Acanthus mollis offers unusual pink-mauve flower spikes with white interior petals and purple calyces in July, held 3' to 4' above large shiny leaves. Bear's Breeches needs a shady, moist protected spot in the landscape.
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.
‘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.
‘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’ 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 usual 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 bright yellow flat flowers of 'Moonshine' Yarrow appear in mid to late summer above ferny silvery gray foliage. Salt and dry site tolerant, Achillea x 'Moonshine' is a Blooms of Bressingham® selection.
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."
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. 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 clumps of Acorus 'Ogon' get larger with age. This Sweet Flag is evergreen so it provides great winter interest. Introduced into the US by Barry Yinger. Per Diane Guidone formerly of Rumson, NJ, Acorus withstood salt inundation in the recent hurricanes really well.
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 berries are poisonous so animals will not eat them. Actaea pachypoda naturalizes easily in moist but well-drained woodlands.
Branched Bugbane has fragrant white flowers in late summer, over purplish bronze foliage. 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 white flower spikes 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.
'Black Adder' Anise Hyssop has prolific deep blue bottlebrush flowers from mid summer to fall. Compact habit and excellent hardiness make this a very exciting Agastache. Dry site tolerant with deliciously fragrant foliage. 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.
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.
'Catlin's Giant' Bugleweed has bronze leaves that are much larger than other Ajugas, sporting blue flower spikes in late spring. 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 groundcover around stepping stones. It came to the US from Italy.
'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 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 seed heads. Deer absolutely leave Ornamental Onions alone (so far…).
'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. 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.
‘Forescate’ Chives has 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. ‘Forescate’ is very attractive to many pollinators. One of Roy Diblik’s favorite Alliums.
'Rising Star' Garden Chives combines beautiful blooms with edible grayish green foliage. The spherical flowers are lavender purple, and bloom from late spring to early summer. The spent flower heads are also attractive, and can be added to dried flower arrangements. Like other edible chives, Allium 'Rising Star' will seed itself readily in not deadheaded. This ornamental Onion is totally deer resistant, and we introduced by Intrinsic Perennials.
'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 rosette 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 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.
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. Self-seeds vigorously in the garden. We are grateful to Mark McDonough for helping us with the confusing nomeclature.
‘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.
The delicate light blue flowers of Arkansas Amsonia appear in May. It also has stunning orange and yellow fall foliage. This tough multi-season plant can handle a broad range of site conditions. 2011 Perennial Plant of the Year, and Dr. J.C. 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.
Snowdrop Anemone or Windflower blooms in April, with single 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.
Anemone x 'Honorine Jobert' is a Japanese Anemone with tall single white flowers, fall blooming. It prefers moist, humus-rich sites, and will make a large clump in time. 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. Fall blooming and showy.
'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.
'Lucky Charm' Windflower blooms in September and October, with dark pink single flowers held on dark purple stems. The foliage is a dark green, often with purple and plum undersides to the leaves. Native pollinators and honeybees love the pollen which provides much needed sustenance in fall. Each plant of Anemone x 'Lucky Charm' will slowly spread to make a compact mounded clump eventually, making it a great candidate for naturalizing in moist shady sites.
PRN Preferred: A more compact mound with tons of flowers. We love that the undersides of the foliage has a purple cast.
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.
'Sun King' Golden Aralia is a very large showy perennial, producing chartreuse yellow compound leaves which hold their striking color all summer. 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.
'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.
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. 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 is particularly gorgeous planted in masses.
'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. Asarum canadense spreads rapidly in forest understory sites. Deciduous.
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. 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.
'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.
'Wood's Pink' Fall Aster has dark pink flowers 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 Purple' Fall Aster has magenta purple flowers, disease resistant foliage, and blooms August to September. Forms a large mat eventually. 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. 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' blooms in September and October, and tolerates poor soils. An introduction from Canyon Creek Nursery from a plant from coastal Rhode Island (New name is Eurybia divaricata).
PRN Preferred: More compact than the species, flowers even in dry shade.
'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. (New name is Symphyotricum laeve)
PRN Preferred: Tons of flowers with no staking required.
'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.)
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. (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. A Primrose Path introduction (New name is Symphyotricum oblongifolium).
PRN Preferred: Shorter height and denser growth than the species. Long bloom time.
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. 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 which bloom from September through November. A. 'Jin-dai' sports large tropical leaves all summer. Found in Japan by Rick Darke and Skip March. An exceptional long-blooming, dramatic perennial, with a spreading habit.
Dwarf Chinese Astilbe has pinkish lavender flowers in July, and blooms later than most Astilbes. Makes a large mat eventually, and tolerates drier sites than many Astilbes.
'Visions' Chinese Astilbe has vivid pink flowers in July, over attractive lustrous foliage, late blooming.
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.
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 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.
‘Bridal Veil’ Hybrid Astilbe blooms throughout May, with lots of gracefully arching white plumes held above light green foliage. Astilbe 'Bridal Veil’ is a good addition to a small shade garden, or is lovely in masses in woodland landscapes.
PRN Preferred: Flower spikes are very large and full.
'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.
‘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.
Blue False Indigo, also known as Redneck Lupine, has blue pea-like flowers in May and June, A long-lived perennial. 2010 Perennial Plant of the Year. All Baptisias are very roadside salt tolerant and dry site tolerant.
PRN Preferred: Easy to grow and does not grow too big.
'Indigo Spires' False Indigo flowers in May and June, producing 12-15" showy spikes of deep violet pea-shaped blooms. The green stems are very sturdy so the flowers are held upright above the clumps. Baptisias have deep taproots and become almost shrub-like in size as they mature. Baptisia 'Indigo Spires' is very tolerant of both dry sites and road salt. A Walters Gardens introduction.
'Carolina Moonlight' False Indigo has buttery yellow pea-shaped flowers in June over clean, bluish green foliage. A great long lived hybrid from Rob Gardner of the NC Botanical Garden in Chapel Hill.
‘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.
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.
'Purple Smoke' False Indigo has bluish purple flowers in May and June. A long lived perennial, selected as a chance seedling by Bob Gardner of the NC Botanical Garden. We love the subtlety of the flower color, as well as the clean, shorter foliage. One of the native plants chosen by Piet Oudolf for the newly planted meadow garden at Delaware Botanic Gardens.
PRN Preferred: A slightly shorter variety. Very drought tolerant once established, subdued bluish flowers work well in a perennial garden.
'Bressingham Ruby' Leather Pigsqueak has dark pink flowers in April and May, burgundy fall foliage which it holds through the winter. A slow growing evergreen groundcover, and a great shade plant from Alan Bloom of England. And we love the common name 'Pigsqueak'.
'Spring Fling' Pigsqueak is a very floriferous addition to the spring flowering perennial world. The heavy clumps of shocking pink flowers are held on upright branched stems over lustrous evergreen foliage clumps. The bloom period is in April, and is followed by other seasons of beauty in fall and winter, when the leaves take on shades of burgundy and purple. Bergenia x smithii 'Spring Fling' thrives in well drained sun and shade, and has the added advantage of deer resistance. Introduced by Terra Nova.
Hardy Orchid has rosy purple flowers in May, like miniature Cattleyas. The clump will grow steadily larger, and Bletilla is dry site tolerant when established. Best planted in spring or early summer.
Heartleaf Brunnera has blue flowers in mid April to June over green foliage. Must have a moist spot. A slow spreader.
'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.
PRN Preferred: Better, more heat resistant foliage for our East Coast summer conditions.
'Freya' Clustered Bellflower is covered with purplish lilac star-shaped flowers in May and June. The foliage is green and somewhat pubescent, and is almost completely covered by the flower display for almost 4 weeks. An introduction from Arie Blom of the Netherlands.
'Iridescent Bells' ('Irbella') Bellflower blooms in June and July, with light lavender bell-shaped flowers which emerge from eggplant purple buds. 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.
Ceratostigma plumbaginoides is a Leadwort or Plumbago with cobalt blue flowers in late summer. The green foliage turns a reddish purple in the fall. The new foliage appears late in the spring.
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 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 sites, 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. 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.
'Hillside Sheffield Pink' Hardy Mum has shell pink flowers for a long time in late summer and early fall. 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.
PRN Preferred: Tons of blooms on a very late blooming perennial.
'Matchsticks' Hardy Mum blooms in July, with showy yellow quill petals that open to scarlet-red. There is often fall rebloom in September, especially if the plant is deadheaded after the initial bloom. The foliage is a clean disease free green, and the flowers are an explosion of color and form above the mat. Chrysanthemum 'Matchsticks' will make an excellent fall container plant, like fireworks in a pot.
'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.
Golden Star is an attractive low growing groundcover. The bright yellow five petaled flowers appear amongst the slightly fuzzy green leaves in mid to late spring. Chrysogonum virginianum likes consistently moist conditions and will often rebloom sporadically after the initial flower display. This native groundcover is deer resistant and works well around moist woodland gardens.
'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.
'Moonbeam' Threadleaf Tickseed has pale yellow flowers and is an excellent repeat bloomer. For best performance, deadhead after first flush of blooms. 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. 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. Another winner from the people who brought you the Big Sky™ series of Coneflowers.
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. We are impresses with its cold hardiness in our display beds, and it blooms throughout the summer starting in late June into fall.
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.
'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. 2006 Perennial Plant of the Year.
The pink and white flowers of Bleeding Heart have a long bloom period in late spring. Foliage fades away by late summer. This is the classic Bleeding Heart we all remember from our childhoods. 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.
'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.
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.
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.
‘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.
‘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.
‘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).
‘Aloha’ Coneflower is one of the Prairie Pillars™ series from Terra Nova Nurseries. The petals are a soft yellow surrounding an orange cone. Echinacea ‘Aloha’ starts blooming in late June and continues into August, providing lots of nectar and pollen for butterflies and other pollinators. The strong stems and clean green foliage make ‘Aloha’ a good maintenance-free addition to perennial borders, just make sure to leave the seed heads on for birds in the fall and winter.
‘Green Twister’ Coneflower is an unusual combination of colors, with horizontal petals of chartreuse flushing to dark pink at the base. The cones are dark red, and showy throughout the summer. Echinacea ‘Green Twister’ is a natural mutation of Echinacea Magnus, introduced by Jelitto Seed. Since it is a seed strain, the flowers will vary somewhat from plant to plant, making this interesting color combination more ‘wild’ looking.
Playful Meadow Mama™ Coneflower comes from the Netherlands (AB Cultivars) and has an unusual appearance with raspberry petals that are tipped with white and somewhat quilled. The center cones are reddish and the sturdy stems make Echinacea x Playful Meadow Mama™ a good cut flower. The summer bloom period is long so pollinators and birds have a good source of food (including the seedheads when dry in the fall.)
