Hakone Grass has graceful green foliage, like miniature bamboo. Soft, airy seedheads form in late summer. Fall and winter foliage color is tan. The tallest of the Hakonechloas, Andrew Bunting of the Chicago Botanic Garden describes it beautifully as "catching (the) wind and flow(ing) like a rolling wave."
PRN Preferred: Vigorous but graceful, an excellent shade groundcover.
The bright yellow spiky foliage of Gold Hakone Grass is more upright than H. 'Aureola'. This grass really lights up shady spots, especially when covered with delicate seedheads. This is Bruce Crawford's favorite Hakonechloa for a number of its attributes. Fall and winter color is tan.
'Amethyst' Vernal Witchhazel has fragrant lavender-purple flowers appearing in late winter and early spring, followed by coppery new growth. Good orange and yellow fall color. Hamamelis vernalis 'Amethyst' is also salt and wet site tolerant. Great as a cut branch in the house for a spring "pick-me-up". Found by Tim Brotzman of Ohio and named by Don Shadow.
PRN Preferred: The purple flowers are a very unusual color for Witchhazels.
Autumn Embers™ (‘KLMNINETEEN’) Vernal Witchhazel is a lovely selection of our native shrub that was selected by Roy Klehm for its excellent fall color. The foliage varies from red purple to yellow orange, depending on the fall temperatures, with the more vivid colors appearing in northern locations. The additional gift from Autumn Embers™ Witchhazel is its small fragrant orange flowers in February and March. All Hamamelis vernalis have proven to be both salt and wet site tolerant.
‘Kohankie Red’ Ozark Witchhazel came from Kohankie Nursery in Perry, Ohio in the late 1950s. Its fragrant threadlike flowers appear in late winter in shades of reddish purple, lightening to orange at the tips of the petals. The sturdy green foliage turns shades of yellow, orange and red in the fall. The great thing about our Hamamelis vernalis cultivars is that they are propagated by cuttings, so there will be no problem with understock suckers.
‘Purple Ribbons’ Ozark Witchhazel blooms in late winter and early spring, producing fragrant lavender purple threadlike flowers along the bare branches. The green leaves follow after the bloom period and add fall season interest when they take on shades of yellow and orange. Another lovely introduction from Roy Klehm of Beaver Creek and Song Sparrow Nurseries. Grown on its own roots, so understock suckering is never a problem.
‘Ice Queen’ Common Witchhazel is a selection made by the King of Witchhazels (in our opinion) Tim Brotzman of Madison Ohio. He received Hamamelis virginiana seedlings from fellow nurseryman Harald Neubauer, and selected Hamamelis ‘Ice Queen’ because of the cold tolerance of its yellow ribbon like fragrant flowers, which bounce back from freezing nights unusually well. ‘Ice Queen’ is in full bloom throughout December, although it starts in late November and continues into January.
‘Sunglow’ Common Witchhazel comes from a plant at the National Arboretum, shared with Hidden Hollow Nursery of Tennessee. Hamamelis virginiana ‘Sunglow’ has showier flowers than most typical species examples, producing lemon yellow fragrant blooms in late fall. This large native shrub is a lovely versatile presence in Eastern forests, with yellow fall foliage and flowers when little else is showy.
‘Winter Champagne’ Common Witchhazel is an introduction by Tim Brotzman of Madison Ohio from seedlings he got from Harald Neubauer of Tennessee. It produces fragrant flowers of a light champagne orange starting in December, continuing through January. Because of the later bloom period Tim thinks this may be a spontaneous virginiana/vernalis cross. Hamamelis ‘Winter Champagne’ is a vigorous native that brightens up the winter landscape, and provides food for winter pollinators.
'Jelena' Witchhazel has copper-orange fragrant flowers in late winter and yellow-orange fall foliage. It was named for Jelena de Belder, and has won numerous awards in Europe. This is our freind Andrew Bunting's favorite Hamamelis.
