'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.
‘Sensational!’ Lavender is the next generation after Lavandula x ‘Phenomenal.’ It has even showier lavender purple flower spikes over heavier silvery foliage, with equal cold tolerance. If planted in good drainage, Lavandula ‘Sensational!’ should overwinter well, making a large clump the next year. A sport of ‘Phenomenal,’ from Peace Tree Farms of Pennsylvania.
'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.