spiklets above the female flowers. Most effective if planted in mass. It can be used instead of grass in the shade. Tolerant of foot traffic as well; mow infrequently. Carex pensylvanica is native to thickets and dry woodland areas in North America providing nesting material and shelter for wild birds. Pennsylvania Sedge supports dozens of butterfly and moth species.
PRN Preferred: Makes a really good grass substitute for shady locations.
Seersucker Sedge lives up to its common name with its wide green leaves that are "puckered like Christmas ribbon", as those articulate folks at North Creek Nurseries say. Carex plantaginea is native to eastern North America. It tolerates moist locations and adds winter interest because this Carex is evergreen. Plants slowly colonize from short rhizomes and by producing occasional seedlings. The seeds are a food source for woodland birds including wild turkey. It’s very quick to establish in rain gardens and on wooded slopes.
PRN Preferred: We love the unique, seersucker texture of the foliage and the purplish inflorescences.
Low Woodland Sedge is a rhizomatous Carex which produces long narrow arching green leaves. The semi-evergreen foliage is soft and flowing, looking like a green wave in woodland locations. Carex socialis thrives in wet sites and makes an attractive setting for taller flowering shade perennials. ‘Carex King’ James Brown of New Moon Nursery points out that it “looks like Nasella but likes moist soil and part shade.” Bruce Crawford says “it’s like hair on the face of the forest.”
'Prairie Fire' Orange New Zealand Sedge has thin upright long green blades in summer that take on shades of bronze, orange and red in fall and winter. Evergreen and of striking winter interest. Do not cut back old foliage until May or later. Good drainage is critical for this plant.
European Hornbeam has been used often and very effectively as a tightly pruned hedge or screen in formal settings in Europe, and this application is being used increasingly here in the US. Carpinus betulus is a tough, fine twigged tree which takes pruning very well and tolerates a wide variety of soil conditions. We are growing it as a low branched shrub for hedging and screening. Examples of this use can be found at Brooklyn Botanical Garden and also on Eastern Long Island.
Emerald Avenue® (‘JFS-KWICB’) European Hornbeam is another great tree from Keith Warren’s tireless work at J Frank Schmidt and Son Nursery. Carpinus betulus Emerald Avenue® has a tight habit of ascending branches around a strong central leader. The dark green leaves are small and disease-free in summer, making this a good choice for street plantings. The fall color is an attractive yellow. Emerald Avenue® tolerates a wide range of soil conditions.
Fastigate European Hornbeam is an excellent tree for urban or formal sites because of its tight, extremely regular form and excellent disease resistance. When young, Carpinus betulus 'Fastigiata' is narrow and very upright, but it broadens into a dense tight pyramidal oval as it matures. The leaves are neat and relatively small, and since the form never needs pruning, Carpinus is a maintenance-free tree. Even without foliage, the dense branching makes this an excellent screening tree in winter.
'Frans Fontaine' European Hornbeam is more columnar than Carpinus betulus 'Fastigiata', but is equally resilient in urban and suburban conditions. The narrower habit makes Carpinus 'Frans Fontaine' a good candidate for narrower spaces or street tree applications. The fall color of the tidy foliage is a clear yellow, and winter interest is provided by the upright, densely branched form. Since all Carpinus varieties are a fall digging hazard, container production makes the planting season much longer.
American Hornbeam is a tough, beautiful native tree which performs well in a wide variety of site conditions. Its green veined leaves and habit look somewhat like American Beech trees, and its interesting 2" hanging winged seed bracts add to its appeal in summer. It performs very well when transplanted from containers, and can be used in full sun or shade locations as well as sites which are periodically flooded. Native to the US, Carpinus caroliniana can handle full shade and is often found as an understory plant in forests and along rivers. The fall color is attractive, varying from yellow through orange to reddish purple hues. It can be pruned to make a good tight hedge, like its European cousin, C. betulus. 2020 PHS Gold Medal Plant!
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.
Beyond Midnight® Bluebeard ('CT-9-12') produces abundant deep cobalt blue flowers in late summer to early fall. The foliage is lustrous and disease resistant, growing on a compact habit. Caryopteris Proven Winners® Color Choice® Beyond Midnight® need excellent drainage to thrive, and should not be cut back until spring. The foliage has an attractive minty fragrance, which may be why deer and rabbits leave it alone. A good plant for full sun containers.
'Dark Knight' Bluebeard has deep blue-purple flowers in mid summer and grayish green aromatic foliage. It has consistently shown good disease resistance. Clandonensis hybrids were discovered as an accidental cross between C. incana and C. mongholica. The flowers are very attractive to butterflies, bees and other beneficial insects.
'Longwood Blue' Bluebeard has bluish violet flowers and grayish green aromatic foliage. 'Longwood Blue' blooms later than other Caryopteris, in mid to late summer. Dry site tolerant, crowns may rot in wet, poorly-drained soils. A selection from Longwood Gardens in Pennsylvania.
New Jersey Tea is a tough, adaptable native shrub with pretty white fluffy lilac-shaped flowers in June and July. The flowers have a lovely delicate fragrance. The fruits of Ceanothus americanus are subtle but interesting 3-sided capsules and the seeds are consumed by turkeys and quail. It does very well in seashore settings and dry sites. The name New Jersey Tea was coined during the American Revolution because its leaves were used as a substitute for imported tea.
Prairie Sentinel® (‘JFS-KSU1’) Common Hackberry is a member of the Elm family which has excellent tolerance of all kinds of soil conditions and temperature challenges. Prairie Sentinel® was found in Kansas by Kansas State University and introduced by J. Frank Schmidt Nursery of Oregon. It was selected for its tightly columnar habit, which makes it an excellent street tree option. The green coarse foliage is disease free, and the operative word to use about Celtis Prairie Sentinel® is “tough”, according to Dr. Michael Dirr.
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.
The rosy red flower spikes of Red Valerian bloom for an extended period in early to mid-summer. This plant prefers sterile, limey soils and does well in rock gardens and walls. Freely self-seeds in optimum growing conditions, to prevent self-seeding and to encourage additional bloom, remove spent flower stems. Centranthus ruber var. coccineus is more compact in size and has darker red flowers than the straight species. An old-fashioned, easy perennial.
Sugar Shack® ('SMCOSS') Buttonbush is a more compact version of our interesting native Cephalanthus. The white puffball flowers appear in mid to late summer, attracting butterflies and other pollinators. The blooms are followed by red mace shaped fruit and burgundy foliage in the fall, providing food for wildlife as well as visual interest. Buttonbush is a host plant for titan sphinx moths and hydrangea sphinx moth caterpillars. Cephalanthus is very wet site tolerant (we first saw it while canoeing as little children), so it is an excellent bog, bioswale or rain garden shrub.
Cephalotaxus harringtonia 'Duke Gardens' has dark evergreen foliage and a tight, compact form. 'Duke Gardens' Plum Yew is excellent in shade but will tolerate sun as well. Originally found at The Sarah P. Duke Gardens in North Carolina by Richard Fillmore in the late 1950s, as a branch sport of C. 'Fastigiata'.
Cephalotaxus harringtonia 'Fastigiata' has evergreen foliage and a wide columnar habit. It makes a good pillar-like conifer for foundation and formal plantings. Easily pruned and maintained as columnar specimens. Fastigiate Plum Yew is a slow growing alternative to upright Taxus in deer country.
Cephalotaxus harringtonia 'Prostrata' has dark evergreen foliage and looks like Taxus baccata 'Repandens' on steroids. Its long shoots can gracefully cascade over stone walls. Prostrate Plum Yew loves shady, dry locations. Best substitute for low growing Taxus in deer situations.
Ceratostigma plumbaginoides is a Leadwort or Plumbago native to the foothills of China with cobalt blue flowers from late summer till frost. Flowers resemble those of woodland phlox. This plant spreads by underground rhizomes and slowly expands to form an effective groundcover. The green foliage turns a reddish purple in the fall. The new foliage appears late in the spring. Per NC State Extension "It produces chemicals that inhibit the growth of weeds and other unwanted plants, which makes it an excellent choice as a ground cover. " Ceratostigma is attractive to pollinators, especially the hawk moth.
Cercis canadensis is a classic harbinger of spring, with pinkish lavender pea-shaped flowers covering its branches in April ("cauliflory"). The green heart-shaped leaves of this Eastern Redbud turn yellow in the fall, and the zigzag branching habit in the winter adds to the appeal of this large shrub or small tree. Per Dr. Michael Dirr "A native tree with a touch of class." The flowers are actually edible, so they make an attractive addition to spring salads.
'Ace of Hearts' Eastern Redbud is a long-awaited dwarf form of Cercis canadensis with magenta pink flowers in April and May. More shrub-like, typically half the size of the straight species. The form is similar to the ace in a deck of cards. It was found and introduced by Paul Woody of Morganton, North Carolina.
'Alley Cat' Eastern Redbud has foliage liberally splashed with white, and its striking variegation is stable and scorch resistant. The dark pink pea-shaped flowers emerge in April just before the leaves begin to show in shades of copper pink and soft green. As the foliage matures, the white emerges and makes a lovely contrast to the green. Alan Bush found Cercis 'Alley Cat' in an alley near his home in Kentucky, and gave it to Harald Neubauer of Hidden Hollow Nursery to introduce.
'Appalachia' Red Eastern Redbud has deep reddish purple buds that open to bright neon pink flowers in April and May. Cercis canadensis 'Appalachia' is more vibrant than the straight species and very eye-catching. It was found growing along a roadside in Maryland by Dr. Max Byrkit. 2021 PHS Gold Medal Plant.
Burgundy Hearts® ('Greswan') Eastern Redbud is a refinement of the 'Forest Pansy' theme, with pinkish lavender April flowers followed by reddish purple lustrous foliage. The heart-shaped leaves hold their dark color longer in the summer, taking on reddish wine tones towards the fall. Introduced by Greenleaf Nurseries from a selection of over 3,000 seedlings.
Carolina Sweetheart® ('NCCC1') Eastern Redbud is an unusual new Cercis, from NCSU in partnership with the North Carolina nurserymen. The heart-shaped leaves emerge in April, in shades of bronzy purple with vivid pink and white margins. The tri-color effect is striking, and since it follows the classic lavender purple flower display, Cercis Carolina Sweetheart® is a dramatic standout in the landscape for a long period. By mid summer the foliage is primarily bronze green, but the new growth continues to be colorful.
Flame Thrower® (‘NC2016-2’) Eastern Redbud came from JC Raulston Arboretum in Raleigh, NC. They’re onto something new and different, as the leaves emerge reddish burgundy and rapidly mature to yellow and green, giving a multicolor effect. The pink pea-shaped blooms appear on the bare stems before the foliage emerges. A really striking small specimen tree, especially in late spring and early summer.
PRN Preferred: This is the most striking of the tri-colored Redbuds, with foliage that progresses from reddish burgundy to yellow and green, changing from early spring to mid summer.
'Forest Pansy' Eastern Redbud has rose purple flowers and reddish purple foliage in April and May changing to bronze by fall. The foliage is strikingly beautiful in spring and early summer. Originally found in a seedling block at Forest Nursery in McMinnville, TN in 1947.
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.