'Sunburst' Witchhazel has large lemon yellow fragrant flowers in late winter and early spring and yellow fall foliage. An interesting note from Scott Canning of Wave Hill is that winter leaf retention in Witchhazels is a juvenile characteristic, and all Hamamelis outgrow it after 8 or 10 years.
'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.
The bright orange-yellow semi-double flowers of 'Summer Sun' ('Sommersonne') False Sunflower appear in late June through August. Butterflies and insects love it, and it is a good cut flower.
‘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.
Frostkiss® Glenda's Gloss® ('RD25') Lenten Rose blooms from January through March producing large white blooms with broad purple margins. The foliage is also attractive, with silver mottling overlaying the lustrous deep green evergreen leaves. The flowers are held well above the foliage, and slowly take on shades of green as they age. These are one of the Frostkiss® series hybridized by Rodney Davey of England.
'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.
PRN Preferred: The dark red flowers are beautifully displayed overthe ivory veined green leaves.
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.
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.
'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.
'Shooting Star' ('Coseh 790') Gold Collection® Hellebore produces dusty rose flower buds in March which open to lovely large white open faced blooms. In April and May, the sepals age attractively to shades of sage green. The evergreen foliage adds to year round interest, as the deep green leaves have prominent lighter silvery veins, displayed on dark red stems.
Ices N’ Roses® ‘Picotee’ Lenten Rose comes from Heuger’s amazing Hellebore breeding program, with large white flowers that are edged with pink. This gives Helleborus Ice N’ Roses ‘Picotee’ a bicolored effect starting in December and January. This HGC beauty is a great addition to shady locations with medium to dry soils. Since it is evergreen, long lived and deer resistant, Helleborus Ice N’ Roses ‘Picotee’ is another winner from 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.
Ice N' Roses® 'White' Gold Collection® Snow Rose is one of the exciting new glandorfensis hybrid series of Hellebores from Heuger in Germany. The series range from white to dark red, and this selection was chosen for its large number of white outfacing flowers starting in December. The lustrous evergreen foliage is dark green and looks beautiful in winter containers as well as in shade gardens.
PRN Preferred: The contrast between the large white flowers and the very dark green leaves is amazing.
'Buttered Popcorn' Daylily has huge butter-yellow flowers, and is a very reliable rebloomer. The flowers are large and of thick substance.
'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).
‘Desert Flame’ Daylily produces 5½” vivid reddish orange ruffled flowers in mid summer. Then it reblooms in early fall, which makes Hemerocallis ‘Desert Flame’ a welcome addition to the late summer perennial border. With clean green foliage, this is a good candidate for containers as well. The great flower size results from its tetraploid genetics. Hybridized by Santa Lucia and introduced in 1996.
'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.
‘Ruby Spider’ Daylily has extremely large (9”) flat faced flowers. The deep red long petals surround a bright lemon golden throat, and the ‘spider’ part of the name is because the petals are separated from each other. Hemerocallis ‘Ruby Spider’ can be showcased towards the backs of perennial beds because the flower scapes are tall, or it can be used for a wonderful mass display. Daylilies handle urban conditions well. From Walters Gardens.
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.
'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 from Dr Stout 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. Tall scapes and long blooming make it a winner in the garden.
Seven-Son Flower has fragrant white flowers, followed by striking red calyxes in mid summer and fall. The exfoliating bark of Heptacodium miconioides adds winter interest. A good substitute for a Crapemyrtle in a more northern climate. We have found Heptacodiums thriving in both Vermont and Maine.
'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.
PRN Preferred: The foliage is both showy and resiliant, surviving well in shade gardens.
'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.
PRN Preferred: Smaller and neater than 'Southern Comfort', with the same showy color combination.
'Citronelle' is another wonderful H. villosa cross with vivid chartreuse foliage and small white flowers. A sport of 'Caramel', it has all the endurance qualities of its villosa parentage. Another great introduction from French breeder Thierry Delabroye.
PRN Preferred: Tolerates our hot summers without burning, adding very bright color in shady gardens.