'Tomato Soup' Coneflower flowers in early to late summer, producing tall sturdy flowers with tomato red slightly pendant petals on strong stems. Echinacea paradoxa is one of the original parents in the complex crosses producing Echinacea x 'Tomato Soup', which explains the petal droop. Like the other Echinaceas, 'Tomato Soup' thrives in well drained sunny sites, and looks stunning in masses. A good choice to use in prairie and meadow settings. Introduced by Terra Nova Nurseries, as one of the Prairie Star™ series.
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).
PRN Preferred: Heavy bloomer, flower color stands out in spring gardens.
'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.
PRN Preferred: Showy spring foliage topped by purple flowers, received very high ratings in the Chicago Botanic Garden's trials.
‘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.’
‘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.
'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.
'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.
'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.
'Galadriel' Barrenwort provides showy red blooms with white spurs and centers in April. The flowers hover over the emerging red tinged leaves. Epimediums make excellent slowy spreading groundcovers for shady areas, and Epimediums x 'Galadriel' also adds an attractive fall element with bronzy semi-evergreen leaves.
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: Excellent vigorous choice for a groundcover perennial.
'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.
'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. Eryngium 'Blue Cap' performs well in hot dry areas and is salt tolerant, so seashore locations are a perfect place for this unusual perennial.
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.
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 Entrochium)
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. (New genus name is Entrochium)
'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 Entrochium)
PRN Preferred: All the great attributes of a Joe Pye Weed but a more compact form.
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.
'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. An introduction from Siskiyou Nursery in Washington State. Cut back when planting to rosette for winter survival. Needs good drainage to overwinter.
'Whirling Butterflies' Wandflower has delicate white flowers that hover over the green foliage all summer, from June to October. Cut back when planting to rosette for winter survival. Needs good drainage to over-winter, and prefers alkaline soils.
'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. Selected by Blooms of Bressingham.
Spotted Cranesbill has deeply incised green leaves in a mounding habit. The flowers are produced in quantity from late April into June, in shades varying from pale pink to bright lavender-purple. As a native species of Geranium, it naturalizes well from seed in moist locations in both sun and shade. It is particularly effective as a loose woodland groundcover, especially when partnered with early spring bulbs, Ferns and Carex. This is one of Landscape Architect Larry Weaner's staples for his extensive work with natural meadows and woodlands.
PRN Preferred: A "must have" for a woodland garden, spreads moderately by seed.
'Espresso' Spotted Cranesbill has lavender-pink flowers over beautiful red-brown foliage that ages to bronze-green by late summer. A North Creek Nurseries introduction, found in Landenberg, PA.
'Max Frei' Bloody Cranesbill has pinkish purple flowers in May and June, followed by good reddish fall color. Semi-evergreen, and a good low-growing groundcover.
PRN Preferred: Dense foliage makes this a good low groundcover.
'Rozanne' ('Gerwat') Cranesbill has large blue-purple flowers with pale blue centers. It has a somewhat sprawling habit. This Geranium blooms all summer! A Blooms of Bressingham® selection found in England. 2008 Perennial Plant of the Year.
PRN Preferred: Tremendously long bloom period, great choice for scrambling up and throught other plants.
'Biokovo' Cambridge Geranium is a charming semi-evergreen groundcover which thrives in well drained sunny locations. The white blooms are tinged with pink at the base of the petals and are enhanced by red calyces. The flowers are produced in June and July, and hover gracefully over the low green foliage. The fall and winter color is also attractive, turning shades of bronze and red. Geranium 'Biokovo' was a natural hybrid found in the Biokovo Mountains of Croatia, so its cold tolerance is excellent. 2015 Perennial Plant of the Year and 2020 PHS Gold Medal Plant.
'Pink Profusion' Bowman's Root has lovely ethereal pinkish-white flowers that look like butterflies above the foliage. The new growth is bronze in the spring and often exhibits reddish-maroon tones in fall. The native plant gurus of North Creek Nurseries brought this new selection of Gillenia to our attention. Introduced by Mt. Cuba Center in Delaware.
Bowman's Root is covered with delicate floating masses of white flowers from May to July. The new foliage emerges in bronzy tones turning to green throughout the summer. Although it is happiest in cool moist sites, it tolerates dryer conditions when established. In sunnier locations the fall color can be spectacular maroon-red. The name debate continues, with some voting for "Porteranthus trifoliatus".
'Fuego' Sneezeweed is an attractive compact late summer bloomer from the Mariachi™ series hybridized by Arie Blom of the Netherlands. 'Fuego' is covered with vivid orange to yellow daisy-like flowers set off by interesting brown center cones, from July to September. The compact plants flower heavily, attracting butterflies and other pollinators to the showy display. A tough, maintenance-free perennial that is very cold tolerant.
‘Salsa’ Sneezeweed is a lovely compact plant with deep orange-red flowers from July to September. The blooms cover the tips of the stems for an excellent show. A great late summer addition from Arie Blom.
‘Siesta’ Sneezeweed is another compact introduction from Arie Blom, with bronze cones surrounded by burnt red petals throughout mid-to-late summer. The flower production is excellent especially for its shorter habit.
'Sombrero' Sneezeweed is another lovely compact Helenium from Arie Blom's Mariachi™ series. Blooming profusely in mid to late summer, 'Sombrero' is topped with bright yellow daisy-like flowers with darker yellow domed centers. The upright compact habit and prolonged bloom period make Helenium 'Sombrero' an excellent choice for mixed sun containers. It is also a great pollinator attractant in mixed perennial borders.
'First Light' Swamp Sunflower has a solid mass of bright yellow daisy-like flowers in September, which make an amazing fall show. This selection comes by way of New Zealand via Blooms of Bressingham®. Joe Marano of Marano's Garden Center in Fort Washington, PA first showed us this plant.
PRN Preferred: Has a compact habit and blooms very late in the summer.
Ox Eye False Sunflower produces masses of 2” bright yellow daisy-like flowers through a good portion of the summer. This prairie native tolerates a wide range of soil conditions, from moist clay to drier meadows and edges of woods. The flowers provide excellent food for finches following the bloom period. Since Heliopsis seeds itself readily in a variety of soils, it is an excellent plant for naturalizing.
‘Burning Hearts’ Smooth Oxeye or False Sunflower blooms throughout the summer, producing showy yellow daisy-like with brownish red petal bases and cones. The foliage is also ornamental, in shades of reddish purple. Heliopsis ‘Burning Hearts’ is a seed selection from Jelitto Perennial Seeds, so there will be some variation in flowers and foliage. Since this is a 4’ sturdy perennial, it belongs in the back of mixed perennial beds, and is a great addition to sunny meadows. Finches depend on the dry seedheads for fall and winter food.
‘Jacob’ Christmas Rose is a lovely new release from those prolific hybridizers Heuger-Blumen of Germany the upright white blossoms appear in mid-winter, above glossy green foliage. Like other Helleborus, Helleborus niger HGC® ‘Jacob’ retains its flowers for a long time as they mature from bright white to soft light green. ‘Jacob’ blooms even earlier than other H. niger cultivators.
'Anna's Red' Lenten Rose produces dark red flower buds on red stems in March. The blooms open over time to dark pink petals (sepals) surrounding chartreuse nectaries and creamy anthers. As the blooms age, they take on shades of darker red and then bronzy green. The marbled evergreen foliage is lustrous for most of the year, but is best removed in late winter in order to display the flowers better. Hybridized in England by R. Davey and L. Windsor, and named after the English garden writer, Anna Pavord.
Frostkiss® 'Molly's White' Lenten Rose has lots of lime to white sterile flowers starting in February. A product of Hellebore breeder Rodney Davey's work, Frostkiss® 'Molly's White' has evergreen foliage with an attractive overlay of silver netting on the green leaves. This Hellebore starts in winter and continues until April, when the flowers take on shades of green. Deer resistant and long lived, Hellebore 'Molly's White' is a great addition to shade gardens as well as woodland sites.
'Penny's Pink' ('ABCRD01') Lenten Rose is one of Rodney Davey's Frostkiss® series, with large mauve pink sterile flowers above the evergreen foliage from February to April. The leaves are marbled with silver netting and are attractive all year. 'Penny's Pink' was named after the famous English plantswoman Penelope Hobhouse. The purple flower buds on purple stems open to shades of pink and transition to green as the spring progresses adding interest and change to shade gardens.
Frostkiss® Pippa's Purple® ('RD9') Lenten Rose is crowned with merlot flowers in February to April. The large blooms have deep purple speckling and the evergreen foliage is a deep green overlaid with silver mottling. Another beauty from the work of English Hellebore hybridizer, Rodney Davey.
‘New York Night’ Lenten Rose is a Hans Hansen introduction from Walters Gardens Honeymoon™ Series. The 3” single flowers are shades of deep purple, grayish black and blackish purple, surrounding soft yellow stamens. Helleborus ‘New York Night’ is a heavy bloomer with lustrous green evergreen foliage.
‘Rome in Red’ Lenten Rose comes from Hans Hansen’s Honeymoon™ Series breeding program. The single burgundy red blossoms are very large (3”) and showy for a long period in late winter and early spring. They are displayed prominently over the green evergreen foliage. Like other Lenten Roses, Helleborus ‘Rome in Red’ is a very long lived perennial, making an increasing large clump each year.
‘Spanish Flare’ Lenten Rose comes from the Honeymoon™ Series of Hellebores. The large yellow flowers appear in late winter and early spring, and are made even more striking by the vivid maroon centers around the nectaries. All Hellebore flowers persist for a very long time, changing to greenish hues as they age. Evergreen and dry site tolerant, Helleborus x ‘Spanish Flare’ is a lovely addition to the shade garden. Hybridized by Hans Hansen.
The white, pink, rose and burgundy flowers of Royal Heritage™ 'Strain' Lenten Rose bloom in winter, from early March to April. An evergreen perennial from the great plantsman John Elsley, formally of Wayside Gardens. Does well in dry sites.
PRN Preferred: Very reliable bloomer with excellent foliage.
‘Dark and Handsome‘ Lenten Rose comes from Hans Hansen’s amazing work at Walters Gardens. The dark green evergreen foliage is topped with lots of dark purple large double flowers starting in February. Helleborus ‘Dark and Handsome’ is one of the Wedding Party® Series, and the deep color is a striking addition to any winter shade garden. The flowers persist until April, unbothered by winter pests. Try this double beauty in winter containers.
‘Bushing Bridesmaid’ Lenten Rose is part of the Wedding Party™ Series, bred by Hans Hansen. The blooms resulting from this series are all double. ‘Blushing Bridesmaid’ produces double white flowers veined with fine raspberry stripes and edged with dark raspberry picotees. The blooms are large and displayed above clean evergreen foliage.