Lavender Twist™ ('Covey') Eastern Redbud has purplish rose flowers in April and May on an umbrella-shaped crown. Lavender Twist™ is a great introduction from Tim Brotsman, found by him in New York State in the garden of Mrs. Covey.
'Royal White' Eastern Redbud is a classic white flowering Cercis which was selected by the late great Dr. JC McDaniel of the University of Illinois. He chose it for the large, plentiful pea-shaped flowers produced abundantly in April. Since the parent tree was found in Bluffs, Illinois, the cold tolerance is excellent. 'Royal White' is vigorous and faster growing than other white forms, and we're glad to be able to keep this tried-and-true selection in circulation.
'Ruby Falls' Redbud is a weeping form of 'Forest Pansy', long awaited by avid plantsmen and brought to us by Dr. Dennis Werner of NCSU. The velvety purple foliage is displayed on graceful weeping branches, making a spectacular show in spring and early summer before it ages to greenish bronze. Its rosy purple flowers emerge before the leaves unfold. The name was chosen by 5 year old Porter Neubauer of Tennessee, undoubtedly a great future nurseryman.
PRN Preferred: A great combination of habit (weeping) with color (deep velvety purple).
Summer's Tower™ ('JN7') Eastern Redbud was found by Ray Jackson of Belvidere, Tennessee as a chance seedling on his nursery. The habit is upright rather than broad, so its vase-shaped form works well in confined spaces. The lavender pink pea-shaped flowers cover 'Summer's Tower' in April and May, when the green heart-shaped leaves are first emerging. The upright shape in maturity is almost reminiscent of Zelkova 'Mushashino', but Cercis 'Summer's Tower' is of course much smaller at maturity.
The Rising Sun™ ('JN2') Redbud is one of the most stunning plants we have ever seen, with foliage that starts as peachy apricot, maturing through chartreuse-yellow to a final deep green. Since all three color phases are present at the same time in late spring and summer, the effect is spectacular. The blooms are the classic Redbud lavender in April and May. It was found and introduced by Ray Jackson of Belvidere, Tennessee.
The stems of White Chinese Redbud are covered in white flowers in April, followed by attractive heart-shaped leaves. Cercis chinensis 'Alba' ('Shirobana') is a hard-to-find Chinese Redbud.
Cercis chinensis 'Don Egolf' has branches that are absolutely covered with pinkish lavender flowers in April, followed by heart-shaped neat glossy foliage. 'Don Egolf' does not bear seed pods like the other cultivars, which makes it a very sought after cultivar. Due to is compact size and slower growth rate it is very suitable for containers. 'Don Egolf' Chinese Redbud is a wonderful plant named after one of the world's greatest plantsmen, Dr. Don Egolf, who is much missed in the plant world.
'Kay's Early Hope' Chinese Redbud was named after NC State's wonderful Women's Basketball Coach Kay Yow, because its pinkish lavender flowers appear at the same time as NC State's basketball tournaments. Upright and vase-shaped in habit, 'Kay's Early Hope' is covered with blooms for a longer period than most Cercis chinensis cultivars. It was introduced by the JC Raulston Arboretum from a plant grown in their extensive collection for many years.
'Oklahoma' Redbud has rosy magenta flowers in April and May, followed by leathery green heart-shaped leaves. Coming originally from Oklahoma and Texas, it shows better heat and wind tolerance than other Cercis. Warren and Son Nursery first found this tough plant in the mountains of Oklahoma, which may explain its greater hardiness than other texensis varieties of Redbud.
'Pink Pom Poms' Redbud is another beautiful introduction from the work of Dr Dennis Werner of NCSU and Alex Neubauer of Hidden Hollow Nursery. The double flowered Cercis c. 'Flame' was crossed with Cercis r. Oklahoma, resulting in much bigger, showier double dark pink to purple flowers. When in bloom in April and May, 'Pink Pom Poms' is absolutely breath taking, and the huge flower display is not followed by seedpods because the blooms are completely sterile. The green heart-shaped leaves appear after the blooms, and are glossy and attractive.
The Double Take® Orange Floweringquince series comes from the work of Dr. Tom Ranney of NCSU's Mountain Research Station in Ashville, N.C. It has very large bright orange double flowers on compact thornless plants. The blooms appear in April for an extended period, with some sporadic reblooming in summer.
Double Take® Pink Floweringquince is another beauty from Dr. Tom Ranney, with very large double deep pink flowers in April. The blooms resemble Camellias in their size and color intensity. The compact plants are thornless, and their branches make lovely cut flowers to bring inside in early spring.
Double Take® Scarlet Floweringquince is the third release from Dr. Tom Ranney's team in Ashville, NC, with very large dark red double flowers. The thornless plants bloom for an extended time in April, sporadically reblooming in summer.
Northern Sea Oats has showy oat-like seedheads in August over green foliage. An excellent choice for planting under the light shade of tall trees and especially showy when planted in mass. Great for dried grass arrangements. Chasmanthium latifolium is a larval host to caterpillars of Northern Pearly Eye Butterfly and several species of Skippers. In addition, birds and woodland animals love the seeds especially in winter. It seeds itself readily so site correctly or deadhead seed pods before they ripen.
Our native Turtlehead is a wonderful plant for wet sites and rain gardens. In late summer Chelone glabra produces tall spikes of white flowers which are thought to look like the heads of turtles (use your imagination). The upper lip serves as a protective hood and the lower lip is a landing strip for pollinators. Best grown in part shade but survives well in full sun given enough moisture. The green foliage is clean and disease-resistant. Butterflies love its flowers, especially the Baltimore Checkerspot Butterfly.
‘Black Ace’ Turtlehead does extremely well in moist and wet locations, as it is usually found in swampy sites. The white flower spikes look like clusters of snapdragons, carried on dark green to blackish stems and leaves. The blooms appear in mid to late summer, and are an important nectar source for butterflies and other pollinators. Since Chelone glabra ‘Black Ace’ spreads by stolons, it eventually makes a large clump and can be used to stabilize pond and stream edges. Selected by Craig Moretz.
'Hot Lips' Turtlehead has clear pink flowers in July, shiny green foliage, and is wet site tolerant. It spreads slowly to make a large patch eventually, so it can be used as a tall groundcover. Chelone lyonii 'Hot Lips' differs from the straight species because it has darker green foliage, red stems and stronger pink flowers. This is a wonderful introduction selected by Native Plant guru Dale Hendricks, which he named after a co-worker as a nickname.
'Tiny Toruga' ('Armtipp02') Turtlehead is a compact descendant of 'Hot Lips', with the same deep pink flowers which resemble Snapdragon buds. The leaves emerge in the spring in shades of bronze and turn to deep green as the flowers emerge in July and August. Chelone 'Tiny Tortuga' colonizes slowly and loves moist to wet areas. If you studied Spanish in school, you'll recognize 'Tortuga' as 'Turtle', and get the name pun.
PRN Preferred: All the great attributes of "Hot Lips" but a more compact form.
White Fringetree has intensely fragrant, fluffy white panicle flowers in May, followed by bird attracting bluish purple fruit if plant is female (dioecious). Although fruit only appears on the female plants, the flowers on the male plants are showier due to their longer petals. The foliage hosts many butterfly and moth caterpillars, including several sphinxes. Fall color ranges from a yellowish green to to a bright golden yellow. Chionanthus virginicus is also wet site tolerant.
'Spring Fleecing' White Fringetree has fragrant white flowers in large fluffy panicles on an upright plant with dark green narrow leaves. Male, so it blooms consistently and heavily every year. Chionanthus virginicus 'Spring Fleecing' is a selection by Sam Allen of Tarheel Native Trees. It is also wet site tolerant.
'Hillside Sheffield Pink' Hardy Mum flowers have apricot to shell pink petals with yellow centers and bloom for an extended period in late summer and early fall over aromatic foliage. This tough perennial has been re-introduced by Fred McGourty of Hillside Gardens. The clumps will get bigger every year and works as an effective groundcover and weed suppressor. One of the last hurrahs of the northern garden.
PRN Preferred: Tons of blooms on a very late blooming perennial.
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!
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!
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!
Mammoth™ ‘Yellow Quill’ Hardy Mum comes from the hybridizing work of the University of Minnesota, so you know it’s really cold tolerant. The long yellow petals are quilled with spoon-shaped tips. The growth habit of Chrysanthemum Mammoth™ ‘Yellow Quill’ is mounding with clean green foliage all summer, topped with the large yellow daisies all fall.
'Rustic Glow' Hardy Mum is one of the Global Warning Mum™ introductions. Like the other excellent Sinclair Adam Jr hybrid Chrysanthemums, it blooms in mid to late fall, adding not only vivid color to the garden, but also much needed food for pollinators. The daisy-like flowers are bright orange yellow, with multiple blooms per stem. The foliage is a clean green all summer, and the patch grows wider over time. We were introduced to this delicate beauty by our friend Nora Sirbaugh, a great and passionate NJ gardener.
'Superstar' Golden Star makes a lovely delicate green carpet in shady and sunny locations. The slightly fuzzy green foliage is studded with lots of bright yellow simple flowers in mid to late spring, with some reblooming when moisture is adequate. Originally named after the American Rock Garden Society's Norman Singer, this native groundcover is both deer resistant and very easy to grow. 'Superstar' was renamed to reflect the fact that the foliage is significantly cleaner and more vigorous, remaining attractive long after the vivid flower display finishes. James Brown, the Carex King of New Moon Nursery, says it's his favorite Chrysogonum.
American Yellowwood is a beautiful native tree that should be used in more landscapes. The flowers are very fragrant, with lovely white pea-shaped flowers appearing in May and June on long pendulous panicles. They provide excellent food for bees and other insects, and they resemble a more refined Wisteria flower. The foliage emerges in spring as a chartreuse green during the summer, finishing up as a bright yellow in fall. The bark is an attractive grayish brown, very smooth textured and closely resembling Beech bark. Cladrastis kentukea tolerates both acidic and alkaline soils, and prefers adequate moisture.
We are often asked questions about pruning Clematis, and cultivars are often divided into groupings (1, 2 and 3) which are guides for optimal pruning. Based on our own experience at Pleasant Run Nursery (and to simplify things), we have designated our Clematis into Group A and Group B.
Group A: Cultivars which benefit from a light pruning in late winter or early spring, followed by a light pruning after the summer bloom period. The second pruning encourages the large flowered cultivars to rebloom in late summer.
Group B: Species and Cultivars which tend to be more vigorous growers. They preform best with a yearly hard pruning in late winter or early spring. Always remove dead stems, and cut the Group B plants back to 1' to 2'.
Avant-Garde™ ('Evipo 033') Clematis comes from the Evison/Poulson hybridizing program. The 3" flowers are a showy combination of red surrounding pink petaloid stamens, making the blooms look almost double. The bloom period is July to September. Since Avant-Garde™ is a heavy bloomer, the show is very eye catching.
Group B: Species and Cultivars which tend to be more vigorous growers. They preform best with a yearly hard pruning in late winter or early spring. Always remove dead stems, and cut the Group B plants back to 1' to 2'.