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.
‘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.
PRN Preferred: Leaf color change from spring to fall, and are showy throughout the seasons.
'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™ ‘Red’ Common Hibiscus is a really compact Mallow with enormous burgundy red flowers in July and August. The large leaves are green, making a good background for the red blooms. Like all the common Mallows, Hibiscus x Luna™ ‘Red’ thrives in wet sites as well as average moisture, so it is an excellent choice for sunny rain gardens, ponds, and bioswales.
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.
'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.
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.
PRN Preferred: Huge pink and white flowers are produced for a long time throughout the summer.
‘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.
‘Cherry Choco Latte’ Common Mallow produces stunning 8” flowers of white with dark pink veins and red center eyes. Hibiscus x ‘Cherry Choco Latte’ is a new addition to Walters Gardens' showy Summerific® line of Mallows. The foliage is olive green with bronzy tones, and the habit is somewhat compact. ‘Cherry Choco Latte’ starts blooming in early August and continues for an extended period. A very showy addition to wet and sunny gardens.
‘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.
PRN Preferred: The combination of huge deep red flowers and dark purple leaves is amazing.
'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.
'Captain Kirk' Hosta is a beautiful sport of H. Gold Standard', with dark green leaf margins that surround the large bright gold centers. The leaves are large and wide, with a seersucker texture. Pale lavender flowers appear on tall stems in July. Introduced by Kirk Brill of Des Moines, Iowa.
PRN Preferred: The showt color combination holds up well all summer long.
‘Cathedral Windows’ Plantain Lily is an improved variant of the beautiful Hosta ‘Stained Glass’. The large rounded leaves have bright gold centers surrounded by wide dark green margins. The foliage is showy and sturdy, and the tall flower scapes produce large fragrant white flowers in late summer. Another substantial and beautiful introduction from the prolific Hans Hansen.
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.
'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.
PRN Preferred: The combination of blue and cream is showy all summer.
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.
‘Island Breeze’ Plaintain Lily is a hybrid from Hosta ‘Fire Island’. It has the striking red petioles of its parent, but the leaves have bright gold centers bordered by broad green margins. The lavender flowers are held above the foliage on reddish scapes in mid summer. The reddish hues are most showy in spring and early summer, and Hosta ‘Island Breeze’ becomes more chartreuse as summer progresses. Another beauty from Hans Hansen and Walters Gardens.
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.
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!)
Double August Lily produces the beautiful white fragrant flowers of regular Hosta plantaginea, but Hosta plantaginea var. grandiflora has double flowers instead of single. The tall scapes and large blossoms appear above the large dark green leaves in August. Hosta plantaginea var. grandiflora makes a great cut flower because of both its large size and good fragrance.
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.
The white flat hydrangea flowers of Climbing Hydrangea appear in mid summer. It is a vigorous woody vine for sun and shade locations. Fall color is yellow and exfoliating bark adds winter interest.
'Annabelle' Smooth Hydrangea has white snowball flowers in June and July, a classic plant from Joe McDaniel. Hydrangea arborescens 'Annabelle' is considered by many to be somewhat deer resistant! Bruce Cole recommends a late spring gentle trimming to delay the flower period and reduce the flopping. Smooth Hydrangeas are salt tolerant.
'Haas Halo' Smooth Hydrangea was selected by Rick Ray of Pennsylvania for its extraordinarily large white lacecap flowers. They are produced for a long period in mid summer, and are displayed on sturdy stems which do not flop, unlike many mopheads. 'Haas Halo' is tolerant of full sun as long as good moisture is consistently present, and its 14" flowers make lovely cut or dried flowers. Excellent for a natural look along woodland edges. 2020 PHS Gold Medal Plant!
The very large white mophead flowers of Incrediball® ('Abetwo') Smooth Hydrangea appear in June and July. Flowers age to a lovely chartreuse-green before turning tan, and are great in dried arrangements.