‘Confetti Cake’ Lenten Rose is another Wedding Party™ Series contribution from Hans Hansen and Walters Gardens. The 2 ½” blooms are white with an abundance of burgundy speckles surrounding the center of the double flowers. The evergreen foliage makes for an excellent green setting for the floral display.
'Mahogany Snow' ('Coseh 930') Gold Collection® Ballard Hellebore starts blooming in January and continues into March. The outward-facing white flowers have strong pink backsides to the petals, and are displayed above lustrous dark green leaves. The stems of the flowers and foliage are reddish and sturdy. As the blooms age into spring they take on subtle hues of pink and green, delivering a long stretch of beauty in the perennial shade garden.
'Merlin' ('Coseh 810') Gold Collection® Ballard Hellebore adds a colorful element to the winter landscape, bearing soft pink flowers which face upward, displayed on wine-red stems. As the blooms age over several months they become a deep cranberry color, followed by pinkish-green at the end of the season. The deer resistant evergreen foliage is a dark glossy green. Prefers moist but well drained shady locations.
'Pink Frost' ('Coseh 710') Hybrid Lenton Rose is part of the HGC® (Hellebore Gold Collection®) series, with a multitude of pink flowers in March. They are displayed above green evergreen leaves which are accentuated by a silver netting, and as they age, their blooms age to a deep rose color. The flowers last for a very long period, and the sturdy clumps grow larger every year. An introduction from Heuger Nursery in Germany.
‘Champion’ (‘COSEH 730’) Lenten Rose starts blooming in late January, producing lots of soft pink buds which open to lovely white flowers. The blooms are accented by strong upright pink stems and lustrous dark green leaves. Helleborus ‘Champion’ flowers age to a soft green and remain an attractive element well into April. ‘Champion’ Lenten Rose is also marketed as Helleborus ‘Winter’s Bliss’, and is a cross between H. niger and H. smithii, produced by Heuger Blumen of Germany.
Ice N’ Roses® ‘Red’ has dark green evergreen foliage which makes a great setting for the winter display of lovely rosy red flowers, emerging in late January. Yet another beauty coming from the Hellebore Gold Collection® from Heuger Blumen’s work in Germany, this selection has a particularly intense color that makes it a great cut flower as well as a good winter container choice. Ice N’ Roses® ‘Red’ is a cross between H. niger and H. orientalis.
Ice N’ Roses® ‘Rose’ Lenten Rose is one of the earlier bloomers in the HGC® series. The flowers emerge in December, with lots of pink buds and strong upright stems. The petals are pink on the backs and have pink edges which transition to white at the centers. The bloom period is very long (as it is with all Hellebores), and the evergreen foliage is attractive throughout the winter. A hybrid H. argutifolius and H. lividus.
'Autumn Minaret' is a very unusual Daylily because of its late bloom time (August and September) and its extreme flower height. The yellow to orange delicate scapes are somehow old fashioned looking, but they tower above the short green strap-like foliage. This unsual Daylily blooms for an extended period and actually looks much more like a native wildflower than you expect a Hemmerocallis to look.
PRN Prefered: The natural and late flowering blooms make this one of our favorite daylilies.
'Buttered Popcorn' Daylily has huge butter-yellow flowers, and is a very reliable rebloomer. The flowers are large and of thick substance.
PRN Preferred: A huge and plentiful flower display, really makes an impact. Reblooms in fall.
'Daring Deception' Daylily has striking cream-pink flowers with purple and green eyezones and ruffled purple picotee edges. The blooms are 5" across and tetraploid, so the petals are thick and overlapping. 'Daring Deception' reblooms, especially if the old scapes are removed. A Salter introduction, with good tolerance to winter salt and Juglone (Black Walnuts).
'Jen Melon' Daylily has large golden yellow flowers appearing mid to late season in summer. The 7" flowers are ruffled and attractively recurved, making a wonderful show in the mid summer landscape. The fragrant blooms attract butterflies and other pollinators. In the morning as the diploid flowers are opening, they have deeper tones reminiscent of cantaloupe (hence the name 'Jen Melon'). A very showy addition to urban gardens, where its tolerance for poor soils and pollution is very useful. Hybridized by Oakes.
'Jungle Beauty' Daylily has huge black-red diploid flowers with yellow-green throats. It is a Dr. Darrel Apps introduction that keeps its deep color well in the full sun.
PRN Preferred: Velvety burgundy flowers seem to absorb light.
We saw this lovely yellow Daylily at Chanticleer Gardens in Wayne, PA (if you haven't visited this wonderful public garden yet, make it a priority). The fragrant simple yellow flowers are very late bloomers and are held on very long stems so they seem to float above the foliage. Graceful and striking, especially in late afternoon light. (Formerly listed as 'Voyle's Unnamed Hybrid', for its hybridizer, David Voyles of Ohio).
PRN Preferred: Blooms very late when other daylilies have already finished. Very tall stems display the fragrant flowers.
The large soft white ruffled flowers of 'Sunday Gloves' Daylily have a yellow-green eye. It is a fragrant rebloomer.
Citron Daylily is one of the favorite perennials of David Rubin, the principal of Land Collective in Philadelphia. The 5” lemon yellow blooms are produced in big numbers on tall scapes in June and July over fountain-like green foliage. The refined flowers look more wild than most Daylilies, making this a good choice for more natural looking landscapes. The vigor of the clumps enables Hemerocallis citrina to function as a tall ground cover when planted in mass. And most exciting of all, Citron Daylily is a night bloomer, opening its fragrant showy blooms near sunset.
'Green Spice' Alum Root has an attractive overlay of silver on its green leaves. Since the veining is purple-red, the effect is eye-catching. Heuchera americana's tolerance of a wide variety of site conditions makes it a very useful addition to shade gardens and the tall, delicate, ivory-green flower spikes add to the visual interest throughout May and into June.
'Autumn Bride' Alum Root has chartreuse to ivory flowers in fall, over large fuzzy green leaves. Very showy in a mass planting, as can be seen at Chanticleer Gardens in Wayne, PA. Introduced by Bluemount Nurseries of Maryland.
PRN Preferred: A large and vigorous grower, produces lots of flowers in the early fall, very reliable shade perennial.
'Caramel' is an exciting H. villosa cross that has striking apricot leaves with reddish undersides, turning to salmon-red in fall. Creamy white flowers appear in late summer. From Thierry Delabroye of France.
The beautiful wine-red leaves of Heuchera x 'Fire Chief' become darker as they age, making a vivid contrast between newer and older leaves. Flowers are pink and white on red stems, and appear throughout spring and summer. Heuchera x 'Fire Cheif' is one of the Front & Center™ series of Coral Bells.
‘Frosted Violet’ Coral Bells is a resilient Heuchera which has been around for a while and still justifies its use in the garden. The leaves are violet-burgundy, with darker veins and a delicate silver overlay. The spring flower spikes are white and subtle. Heuchera ‘Frosted Violet’ was hybridized by Charles Oliver of The Primrose Path.
The large rosy red flowers of 'Paris' Coral Bells appear throughout the summer, floating over silver-green foliage. This Heuchera really reblooms.
PRN Preferred: Huge, eye-catching flowers held high above the foliage when in bloom.
‘Peach Flambé’ Coral Bells has both beautiful foliage and flowers. The leaves are a peachy orange throughout the summer, turning to deep reddish plum shades in the fall and early winter. The airy white panicles of delicate white bells appear above the leaves of Heuchera x ‘Peach Flambé’ in late spring and early summer. This bright, ruffly clump is a great color addition to semi shade and shade gardens. From Terra Nova® in Washington State.
'Rave On' Coral Bells has a great production of deep pink flowers in spring, over purple and green leaves with a beautiful silver overlay. Heuchera x 'Rave On' produces showy flowers over a long period of time, and is one of the Front & Center™ series of Coral Bells.
PRN Preferred: Produces showy flowers for a very long period of time.
'Southern Comfort' Alum Root is a lovely H. villosa hybrid with large peachy-amber leaves, topped by ivory flowers in late summer. The foliage picks up copper-orange hues in the late summer and fall, and is semi-evergreen. This is a large Heuchera.
PRN Preferred: A large and vigorous grower, unique foliage color, very reliable and can handle some sun.
‘Stainless Steel’ Coral Bells comes from the excellent breeding work of the Olivers of the Primrose Path, so it copes very well with East Coast conditions. The large leaves are a steely silver with dark veins and stems. The undersides of the leaves are a beautiful deep purple, adding to the appeal of ‘Stainless Steel' when blown by breezes. The attractive white flowers hover above the foliage in late spring and early summer.
'Fire Alarm' Coral Bells is a villosa-macrantha cross, so it copes well with our East Coast summer conditions. The leaves are a vivid red in the spring and fall, with more brownish red tones in the heat of summer. The flowers are delicate and ivory white, held above the remarkable foliage in late spring. Heuchera 'Fire Alarm' is a stand out in both woodland gardens and shade containers. Semi-evergreen.
'Brass Lantern' Foamy Bells adds a new color range to this lovely tough hybrid of Heuchera and Tiarella. The maple-like leaves are amber and dark orange in the spring and summer, topped by long-flowering delicate white flower spikes. The foliage is semi-evergreen, and darkens to shades of bronzy-brown in the winter. Excellent in mass in woodsy settings, or in a mixed container. Since both parent plants are natives, we think of xHeucherella as quasi-natives.
'Plum Cascade' Foamy Bells is one of the Cascade™ Series from Terra Nova Nurseries. Its purple and silver leaves are a color breakthrough, as is its prolonged blooming time of spring and late summer. The flowers are delicate light pink spikes above the foliage, and the habit is trailing, so Heucherella 'Plum Cascade' can be used as a shady site groundcover.
'Tapestry' Foamy Bells has deeply lobed green leaves with a dramatic burgundy overlay in the center. Flower spikes are dusty pink in spring. A vigorous cross between Heuchera and Tiarella which resembles its Tiarella parentage most clearly.
Swamp Hibiscus has deep red flowers with separated petals in July, over light green dissected foliage. It loves wet sites. It is the most wild or native looking of the Mallows we grow.
PRN Preferred: Flowers look more natural and 'wild' than most Hibiscus.
White Swamp Hibiscus is similar to the Hibiscus coccineus in flower and foliage but the large summer flowers are pure white. Hibiscus coccineus 'Alba' flourishes in moist to wet sites, so it is an excellent addition to sunny rain gardens and bioswales. Since the petals are separated rather than overlapping, the white Swamp Mallow is more wild or natural looking than the hybrid Hibiscus.