Bourbon™ ('Evipo 018'(N)) Clematis is another exciting introduction from the Evison/Poulson breeding program. The large (5") flowers are a bright red, set off by bright yellow anthers. Although shorter than many Clematis, the flower display is impressive. Bourbon™ blooms June to August and would make an interesting addition to large mixed containers.
Group A: Benefits from a light pruning in late winter or early spring, followed by a light pruning after the summer bloom period. The second pruning encourages the large flowered cultivars to rebloom in late summer.
'Duchess of Edinburgh' Clematis is a very showy vine, with quantities of double white flowers in May and June. Blooms are large and long lasting.
Group A: Benefits from a light pruning in late winter or early spring, followed by a light pruning after the summer bloom period. The second pruning encourages the large flowered cultivars to rebloom in late summer.
'General Sikorski' Clematis is a vigorous climbing vine with large lavender blue flowers set off by soft yellow stamens. Clematis 'General Sikorski' starts blooming in late spring and continues throughout June. Like a number of other Clematis, 'General Sikorski' will often rebloom in late summer and early fall. This vigorous vine needs something to cling to, so plant it with a trellis or beside a shrub which it can grow up through.
Group A: Benefits from a light pruning in late winter or early spring, followed by a light pruning after the summer bloom period. The second pruning encourages the large flowered cultivars to rebloom in late summer.
The rich pink ruffled flowers of Clematis 'Hagley Hybrid' bloom from June to July. The blooms are large and very showy.
Clematis 'Henryi' has large white flowers with brown anthers. Blooms June to August. We love this Clematis for the brilliant whiteness of its flower.
The large velvet purple flowers of Clematis 'Jackmanii Superba' bloom in June to September and will rebloom dependably. The classic large purple Clematis.
Clematis 'Multi-Blue' has large dark blue to purple flowers which are double, made even showier by the frilly white tipped stamenoids. Blooms for an extended time starting in June and the flowers persist longer because they're double and therefore sterile.
PRN Preferred: Large long blooming flowers. Once the petals fall the anthers remain for added interest.
The bicolor pink flowers of Clematis 'Nelly Moser' have a darker pink stripe on each petal. Blooms May to June and again in September. Blooms are large and striking.
Clematis 'Niobe' has large magenta flowers with yellow anthers. Blooms May to June and again in September. The color makes the flower look velvety.
Nubia™ (‘Evipo079’) Clematis is a beautiful introduction from Raymond Evision. The large flowers are a deep crimson red, on a somewhat compact vine. Clematis Nubia™ is part of the Boulevard® series, and performs well on trellises and fences. A very cool use for Clematis is in combination with shrubs, where the plants can support the vine and display the flowers. Nubia™ should be pruned in late winter or early spring.
Clematis 'Ramona' has large lavender blue flowers with dark anthers. Blooms June to August. This is one of our favorite blue Clematis.
Clematis 'Rhapsody' has large sapphire blue flowers set off by yellow anthers. Blooms July to August. We have been very impressed with the flower color and length of bloom time.
The deep blue bell-like flowers of Clematis 'Rooguchi' have lighter, upward-curving interiors. A scrambler, not a climber (needs to be fastened to support). Blooms June to September, and one of our favorite vines.
Group B: Species and Cultivars which tend to be more vigorous growers. They preform best with a yearly hard pruning in late winter or early spring. Always remove dead stems, and cut the Group B plants back to 1' to 2'.
Sapphire Indigo™ Clematis ('Cleminov 51') is a short non-clinging vine with gorgeous purple-blue flowers in June and July. It can be used as a loose open groundcover, but it works even better if allowed to twine up through small shrubs and sturdy perennials. The 4" blooms open as an open-faced purple and mature to a beautiful sapphire blue. Hybridized by INRA in France and introduced into the US by Conard Pyle Nurseries.
PRN Preferred: A long blooming sprawler, excellent when used in mixed borders.
Clematis 'The President' has large deep purple flowers. Blooms from June to September. A dependable rebloomer, and a striking vine to run up through shrubs and small trees.
Clematis durandii has deep blue flowers of 4 petals with creamy, showy anthers, on a non-clinging, scrambling vine. Blooms July and August. Unusual and very striking.
Golden Clematis has yellow pendant flowers in June through August produced on a vigorous climbing vine. The bell-shaped flowers of 4 petals appear for an extended period, followed by attractive silky seedheads. Although Clematis tangutica has been in the US since the late 1800s, it is not easily found in commerce. If not run up a trellis, Clematis tangutica can also be used as a rather rampant groundcover.
The white fragrant flowers of Sweet Autumn Clematis are prolific. This Clematis grows very rapidly to a large size. Blooms September and October, with small star-like white flowers.
'Princess Diana' Scarlet Clematis has beautiful tulip-shaped flowers in June and July, with fairly consistent reblooming in early fall. The up-facing blooms are soft pink on the outsides and dark-rose pink on the insides, making a lovely two-toned effect. The habit is scrambling, and needs some support.
PRN Preferred: Unique tulip-shaped deep pink flowers followed by silky seed heads.
'Duchess of Albany' Scarlet Clematis has clear pink bell shaped flower which have a deep rose bar in the centers of petals for a lovely bi-colored effect. Blooms prolifically starting in July through September. Shows more heat tolerance than many Clematis.
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 and the foliage is often used as nesting habitat for many songbirds.
The sky-blue bell-like flowers of 'Betty Corning' Italian Clematis bloom July to September. The habit is vigorous and it covers a trellis rapidly. All C. viticellas are highly resistant to Clematis wilt.
'Etoile Violette' Italian Clematis has multiple small deep purple flowers. Blooms heavily from July to September on a fast growing vine.
'Madame Julia Correvon' Italian Clematis blooms for a prolonged period from late June to September, producing a large quantity of 3" bright reddish wine flowers with yellow stamens. The viticella Clematis types flower on new growth, so they do well with a hard pruning in late winter to early spring. As a self-clinging vine, 'Madame Julia Correvon' does very well growing up trellises or winding up small trees or through large shrubs. The roots are happiest in cool shade and the tops prefer full sun.
The large violet flowers of 'Venosa Violacea' Italian Clematis have vivid white centers running down each petal, giving it a bi-color effect. Blooms July to September.
'Tom's Compact' Summersweet is the most compact we have seen of the Summersweets. This fragrant white flowered beauty was found and introduced by a great nurseryman of our area, Tom Dilatush. We've been waiting a long time to get our hands on Clethra alnifolia 'Compacta' and to top it off, it is wet site and salt tolerant. The tight branching structure provided excellent shelter for birds throughout the year.
PRN Preferred: Compact dense habit, never needs pruning. Loved by pollinators.
'Hummingbird' Summersweet has very fragrant white flowers that cover the plant in June and July. This selection is a compact form that is both wet site and salt tolerant. It spreads vigorously by rhizomes to form colonies. The leaves are narrower than the species and the fall color is lovely shades of golden yellow. Clethra alnifolia 'Hummingbird' is an introduction from Calloway Gardens, Pine Mountain, GA where it was planted along Humminbird Lake, hence the name.
'Ruby Spice' Summersweet has very fragrant dark pink flowers in June and July. It is both wet site and salt tolerant. Clethra alnifolia 'Ruby Spice' was found by Andy Brand formerly of Broken Arrow Nursery in Connecticut.
'Sherry Sue' Summersweet has very fragrant white flower spikes which are displayed on pinkish red new growth stems. Clethra alnifolia 'Sherry Sue' blooms in July and August, providing nectar for a number of pollinators. It is found naturally in boggy areas throughout the Northeast, and is particularly useful because of its deer resistance and suckering habit. Introduced by the JC Raulston Arboretum in North Carolina.
'Sixteen Candles' Summersweet has very fragrant white flowers in June and July. It is both wet site and salt tolerant. Clethra alnifolia 'Sixteen Candles' was introduced by Dr. Michael Dirr and has an improved upright growth habit and is compact in size. Per Michael Dirr "white flowers are held upright like candles on a birthday cake".
Summer Sparkler, formerly Einstein® ('Novacleein') Summersweet blooms in July and August, producing 12" white flower spikes. The blooms are fragrant and somewhat curly because of their unusual length. Clethra alnifolia Summer Sparkler is a compact form of Summersweet, making a good deer resistant shrub groundcover. Introduced by Star Roses in 2015.
Sweetfern is a small but widely suckering shrub that energetically colonizes dry, acidic, sterile areas. Hair catkins crown the ends of the stems in late April and early May. Foliage is green and fragrant (it's in the Bayberry family), with a fern-like texture. It prefers more acid soil and is a nitrogen-fixing species. The semi-evergreen leaves of Comptonia peregrina turn bronzy green in late fall. It is an important host for butterfly and moth larvae, including several Sphinx moth species and the Gray Hairstreak butterfly.
Lily of the Valley has white extremely fragrant bell-like flowers in late April and May. Convallaria is a good groundcover for tough shady sites and a popular cut flower. If planted in optimum growing conditions, it will spread rapidly by rhizomes to form dense colonies in the landscape so site appropriately. Some orange fruit may appear in fall.
The semi-double yellow flowers of 'Early Sunrise' Tickseed have orange centers. Coreopsis grandiflora 'Early Sunrise' is a compact form that thrives in heat and sun. It blooms for an extended period in June and July. Deadheading prolongs the flower display.
Pink Threadleaf Tickseed produces pink daisy-like flowers all summer, especially when trimmed after the first bloom period. Coreopsis rosea tolerates a wide range of sites, from moist soils to dry and sandy sites. The yellow centers are a good source of food for pollinators and the seeds are consumed by songbirds in late summer. Coreopsis rosea forms a mat through rhizomes, and self-seeds well, so this is a good candidate for naturalizing.
‘Gold standard’ Tall Tickseed blooms in mid summer and is covered with bright yellow daisy-like flowers with black cones. This selection was introduced by the Mt. Cuba Center in 2015, when its performance topped their Coreopsis trials for habit, disease resistance and long bloom period. Per Timothy Tilghman at Untermyer Garden in Yonkers, NY, this cultivar is also less likely to flop. Coreopsis ‘Gold Standard’ came from seed collected in Alabama, and was named by Mt. Cuba. Since ‘Gold Standard’ spreads by rhizomes, this very tall perennial performs well as a wild looking groundcover or as an addition to tall meadows.
'Moonbeam' Threadleaf Tickseed has pale yellow flowers and is an excellent repeat bloomer. For best performance, deadhead after first flush of blooms. Great in rock gardens and gardens with poor soil. 1992 Perennial Plant of the Year.
'Zagreb' Threadleaf Tickseed has gold flowers, an upright habit, and forms a large vigorous mat eventually. Blooms June to August, especially if deadheaded. The cultivar originated in the Department of Ornamental Plants and Landscape Architecture at the University of Zagreb in Zagreb, Croatia. 2020 PHS Gold Medal Plant!
PRN Preferred: Very disease resistant foliage, does not flop.
‘Mercury Rising’ Tickseed is another exciting result of hybridizer Darrell Probst’s work, with wine red daisy like flowers on a cold-hardy plant. A cross between C. grandiflora and C. verticillata, ‘Mercury Rising’ blooms throughout the summer on a broad mounding habit. The yellow centers are particularly striking in the surrounding velvety petals. Deadheading after the first flush of flowers makes the rebloom showier.