Incrediball® 'Blush' ('NCHA4') Smooth Hydrangea is a color breakthrough, with large soft pink mophead flowers supported by strong stems. As the blooms mature, they change to shades of light green. Incrediball® 'Blush' is attractive as a cut flower as well as in dried arrangements. All Smooth Hydrangeas benefit from a good pruning in late winter, since they bloom on new growth.
Invincibelle Garnetta® (‘NCHA6’) Smooth Hydrangea comes from the work of Dr. Tom Ranney of NC State University. The blooms appear in early summer, emerging in garnet shades which mature to a good deep pink. Hydrangea arborescens Invincibelle Garnetta® starts blooming somewhat later than other Smooth Hydrangeas, and will rebloom sporadically through the summer, especially if spent blooms are removed. The color is a standout, and the habit is neat and compact.
Invincibelle Wee White® (‘NCHA5’) Smooth Hydrangea is the first dwarf Annabelle Hydrangea, from the Proven Winners® breeding program. The flowers emerge from soft pink buds which rapidly mature to white mopheads on strong short stems. Hydrangea Invincibelle Wee White® starts blooming in June and reblooms sporadically all summer, especially if deadheaded. The dried flower heads are attractive, and this compact mounding beauty would be a great patio container plant for partial shade locations.
BloomStruck® Endless Summer® Bigleaf Hydrangea ('PIIH-II') has large blue or rose-pink mophead flowers, depending on the soil pH. Since it is a rebloomer, the flower display continues all summer. The blooms are held on red-purple stems, and the glossy green foliage is set-off by dark red petioles and veins. An excellent new introduction from Dr. Michael Dirr showing good mildew resistance as well as great flower power.
PRN Preferred: The thicker leaf handles the heat/sun better than other macrophyllas, stronger stems and more intense flower color. We prefer BloomStruck over Endless Summer®.
Hydrangea macrophylla 'Blue Wave' is a variety of Big Leaf Hydrangea that has large blue lacecap flowers in June and July. It is also salt tolerant. as are most Big Leaf Hydrangeas. One of the great aspects of lacecap Hydrangeas is that, unlike 'Mopheads', their flowers never flop in the rain.
Cherry Explosion™ (‘McKay’) Bigleaf Hydrangea has large, cherry red lacecap flowers all summer. The flowers have strong, deeply saturated sterile petals which surround the pink fertile florets. Hydrangea macrophylla Cherry Explosion™ comes from Thomas Buechel and McKay Nursery of Wisconsin, so you know it’s cold tolerant. The foliage is dark green and lustrous in the summer, taking on purple tones in the fall. Introduced by Star® Roses.
Endless Summer® ('Bailmer') The Original Hydrangea has large pink or blue mophead flowers and blooms all summer on new growth. The pH level in the soil largely determines the flower color. From Dr. Dirr and Bailey Nurseries. It is also salt tolerant.
'Glowing Embers' Bigleaf Hydrangea has larger crimson purple mophead flowers over lustrous, thick textured leaves. Thought by many (including Dr. Michael Dirr) to be the same as H. 'Alpenglow' the depth of its flower color changes to more purple than red in the presence of higher soil acidity. Salt tolerant and sun tolerant.
Blue Jangles® ('SMHMTAU’) Bigleaf Hydrangea is part of the Let’s Dance® series from Proven Winners®. The reblooming mophead flowers are a dark blue in acid soil, or a strong pink in alkaline soil. The habit of Hydrangea Blue Jangles® is compact, and since it blooms on both old and new wood, this reblooming Hydrangea does not need pruning.
PRN Preferred: Deep blue reblooming mophead flowers on a compact habit; does not need pruning!
Magical® ‘Ruby Red’ (‘Kolmaru’) has large red mophead flowers displayed over very dark green foliage from early summer up to fall. This beautiful sturdy Hydrangea is from Kolster BV in the Netherlands, and is introduced into the US by Plants Nouveau. Hydrangea macrophylla Magical® ‘Ruby Red’ is a rebloomer (old wood and new), and the flowers take on shades of dusty wine red and green as they age. The relatively compact habit and sun tolerant dark green foliage make this at home in a wide variety of sites.