Luna™ 'Rose' Common Mallow produces quantities of 8" rose pink flowers on sturdy compact plants. The foliage is green making a good setting for the vividly colored blooms in July and August. Hibiscus are great mid to late summer food sources for Hummingbirds and pollinators. Luna™ 'Rose' is a good choice for wet sites such as bioswales, rain gardens and wet meadows. A Kieft Seed introduction.
Luna™ 'White' Common Mallow produces very large white flowers with bright red centers in July and August. The habit is compact, with clean green foliage on sturdy stems. Hummingbirds and butterflies love the flowers. Luna™ 'White' Hibiscus thrives in wet locations, but will also do well in somewhat dryer sites.
'Mars Madness' Common Mallow has large maple shaped foliage that emerges in shades of bronzy purple and matures to olive green. This showy Hibiscus is 4' tall, and it produces 8" flowers all along the stems in mid to late summer, resulting in a quantity of magenta red blooms. Although Common Mallows are originally a native wetland plant, Hibiscus 'Mars Madness' also thrives in average soil as well as wet sites. Deer resistant, cold tolerant and long flowering; this Walters introduction is a winner.
'Midnight Marvel' Common Mallow is a beautiful combination of huge deep red flowers and deep burgundy foliage. The large wine colored leaves are maple shaped, held on sturdy stems. 'Midnight Marvel' blooms for a prolonged period in July, attracting native insects to its pollen supply. Like other common Mallows, Hibiscus 'Midnight Marvel' is highly wet site tolerant.
'Summer in Paradise' Rose Mallow starts blooming in July and produces enormous deep pink flowers through the rest of the summer. The blooms appear all over the green stems rather than just at the tips, making an impressive show. The centers of the cerise pink flowers are set off by deep red eyezones. 'Summer in Paradise' flourishes in wet sites, and adds a striking tropical note to bog gardens, bioswales and pond edges. From Walters Gardens.
Summerific® 'Ballet Slippers' Rose Mallow has 7" ruffled white flowers edged with soft pink and accented by a deep red eye. The green maple-like foliage is clean and disease free. Flowers are produced along the branches rather than just at the tips, making a showy tropical effect. 'Ballet Slippers' comes from Walters Gardens prolific breeding program, and is a wonderful addition to wet sites and large scale perennial gardens.
‘Berry Awesome’ Rose Mallow is one of the beautiful Summerific® series from Walters Gardens. The 8” wide lavender pink flowers have dark red eye zones. They are displayed over greenish burgundy maple shaped leaves along tall strong stems (as opposed to only at the top). Hibiscus x Summerific® ‘Berry Awesome’ blooms all summer and into early fall because of this “indeterminate” characteristic. Another Hans Hansen contribution to horticulture.
‘Cranberry Crush’ Rose Mallow produces large (8”) “dinner plate” red flowers from mid summer to fall. The long bloom period is because the Summerific® line of Hibiscus are “indeterminate” bloomers, which means flowers are produced along the stem rather than just at the top. The foliage is green and looks like large maple leaves. Hibiscus x Summerific® ‘Cranberry Crush’ will emerge from the soil in late spring (as do all Hibiscus), but becomes very large and showy all summer. Walters Gardens and Hans Hansen yet again!
Summerific® 'Holy Grail' Common Mallow starts blooming in July and produces a large quantity of deep red 8" flowers through early fall. The flowers are set off by the purple to black maple-shaped leaves, making for a vividly showy tall perennial in the garden. Hibiscus 'Holy Grail' is highly tolerant of wet sites, so it is a great addition to ponds, bioswales and sunny rain gardens. Another amazing beauty for Hans Hansen of Walters Gardens.
'Perfect Storm' Common Mallow is another beautiful Hibiscus coming from Walters Gardens of Michigan. The maple leaf shaped leaves emerge in late spring in stunning shades of purple and mahogany. The enormous white and pink flowers appear in August, made more showy by their large burgundy eyes. Hibiscus 'Perfect Storm' blooms well into fall, finally quitting when we get our first frost. With its shorter stature than H. 'Kopper King', 'Perfect Storm' can be used is smaller spaces.
Hosta 'Blue Angel' has large, blue-green foliage, and white bell-like flowers in mid-summer. A Paul Aden introduction, this cultivar is very resistant to Hosta Virus X.
‘Brother Stefan’ Plantain Lily is named after the brother of Hosta hybridizer Olga Petryszyn. This spectacular large Hosta has corrugated blue green leaves that have deep yellow irregular centers. The flowers are shades of white and crown the showy foliage in early summer. Hosta ‘Brother Stefan’ has thick leaf cuticles, which increases its tolerance of slugs and hot temperatures. This plant really lights up shady gardens. Named ‘Hosta of the year’ in 2017.
A lovely sport of 'Halcyon', but with showy white margins setting off the glaucous blue leaves. The flowers are lavender and appear in mid summer. We first saw this beauty at Meadowbrook Farms in Pennsylvania when it first came out, and bought every one for our own garden.
PRN Preferred: The contrast between the ivory margins and blue centers is beautiful.
'Empress Wu' Plantain Lily is considered the largest Hosta available. The enormous green leaves are corrugated and have a faint blue coating in spring. Lavender flowers appear above the foliage in July and August, often attracting Hummingbirds. Hosta 'Empress Wu' is a seedling of Hosta 'Big John', which was bred by Brian and Virginia Skaags. Be patient, as it takes several years for 'Empress Wu' to reach its final amazing size. Named after the only female empress of China (624 AD to 705 AD).
The vivid yellow textured leaves of Hosta 'Fire Island' have red petioles, especially showy in spring and early summer. Leaf color changes to a chartreuse-green as summer progresses, topped by lavender flowers in July.
PRN Preferred: We love the combination between the yellow leaves and red stems. A great "pop" of color in spring.
The blue-green leaves of Hosta 'First Frost' have creamy-yellow margins which turn to white by mid summer. It has pale lavender flowers, and is a sport of 'Halcyon'. 2010 Hosta of the Year.
Hosta 'Frances Williams' has medium-sized yellow, blue and green foliage and white flowers in June. A mutation of H. sieboldiana 'Elegans', this cultivar is very resistant to Hosta Virus X.
The thick silvery blue-green leaves of Hosta 'Halcyon' are more slug resistant than most Hostas. Flowers are pale lavender-blue in mid summer.
PRN Preferred: The thicker, upstanding leaves hold up well.
The medium green foliage of Hosta 'Royal Standard' is topped by fragrant white lily-like flowers in July and August. Makes a great cut flower.
PRN Preferred: We love the contrast of dark green leaves and showy fragrant white flowers. Customers are often surprised when they discover how fragrant this variety is in the garden.
Hosta 'Stained Glass' was an introduction by the great Hosta breeder, Hans Hansen. Found as a mutation of H. 'Guacamole', the large glossy leaves are a striking yellow-gold set off by a wide deep green margin. The prominent veining is evidently what triggered the name 'Stained Glass'. This very showy large Hosta produces very fragrant pale lavender flowers in August and September. Our Lisa Strovinsky first sang its praises and started us growing this beauty.
PRN Preferred: Very showy patterns of yellow and green on textured leaves.
Hosta 'Sum and Substance' has very large, chartreuse foliage and very tall (5') lavender bell-like flowers in midsummer. A Paul Aden introduction, and 2004 Hosta of the Year, and Lisa Strovinsky's son Ben's favorite Hosta (since he's a great plantsman, we take this seriously!)
‘Touch of Class’ Plantain Lily is a sport of Hosta ‘June’ with wide intense blue leaf margins surrounding bright chartreuse to yellow centers. The flowers are lavender and are 22”, appearing above the lovely foliage in mid summer. Hummingbirds love the large blooms for their nectar. Hosta ‘Touch of Class’ comes from the creative breeding work of Hans Hansen while at Shady Oaks nursery.
August Lily has huge white fragrant flowers, held above large, green foliage, hard to find! The flowers look like small white lilies, lighting up the shade garden in August. They perfume the evening air near them.
Huge, blue-gray corrugated leaves followed by tall white flowers in July. One of the best-beloved large blue Hostas, and one which has proved to be very resistant to Hosta Virus X.
'Snowflake' Candytuft is a neat little evergreen perennial which is excellent for rock gardens and walkways. The small lustrous green leaves and stems are topped by showy flat white flower clumps in April and May. Iberis sempervirens 'Snowflake' has a cascading habit, so it is a good choice for mixed containers or short walls.
Flowers of this native woodland plant, Dwarf Crested Iris, are a soft delicate blue in May. They are displayed above the flat green leaves, and have a showy yellow crest. Iris cristata foliage almost disappears by mid summer.
'Cry of Rejoice' Japanese Iris has showy large flowers in June, in attractive shades of magenta red with yellow signals. The green leaves are sword-like and remain upright through the summer. All Iris ensatas tolerate average to dry soils, but really flourish is wet sites.
'Crystal Halo' Japanese Iris has large dark purple flat flowers with white edges, blooming in June. All Iris ensata varieties are wet site tolerant. They were formerly named Iris kaempferi.
'Happy Awakening' Japanese Iris blooms in June, with flat magenta-pink flowers that have dark veins and contrasting yellow centers. The excellent wet site tolerance and the deer resistance make this a great garden or bog plant.
'Loyalty' Japanese Iris has large double flowers on long stems in June. The petals are a showy deep purple with yellow stripes on the purple crests. Excellent for use in wet site, along streams and around ponds.
'Moonlight Waves' Japanese Iris blooms in June producing large flat white flowers with lime and yellow centers ('signals'). The strap-like green leaves are clean and dramatic all summer. When in bloom, Iris 'Moonlight Waves' looks like floating handkerchiefs above sword-like foliage. This is a favored plant in the famous "White Garden" of Sissinghurst in England.
'Rose Queen' Japanese Iris produces white and rose pink flowers in June in a somewhat more pendant form than most ensatas. The "falls" are white with dark pink veins and the "standards" are pink with a deep rose base. The narrow upright blades are attractive all summer. Deer resistant and wet site tolerant, 'Rose Queen' looks a little more "naturalistic" than most Iris ensatas.
'Best Bet' German Bearded Iris produces tall spikes of large flowers with blue standards and purple falls. The two toned effect is very showy, blooming first in May and June, and then reblooming in September and October. The sword-like green foliage emerges before the flower spikes, and fades by late summer. Good drainage is a must for Iris germanica cultivars.
'Superstition' Bearded Iris has such a dark purple flower that it almost looks black. The blooms are fragrant and large, making a striking addition to cut flower arrangements (even though the individual flowers each last only a day). The flowers spikes bloom above the wide straplike leaves in May and June. All German Irises perform best in dry or well drained sites. Iris germanica 'Superstition' is the darkest flowering germanica.