The deep yellow petals of 'Jethro Tull' Tickseed are fluted like little tubes, providing a long blooming summer show. It is a hybrid cross of Coreopsis auriculata 'Zamfir' (female parent) and Coreopsis lanceolata 'Early Sunrise' (male parent). Another winner from the people who brought you the Big Sky™ series of Coneflowers.
Ivory Halo™ ('Bailhalo') Tatarian Dogwood has brightly variegated leaves that emerge in spring with green centers surrounded by large ivory white margins. The flat topped creamy flowers in May and June are followed by white summer fruit. The fall color is pink and reddish purple, and the winter stem color is dark red and showy. Prune out older canes in the spring to maintain the winter stem show. An introduction from Bailey Nurseries.
Pagoda Dogwood is a lovely, subtle woodland native tree with attractively layered horizontal branching. The flat fluffy ivory flowers appear in late May to early June and are powerfully fragrant. They are followed by bluish black fruit in August which are attractive to birds. The fall color of Cornus alternifolia is often a mild reddish purple, followed by a winter interest element provided by the purplish horizontal twigs and branches.
'Appalachian Spring' Flowering Dogwood has white flowers in April and May and good red fall foliage. 'Appalachian Spring' is resistant to Dogwood Anthracnose! Introduced by the University of Tennessee. Blooms heavily at a young age, but is a slow starter as a young tree. The parent plant was found in the wild in Maryland, where all the surrounding C. floridas were dead of Anthracnose.
PRN Preferred: A more disease resistant native Dogwood cultivar.
Cherokee Brave™ ('Comco No. 1') Flowering Dogwood blooms in mid to late spring, producing dark pink bracts with white centers. The leaves emerge in shades of burgundy in early spring and mature to green in summer. The fall color is attractive shades of maroon and red, accented by the bright red fall fruit, much prized by wildlife. Cornus florida Cherokee Brave™ shows good resistance to mildew, which is one of the reasons why Commercial Nurseries of Tennessee selected it. Cornus florida fruit is an important food source for migrating birds.
'Cherokee Princess' Flowering Dogwood is a vigorous disease resistant selection which has large white flowers followed by bright red bird-attracting fruit. The fall color is a good red, and plantsman Don Shadow says that it is his favorite classic white Dogwood because of its beauty and ease of growth. Introduced by J C Higden of Kentucky.
‘Cloud 9’ Flowering Dogwood is a showy example of one of our most beautiful native trees. The flat flowers, consisting of 4 white overlapping 2” bracts, appear in quantity in April. The white flowers complement both Cercis and Prunus which bloom at the same time. The habit is somewhat ‘Japanese’ because the branching appears in tiers, like ‘cloud pruned’ trees. The green summer leaves are followed by reddish purple fall color and shiny red fruit (an important food source for wildlife). Cornus florida ‘Cloud 9’ was patented in 1961 by Chase Nursery of Alabama.
‘Dixie Colonade’ Flowering Dogwood was found by Don Shadow in Alabama. The flower parts are surrounded by the classic white bracts, but Cornus florida ‘Dixie Colonade’ is unusual in that its habit is distinctly columnar. The red fruit in fall is complimented by reddish foliage. This is a Cornus florida for small gardens and tight spaces.
‘Erica’s Appalachian Sunrise’ Flowering Dogwood is another good selection from the Tennessee Agricultural Experimental Station’s breeding work. Cornus florida ‘Appalachian Sunrise’ produces deep pink bracts which have white centers surrounding the actual flowers. The foliage emerges in spring in shades of burgundy, maturing to green in summer and red in fall. The wildlife-friendly red fruit in fall is also showy. Cornus ‘Erica’s Appalachian Sunrise’ is mildew resistant, so it is a good grower in the Northeast.
There have been a number of Flowering Dogwoods in the trade that have bloomed with multiple bracts, but this particular selection is one of the best. The white flowers are sterile, and are composed of 17 to 24 large bracts which make the extremely showy. The habit is slow growing and compact (probably because Cornus florida 'Plena' puts so much energy into blooming), so this classic Dogwood fits into small gardens as well as along the edges of woods. The fall color is an attractive reddish purple.
'Pumpkin Patch' Flowering Dogwood was found by nurseryman Don Shadow as a chance seedling. The dark pink flowering Dogwood sports a combination of light green (almost yellow) foliage crowned by burgundy new growth. What caught his eye in particular was the fall color, which is brilliant orange (hence "Pumpkin Patch"), followed by orange twigs in winter. 'Pumpkin Patch' has shown some susceptibility to mildew in hot humid weather, but it is still a very rare, cool collector's plant.
'Greensleeves' Kousa Dogwood has dark green leaves with prominent veins, and is a heavy flowering rapid grower, with excellent red fall color. 'Greensleeves' is a selection by Polly Wakefield of Milton, Mass. A very heavy fruiting Dogwood, and wildlife love the fruit, as do our Labrador Retrievers.
‘Little Poncho’ Kousa Dogwood is a compact Korean Dogwood which blooms heavily in spite of its small size. The showy white bracts surround the actual flower parts in May and June. These are followed by large red fruits in fall which look like little hanging Christmas ornaments. The clean disease-resistant green foliage turns attractive shades of red and purple in the fall. This is a good Dogwood for smaller gardens and spaces.
Scarlet Fire® ('Rutpink') Kousa Dogwood is a lovely new introduction from Dr Tom Molnar's work at Rutgers University. The bracts, appearing in June, are a dark strong pink which hold up well in our hot summer weather and often are showy for up to 8 weeks. Cornus kousa Scarlet Fire® is a juvenile bloomer and vigorous grower, with clean disease resistant foliage. The classic red hanging fruit follows the flowers and the fall foliage color is also shades of red. This is the most pink, heaviest flowering Kousa Dogwood we know.
PRN Preferred: Plentiful dark pink flowers, heavy bloomer at an early age. The best pink we have seen.
'Snow Tower' Korean Dogwood is an upright form of Cornus kousa, which makes it ideal for a tight space. The large white flowers (bracts) emerge in late May and June, a little later than most Korean Dogwoods. The very showy flower display is followed by round red fruit in late summer which are very attractive to birds and mammals. 'Snow Tower' Dogwood has reddish purple fall color, and would make an excellent small street tree with several seasons of interest. Found by Gary Handy of Handy Nursery in Oregon.
'Wolf Eyes' Kousa Dogwood has white flowers in June and variegated white and green foliage with striking red and pink fall color. It is a Manor View Farms selection. Although its leaves are less susceptible to burning than most other variegated cultivars, Cornus kousa 'Wolf Eyes' still prefers a shady location. This is Richard Hesselein's favorite variegated Dogwood.
Venus® ('KN30-8') Hybrid Dogwood has huge white sterile flowers in May and June, and is resistant to Dogwood Anthracnose and powdery mildew. Another winner from Dr. Elwin Orton (the Jersey Star® series). Its claim to fame is that Venus® has the largest, pure white flowers ever observed in the breeding program, reaching 6-8" across. Venus® is also one of the latest blooming Dogwoods per Bruce Crawford.
Cornus mas 'Golden Glory' has bright yellow flowers in March, followed by cherry red showy drupes in summer. Birds love the fruit and the exfoliating bark adds to the winter interest. Introduced by Synnesvedt Nursery of Illinois. 'Golden Glory' Corneliancherry is more upright than other forms, so it makes an attractive early spring tree.
'Kintoki' Japanese Cornel Dogwood has small brilliant yellow flowers in March, interesting multi-colored bark, and vivid red fruit in fall. It blooms 2 weeks earlier than Cornus mas and was selected in Japan as an excellent cut flower plant. 'Kintoki' was introduced into the US by Barry Yinger through Brookside Gardens.
PRN Preferred: Very showy early yellow blooms, exfoliating bark and brilliant fall color and bright red fruit, a true multi-season plant.
Cornus sanguinea Proven Winners® Color Choice® Arctic Sun® ('Cato') is a variety of Bloodtwig Dogwood that has great winter interest because twigs are bright yellow at base flushing to blood red. Leaves are a good bright yellow in fall. From Andre van Nijnatten, who also brought us 'Winter Flame'.
Arctic Fire® Red (‘Farrow’) Redosier Dogwood is a beautiful native shrub which lights up the winter landscape with bright red twigs (great for winter containers). Cornus Arctic Fire® 'Red' has green ovate leaves in spring which are topped with flat ivory flower clusters (cymes) in May and June. Ornamental white berries (good food for birds) and deep red leaves follow in the fall. Redosier Dogwoods should be pruned back hard every 1 to 2 years, because the new growth provides the winter color.
Cornus sericea 'Baileyi' has white flowers followed by bluish fruit. Excellent red fall foliage defoliates to expose reddish purple twigs for winter interest. 'Bailey' Redosier Dogwood is a Bailey Nurseries introduction. It is a rapid grower and relatively salt tolerant. Excellent massed or as a specimen. Cut the old wood back frequently to maintain the best winter color.
The light green disease-resistant summer foliage of 'Cardinal' Redosier Dogwood is followed by vivid, cherry red stems in winter. Tiny white flat topped flower cluster appear in late spring changing to whitish drupes by summer which are eaten by birsds. Most effective if the old wood is cut back yearly. It is relatively salt tolerant. Developed by Dr. Pellet and the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, so you know it's tough.
PRN Preferred: The color of the twigs starts as a light orange in fall and matures to a bright red in winter on a very rigorous, healthy plant.
Kelsey’s Dwarf Redosier Dogwood is a dwarf Cornus sericea, with an attractive rounded habit and the characteristic red twigs in the winter. The small white flowers (cymes) appear in late spring and are followed in late summer by white berries (drupes) which are attractive to birds. Cornus sericea ‘Kelseyi’ has attractive yellow fall foliage, and with its short rounded habit makes a good foundation plant as well as a short winter interest hedge.
Buttercup Winterhazel has delicate mildly fragrant yellow panicles in March and April. Native to western Japan and Taiwan, the habit of Corylopsis pauciflora is broad but delicate, with small, neat leaves. Winterhazel provides late winter to early spring blooms in the landscape before the common Forsythia.
PRN Preferred: A smaller neater habit.
Spike Winterhazel has long yellow, very fragrant panicles in March and April. It blooms on racemes before the leaves unfold; plants have many racemes and each raceme has from 6 to 12 flowers. Corylopsis spicata makes a wonderful cut flower branch to bring inside in the late winter.
Veitch Winterhazel is a showy, fragrant addition to the winter garden with primrose yellow, 3" pendant flowers set off by reddish anthers. Corylopsis veitchiana blooms in March on bare branches and then produces foliage that starts out bronzy and turns to green, with glabrous undersides. Corylopsis are closely related to Witchhazels and should be sited in a place protected from late spring frosts.
Golden Spirit™ ('Ancot') Smokebush has smoky purple-gray flowers in June and July. Bronze new growth turns to chartreuse yellow leaves in summer. Golden Spirit™ has pinkish red and orange fall foliage. From Boskoop, Holland.
