Calamint is a tough informal-looking groundcover that is covered with small fragrant white to lilac flowers from mid summer to early fall. The greyish-green delicate foliage has a minty fragrance which makes it deer and rabbit resistant. Pollinators flock to the blooms. Calamintha nepeta subsp. nepeta is a good addition to walls and rock gardens.
Wine Cups or Purple Poppymallow is a native groundcover which forms a wide sprawling mat of green dissected leaves. The large magenta-purple cup-shaped flowers appear from late spring through summer, and are especially showy on sunny days. Callirhoe involucrata produces a deep tap roof, which makes it tolerant of dry conditions but difficult to move. Host plant for Gray Hairstreak. The sprawling habit would make Wine Cups a good candidate for walls and rock gardens.
‘Rapido Blue’ Carpathian Bellflower blooms from late spring into early summer, producing a cloud of violet blue bell-shaped flowers over a mat of ground hugging green foliage. Campanula carpatica ‘Rapido Blue’ is an earlier bloomer than older cultivars of Carpathian Bellflowers, and produces very uniform growth. Because of its excellent tolerance, ‘Rapido Blue’ would be a beautiful addition to shady green roofs.
‘Rapido White’ Carpathian Bellflower is covered with white bell-shaped flowers starting in late spring. Campanula carpatica ‘Rapido White’ is a good summer rebloomer if deadheaded after the initial heavy flowering. ‘Rapido White’ makes a refined groundcover and is a good addition to rock gardens and mixed containers for sunny locations.
Adriatic Bellflower forms a mat of bright yellow foliage topped by clusters of star-shaped light blue flowers in late spring. Found in southern Europe originally, Campanula garganica ‘Dickson’s Gold’ performs best when protected by light shade. The habit is vigorous, spreading to make a low golden mat eventually.
'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.
Harebell or Bluebell is found in many locations, particularly in Scotland (as well as the Midwest). The fine green foliage clumps produce delicate stems that are topped by light blue nodding flowers in clumps in early summer. If deadheaded, Campanula rotundifolia will rebloom, especially in cooler climates. Harebells are a good choice for naturalizing, as they seed themselves well in woodland edges.
'Iridescent Bells' ('Irbella') Bellflower blooms in June and July, with 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.
'Sarastro' Bellflower is a hybrid from Sarastro Nursery in Austria, producing a neat green clump with beautiful dark purple downward facing bells held on 18" spikes. Campanula x 'Sarastro' is a cross between C. punctata and C. trachelium, hybridized by Christian Kress. Most Campanulas need cool summer temperatures to thrive, but 'Sarastro' Bellfloower is much more heat tolerant, which makes it a good candidate for mid Atlantic perennial gardens. Use as a slow groundcover, or naturalized on the edge of the woods.
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 locations, as it is usually found in swampy sites. The white flower spikes look like clusters of snapdragons, carried on dark green to blackish stems and leaves. The blooms appear in mid to late summer, and are an important nectar source for butterflies and other pollinators. Since Chelone glabra ‘Black Ace’ spreads by stolons, it eventually makes a large clump and can be used to stabilize pond and stream edges. Selected by Craig Moretz.
'Hot Lips' Turtlehead has clear pink flowers in July, shiny green foliage, and is wet site tolerant. It spreads slowly to make a large patch eventually, so it can be used as a tall groundcover. 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.
Mammoth™ ‘Yellow Quill’ Hardy Mum comes from the hybridizing work of the University of Minnesota, so you know it’s really cold tolerant. The long yellow petals are quilled with spoon-shaped tips. The growth habit of Chrysanthemum Mammoth™ ‘Yellow Quill’ is mounding with clean green foliage all summer, topped with the large yellow daisies all fall.
'Rustic Glow' Hardy Mum is one of the Global Warning Mum™ introductions. Like the other excellent Sinclair Adam Jr hybrid Chrysanthemums, it blooms in mid to late fall, adding not only vivid color to the garden, but also much needed food for pollinators. The daisy-like flowers are bright orange yellow, with multiple blooms per stem. The foliage is a clean green all summer, and the patch grows wider over time. We were introduced to this delicate beauty by our friend Nora Sirbaugh, a great and passionate NJ gardener.
'Superstar' Golden Star makes a lovely delicate green carpet in shady and sunny locations. The slightly fuzzy green foliage is studded with lots of bright yellow simple flowers in mid to late spring, with some reblooming when moisture is adequate. Originally named after the American Rock Garden Society's Norman Singer, this native groundcover is both deer resistant and very easy to grow. 'Superstar' was renamed to reflect the fact that the foliage is significantly cleaner and more vigorous, remaining attractive long after the vivid flower display finishes. James Brown, the Carex King of New Moon Nursery, says it's his favorite Chrysogonum.
Pink Threadleaf Tickseed produces pink daisy-like flowers all summer, especially when trimmed after the first bloom period. Coreopsis rosea tolerates a wide range of sites, from moist soils to dry and sandy sites. The yellow centers are a good source of food for pollinators and the seeds are consumed by songbirds in late summer. Coreopsis rosea forms a mat through rhizomes, and self-seeds well, so this is a good candidate for naturalizing.
‘Gold standard’ Tall Tickseed blooms in mid summer and is covered with bright yellow daisy-like flowers with black cones. This selection was introduced by the Mt. Cuba Center in 2015, when its performance topped their Coreopsis trials for habit, disease resistance and long bloom period. Coreopsis ‘Gold Standard’ came from seed collected in Alabama, and was named by Mt. Cuba. Since ‘Gold Standard’ spreads by rhizomes, this very tall perennial performs well as a wild looking groundcover or as an addition to tall meadows.
'Moonbeam' Threadleaf Tickseed has pale yellow flowers and is an excellent repeat bloomer. For best performance, deadhead after first flush of blooms. 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.
‘Zesty Zinger’ Threadleaf Coreopsis produces showy magenta daisy-like flowers with the petals bleeding out into ivory tips. The effect is bicolored, set off by the green thread-like mound of foliage. Coreopsis ‘Zesty Zinger’ comes from Walters Gardens’ Sizzle & Spice® series, providing flowers for an extended period over a clean, attractive habit.
‘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.