'War Chief' German Bearded Iris blooms in May and June, producing lots of large velvety dark red flowers. They are held above wide straplike green foliage, and are a good addition in the back of well drained perennial beds. Iris germanica 'War Chief' is a useful and fragrant cut flower, since the stems have multiple buds that open in succession.
'Butter and Sugar' Siberian Iris blooms in May, and is a striking bi-color combination of white and soft yellow. The green sword-like leaves are clean and disease resistant. All the Siberian Irises thrive in very wet sites as well as average soils. Try it beside streams, ponds and bog gardens. The long stems make 'Butter and Sugar' an excellent cut flower.
The purple blue flowers of 'Caesar's Brother' Siberian Iris appear in May. It is wet and dry site tolerant, and is the mainstay of so many perennial gardens.
PRN Preferred: This is the classic indistructable blue Iris which never needs "babysitting".
'Contrast in Styles' Siberian Iris has ruffled bi-colored petals, with white and yellow veined signals surrounded by large deep purple margins and styles. Iris siberica 'Contrast in Styles' starts blooming in late May following German Irises and preceding Japanese Irises. Siberian Irises are very tolerant of a number of soil conditions, and are particularly attractive in rain gardens and around ponds.
'Ikeda Sunbean' Japanese Roof Iris combines beautiful lavender flowers with vividly white and green striped leaves in spring. It was first introduced to the US from Japan by Barry Yinger. The longitudinally striped leaves are most striking in the spring, with very broad ivory stripes contrasting with the green stripes. The 18" lavender flowers appear above the foliage, but are taller and showier than their American relative, Iris cristata. As the summer heats up, the white fades to uniform green, but the foliage persists well into the early winter.
Slippery Slope™ Chinese Roof Iris was found in Sichuan by Darrell Probst (of Coreopsis and Epimedium fame). He introduced it because of its size and vigor, as well as the beauty of its blue purple veined flowers. The centers (signals) of the largest petals are white with dark purple veining. The green leaf blades stay clean and attractive all summer, and Iris tectorum Slippery Slope™ expands to making low growing attractive groundcover. This is an Iris that works well as a green roof plant.
'Wolong' China Roof Iris has light lavender flowers flecked with purple spots above fans of wide green strap-like leaves. The foliage is somewhat floppy but lasts all summer, unlike its North American relative Iris cristata. The flowering period is late April to June. It comes from Sichuan, China from a collection made by Jim Waddick. 'Wolong' Roof Iris won the 2010 American Iris Society's Award of Merit. Try it as a slow spreading groundcover or on a green roof that gets adequate moisture.
White Japanese Roof Iris gets its name from its presence on thatched roofs in Japan. Iris tectorum var. album has large white flowers with yellow throats, appearing in late April to early June. All the Japanese Roof Irises spread to make wide patches eventually, and do best with adequate moisture but good drainage. It is the Asian equivalent of Iris cristata 'Alba', but much bigger and not ephemeral. A hard-to-find Iris.
'Blue Star' Japanese Aster has pale blue Aster-like flowers held above deep green foliage, blooming from June to fall. Kalimeris incisa 'Blue Star' is a deservedly popular perennial in Europe. The habit is neat and compact, and it never flags in hot weather.
PRN Preferred: Blooms for a very long time, carefree compact plant.
The interesting thick-petaled yellow bell-like flowers of Kirengeshoma palmata appear on blackish stems in August and September, followed by weird three horned seed capsules (Dr. Alan Armitage calls them "Stephen King ... Fruit"). Slow to get established, Yellow Waxbells needs a moist woodland. Kirengeshoma comes from Japan, where it is considered highly endangered in the wild.
‘Phenomenal’ Lavender ('Niko') is a sport of L. ‘Grosso’, displaying greater disease resistance, vigor and winter hardiness. It was found and introduced by Peace Tree Farms of Pennsylvania, and has shown excellent flower production and survival in commercial Lavender farms. The flowers are tall and fragrant, set off by clear silver foliage. Blooms appear in mid summer and last a long time, making an excellent cut flower. Excellent drainage helps survival. Semi-evergreen.
PRN Preferred: Proven to be the most hardy and reliable Lavender we have ever grown. Great success in containers and in the landscape.
'Snowcap' Shasta Daisy is a compact Leucanthemum which is covered with large bright white daisy flowers for an extended period in June and July. The dark green foliage is attractive and disease free, making 'Snowcap' an excellent candidate for boarders or mass planting. Deadheading spent flowers improves reblooming in Shasta Daisies. Like L. 'Becky', 'Snowcap' is salt tolerant.
Rough Blazingstar blooms later than Liatris spicata, producing tall upright stalks with rose-purple disk florets spaced evenly along the stems. The flower spikes emerge from basal tufts of long thin green leaves and bloom August and September. Because the fluffy flowers appear at the same time rather than sequentially, Liatris aspera makes an excellent cut flower. Hummingbirds and butterflies benefit from the late summer nectar production.
Dwarf Blazing Star is a lovely native plant with delicate strap-like foliage topped by magenta-purple flower spikes in August and September. The shiny green leaves have an almost grass-like appearance. Butterflies and insects love the late season flowers, which also make good short cut flowers. Liatris microcephala tolerates dry sites well, so it would be a good choice for green roofs.
PRN Preferred: Tons of flowers on a compact plant. When blooming it is covered with pollinators.
The lavender-blue flowers of 'Big Blue' Lily-turf appear in late summer. Liriope tolerates dry and difficult sites, and is an evergreen spreader. The flower spikes make good short cut flowers.
'Royal Purple' Lily-turf produces purple flower spikes in August and September, held above dark green strap-like foliage. Liriope 'Royal Purple' makes a tough, neat groundcover, slowly spreading to make wide, weed repelling patches. The flower spikes make attractive long lasting cut flowers, and the evergreen leaves are a consistent source of winter color. In the fall, Liriope 'Royal Purple' produces black shiny berries on the spent flower spikes.
Lavender-blue flowers in late summer appear over cream and green striped foliage. Variegated Lily-turf tolerates dry sites and is a showy evergreen clump. Can be used in a mass planting or as a single perennial specimen.
The scarlet flowers of Cardinal flower appear in August and September. Lobelia cardinalis is wet site loving and attracts hummingbirds and butterflies. Cardinal Flower seeds itself beautifully in wetlands.
'Black Truffle' Cardinal flower has leaves which are purple to black, especially in spring and early summer. Lobelia cardinalis 'Black Truffle' produces 4' spikes of vivid red flowers from July to September, attracting hummingbirds, butterflies and other pollinators like mad. This very showy native is an introduction by Peter Heus of West Virginia, and is being marketed by Plants Nouveau and North Creek's American Beauties Program.
Lance-leaved Loosestrife has burgundy to maroon delicate foliage appearing in spring. The small but plentiful yellow blossoms appear in early spring and continue throughout the summer, making an attractive crown to the dark foliage. Lysimachia lanceolata var. purpurea is a subtle but tough native ground cover, spreading by rhizomes in both full sun and light shade. The expanding patches of Lance-leaved Loosestrife function as weed suppressors.
Virginia Bluebells are pink in bud and the nodding bells turn a bright lavender-blue as they open above blue-green foliage. The leaves usually turn yellow and disappear by mid summer, so it is best to use these with other, later, shade perennials. In a moist setting they will slowly colonize a large area.
Eastern Bee Balm produces pinkish-lavender flowers in early summer. The form is like a little lavender crown on the ends of the light purple stems. Butterflies and insects rely on this native member of the Mint family for food, so you get more than just flowers when Monarda bradburiana is in your garden. Dry site tolerant and fragrant foliage. This is Stephanie Cohen's favorite Monarda particularly for meadow applications. One of the native plants chosen by Piet Oudolf for the newly planted meadow garden at Delaware Botanic Gardens.
Grand Parade™ ('ACrade') Bee Balm is a new Monarda introduction from those tireless folks at the Morden Research Experiment Station, with large magenta-purple flowers in July and August, over short disease resistant foliage. Butterfly and bee attractant.
PRN Preferred: Excellent mildew resistance, compact plant.
'Jacob Cline' Bee Balm has bright red flowers in mid summer that attract butterflies, bees and hummingbirds. Monarda didyma 'Jacob Cline' is a mildew-resistant introduction from Itsaul Plants, found originally in Georgia.
Petite Delight™ ('Acpetdel') Bee Balm has lavender-pink flowers in July and August on a compact disease-resistant plant. It is dry site tolerant when established. From Lynn Collicut of the Morden Research Station in Manitoba, Canada.
Wild Beramot is a lovely native perennial that thrives in prairie conditions and poor soil sites. The pinking lavender tube-like flowers are held in a circle around the bracts, and persist through mid to late summer. The aromatic foliage is deer resistant and smells minty when brushed against. Monarda fistulosa is a good addition to wild flower gardens and prairie gardens. Wild Bergamot is a reliable self-seeder and a wonderful butterfly and hummingbird attractor.
Horsemint or Spotted Bee Balm is a native which flourishes in sandy or well drained sites. The tubular creamy pink flowers are spotted with purple, but their pinkish green lanceolate bracts are really the attention grabbers. The circular flower clusters extend up the purplish stems for an extended time in July and August, providing important food for butterflies, pollinators and hummingbirds. The leaves are narrow and fragrant when touched. Monarda punctata gets the common name Horsemint because it used to be used as medicine for horses.
Sugar Buzz® 'Bubblegum Blast' Bee Balm has an amazing number of bright pink flowers starting in July. The Sugar Buzz® series from Hans Hanson and Walters Gardens is notable for the compact habit and the excellent mildew resistance. The 2" blooms are held on strong upright stems, so Monarda x 'Bubblegum Blast', works especially well in containers as well as perennial borders. The showy flowers are a great source of nectar for both hummingbirds and pollinators.
Sugar Buzz® 'Cherry Pops' Bee Balm is one of a series of new showy Monardas from Walters Gardens of Michigan. The large cherry red flowers are produced mid to late summer over disease resistant dark green foliage. The stems are sturdy and upright, so Sugar Buzz® 'Cherry Pops' makes an excellent cut flower. Pollinators and hummingbirds cluster around the blooms, and the aromatic foliage is also attractive. Unlike some taller Monardas, Sugar Buzz® 'Cherry Pops' does not overrun the whole perennial bed.
Sugar Buzz® ‘Grape Gumballs’ Bee Balm is covered with magenta purple 2” flowers in mid to late summer. The foliage is dark green and very disease resistant, as well as deer resistant. Monarda x ‘Grape Gumballs’ comes from the Sugar Buzz® series developed by Hans Hansen and Walters Gardens, and its compact clean habit makes this Bee Balm a great addition to perennial borders, as well as being a good candidate for summer containers.