'Royal Purple' Smokebush has pink smoke-like flowers in June and July which are highlighted by brilliant purple leaves, which turn a reddish purple in fall. Prune in late winter, cutting back hard will result in new shoots with deeper color and larger leaves but no flowers. Cotinus coggygria is native from southern Europe to central China and 'Royal Purple' was introduced to the US in 1953 and originated from Lombarts Nursery in Boskoop, Holland.
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.
Winecraft Black® Smokebush ('NCCO1') produces deep purple velvety leaves in spring which are topped by dark pink smoke-like inflorescences in June. The contrast between the flowers and foliage is striking. After blooming, Cotinus Winecraft Black® does not fade as many other purple leaf plants do, retaining its dark purple color until fall, when the leaves turn beautiful shades of yellow, orange and red. All Cotinus benefit from a periodic pruning to promote new growth.
PRN Preferred: A showy combination of long lasting purple foliage and a compact habit.
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.
American Smoketree bluish to dark green leaves and unique greenish smoke-like flowers in July. The fall color is spectacular, with shades of yellow, red and purple hues. The bark is also a beautiful gray and mature trunks become scaly for additional winter interest. Native to rocky mountain soils and limestone glades from Kentucky, Tennessee, northern Alabama westward to Oklahoma. American Smokebush was almost lost during the Civil War because it was harvested and used to make yellow dye. Cotinus obovatus makes a very large shrub or an attractive small tree.
PRN Preferred: As noted by Dr. Dirr "may be the best of the all American shrub/trees for intensity of (fall) color." and we agree.
'Grace' Smoketree has pink flowers in June and July with bronze new foliage which turns to purple. Cotinus x 'Grace' has luminous reddish purple to orange fall foliage and is a cross from C. coggygria 'Velvet Cloak and C. obovatus. Cotinus is in the same family as and closely related to Rhus (Sumac). From Peter Dummer, formerly at Hillier Nurseries in England and named after his wife.
'Winter King' Green Hawthorn has white flowers in late spring, brilliant red fruit well into the winter, and silver bark. Fruit are larger than the straight species and eaten by many birds including cedar waxwings. Crataegus viridis 'Winter King' has a lovely rounded habit, is more disease resistant and is largely spinless (with only occasional small thorns to 1.5" long). One of our favorite multi-season small trees. Introduced by Simpson Nursery, Vincennes, IN in 1955.
‘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.
The bright red flowers of 'Lucifer' Montbretia appear on long arching stems in July. Blooms for an extended time above broad, Gladiolus-like foliage. Excellent cut flower and a hummingbird magnet. The genus name comes from the Greek language and means "saffron smell," which reportedly can be detected when dried flowers are steeped in warm water. Native to South Africa, Crocosmia 'Lucifer' needs good drainage and will naturalize in time. An exotic-looking plant, hard to believe it is hardy in our area, but it certainly is. An Alan Bloom hybrid.
The blackish green evergreen foliage of 'Black Dragon' Japanese Cedar has an interesting irregular texture on an upright plant. Cryptomeria japonica 'Black Dragon' is much slower and smaller than C. 'Yoshino', so excellent for smaller spaces. 'Black Dragon' gets its name from its dark green needles that, in shade, almost look black. This cultivar originated as a seedling selected in the mid-1980s by Iseli Nursery, Boring, Oregon. It is also salt tolerant.
Dwarf Globe Japanese Cedar is a dense rounded evergreen which adds a lot of color to the year-round landscape. The tight needles are a vivid bright green in the summer. In the fall and winter, they turn bluish purple with shades of rust. Since it is both pest resistant and compact, 'Globosa Nana' works well as a foundation evergreen, especially where deer are a problem. Pruning will probably never be needed to keep its neat habit.
'Radicans' Japanese Cedar is very similar to Cryptomeria 'Yoshino' in texture, habit and hardiness, but its habit is tighter with foliage for emerald green. It is also more resistance to winter leader problems. Untermyer Gardens in Yonkers, NY has a large planting of Cryptomeria japonica 'Radicans' flanking the stairs of the Vista Garden leading down to the Hudson River. Head gardener, Timothy Tilghman finds 'Radicans' to be very wind resistant with less browning in the interior branches than 'Yoshino'. A very useful and rewarding conifer. It is also salt tolerant.
'Yoshino' Japanese Cedar has dark green foliage and an upright habit. It is surprisingly shade and salt tolerant. It makes a large hedge very rapidly.
Leyland Cypress is a very fast growing, uniform evergreen conifer which makes a clean green hedge in a hurry. xCupressocyparis leylandii is best from containers because the root system seems to be slower growing than the top, and thus difficult to dig and transplant.
Indian Rhubarb is an unusual dramatic foliage perennial which also has attractive pink flower clusters in April. The delicate flower clusters emerge on hairy stems before the leaves emerge, and are retained for a long period. The round lobe leaves are very large and broad, and have been likened to inside-out umbrellas. Darmera peltata has a thick rhizomaceous root system, and since it thrives in very wet sites, it works well as a stream stabilizer. The fall color of the foliage is often red. This is one of Jerry Fritz's favorite plants for its dramatic appeal. Umbrella Plant is a West Coast native. It will tolerate full sun if planted in a wet site.
Cooper Hardy Ice Plant has magenta flowers over silvery evergreen succulent foliage. Delosperma cooperi needs full sun and a dry site and is perfect for the xeriscape landscape. We are impresses with its cold hardiness in our display beds, and it blooms throughout the summer starting in late June into fall. Avoid planting in heavy soils or soils with poor drainage.
Fire Spinner™ Ice Plant has truly amazing flowers, with multiple flat petals that start orange at the outer edges and end up magenta at the base. Starting in early June, Fire Spinner™ blooms for a month on every sunny day over the attractive fleshy green succulent foliage. Found at high altitudes in southern South Africa, Delosperma dyeri Fire Spinner™ was brought to the US by Panayoti Kelaidis of the Denver Botanic Garden. Rock gardens and green roofs are great places to use this eye opener.
Tall Blue Larkspur is a Delphinium that actually thrives on the East Coast! This native woodland plant blooms in mid summer, with tall spikes of deep bluish purple flowers which are an important source of nectar for hummingbirds. Rich, well drained soil and partial shade are what Delphinium exaltatum likes best, and deer will leave it alone.
Hay-scented Fern has lacy green foliage that will take somewhat dry, relatively sunny sites. Dennstaedtia punctilobula is a deciduous spreader that can handle poor soils well. When the fronds are brushed against, they release the smell of fresh cut hay. Native to open woods and wooded banks in the eastern and midwestern US.
'Goldtau' Tufted Hairgrass is a compact form of this lovely cool season native grass. The name 'Godtau' means 'Golden Dew', which refers to the airy quality of the yellow inflorescences appearing in July to September. The dark green blades are semi-evergreen and happy in shady locations. Deschampsia 'Goldtau' is beautiful in mass plantings or mixed with ferns and other woodland perennials. The fall color of the seedheads is bronze.
'Nikko' Slender Deutzia has delicate white flowers in April and May. The low growing neat green leaves turn purple in fall. Deutzia gracilis 'Nikko' makes an excellent flowering groundcover or foundation plant for sun and shade. A wonderful National Arboretum introduction. The cultivar name 'Nikko' appears to have been coined by British nurseryman C.G. Hollett of Greenbank Nursery, Cumbria, England.
PRN Preferred: A three season groundcover shrub, a real garden workhorse. Continues to perform year after year.
Yuki Cherry Blossom® (‘NCDX2’) Slender Deutzia is a color breakthrough by Dr. Tom Ranney of NCSU. Normally a white flowered groundcover shrub, Yuki Cherry Blossom® is covered with delicate soft pink flowers in April and May. The small green leaves are borne on graceful arching branches which root where they touch the ground, making Deutzia x Yuki Cherry Blossom® an excellent low maintenance groundcover. The fall color is bronzy purple, which adds another season of beauty.
Yuki Snowflake® ('NCDX1') Deutzia blooms heavily in April and May, covering this low mounding shrub with a multitude of bell-like white flowers. The delicate green leaves are held on arching branches which root when touching the soil making Deutzia x Yuki Snowflake® an attractive shade tolerant groundcover. The foliage turns shades of burgundy in fall and is most colorful when grown in full sud. A lovely hybrid from the work of Dr Tom Ranney of NC State.
'Nikko Blush' Slender Deutzia is a cross made by the US National Arboretum between Deutzia gracilis 'Nikko' and Deutzia x rosea 'Carminea'. The result is a plant long sought by plant lovers, with bright pink buds opening in April and May to abundant soft pink flowers on arching low growing branches. Like 'Nikko', 'Nikko Blush' makes an excellent groundcover, and would be particularly attractive growing down a wall. The fall color is shades of burgundy.
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.
'Firewitch' ('Feuerhexe') Cheddar Pinks has shocking pink fragrant flowers, low growing blue foliage, and is an excellent repeat bloomer. The fragrance is wonderful, like so many of the Carnation family. Developed in Germany, 'Firewitch' is more tolerant of heat and varying soil conditions, and is one of the longest flowering. Native to Cheddar Gorge, England, hense the common name. 2006 Perennial Plant of the Year.
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.
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.
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.
Fringed Bleeding Heart combines pink heart-shaped pendant flowers held on arching stems with attractive dissected gray green leaves. Dicentra eximia starts flowering in late spring and continues blooming well into the summer, especially if the weather is cool. A native wildflower of the eastern United States that typically occurs on forest floors, rocky woods and ledges in the Appalachian Mountains. The ferny foliage is attractive all summer, unlike Dicentra spectabilis. Under moist conditions Fringed Bleeding Heart will often rebloom into late summer, especially if deadheaded. It spreads by self-seeding and seed dispersal by ants. It grows best in well drained shady locations. Visited by hummingbirds and long tongued native bees.
The pink and white flowers of Bleeding Heart have a long bloom period in late spring. The entire stems can be used for cut flowers, lasting up to 2 weeks in a vase. Foliage fades away by late summer. This is the classic Bleeding Heart we all remember from our childhoods. Native to eastern Asia (northern China, Korea and Japan). New name is Lamprocapnos spectabilis.
White Bleeding Heart has white flowers for a long bloom period in late spring. The large pendant flowering stems light up shade gardens beautifully. Foliage fades away by late summer. New name is Lamprocapnos spectabilis 'Alba'.
'Gold Heart' Bleeding Heart has the classic pink and white heart-shaped pendant flowers, but they hang from pink stems which rise from electric yellow foliage in the spring. The leaves light up the shade garden beautifully. By mid summer the foliage matures to chartreuse green. Introduced by Nori Pope of England.
PRN Preferred: The contrast between the classic pink and white flowers and the vivid chartreuse foliage in spring is really amazing.
‘Ruby Gold’ Bleeding Heart has the beautiful yellow foliage of Dicentra ‘Gold Heart,’ but the plant is topped by red “bleeding heart” flowers on reddish stems in late spring. Dicentra spectabilis ‘Ruby Gold’ needs shady sites with reliable moisture and good drainage. All Dicentra spectabilis cultivars tend to go dormant in the hot summers, but the foliage will sometimes reemerge as the weather cools down. The new name is Lamprocapnos spectabilis ‘Ruby Gold.’
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.