'Pia' Bigleaf Hydrangea has big pink mophead flowers that cover this dwarf plant in July. Hydrangea macrophylla 'Pia' is great for smaller gardens where space is an issue, and it is also salt tolerant.
Summer Crush® ('Bailmacfive') Endless Summer® Bigleaf Hydrangea blooms throughout the summer, producing lots of raspberry red to vivid purple mophead flowers. The habit is compact, with glossy dark green leaves that tolerate sun well. Hydrangea Summer Crush® is a new exciting rebloomer form Bailey Nurseries, resulting from the work of Dr Michael Dirr with reblooming Hydrangea.
'Tokyo Delight' Bigleaf Hydrangea is a beautiful lacecap with large white sterile florets on the edge and blue fertile flowers in the center of the flowers. Blooms age to a lovely, long lasting rose color. Hydrangea macrophylla 'Tokyo Delight' is tough as nails and a reliable bloomer every year.
A new exciting offering from Dr. Michael Dirr and Bailey Nurseries, Hydrangea macrophylla Twist 'n' Shout® ('PIIHM-I') Endless Summer® is a cross between Endless Summer® and Lady in Red™ and is a reblooming deep pink lacecap with red stems. Fall color is also colorful, turning a striking burgundy red. Bruce Cole of Jackson, New Jersey finds that it is a very floriferous rebloomer. It is also salt tolerant.
Double Delights™ 'Wedding Gown' ('Dancing Snow') Bigleaf Hydrangea is a white lacecap with extra flower power. The large sterile florets start as lime maturing to white, and are very double. The bloom period is prolonged, starting in May and continuing through the summer. The combination of big flowers on a compact plant makes this a winner for big and small landscapes.
Bobo® ('ILVOBO') Hardy Hydrangea is dwarf in habit without sacrificing the number of flowers it produces. The rounded blooms start as large lime green balls in late June and progress through clear white to shades of soft pink as they mature. The flowers persist through most of the summer, and the dwarf habit of Hydrangea paniculata Proven Winners® Color Choice® Bobo® makes it an excellent addition to mixed perennial borders as well as foundation plantings. Developed in Belgium by Dr. Johan Van Huylenbroek.
PRN Preferred: We're impressed by the number and beauty of the blooms, especially when combined with its compact habit.
Finally, a Pee Gee Hydrangea for a small garden space! Hydrangea paniculata 'Dharuma's flowers come very early in summer, and rapidly turn from white to rose. Like the plant, the flowers are smaller than other varieties of H. paniculata, and somewhat open. We like it because even the young branches are strong enough to support the flowers, so they are upright and visible, not floppy. when in bloom. The RHS's recent trials put this as a hybrid between H. paniculata and H. heteromala.
Fire Light® (‘SMHPFL’) Hardy Hydrangea is a compact form of Pee Gee Hydrangeas, with creamy white flowers starting in early July. The blooms age to striking shades of dark rose red, particularly if Hydrangeas Fire Light® is trimmed a little in May (it postpones the bloom production). The cooler the weather and the shorter the daylight, the deeper the pink to red color. All Pee Gee Hydrangeas are very cold hardy, but the compact size of Fire Light® makes this useful in tighter spaces that cannot take huge shrubs.
Lime-green panicle flowers of Hydrangea paniculata 'Limelight' emerge in July and age in August to white and rose-pink. One of the best of the Pee Gee Hydrangeas, from Pieter Zwijnenburg, Jr.
Little Lime® ('Jane') Hardy Hydrangea has the lovely chartreuse-to-white flowers of H. 'Limelight', but on a more compact plant. Its diminutive size makes it a better choice for a small garden application without losing the striking effect of the large colorful panicles in July and August.