Sugar Buzz® 'Pink Frosting' Bee Balm is another heavy blooming mildew resistant winner from Walters Gardens Sugar Buzz® series of Monardas. The flowers appear in mid summer and cover the aromatic green foliage. The color is a strong lavender pink and the habit is compact making it a good candidate for containers. The showy blooms attract lots of wildlife to the garden, but not deer which do not like Bee Balm.
Sugar Buzz™ 'Rockin' Raspberry' Bee Balm is another lovely selection from Hans Hansen's hybridizing work at Walters Gardens. The vivid raspberry purple flowers appear in July and cover the compact green foliage into August, especially if deadheaded after the initial bloom. The foliage is dark green, aromatic and mildew resistant. Combined with the compact size and habit, these qualities make Monarda Sugar Buzz™ 'Rockin' Raspberry' a great addition to perennial borders.
‘Cat’s Pajamas’ starts blooming in late spring and continues all summer if periodically sheared after blooming. The numerous flowers on this compact plant are an intense blue and this improved Catmint blooms from the soil to the tips of the dark stems. Even when the flowers are past peak, the rosy purple calyxes add interest to the garden. The habit is compact and dense, making Nepeta x ‘Cat’s Pajamas’ a good “easy care” filler for sunny perennial borders and rock gardens. Nepetas are excellent pollinator attractants and are impervious to deer. From Walters Gardens’ breeding program.
Junior Walker™ Catmint ('Novanepjun') is a seedling of Nepeta 'Walker's Low' that was chosen because it has a neat compact habit and does not seed itself around the garden. The violet-blue flowers start in early June, and continue all summer if deadheaded occasionally. The compact habit of Junior Walker™ makes it an excellent candidate for containers and borders. An introduction by Star Roses.
PRN Preferred: A wonderful flower display on a neater, more compact plant.
Black Mondo Grass or Lily Turf is a slow growing groundcover with interesting blackish purple strap-like leaves. The habit is clumping but slowly spreading. The short flower spikes have subtle lavender bell-shaped flowers which are followed by small shiny purple berries. The blooms appear in July and August, emerging from the foliage clumps. Leaf color is darkest in full sun, although O. 'Nigrescens' tolerates shade well. This is the same plant as O. 'Nigra'.
Golden Groundsel (formerly Senecio) is a very adaptable native groundcover which produces masses of yellow daisies in spring. Packera aurea flourishes in shady sites, both moist and dry. The green foliage is finely incised and attractive, and the flat topped flower clusters are held above the basal clumps on sturdy stems which makes them good cut flowers. Packera aurea is an excellent groundcover choice for rain gardens, wet meadows and moist to dry woodlands.
'Bowl of Beauty' Herbaceous Peony blooms in late spring and makes a beautiful show with fuchsia pink anemone-form flowers. The dark pink guard petals surround creamy-yellow petaloids. Paeonia 'Bowl of Beauty' makes an excellent long stemmed cut flower, with an attractive fragrance.
'Bartzella' Itoh Hybrid Peony has sulfur yellow double flowers in May and June, held on short stems above green disease-resistant foliage. The blooms have red center flares on petals, and 'Bartzella' makes a lovely short cut flower. Roger Anderson of Wisconsin introduced Paeonia x 'Bartzella' in 1986, after years of hybridizing work.
PRN Preferred: A heavy bloomer with bright yellow flowers. Since is it an Itoh, the foliage looks good all season long.
'Border Charm' Itoh Hybrid Peony has bright yellow single flowers made more showy by red flares at the base of the petals. Paeonia x 'Border Charm' blooms profusely in May and June, and makes a lovely short cut flower. Since Tree Peony is one of the parents, the foliage is a good disease-resistant green, on short woody stems. 'Border Charm' was hybridized by Don Hollingsworth.
'Cora Louise' Itoh Hybrid Peony is one of the more vigorous Itoh introductions, bred by Roger Anderson of Wisconsin. It combines excellent hardiness with extremely large showy blooms. The 10" flowers have white petals which are maroon at the base, surrounding the yellow stamens. The form is semi-double and the flower production in May is plentiful. Like all the intersectional Peony hybrids, Paeonia 'Cora Louise' is a wonderful tough addition to the perennial garden.
'Hillary' Itoh Hybrid Peony blooms for an extended period in May and June. The semi-double flowers are large and showy, in shades of creamy pink and copper. Paeonia Itoh 'Hillary' is an intersectional hybrid between herbaceous and tree peonies, and has cleaner, more disease resistant foliage than either of the parent plants. Introduced in 1999 by the renowned Itoh Peony hybridizer, Roger Anderson. 'Hillary' makes a large, upright vigorous clump, with short wooden stems remaining after leaf drop in fall.
'Old Rose Dandy' Itoh Hybrid Peony blooms in May and June, with large single copper petals enhanced by brick-red flares and yellow stamens. Since 'Old Rose Dandy' is an intersectional hybrid between Tree Peonies and Herbaceous Peonies, the woody stems are quite short and are vigorously covered with handsome disease-resistant foliage. A cross by Chris Laning in 1993.
We grow an outstanding selection of unique Garden Peonies, many of which we have grown for years in our own gardens with great delight. Heights range between 2 and 3' and plants are hardy to zone 3 and 4. Unusual flower forms, both double and single, make great cut flowers. All are deer resistant! Please visit the website for specific varieties and descriptions.
The Peony World has found a significant Holy Grail with the introduction of beautiful crosses between Tree and Garden Peonies. Toichi Itoh of Japan made the original breakthroughs in 1948, but selections resulting from this work have only recently become available. The flowers range from semi-double to double, in clear bright colors from pink, yellow, and lavender to orange, rose and red. The habit is somewhere between the two species, with short woody stems and vigorous green deciduous foliage. See our availability list for specific varieties.
Wild Quinine or Feverfew is an interesting native perennial with a number of unusual small wooly white flowers borne in flat-topped showy corymbs. The fragrant green leaves are contrastingly large, making a good setting for the delicate long-lasting blooms. Parthenium has a very long flowering period from late May into August, making it a wonderful back-of-the-border perennial or woods edge softener. Formerly used as a medicinal plant, Wild Quinine is unpalatable to deer and other pests.
'Blackbeard' Beardtongue has beautiful foliage in shades of eggplant and dark purple. The color stays intense throughout the summer and is topped by deep purple stems bearing showy lilac to pink open faced flowers. Penstemon 'Blackbeard' makes an excellent long lasting cut flower, and when finished blooming in the garden, the seedheads remain deep purple and attractive. A Walters Nursery introduction.
‘Onyx and Pearls’ Beardtongue comes from Walters Gardens’ breeding program of new beauties. Penstemon digitalis ‘Onyx and Pearls’ is a taller, darker version of this adaptable native, with burgundy foliage and stems which are almost black. The white and pale lavender flower clumps are on tall clusters made even more striking by their black stems. ‘Onyx and Pearls’ blooms for a long period in early to mid summer, and makes an excellent cut flower. The beautiful dark foliage makes a showy rosette well into early winter.
Red Rocks® (‘POO85’) Beardtongue is a cross between Mexican and American Penstemons, which gives this selection its large showy deep pink trumpet shaped flowers. Penstemon Red Rocks® is a cross from Bruce Meyers and Plant Select® and shows more cold tolerance than many Penstemon mexicali crosses. The hot pink flower spikes are very attractive to hummingbirds and butterflies, and are a good addition to cut flower arrangements.
'Denim 'n' Lace' Russian Sage produces sky blue flower spikes for an extended period in mid to late summer. The lacy blooms are produced on the tips of strong stems with grayish green airy aromatic foliage. The individual blue flowers on the spikes of 'Denim 'n' Lace' Perovskia are closely spaced so the clumps look fuller than other Perovskias, and the lavender calyces remain showy after the flowers are finished, extending the ornamental qualities. Excellent drainage is a must for this new introduction from Walters Gardens.
'Little Spire' Russian Sage has blue flowers in July and August, over silver-green aromatic foliage on a compact form, and is dry site tolerant. From Herbert Oudshoorn of Holland. 2020 PHS Gold Medal Plant!
‘Solar Fare’ Carolina Phlox is a disease resistant member of the Earlibeauty® series from Primrose Path’s breeding program. The large bicolored flowers have pink eyes surrounded by white, produced in showy panicles. The green foliage withstands hot and humid summer conditions and is mildew resistant. Phlox carolina ‘Solar Flare’ is a favorite summer nectar source for butterflies, sphinx moths and hummingbirds.
'Blue Moon' Woodland Phlox blooms in April and May, producing large violet blue fragrant clumps of flowers on delicate stems. Phlox divaricata 'Blue Moon' is a particularly showy example of our native groundcover, naturalizing well in woodland settings. An introduction by the New England Wildflower Society.
'Blue Paradise' Garden Phlox has fragrant flowers that open pale blue and darken to violet blue in July and August. It has good mildew resistant foliage. All Phlox varieties we grow are disease resistant cultivars.
'David' Garden Phlox has fragrant white flowers in July and August and disease resistant foliage. 2002 Perennial Plant of the Year. From FM Mooberry of the Brandywine Conservancy, where Phlox paniculata 'David' was found as a seedling.
'Glamour Girl' Garden Phlox blooms prolifically in mid to late summer. The bright coral pink flower panicles are displayed on dark stems above mildew resistant green foliage. Phlox paniculata 'Glamour Girl' has a lot to offer mixed perennial borders, with height, fragrance and butterfly and hummingbird appeal. An introduction from Walters Garden's breeding program. Will rebloom if deadheaded right after the first bloom flush.
'Jeana' Garden Phlox is an unusually mildew-resistant Phlox with bright lavender-pink flowers which have a sweet fragrance. 'Jeana' blooms for an extended time from mid summer to early fall. It was found by (and named after) Jeana Prewitt of Nashville, Tennessee, and the North Creek people got us all enthusiastic about it. In the Mt Cuba Phlox trials, 'Jeana' was overwhelmingly the most attractive cultivar for all pollinators.
PRN Preferred: Have trialed Jeana for many years. Its foliage remains clean all season and it attracts the most butterfies of all the Phlox we grow. The best performing Phlox in Mt. Cuba's Phlox trials.
'Nicky' Garden Phlox has fragrant deep magenta-purple flowers in mid summer. Its very intense color make this and 'Laura' the favorite Phlox of Nanci Angle of Lawrence Landscapes. Introduced by Niche Gardens.
'Orange Perfection' Garden Phlox produces large clusters of bright salmon orange fragrant flowers for 4 weeks in July. These vividly colored panicles make an excellent cut flower. If cut back several inches in June, the flower display will be somewhat later, blooming in August when little else in the mixed border offers such bright colors. Plant where the air circulation is good to keep foliage clean.