‘White Gold’ Bleeding Hearts combines the vivid yellow foliage of Dicentra ‘Gold Heart’ with the classic pendant heart-shaped flowers, in white. Dicentra spectabilis ‘White Gold’ appeared as a spontaneous seedling in the garden of Margaret Dalton in New York. It is an excellent addition to spring shade gardens, as the combination of chartreuse foliage and arching stems of white flowers in April and May really light up the landscape. Like other Dicentra spectabilis cultivars, the foliage of ‘White Gold’ tends to become dormant in hot weather. New name is Lamprocapnos.
'Burning Hearts' Fringed Bleeding Heart has very deep colored flowers, with dark rosy red hanging hearts that have a lovely white edge to the petals. The foliage is a delicate, lacy grayish blue and persists all summer, as does the bloom period which begins in May. Dicentra x 'Burning Hearts' performs best in moist but well drained shade.
'Fire Island' Fringed Bleeding Heart is a beautiful cross by Akira Shiozoki, the breeder of D. x 'Burning Hearts'. The flowers are an even deeper red than its sibling, with purple tips to the heart-shaped pendant blooms. The foliage is a delicate dissected bluish green setting for the summer long flower display. Performs best in dry shade.
'King of Hearts' Fringed Bleeding Heart has red flowers in May over attractive bluish green foliage. It blooms for a long period, and has a neat compact habit. Prefers a well-drained site.
'Luxuriant' Bleeding Heart has cherry red flowers in late spring over green lacy foliage. It reblooms well throughout the summer, and does best in a site with good drainage.
PRN Preferred: This Bleeding Heart blooms almost all summer, and the lacy green foliage is vigorous and long lasting.
‘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.
Gas Plant is a beautiful long-lived perennial for well-drained sites; sporting many showy, mauve pink flowers on tall spikes in June for an extended show. Dictamnus is slow to become established, but once started it becomes a large mound which puts out increasing numbers of flower-topped shoots every year. It has zero tolerance for transplanting, so pick your site well. The common name refers to the theory that it contains enough volatile oils to be lit by matches; but, as Dr. Alan Armitage so eloquently comments, this is not an achievable activity.
'Copper' Bush Honeysuckle has sulfur yellow flowers in July, over copper colored new foliage. The fall color is shades of bronze, orange and red. It is a It is a suckering, densely-branched, shrub that when in bloom is loved by butterflies. Diervilla lonicera 'Copper' is a very tough, maintenance-free plant, and tolerates dry shade well. Insects love the flowers.
PRN Preferred: A true multi-seasonal plant plus it is native and deer resistant. That's impressive.
'Butterfly' Southern Bush-honeysuckle has delicate bright yellow flowers June to July over green, disease-free foliage. The fall color of Diervilla sessifolia 'Butterfly' is shades of purple. It does well in dry, shady sites. A selection from Pieter Zwijnenburg of Holland.
PRN Preferred: Bright sulfer yellow summer flowers are followed by reddish purple fall foliage.
Kodiak® Orange ('G2X88544') Bush-honeysuckle puts out vivid orange new growth in he spring and summer. Mature leaves are green, and are topped with bright sulfer yellow flowers throughout the summer, attracting butterflies, pollinators and hummingbirds. Diervilla is a wonderful native for its compact neat habit and its showy orange red fall color. Kodiak® Orange is also very versitile, as it does well in sun and shade, average and dry soils, and areas with deer pressure.
PRN Preferred: Attractive orange colored new growth in summer is followed by beautiful orange red fall color.
Kodiak® Red ('G2X885411') Bush-honeysuckle is a multi-purpose small shrub. The new growth emerges in shades or red and bronze in spring and summer. The spreading branches are tipped with sulfur yellow trumpet shaped flowers for an extended period, attracting butterflies, hummingbirds and other pollinators. Then in the fall, Diervilla Kodiak® Red puts on an extraordinary show as its leaves turn bright red. Use as a specimen or a low hedge.
'Foxy' Common Foxglove has white, cream and dark pink speckled tubular flowers in June and July. Best known as a popular bouquet flower and for its ability to attract hummingbirds. Biennial, but will self-seed.
Strawberry Foxglove is a true perennial Foxglove, with strawberry pink spikes of tubular spotted flowers in June. It is a is a cross between D. purpurea and D. grandiflora. Individual flowers resemble the snipped off fingers of a glove, hence the common name of foxglove. Needs good drainage.
Brilliance™ Autumn Fern was selected for its striking new fronds which emerge throughout the spring and summer in shades of salmon, copper and orange. The semi-evergreen fronds then mature to glossy medium green, adding a bright note to woodland settings. Since Autumn Ferns spread slowly by rhizomes, they make a good groundcover in shady sites. Consistent moisture is needed to promote new frond production.
PRN Preferred: Bronze new growth all spring and summer. Looks good throughout most of the winter.
Robust Male Fern has dark green foliage, and does well in deep shade, as well as in sun. Dryopteris filix-mas is a deciduous clump. Highly adaptable because it is relatively sun tolerant. Dryopteris filix-mas is refered to as Male Fern because it was thought to be the male version of Athyrium filix-femina (Lady Fern).
Evergreen Wood Fern has dark green, leathery foliage and tolerates relatively dry sites and deep shade. Dryopteris marginalis is an evergreen clump that performs well on forest edges. The foliage remains green through much of the winter, dying back in early spring as new fiddleheads emerge.
‘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.
Dixie Wood Fern has shiny green foliage which is large and dramatic. It is a vigorous cross between the Log Fern and the Southern Wood Fern. A large, semi-evergreen clump. Dryopteris x australis has a clumping fern with a tall upright arching appearance. 2021 PHS Gold Medal Plant.
Pale Purple Coneflower is a prairie native which handles dry sterile East Coast sites well. The tall unusual flowers of Echinacea pallida appear through June and July, and will sporadically rebloom if deadheaded. The flowers have pinkish purple petals (rays) which are pendant from the coppery center cones. The long lance-like leaves are somewhat hairy, which may explain some resistance to deer damage. The Silvery Checkerspot Butterfly's caterpillars feed on its foliage. If the flowerheads remain in place to ripen, they will provide food for songbirds and sometimes reseed if the soil conditions are favorable. Echinacea was first used by Native Americans for treatment of insect stings and bites as well as snake bites.
Yellow coneflower has large daisy-like flowers with drooping petals surrounding brownish prominent cones. Echinacea paradoxa starts blooming in mid-June and keeps producing lots of flowers on long green stems through July, especially if deadheaded. Yellow Coneflowers prefer good drainage, and can self-seed if the seedheads are left to ripen. They provide a valuable seed source for finches in fall, but the plants will over-winter better if most of the flowers are removed when spent. The long leaves are smooth and lance shaped. Echinacea paradoxa has a deep tap root that helps it survive drought conditions.
Purple Coneflower produces pink to light purple daisy-like flowers throughout the summer. Since Echinacea purpurea is propagated by seed, there is a wide variation in height and flower color, so this is a great candidate for naturalistic settings like meadows and wildflower gardens. The cones should be left on the plants after blooming when possible, as Echinacea purpurea is a significant fall and winter food source for songbirds.
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.
‘Fiery Meadow Mama’ Coneflower is an unusual Echinacea, with yellow drooping petals that flush to red at the cone. The petals are topped by deeper red cones, which provide important food for the birds when ripe. Echinacea ‘Fiery Meadow Mama’ has a prolonged bloom period, from late June into August. This color breakthrough looks wonderful with grasses and other prairie plants.
‘Intense Orange’ (‘TNECK10’) Coneflower is one of the Kismet® series from Terra Nova Nurseries’ breeding program. The large fragrant deep orange flowers appear in late June and are produced for an extended period through the summer. The cones in the centers of the horizontal petals are a darker orange, and provide an important food source for native birds when ripe. Pollinators also benefit from the food provided by this showy native.
PRN Preferred: Very showy orange flowers are an unusual color for Echinaceas.
‘Raspberry (‘TNECHKR’) Coneflower has deep raspberry red horizontal flowers held on strong short stems. Echinacea Kismet® ‘Raspberry’ is a compact version of the Kismet® series from Terra Nova, and is notable for its long bloom period, with individual flowers holding their color for several weeks. This Coneflower is a great addition to perennial borders because of its short stature and the great number of flowers on each plant.
Kismet® 'Red' (‘TNECHKRD’) Coneflower has a beautiful combination of bright red flowers on dark bronze stems. The daisy shaped coneflowers have showy flat petals surrounding orange red prominent cones, and Echinacea Kismet® 'Red' keeps blooming for a long time in mid summer, producing a number of short sturdy blooms. The compact stature makes this Echinacea a good front-of-the-border perennial for sunny well-drained sites. From the Terra Nova® Kismet® series of Echinaceas.
‘Yellow’ (‘TNECHY’) Coneflower is a butter yellow compact Echinacea of the Kismet® series from Terra Nova. The horizontal bright yellow petals surround a greenish cone and are held on sturdy short stems. Kismet® 'Yellow' Coneflower blooms heavily from late June through August, and the individual flowers retain their color for several weeks. Deadheading prolongs the bloom period but the seed heads are an important source of winter food for small birds.
‘Mellow Yellows’ Coneflower is a seed selection from Jelitto Perennial Seeds that produces yellow flowers in a range of color shades. Echinacea purpurea ‘Mellow Yellows’ blooms in its first year and shows good winter survival. Pollinators get nectar from the orange cones in summer and finches (particularly Goldfinches) depend on the seeds for needed food in the fall.
‘Pow WowWhite’ Coneflower is a compact, heavily flowering selection with flat white petals surrounding the round orange cones. Since the ‘PowWow’ series does not require vernalization, ‘PowWow White’ and ‘PowWow Wildberry’ start blooming early in summer and keep going well into August. The compact habit and sturdy stems makes this Coneflower an excellent choice for the front of perennial beds and rock gardens. Insects and song birds use Echinacea significantly as a food source.
‘PowWow Wildberry’ Coneflower blooms for a very long period starting in June and continuing into August. The vivid rose pink flowers have flat petals surrounding the orange cone and are held up on thick sturdy stems. The ‘PowWow’ series of Echinaceas are from seed, but their compact habit and clear colors are consistent, unlike many seed strains. Introduced by PanAm seeds, and reliably hardy in sunny dry sites in the Northeast.
PRN Preferred: Compact habit, overwinters very well.
'Rocky Top' Tennessee Coneflower is a nursery-grown selection of the rare native which is on the Endangered Species list for wild plants. Echinacea 'Rocky Top' was selected from a seed grown population because of its greater vigor and larger pink coneflowers. The blooms appear above the long narrow leaves in June and July. It grows best in sunny, well-drained sites. This rare Southeastern native is a good source of food for both Goldfinches (seed) and butterflies (nectar).
Paper Bush has amazingly fragrant clumps of little yellow tubular flowers (it's in the Daphne family!) on the tips of branches from January to March. Long tropical-looking deciduous green leaves, must be in a very protected site (and keep mulch away from the base of the plant) but the winter fragrance of Edgeworthia chrysantha flowers on a warm day makes it worth it.
The beautiful violet flowers of 'Lilafee' Barrenwort are large in size, over neat, delicate foliage in April. Epimediums thrive in dry shade and 'Lilafee' is semi-evergreen. An interesting fact about Epimediums is that they are in the Barberry family (hence deer resistant).