Little Quick Fire® ('SMHPLQF') Hardy Hydrangea is suited to smaller gardens because of its shorter statue. The blooms start out white in June and age to dusty pink by late in the summer. The color is more intense in cooler weather, so trimming Hydrangea paniculata Proven Winners® Color Choice® Little Quick Fire® back moderately in June will promote this by delaying the start of flowering. Hardy Hydrangeas are valuable ornamentals because of their lengthy bloom period, and they also make excellent cut or dried flowers.
Quick Fire® ('Bulk') Hardy Hydrangea is a very early blooming Pee Gee Hydrangea. Flowers start out white in June and age to deep pink by mid summer. From Mark Bulk in Holland. Ronni Hock of Lawrenceville says it is her favorite because of the lovely red stems. This is Dick Karkalits' favorite Pee Gee Hydrangea becasue it blooms very early and the aged panicles hold up well into October.
Strawberry Sundae® ('Rensun') First Editions® Hardy Hydrangea is a compact version of Bailey's beautiful Hydrangea Vanilla Strawberry™. The white cone-shaped panicles appear in July and rapidly take on lovely shades of deep strawberry pink as they age. Hydrangea paniculata blooms for an extended period, often up to the start of fall, so the bloom display often includes both white and vivid pink. Strawberry Sundae™ originated in France, from the breeding work of Jean Renault.
Vanilla Strawberry™ ('Renhy') First Editions® Hardy Hydrangea starts its bloom cycle with enormous creamy-white, cone-shaped panicles that age through soft pink to a bright reddish rose. Since the plant produces new blooms for an extended period, Vanilla Strawberry™ has a three-toned effect. From Bailey Nurseries, Inc. of Minnesota, who got it from the Renault Nursery in France.
PRN Preferred: We love the intensity of the pink color as the flowers age.
'Amethyst' Oakleaf Hydrangea has upright white panicles that age to a gorgeous wine red, retaining this color even when used as a dried cut flower. The branching is denser and more upright than other Oakleafs, making this cultivar more suitable for smaller gardens. The fall color is an added asset, turning a lovely burgundy-red. Another great selection by the Hydrangea king, Dr. Michael Dirr, which we first admired at the Scott Arboretum.
Gatsby Pink® ('JoAnn') Oakleaf Hydrangea starts blooming in June, producing large white upright panicles. As the flowers age, they take on shades of pink which are attractive for a lengthy time throughout the summer. The disease free green foliage takes on shades of red and burgundy in the fall, and as Hydrangea Gatsby Pink® matures, the exfoliating tan bark adds winter interest.
Hydrangea quercifolia 'Pee Wee' has white panicle flowers in June and July and is a compact form of the Oakleaf Hydrangea. It has burgundy-red fall foliage. Introduction by Aldrich Nursery in Alabama. One of our favorite Oakleaf Hydrangeas, because the foliage is so neat and clean.
PRN Preferred: All the great attributes of an Oakleaf Hydrangea but in compact form.
'Queen of Hearts' Oakleaf Hydrangea comes from the exciting US National Arboretum breeding program in McMinnville, TN. This lovely cross between H. 'Pee Wee' and H. Snow Queen™ starts blooming a week or more later than most other Oakleafs, with large upright white panicles which slowly age to a deep rose pink. The fall color is mahogany red, and winter interest is provided by tan exfoliating bark on older plants. This is a sister seedling of H. 'Ruby Slippers'.
Snow Queen™ ('Flemygea') Oakleaf Hydrangea has upright white panicle flowers and burgundy-red fall foliage. Hydrangea quercifolia Snow Queen™ was introduced by noted plantsman, William Flemer III. All the Oakleaf Hydrangeas show some deer resistance.
PRN Preferred: Flowers have an upright habit so they stand out above the foliage.
‘Snowcicle’ Oakleaf Hydrangea comes from Richard Davis, and has 12” panicles of double white florets. The long vigorous blooms change to a combination of creamy white, soft green and dusty rose as they mature, giving the flowers an interesting tricolor effect. Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Snowcicle’ has sturdy stems supporting the very large inflorescences. Similar to Hydrangea Snowflake, it also makes a good dried flower.