‘Red Riding Hood’ Garden Phlox produces large clumps of cherry red fragrant flowers in mid to late summer. The plants are somewhat compact, and the sturdy stems make Phlox ‘Red Riding Hood’ excellent for cut flower arrangements. The green foliage is more disease resistant if planted in full sun, with good air circulation.
The flowers in April of 'Candy Stripe' Moss Phlox are pink and white stripes, over creeping thread-like green foliage. Needs good drainage.
'Emerald Blue' Moss Phlox is covered with lavender blue flowers in April. Creeping green thread-like foliage is perfect for rock gardens and around walks. Prefers good drainage.
'Scarlet Flame' Moss Phlox has scarlet-rose flowers in April over creeping green thread-like foliage. Works well in rock gardens. Needs good drainage.
'Snowflake' Moss Phlox becomes covered with white flowers in April over creeping green foliage. Excellent for rock gardens, walls and paths. Best in well-drained soil.
'Fashionably Early Crystal' Garden Phlox is another beauty from the prolific plant breeder Hans Hansen. A cross between P. maculata and P. paniculata, 'Fashionably Early Crystal' combines great attributes of both parents. The thick leathery leaves are narrow and highly disease resistant, and the habit is stoloniferous, the large fragrant flowers are white with tiny lavender eyes, and produced in quantity for a month in early summer. If deadheaded, there is often some reblooming in fall.
‘Fashionably Early Flamingo’ Hybrid Phlox starts blooming in early summer and continues intermittently into fall if deadheaded. The flowers are lavender pink and produced in clumps on tall disease free stems. The habit is stoloniferous, so Phlox ‘Fashionably Early Flamingo’ will spread to make a wide patch eventually. The name refers to the earlier bloom period, 2 to 3 weeks before Phlox paniculata.
'Violet Pinwheels' is a beautiful Moss Phlox hybrid from Dr Jim Ault and Chicagoland Grows®. The habit is low and similar to Phlox subulata, but the flowers are a bright violet, a color hard to find in the subulatas. The petals are large and finely notched, resembling their "Pinwheel" name. This exciting new color option would look excellent in rock gardens and around garden paths. Needs good drainage.
'Wanda' hybrid Phlox was shared with Alan Armitage by the gardener who found this spontaneous seedling in her garden. During the testing in the UGC trial gardens, its long flowering period and number of pink blooms really made Phlox x 'Wanda' a standout. The habit is compact and full, with good disease and heat resistance. 'Wanda' would make a great container plant because it blooms most of the summer and even into the fall.
‘Ruby Slippers’ Solomon’s Seal emerges in spring with red stems supporting the clean green leaves along the length of the stems. Delicate pendant white flowers hang below each pair of leaves in late spring. The blooms are delicately fragrant, and the cut stems make an attractive addition to flower arrangements. Since Polygonatum ‘Ruby Slippers’ spreads slowly to make a solid mat, this Solomon’s Seal makes an excellent shade ground cover.
Variegated Solomon's Seal has white flowers in the spring, over green leaves with white edges. Polygonatum odoratum 'Variegatum' likes moist sites and will colonize slowly to form a large patch eventually. It is also surprisingly dry site tolerant. 2013 Perennial Plant of the Year.
Appalachian Mountain Mint has attractively fragrant foliage topped by spiky round silvery white flowers in late summer. The blooms are highly attractive to butterflies. Since Pycanthemum flexuosum spreads by underground stolons, it does a good job on slopes and stream sides. The fall foliage color takes on shades of red for added interest. Wet site and shade tolerant, as well as deer resistant.
As the summer advances the new leaves of Mountain Mint take on a silvery-white coloration to the point where they look like small white Poinsettias. The small pink flowers are a great butterfly attractant, and the foliage is deliciously aromatic. This plant is one of the significant late summer beauties on the High Line in NYC. Its rapid growth habit makes Pycnanthemum muticum a great groundcover.
PRN Preferred: Attracts the most pollinators we've ever seen, very critter resistant.
'Red Midget' Mexican Hat Plant has unusual flowers with drooping orange red petals surrounding the 2" elongated green brown central cones. The habit is open and airy, with fine green leaves. The bloom period is mid to late summer, blooming often into fall. Butterflies love Ratibida, and it is especially effective planted in masses. 'Red Midget' is dry site tolerant and occurs naturally in prairies and meadows.
Prairie Coneflower is a very versatile prairie native, thriving in a wide variety of soil types and moisture levels. Ratibida pinnata blooms from July to September, producing a wealth of deep yellow coneflowers with reflexed petals and prominent brown cones. The mature seeds are an excellent food source for finches, so leave the tall stalks standing into fall. This is a hard working perennial for the back of mixed borders or for massing in meadows.
Meadow Beauty, also known as Handsome Harry, is in the same family as tropical Tibouchina, but it is a hardy native of the Northeast. The bright rose-pink flowers bloom from July to September, held in clumps above the hairy interesting leaves. Rhexia performs best in moist and wet locations, which is where we first saw this on the High Line in NYC. Patrick Cullina first showed it to us.
Rohdea japonica or Sacred Lily has broad strap-like evergreen leaves which look exotic, especially when topped by red winter berries in clumps. The fruit lasts for up to 5 months. A hard-to-find, long-lived and tough perennial.
The yellow flowers of Black-Eyed Susan are later blooming than R. 'Goldsturm', extending the Black-Eyed Susan period up until frost. More wild and natural looking than the cultivars. Rudbeckia fulgida var. fulgida seeds vigorously, and makes a wonderful filler for natural areas. Birds depend on the seeds for winter food.
PRN Preferred: Looks more natural and blooms for a long time.
'Goldsturm' Black-Eyed Susan has yellow-gold flowers in June and July, making a wonderful display when planted in groups. It spreads to make a large mass eventually, so it can be used as a tall groundcover. Was found in a Czechoslovakia nursery in 1937. 1999 Perennial Plant of the Year. Seeds are an important winter bird food source.
'Little Goldstar' Black-Eyed Susan has a shorter sturdier habit than R. 'Goldsturm', which makes it much more useful for smaller spaces, as well as summer and fall mixed containers. Butterflies love the blooms and afterwards finches love the seed heads. Since it comes from tissue culture, it is very uniform in masses. A Jelitto Seed introduction.
PRN Preferred: We love the compact size and the plentiful flower display. Very cheery.
Rudbeckia maxima has huge powder blue leaves (hence the common name 'Dumbo Ears') topped by yellow cone flowers in June and July. The flower stalks rise to over 7' tall. Rudbeckia maxima prefers moist, fertile soils but will thrive in average garden conditions in full sun. It likes wet feet, yet is surprisingly drought tolerant. Foliage is striking and almost tropical looking, like a blue-green Canna. Seeds are an important winter bird food source.
Sweet Coneflower is a beautiful native Black Eyed Susan that tolerates heavy clay soils and blooms heavily from mid summer to early fall. The deep yellow daisy-like flowers have purple-brown cones which are a great food source for butterflies and insects. They smell sweetly of anise and make a great filler for the back of perennial beds or along the edges of woodlands. Rudbeckia subtomentosa can be used along stream beds and in rain gardens as well.
‘American Gold Rush’ Black-eyed Susan is similar to Rudbeckia ‘Goldsturm’, but is much more disease resistant in humid, hot summers. The yellow daisy-like flowers have striking black center cones, and the bloom period extends from early July until late summer. This selection was made by Brent Horvath of Intrinsic Perennials. Like ‘Goldsturm’, Rudbeckia x ‘American Goldrush’ spreads to make a large patch eventually, but with beautiful clean foliage. Best in full sun.
Irish Moss forms an evergreen mat of mossy foliage that is covered with tiny white flowers in May and June. Prefers good drainage.
‘Bumbleberry’ Meadow Sage is a new color break from Walters Gardens, producing deep fuchsia pink flower spikes in May and June. The calyxes from which the flowers emerge are dark purple, producing a very colorful effect. The habit is compact, so this Salvia performs well in tight spaces and containers. Deadhead after first bloom flush and enjoy a longer flowering period. Part of the ‘Bumble’ Series,’ as in bumble bees.
'Caradonna' Hybrid Sage has violet-blue flowers on tall dark purple flower stems, making a very showy combination. From Zillmer Plants in Germany and introduced into this country by super plant dudes, Dale Hendricks and Ron Strasko while at North Creek Nurseries.
PRN Preferred: Heidi's favorite Salvia because the tall dark purple spikes are so showy.
'Blue Spruce' Stonecrop grows in a mat of silvery-blue narrow foliage reminiscent of blue Spruce needles. The small yellow flowers appear in July and this Sedum must have a dry, well-drained site. Semi-evergreen.
Sieboldi Stonecrop has bluish green round fleshy leaves which turn shades of dark pink in the fall. The flower clusters also appear in late summer and fall, in shades of rose pink. Sedum sieboldi makes a showy low growing ground cover, as the foliage is very regular and neat. The habit is weeping when in a container or on a wall. Excellent addition to dry rock gardens and very cold tolerant. (New name is Hylotelephium).
'Dragon's Blood' Sedum or Stonecrop is an excellent groundcover for sunny dry locations. The orange-bronze succulent foliage spreads out to form a tight evergreen mat. Useful for lining paths, rock gardens and gentle dry slopes, Sedum 'Dragon's Blood' even tolerates dog traffic. The flowers appear in late summer in attractive clumps of rose red, providing food for bees and other pollinators. As the days shorten, 'Dragon's Blood' takes on darker red foliage coloration.
‘John Creech’ Caucasian Stonecrop was brought to the US from Siberia by Dr. John Creech of the National Arboretum in 1971. The rounded flat fleshy leaves are paired along the ground hugging stems, forming a thick evergreen mat in dry, poor soil sites. The foliage is green in summer but takes on shades of burgundy in fall and winter, the flower clusters of Sedum spurium ‘John Creech’ appear in mid summer in shades of pinkish red. This is a great Sedum for green roofs because of its excellent heat and cold tolerance.
Wild Stonecrop is an unusual Sedum in that it is shade and tolerates more moisture than most Sedums, as well as native. The green succulent foliage is fine, often forming dense groundcover mats. The delicate starry white flowers hover above the leaves in April and May, attracting butterflies and native pollinators. Like other stonecrops, Sedum ternatum is deer and rabbit resistant.
'Autumn Joy' ('Herbstfreude') Showy Stonecrop has rose-pink flowers, blue foliage and needs a dry site to perform best. The spent flowerheads remain an attractive tan rose color. Sedum x 'Autumn Joy' was introduced by Georg Arends of Germany. Our favorite common name for it, 'Pink Broccoli', comes from writer Ruth Clausen. We formerly listed 'Autumn Joy' as deer resistant but based on our own experience with have decided it may not be.