'Purple Pixie' Barrenwort was found by Dr Richard Lighty in his own garden, as a surprising sport of Epimedium grandiflorum 'Alba'. The delicate flowers are a deep violet purple with extended white spurs, and they hover over the fine green foliage in April. 'Purple Pixie' makes an excellent semi-evergreen clump in shady dry locations, and the refined, heart-shaped leaves emerge in the spring in shades of burgundy and purple. 'Purple Pixie' performed very well in the Chicago Botanic Garden's Epimedium trials.
'Red Beauty' Barrenwort has large rosy red flowers held above the semi-evergreen foliage in April. It spreads slowly to make an excellent groundcover for dry shady sites. This is a hard-to-find Epimedium, but worth the hunt since its long spurred blooms are very showy.
Epimedium grandiflorum 'Rose Queen' has rosy pink flowers of large size in April, making it a very showy Barrenwort. It thrives in dry shade and is semi-evergreen. The flowers look like miniature Columbines hovering above the leaves.
'Bandit’ Barrenwort is a beautiful new Epimedium with ethereal clusters of white flowers over delicate green leaves accented with burgundy borders. The showy borders and hovering flowers appear in early spring, and the neat foliage matures in summer to shades of green. Epimedium grandiflorus var. higoense ‘Bandit’ makes a perfect groundcover for dry shady sites because of its tolerance to deer, rabbits and dry conditions. It was brought to the US by We Du Nursery years ago, but selected and named by Darrell Probst for its gorgeous foliage.
‘Spine Tingler’ Barrenwort was found by Darrell Probst (the Epimedium King) on a cliff in China. The evergreen foliage is attractively narrow, spiny and a dark leathery green. The delicate pale yellow flowers hover above the leaves in April and May, looking somewhat like tiny yellow moths. Epimedium ‘Spine Tingler’ makes a slow growing but excellent dry shade groundcover because deer and rabbits ignore it and it keeps attractive foliage throughout the winter. Another name for it is ‘Fairy Wings.’
‘Wudang Star’ Barrenwort was collected by Roy Lancaster on Wudang mountain in China. The evergreen foliage has bronze flecks in spring, and is topped in April by delicate white flowers displayed on 18” fine stems. Epimedium stellulatum ‘Wudang Star’ is appropriately named because the blooms hover like tiny stars above the clump of foliage. A great choice for rocky sites with good shade.
‘Caramel’ Wushan Barrenwort was introduced from China by the great Japanese plantsman Mikinori Ogisu. The delicate yellow to light orange flowers hover over burgundy colored emerging foliage in early spring. The narrow leaves have spiny serrations along their edges, and turn from burgundy in the spring to shades of green by mid summer. This is a great dry shade deer resistant groundcover.
‘Sandy Claws’ Barrenwort (also called ‘Fairy Wings’) is an obscure Chinese find by Darrell Probst. The foliage is really unusual: spiny evergreen leaves emerge in spring with chocolate coloring, making a striking setting for the white and yellow flower panicles. Unlike other E. wushanense selections, Epimedium ‘Sandy Claws’ is both compact and spreading, so it makes a good dry shade groundcover. The maroon spring foliage color matures to dark green from summer through fall and winter.
'Domino' Barrenwort comes from the prolific hybridizing work of Darrell Probost, the 'Epimedium King'. Epimedium x 'Domino' is a very heavy bloomer in April and May, producing a multitude of airy flowers displayed on burgundy stems. The blooms have long white spurs which end in rose purple cupped centers. The spikes emerge from toothed evergreen leaves which are mottled with large burgundy spots. This is one of Tony Avent's favorite 'Fairy Wings' because of its heavy reliable flower production.
'Mandarin Star' Barrenwort is a new introduction from China with unusual floral coloration. The tepals ("spurs") are long and white, and the petals are yellow. The delicate blooms float above the heart-shaped leaves in April. Epimedium x 'Mandarin Star' delicate beauty is making this Barrenwort increasingly in demand. The foliage is semi-evergreen and attractively dentate, with bronze new growth emerging with the flowers in April.
'Pink Champagne' Barrenwort blooms heavily in April, producing many long graceful panicles covered with delicate hovering blooms. The spurs are long and white, surrounding deep pink cups. The mottled evergreen foliage continues the show after the bloom period with dark purple splotches decorating the fine green leaves. Another striking contribution from the prolific breeding work of Darrell Probost. Like all Epimediums, this makes an excellent long lived groundcover for dry shade.
PRN Preferred: Airy pink and white flowers hover above attractive mottled foliage.
'Pink Elf' Barrenwort blooms in April, with lots of delicate pink flowers hovering over the fine evergreen foliage. The spurs are pale pink and the cups are a darker bronzy pink. The leaves are heart shaped, and new growth in the spring starts out with attractive pinkish flecks. This interspecies hybrid comes from Robin White and makes an excellent compact groundcover for shady areas.
‘Pink Panther’ Barrenwort is an introduction from Thierry Delabroye, the great French Heuchera breeder. Epimedium x ‘Pink Panther’ produces delicate lavender pink flowers on arching stems above spiny evergreen foliage in April. The leaves are dark green and leathery, making an interesting addition to shade gardens even when not in bloom.
'Frohnleiten' Barrenwort has butter yellow flowers with good strong color in April and May. It does well in dry shade and is semi-evergreen. The new leaves have red veining in spring, which shows up again in the fall.
Sulfur Barrenwort has yellow flowers in April over large green leaves. It is a vigorous shade groundcover that is semi-evergreen and covers an area more rapidly than most Barrenworts.
PRN Preferred: This tried-and-true Barrenwort is one of the most vigorous groundcovers, producing abundant yellow flowers over large clean foliage.
'Ellen Willmott' Barronwort comes from the English garden of Warley Place and is named after its former owner. A hybrid of E. alpinum and E. pinnatum ssp colchicum, 'Ellen Willmott' produces a multitude of delicate orange and yellow flowers in early spring. They are displayed above heart shaped green leaves which emerge in shades of light purple and turn to green. Epimedium x 'Ellen Willmott' is semi-evergreen and extremely tolerant of dry shade, deer and rabbit, making it an excellent long term groundcover.
'Orange Queen' ('Orangekoningin') Barrenwort has pale orange flowers that float above the red-tinged newly emerging leaves. The foliage matures to green in the summer, with reddish tones in the fall. Semi-evergreen and dry site tolerant. The species name warleyense indicates that this lovely Barrenwort's parents originated in the English garden Warley Place, belonging to Miss Ellen Willmott, but the actual cross was the work of the German plantsman Ernst Pagels.
‘Merlin’ Young’s Barrenwort starts blooming in early spring, producing delicate lavender purple nodding flowers that resemble tiny Columbines. The small heart-shaped leaves also emerge in early spring in shades of wine and purple, turning green in early summer. Epimedium x youngianum ‘Merlin’ was found as a chance seedling in the garden of Amy Doncaster in England. ‘Merlin’ is slow growing but forms a tough, pest resistant mat in time.
Despite being a North American native, Equisetum hyemale brings a unique vertical quality to the landscape with its starkly upright, cylindrical aerial parts. Dating back to prehistoric eras as one of the first vascular plant species according to the fossil record, Equisetum hyemale, known commonly as scouring rush and horsetail, rides the line between fern-relative and perennial-relative. Small, fertile, terminal cones produce spores typically in mid-summer, encouraging a healthy reproduction of the species not only by environmental factors but by prolific rhizomatous growth as well. Although it may become somewhat aggressive in wet, poorly drained areas, horsetail remains evergreen throughout the winter and adds an interesting textural component to the rain, wetland, or a low-lying spot in the medicinal garden.
Purple Lovegrass is a short warm season grass which is best planted in mass. The effect is stunning when Eragrostis spectabilis comes into bloom in August and September. The airy panicles are bright shades of reddish purple, making a showy carpet over sandy, dry and infertile soils. In the fall the foliage takes on shades of reddish bronze. This tough native provides good erosion control and a good choice for green roofs. It is a good choice for roadside planting as it can handle infertile, road salt and polluted soils adjacent to the pavement.
Erica x darleyensis 'Mediterranean Pink' is a Heath that has pink flowers in March and April. It has a low mounded habit and is salt tolerant and evergreen. It prefers a well-drained site.
Erica x darleyensis 'Mediterranean White' is a Heath that has white flowers in March and April. It has a low mounded habit and is salt tolerant and evergreen. Does not tolerate "wet feet".
‘Big Blue’ Sea Holly is an amazingly different color addition to the well-drained garden. It has silvery green thistle-like foliage which is topped by glowing blue stems and flowers. The blooms in June look like tiny blue artichokes, and are held well above the leaves. The more sun this plant recieves the more intensely colored the blue flowers will be. Eryngium ‘Big Blue’ withstands salty, coastal winds and sandy soil so a very good choice for seaside plantings.
'Blue Cap' ('Blaukappe') Sea Holly blooms in July and August, producing silvery blue spiky flowers in abundance. The unusual cone-shaped blooms are held on thistle-like silvery foliage and are attractive to butterflies and other pollinators. The flowers dry well and are used for floral arrangements. Eryngium 'Blue Cap' performs well in hot dry areas and is salt tolerant, so seashore locations are a perfect place for this unusual perennial.
'Blue Hobbit' Sea Holly produces silvery blue spiky globe flowers on short stems in summer. The blooms are a very unusual shape and color, emerging from a low mound of green basal foliage. All the Eryngiums must have excellent drainage and do best in dry sites. 'Blue Hobbit' is much more compact than other Eryngiums, so it would work well in the front of a perennial border and also rock gardens. Butterflies love the odd flowers, and happily, deer do not.
Rattlesnake Master is an interesting oddity for unusual perennials borders, with grayish green spiny leaves from which spring its very tall flower spikes in July and August. The blooms are a pale silvery blue and look somewhat like round thistles. Tolerant of both dry and moist conditions, this dramatic looking native got its name from the formerly held theory that its sap cured rattle snake bites. As Dr. Alan Armitage says so succinctly, "Fat chance". Butterflies love it.
PRN Preferred: The blooms provide a striking architectural note in the landscape, towering over the silvery basal foliage. Very attractive to many pollinators.
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.
Mistflower is a long blooming native which blooms heavily from August to frost. Eupatorium coelestinum looks like an Ageratum, as it is crowned with delicate clouds of violet blue flowers. This is not a plant for the faint-of-heart, as it spreads vigorously to make a good groundcover mat for shady and sunny locations.
Eupatorium 'Baby Joe' is the shortest of the Joe Pye Weeds we've seen so far and the beautiful, profuse clusters of mauve pink flowers show that it has not sacrificed flower-power for reduced height. It performs well in both wet and regular sites, and blooms from July through August. Introduced by Future Plants. Eupatorium dubium has now been renamed 'Eutrochium' by botanists.