'Snowflake' ('Brido') Oakleaf Hydrangea has sterile younger florets which emerge from the older florets for an extended period, resulting in a strikingly long, multi-colored panicle. The new florets are white and the older ones are a dusty pink, working well as a unique landscape plant. Red-purple fall foliage. Makes an extraordinary dried flower.
'Blue Billow' Sawtooth Hydrangea blooms in June, producing plentiful blue lacecap flowers for an extended period. The habit is compact, and the neat green foliage turns bronzy in fall. Hydrangea 'Blue Billow' is one of the most cold tolerant serratas. A lovely introduction from Dr. Dick Lightly formerly at Mt. Cuba Center.
'Blue Bird' Sawtooth Hydrangea has blue lacecap flowers starting in June. The leaves are larger and rounder than H. 'Blue Billow'. A very hardy Hydrangea, with excellent cold tolerance.
Let’s Dance® Cancan™ (‘SMNHSI’) Sawtooth Hydrangea is a reblooming pink to lavender (determined by pH) lacecap. The blooms are very showy, with the sterile florets almost overwhelming the tiny fertile parts. The flowers are produced along the stems as well as on the ends of the branches, so Hydrangea serrata Let’s Dance® Cancan™ is very floriferous for a long time. Like other Hydrangea serratas, Cancan™ has superior cold tolerance.
Tuff Stuff Ah-Ha™ ('SMNHSDD') Sawtooth Hydrangea is a very showy reblooming lacecap in the Tuff Stuff series. The short statue does not limit the number of large flowers, as Hydrangea Ah-Ha™ is a heavy bloomer on both old and new wood. Since it is a serrata, its cold tolerance is also an advantage. The double sterile florets vary in color from pink to purple, depending on the soil pH and amount of aluminum sulfate.
Tuff Stuff™ ('MAK20') Sawtooth Hydrangea is an exciting addition to the reblooming world, with sturdy reddish pink lacecap flowers produced on new and old wood. Hydrangea Tuff Stuff™ blooms from early summer through to the fall, and the flowers are followed by attractive fall foliage in shades of bronze red. Pruning should be done in mid summer, ceasing by early August to allow new growth to harden off. The sun tolerance of H. serratas is very good, especially with consistent soil moisture.
Aaronsbeard St. Johnswort has blue-green foliage followed by small yellow flowers in summer. Once established, Hypericum calycinum is a good groundcover for poor, dry sites. Per Bruce Crawford, seems to be most happy in light shade and does benefit from mowing to the ground in spring. Not as vigorous in the full sun.
'Brigadoon' St. Johnswort has bright gold foliage, yellow flowers in summer and makes a good slow groundcover for dry shade.
‘Sunburst’ St. John's Wort blooms for a prolonged period time in June and July. Hypericum frondosum ‘Sunburst’ has bright yellow flowers which are somewhat larger and showier than the straight species. Dr. Michael Dirr’s experience with ‘Sunburst’ is that is “…has held up in full sun, heat and drought better than any other others”. It makes a showy low maintenance shrub in a variety of soil types, with the brown seed capsules adding interest in winter.
The small yellow flowers of 'Gemo' St Johnswort are produced for an extended period through July and August, appearing in profusion on a neat compact shrub covered with narrow green leaves. The seed capsules sound like little rattles when brushed against or moved by the wind. We love the delicate overall effect of this tough native.
PRN Preferred: Flowers for an extremely long period of time, a workhorse in the garden.
Dr. Paul Cappiello of Yew Dell Gardens in Kentucky selected Blue Velvet™ ('CCFLPC-1') St Johnswort, a blue-leaved seedling of H. kalmiatum. The attractive small-leaved foliage of Hypericum x Blue Velvet™ is set off by lovely bright yellow flowers for an extended period in mid summer. The name 'Blue Velvet' fits the appearance of this lovely introduction perfectly.