'Dazzleberry' Stonecrop was developed by Chris Hansen, and is the original cultivar of Sunsparkler® Series. The semi-evergreen foliage makes a beautiful blue-green mat, over which hover the vivid raspberry-pink flower clusters. Sedum x 'Dazzleberry' blooms from mid summer into early fall. Because of its long season of interest, 'Dazzleberry' makes an excellent plant for mixed containers, as well as a good groundcover for sunny dry locations.
‘Night Embers’ Autumn Stonecrop starts blooming in late summer and is topped with mauve pink clusters into the fall. The succulent foliage is a very showy dark purple, held on stiff upright stems. Sedum x ‘Night Embers’ must be in a dry location to perform well, so rock gardens are a perfect location. Another improved plant option from Walters Gardens.
'Lime Zinger' Stonecrop is a new addition to the Sunsparkler® series of groundcover Sedums. The foliage has apple-green leaves which are attractively edged with rosy red margins. Clusters of soft pink flowers hover above the compact foliage in mid to late summer. Sedum x 'Lime Zinger' comes from the breeding work of Chris Hansen, and would be a showy addition to rock gardens and green roofs.
‘Vera Jamison’ Stonecrop was found in England by Vera Jamison as a spontaneous cross in her garden. The round flat leaves start as grayish green and turn deep burgundy as the sun grows stronger. The stems add to this beauty in shades of purple, and the late summer flower clusters are dusky pink. Excellent for rock gardens and mixed containers. (New name is Hylotelephium).
Sisyrinchium angustifolium 'Lucerne' has blue flowers with yellow eyes and blooms most of the summer. This Blue Eyed Grass tolerates dry and salty sites very well and the flowers only open on sunny days.
'Fireworks' Rough Stemmed Goldenrod has bright yellow flowers in late summer on a compact slowly spreading plant. Selected by Ken Moore of the NC Botanical Garden and introduced by Niche Gardens. Try Solidago rugosa 'Fireworks' as a cut flower; it is great! An important source of seed for winter birds.
PRN Preferred: This is an indistructible native, excellent on dry barren slopes. It can also take wet feet (but not a wet crown).
'Solar Cascade' Short's Goldenrod is a named selection of our rarest native Goldenrod. Found only in parts of Kentucky and Indiana, it has great drought and sterile soil tolerance. 'Solar Cascade' was chosen for its showy, cascading yellow flowers, as well as its long bloom period in late summer and early fall. It is flourishing in the parking median at the Cincinnati Zoo; 'Solar Cascade' loves the heat and lean soil providing zoo visitors with weeks of blooms. The green foliage is highly disease resistant, so a mass planting of 'Solar Cascade' stays attractive right up until the end of the season. Since it tends to stay in a clump instead of suckering, it also works well in mixed perennial boarders. Hummingbirds and insects love it.
'Golden Fleece' Goldenrod has golden-yellow flowers from mid August to October over semi-evergreen foliage. This Solidago spreads to form a tough adaptable groundcover with some shade tolerance. Another wonderful introduction from the Mt. Cuba folks. Winter birds eat the seeds.
The lemon-yellow flowers of 'Little Lemon' Goldenrod appear in late summer over extremely compact, finely textured foliage. Solidago x 'Little Lemon' was bred originally as a good florist pot plant.
PRN Preferred: Colorful long lasting flowers on a tidy, compact plant.
'Hummelo' Alpine Betony was named after Piet Oudolf's hometown. The low growing rosette of textured green leaves is topped by showy spikes of lavender-pink flowers in mid summer for an extended period. Stachys 'Hummelo' is a tough, carefree beauty and used extensively on the High Line Park in NYC. If you haven't gone there yet, go soon! 2019 Perennial Plant of the Year.
'Peachie's Pick' Stokes Aster was found by Mississippi plants woman Peachie Saxton. Stokesia 'Peachie's Pick' is a compact version of this long blooming native, with large lavender blue flowers. Stokes Asters flower virtually all summer, especially when spent blooms are deadheaded. When established, Stokesia Peachie's Pick is surprisingly drought tolerant and overwinters best in well drained locations.
Germander is an evergreen shrub-like plant with small shiny green scalloped leaves. It flowers in mid to late summer with short spikes of rosy purple which are attractive to insects. Teucrium chamaedrys can be made into a short hedge in a formal garden setting because it takes trimming very well. Prefers a dry site.
Woolly Thyme has tiny grayish green leaves that look like they're covered with soft silky fur. Insignificant pink flowers are of use to honeybees, but the mat-forming foliage is what makes it good for paths and rock gardens. Needs a sunny well-drained site.
'Brandywine' Foamflower has beautiful light green leaves with distinct red center blotches. The flowers are lovely white spires held above the ground-hugging foliage, and they persist for up to 8 weeks in April and May. Tiarella cordifolia 'Brandywine' sends out short runners in both spring and fall, so it makes a good shade groundcover. The fall and winter color is an attractive bronze. Sinclair Adams of Dunvegan Nursery introduced this native beauty as a part of his Pennsylvania River Series.
PRN Preferred: An excellent dry shade groundcover, with wonderful flowers and foliage.
'Running Tapestry' Foamflower has white flowers in spring over bronze speckled green foliage. Tiarella cordifolia 'Running Tapestry' is a running form and makes an excellent woodland groundcover. A Jim Plyler (Mr. Native Plant) find in PA.
The pinkish white flowers of 'Candy Striper' Foamflower appear over deeply incised green leaves with dark maroon stripes down the center of each lobe. The foliage is just as showy as the flower and the bloom period extends from late April through May.
‘Crow Feather’ Foamflower produces lots of white fluffy flower spikes in late spring and early summer. They are displayed over attractive green deeply incised leaves which have dark purple feathery veining. Tiarella x ‘Crow Feather’ is a clump form Foamflower with good reblooming qualities.
PRN Preferred: Foliage is a particularly showy combination of colors and form.
The white flowers of 'Jeepers Creepers' Foamflower are produced for a long time in spring and summer, and it has blackish purple markings on shiny lobed green foliage. Tiarella x 'Jeepers Creepers' is a creeping form.
'Pink Skyrocket' Foamflower has pink flowers in spring and summer over green foliage. It is a clump form which blooms for a long time. Its flowers are among the showiest of the Tiarellas.
PRN Preferred: The pinkest flowers on any Tiarellas we grow.
'Timbuktu' Foamflower is a mounding form with very dissected foliage of lustrous green, set off by purplish maroon center veins. The leaves are attractive for almost all year, with greater color intensity as the temperatures cool in the fall. Tiarella x 'Timbuktu' is topped by lovely delicate pale pink to white flower spikes in mid to late spring. This is a great plant to combine in shade garden containers.
'Gilt Edge' Toad Lily has similar flowers to T. 'Samurai', but the foliage is distinctive with creamy yellow borders on the green leaves. The exotic orchid like blooms are pink and white with large purple spots and are produced from late summer to early fall along the stems. Tricyrtis formosana 'Gilt Edge' performs best in average to moist shade, expanding to form a wide showy patch. A Terra Nova introduction.
'Homestead Purple' Clump Verbena has vigorous, low growing green foliage covered with purplish magenta flowers in summer. Needs some winter protection and full sun to perform best. Trim it often to keep the habit neat and flowering.
Broadleaf Ironweed blooms in August and September, producing large showy clusters of deep purple flowers with fine petals. Vernonia glauca is somewhat more compact than its cousin V. noveboracensis, and tolerates dryer conditions. Hiding in the background for much of the summer, it really stands out when in bloom in late summer. Butterflies cover the flowers, adding to the show.
'Iron Butterfly' Narrowleaf Ironweed has many bright purple star-like flowers that appear in late summer and fall. Foliage is delicate and thread-like on a compact plant. This Vernonia is very tolerant of site extremes, both dry and wet and works well in the upper areas of bio-swales. Introduced by Dr. Allan Armitage and North Creek Nurseries. One of the native plants chosen by Piet Oudolf for the newly planted meadow garden at Delaware Botanic Gardens.
PRN Preferred: Not only beautiful purple flowers, but also delicate unusual fine foliage.
'Eveline' Long-leafed Speedwell has showy tall flower spikes of bright reddish violet in June and July, over clean green foliage. Butterflies and pollinators flock to Veronica 'Eveline' while it is in flower. Deadheading increases the bloom period into August. An introduction from Future Plants.
'Red Fox' ('Rotfuchs') Spiked Speedwell has short rose-pink flowers that bloom all summer, especially if deadheaded. Veronica spicata 'Red Fox' makes a good low groundcover, and is a good source of nectar for bees and other pollinators. Needs good drainage.
'Royal Candles' ('Glory') Spiked Speedwell has violet blue flowers in June and July over deep green disease resistant foliage. A fantastic plant from Heather and Mike Philpott of England. Veronica spicata 'Royal Candles' reblooms well if deadheaded.
'Georgia Blue' Speedwell is an attractive fine textured groundcover which is covered with small deep blue flowers in midspring into early summer. The ground hugging green foliage takes on hues of burgundy in the fall and winter. Since 'Georgia Blue' is drought tolerant as well as semi-evergreen, it would make an interesting green roof plant. Because of its extended bloom period, it also has an excellent application in containers and rock gardens.
Culvers Root has tall white spires of Veronica-like flowers in July and August. It tolerates wet sites very well. There's an amazing patch of Veronicastrum virginicum at the Scott Arboretum in full bloom during the Woody Plant Conference in July. It's worth a visit.
‘Cupid’ Culver’s Root is a tall tough native that produces multiple spikes of lavender blue in late summer into early fall. Veronicastrum ‘Cupid’ is an important nectar source for pollinators and butterflies at that time of year, and they also make a striking cut flower. The green lanceolate leaves grow in a whorled pattern, and the clumps are very long lived, expanding with time. This Veronicastrum is particularly showy because of its deep color.
'Fascination' Culver's Root is a lovely tall native which is topped in July and August by graceful 12" lilac to pale blue spikes. The lanceolate leaves cover the tall stems in a distinct climbing whorl pattern. Veronicastrum 'Fascination' is a tough long lived perennial that is particularly effective in prairie gardens and the back of perennial beds and borders.
'Silver Gem' Prostrate Blue Violet has beautiful silvery heart-shaped foliage, crowned in March by bluish lavender flowers. The undersides of the leaves are burgundy, making a striking contrast to the silver-netted tops. The trailing habit of this tough native Violet makes it an excellent shade groundcover or rock garden plant. Viola 'Silver Gem' reblooms sporadically throughout the summer. Mt. Cuba found this little beauty and the folks at North Creek introduced it.