The mauve pink flower clusters of 'Little Joe' Joe Pye Weed appear in July and August. Selected by Steve Lighty and introduced by Conard-Pyle Company of Pennsylvania. It is also wet site tolerant, and a great butterfly attractant. (New genus name is Eutrochium)
Hyssop-leaved Thoroughwort first came to our attention on visiting the High Line Park in NYC in August where its clouds of delicate flat-topped white flowers were truly amazing amongst the fall grasses and other blooms. Most effective when used in masses, it tolerates dry and sandy conditions well. Seeds vigorously.
'Phantom' Joe Pye Weed was hybridized by Herbert Oudshoorn of Holland to produce a compact but heavily flowering Eupatorium. The flower clumps emerge wine red in July, and mature to a strong pink. The shorter size produces stronger stems supporting the showy compound flowers, which are an attractive addition to a cut flower arrangement. This tough native is a great butterfly attractant in mid to late summer, and it also is deer resistant. (New genus name is Eutrochium)
PRN Preferred: All the great attributes of a Joe Pye Weed but a more compact form.
‘Golden Glory’ Wood Spurge produces brilliant chartreuse flower clumps in April. The foliage of Euphorbia ‘Golden Glory’ starts as a bronzy reddish purple before the flowers emerge, and the contrast with the chartreuse is amazing. The leaves become bronze during the summer, and then take on fall colors of red, bronze and purple. Since the sap of Euphorbias is highly caustic, ‘Golden Glory’ is completely deer and pest resistant.
'Mrs. Robb's Bonnet' Wood Spurge has chartreuse yellow flower bracts in May and green evergreen foliage. Euphorbia amygdaloides var. robbiae is stoloniferous, producing new plants from runners. Native to woodland margins in Europe, western Asia and the Mediterranean. It was discovered by botanist Mary Ann Robb near Istanbul, Turkey. Mrs. Robb brought cuttings and seeds back to her garden in Liphook, Hampshire in a hat box in the late 1800's; hence to common name. The Scott Arboretum of Swarthmore College uses this extensively in dry shade.
'Bonfire' Cushion Spurge offers beautiful foliage in addition to the electric, chrome-yellow spring flower bracts. The leaves of this Euphorbia have a combination of orange, red and purple when planted in full sun and the red shades are intensified in the fall. A compact and mounding habit, 'Bonfire' needs a dry site. Bred by Mary Ann Faria of Limerock Plant Farm from two unnamed Euphorbia plants, it was introduced by Blooms of Bressingham®.
Cushion Spurge is stunning when in bloom, producing cymes of sulfur yellow bracts at the tips of the stems in April and May. The green foliage is neat and completely pest free, since all Euphorbs have toxic sap that no animal eats. Euphorbia polychroma’s habit is cushion or dome shaped, particularly in full sun. It forms a taproot which helps it handle drought and rocky soils well. The fall color is attractive shades of red. Prune spent flower heads to discourage self-seeding.
‘Ascot Rainbow’ Martin’s Spurge has semi-evergreen foliage which has yellow and green variegation. In the spring, new foliage emerges with a reddish flush. Euphorbia x ‘Ascot Rainbow’ produces interesting yellowish green bracts with small red eyes in the actual flowers’ centers in April and May. Since the white sap of Euphorbias is quite toxic, ‘Ascot Rainbow’ makes a good choice for deer issues as long as the drainage is good, and it also has attractive red to orange fall color.
Euscaphis japonica is called the Korean Sweetheart Tree because of its rose red fruit pods which look like little hearts as they open. The broad ivory yellow flower panicles appear in June, and are followed by the showy fruit displayed August through September. When the red pods open, they are made even more showy by revealing large shiny blue-black seeds. The bark is also attractive, with white striations on the purplish brown coloration. This was one of Dr JC Raulston's favorite exotic tree introductions.
American Beech is one of our most stately native trees, and also one of the most problematic ones to transplant B&B. As a result, we are growing it in containers so everyone can have a chance to marvel at its beauty in their own landscape. The bark is beautiful all year, maintaining its silver-gray color throughout its lifespan. The summer leaves are a large and glossy dark green, often turning an attractive golden bronze in the fall. The juvenile beeches usually retain their foliage throughout the winter, turning to a soft whitish-tan after the fall. When Fagus grandifolia is mature enough to bear fertile nuts, it is a very important food source for birds and mammals.
Narrow green leaves emerge from tan culms in late spring, adding to previous season's foliage. Vase-shaped, clumping, deer resistant and semi-evergreen.
'Elijah Blue' Blue Fescue has short powder blue foliage. It prefers cool weather and shady locations. Seedheads of Festuca glauca 'Elijah Blue' are airy and beautiful. Not usually a long-lived grass, but stunning in the right location. Native to France, this cold-hardy cultivar was found at the Plantage Nursery on Long Island.
'Chicago Hardy' Fig has proven to be reliable as far north as Chicago with some protection, so it is an excellent choice for the Mid-Atlantic area. It is thought to be originally named 'Bensonhurst Purple', and the fruit is sweet and green with a light brownish-purple blush. Without any protection it will periodically die to the ground but will come back reliably. With winter protection, you get fruit production much earlier in the summer. The foliage is large, dramatic and subtly fragrant.
The bright pink, Astilbe-like flowers of Queen of the Prairie bloom on tall stems in June and July. Filipendula ‘Venusta’ loves wet spots and will colonize a large area slowly. Commonly found in wet meadows throughout North America, its large, attractive foliage makes a textural impact and following its bloom period, attractive brown seedheads are produced and remain showy throughout the end of summer and into fall. A prolific self-seeder, seedheads should be removed if spread is unwanted. It is more compact than the species and was bred in the 1950s in Great Britain. This particular selection is so revered that it’s received the Award of Garden Merit by the Royal Horticultural Society for its outstanding garden performance.
‘Red Umbrella’ Meadowsweet is an interspecific cross from Yohei Hosogai of Japan. Filipendula x ‘Red Umbrella’ is more compact than our native Filipendula rubra, and the foliage is showy with large green maple-shaped leaves heavily veined with purple. This is crowned with large airy pink umbels in mid summer. Filipendulas thrive in moist sunny locations (hence the other common name, ‘Queen-of-the-Prairie’), and are a vigorous long-lived addition to meadows, stream sides and sunny rain gardens.
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.
Dwarf Fothergilla has white fragrant bottlebrush flowers in April and May and they are especially showy since they appear before the foliage. Fall foliage of Fothergilla gardenii is yellow, orange and red. It is wet site tolerant, but also does well in dryer woodland sites. Plants may spread by root suckers. Bees, and other pollinators are attracted to this native shrub. The shrub is named for John Fothergill, British physician and botanist.
Fothergilla gardenii 'Suzanne' is a compact form of Dwarf Fothergilla from Dr. Michael Dirr, with beautiful white fragrant flowers in April and May, followed by lovely orange-red fall color. Named after his youngest daughter.
'Blue Shadow' Fothergilla has honey-scented white bottlebrush flowers in April and May, followed by dusty blue foliage. Fall color is a beautiful combination of yellow, orange and red. A selection by Gary Handy of Handy Nursery in Oregon.
'Mount Airy' Fothergilla has fragrant white bottlebush flowers in April and May and boasts yellow, orange and red fall foliage. Selected by Dr. Michael Dirr at the Mount Airy Arboretum for good dark blue-green foliage and consistent fall color.
The Franklin Tree has white Camellia-like fragrant flowers in late summer with striking red fall foliage. Franklinia alatamaha needs good organic matter and constant moisture in its planting location. Ours are from seed rather than cuttings and our experience is that Franklinias have more vigor and disease resistance when grown from seed. John Bartram and his son William discovered Franklinia growing along the banks of the Altamaha River in southeastern Georgia and the genus name honors Benjamin Franklin. Batram collected seed from this spot in the late 1700s, and few years later the tree became extinct in the wild so all Franklinia alatamaha are decedents from the original seeds.
‘Arizona Apricot’ Blanket Flower blooms from early summer to fall, producing large daisy-like flowers in shades of yellow, apricot and soft red. The habit of Gaillardia ‘Arizona Apricot’ is compact, with a mound of clean green leaves. Blanket Flowers come from prairie country, so dry soils are better for them than more fertile soils. An introduction in the Arizona series from Walters Gardens.
‘Arizona Red Shades’ Blanket Flower blooms from early to late summer, producing a multitude of red daisy-like flowers. The center cones are a lighter red, making a showy contrast to the notched petals. Gaillardia ‘Arizona Red Shades’ is propagated from seed, so there is a little variation in flower colors. The habit is compact, with clean green foliage. Poorer soils and good drainage are optimal for the ‘Arizona’ series Blanket Flowers.
Sweet Woodruff has fragrant white flowers in spring over delicate, fragrant leaves and stems that release their odor when crushed. Galium odoratum has a slow creeping habit, and benefits from a summer cutback. Galium leaves have been used to make May wine, dried for potpourri and used commercially in perfumes.
'Kleim's Hardy' Cape Jasmine has large single white extremely fragrant flowers in July and August. Gardenias are native to southern Japan and China and grow best with morning sun and afternoon shade. Gardenia jasminoides 'Kleim's Hardy' is one of the most cold hardy cultivars, has rounded glossy green foliage and is semi-evergreen. This plant needs a sheltered spot.
Creeping Wintergreen is an evergreen groundcover that thrives in wooded, well drained locations. Gaultheria procumbens prefers acidic soils. The delicate pink and white bells appear on the stems in early to mid summer and are followed by small red fruit in the fall (much loved by small woodland critters). Wintergreen is a rhizomatous, creeping, woody, evergreen groundcover of the heath family that is native to woodlands in Eastern North America. The leaves when crushed have the lovely scent of wintergreen.
'Siskiyou Pink' Wandflower has rose-pink delicate flowers that are suspended over the bronzy-green foliage, June through October. This may not be the longest-lived perennial, but the flower output makes it well worth planting. Native to Texas and Louisiana. A good choice for xeriscaping, rock gardens or sandy soils, may become leggy and flop if planted in rich soils. An introduction from Siskiyou Nursery in Washington State. Cut back when flowering is finished to rosette for winter survival. Needs good drainage to overwinter.
'Whirling Butterflies' Wandflower has arching red stems, pink flower buds which open to delicate white flowers that hover over the green foliage all summer, from June to October. Cut back when flowering is finished to rosette for winter survival. Needs good drainage to over-winter, and prefers alkaline soils.
The fragrant yellow trumpet-shaped flowers of 'Margarita' Carolina Jessamine appear in April and May and are more prolific in full sun, although shade tolerant. Foliage is dark glossy green and semi-evergreen. This Gelsemium is a cold hardy selection sent by Tom Dodd, Jr. of Alabama to Gene Cline of Georgia, who introduced it to the trade. It was found by Don Jacobs of Eco Gardens and he named it after his wife.
PRN Preferred: Early season fragrant blooms completely cover this vine. A show-stopper when in bloom, quick to establish.
'Bevan's Variety' Geranium blooms May to June, producing rose magenta 5 petaled flowers in clusters, set off by dark red centers. The leaves are large and fuzzy, emitting a nice fragrance when brushed against. They are a medium green in summer but turn to shades of red and bronze in the fall. Geranium macrorrhizum 'Bevan's Variety' handles dry sites well because its rhizomes are large and fleshy. G. macrorrhizum cultivars tolerate hot and humid summers better than most other species. Selected by Blooms of Bressingham.