'Little Gem' Southern Magnolia is a compact cultivar of our stately native evergreen Magnolia grandiflora. The habit is tight and compact, with large lustrous dark green leaves which have a fuzzy brown indumentum on the undersides. The large white flowers are fragrant and appear intermittently from late May through July. Magnolia grandiflora 'Little Gem' needs to be planted in a sheltered location, with particular protection from the winter winds.
Teddy Bear® ('Southern Charm') Southern Magnolia has a tight pyramidal habit on a compact plant. The dark green lustrous leaves have attractive brown indumentum and are evergreen. Magnolia grandiflora Teddy Bear® produces large fragrant white flowers from June to August. A Head Introductions, Teddy Bear® is an excellent choice for smaller locations. Give it some protection from winter winds when possible. They has thrived in containers in Center City Philadelphia and they are a favorite of theirs for the annual Wintergarden at Dilworth Park.
PRN Preferred: The lustrous green leaves are much rounder in shape, and this compact selection tolerates zone 6 temperatures.
'Chrysanthemiflora' Star Magnolia was selected by K. Wada, a great Magnolia breeder in Japan. It combines deep pink coloration in bud (changing to light pink when fully open) with an amazing number of petals (40 or more). The resemblance to the old fashioned "Football Mum" corsage justifies the name. The cold hardiness is excellent and we agree with Dr. Dirr's opinion that it is the best of the M. stellata "Rosea" selections.
Sweetbay Magnolia has fragrant white flowers starting in June that will bloom for much of the summer. In fall it has showy red fruit with orange seeds. Sweetbay Magnolia have high ecological value for birds, butterflies, moths, beetles. It is also wet site tolerant, and is an important food source for the Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly larvae.
Green Mile™ ('MVHH') Sweetbay Magnolia has an unusually tight, upright form, with lustrous dark green semi-evergreen foliage. The extremely fragrant white flowers start appearing in June and continue for much of the summer. They are followed by attractive red fruit with orange seeds in the fall. Green Mile™ Magnolia is a selection by Alex Neubauer of Hidden Hollow Nursery in Tennessee. Wet site tolerant, and the larval host for the Sweetbay Silkmoth and the Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly. NYBG has planted an allee of them bordering their native meadow.
PRN Preferred: The upright habit makes this a great singlestem tree.
The evergreen foliage of 'Green Shadow' Sweetbay Magnolia forms a tight oval tree with fragrant white flowers in summer. This Magnolia virginiana is a selection of M. virg. var. australis by the great Don Shadow from seedlings from the great Joe McDaniel. It is also wet site tolerant. Formerly named 'Greenbay'.
'Henry Hicks' Sweetbay Magnolia has fragrant white flowers starting in June. It has evergreen foliage since it is an australis selection and is one of the hardiest forms of Magnolia virginiana. It is also wet site tolerant. Another wonderful introduction by Dr. Joe McDaniels of Illinois.
Moonglow® ('Jim Wilson') Sweetbay Magnolia has white fragrant flowers in the summer and is very hardy, has rapid growth, is wet site tolerant and semi-evergreen. Magnolia virginiana Moonglow® is a great introduction by Earl Cully.
'Ned's Northern Belle' Sweetbay Magnolia has larger than normal, fragrant, creamy white flowers that appear in June and July. Evergreen foliage and excellent cold tolerance make 'Ned's Northern Belle' an exceptional Sweetbay Magnolia. Attractive fruit is red with orange seeds in the fall. Found in Ohio at Coles Nurseries by Ned Radler (former home of the Sunburst® Locust).
Black Tulip™ ('Jurmag1') Saucer Magnolia has large cup shaped deep purple-pink flowers in April, before the leaves emerge. The thick, upright petals make the flowers look neat and crisp throughout the bloom period. A showy introduction by Monrovia Nurseries.
'Blushing Belle' comes from the had work of Dennis Ledvina's Magnolia breeding program, with large pink flowers in late spring. It is a cross between M. x 'Yellow Bird' and M. x 'Caerhays Belle' which has the greater hardiness of its yellow parent, and the luminous pink color of its pink parent. The tepals are dark pink on the exterior and pale pink on the interior.
'Cleopatra' Magnolia is a beautiful introduction from New Zealand. The 7" flowers are a complex mix of reddish purple opening to pink in April, with a goblet shape which is similar to Magnolia x 'Genie'. The great Magnolia hybridizer Vance Hooper crossed 'Black Tulip' with 'Sweet Simplicity' to get this compact, reblooming plant. Magnolia x 'Cleopatra' is an excellent choice for a smaller location because of the smaller size and the late summer rebloom.
Magnolia x 'Daybreak' has extremely fragrant large glowing pink cup-shaped flowers in May, on a narrow upright form. Hybridized by Dr. August Kehr, and said to be his favorite of all his many crosses.
PRN Preferred: No other color like this in the Magnolia world. Your eye is drawn to it when it is in bloom.
'Genie' Magnolia is a spectacular color breakthrough in the Magnolia world, with lots of black-red flower buds that open to small cup-shaped rose-purple blooms. The tepals are the same color on both sides, which heightens the color intensity. The flowers are lightly fragrant, and the bloom period is from April to May. This stunning plant is the result of 15 years of hybridizing work in New Zealand.
'Gold Finch' Magnolia is a complex cross from the late Phil Savage of Michigan. The M. acuminata parentage can be seen in its habit (tall and upright) as well as its flower color (light yellow). Magnolia x 'Gold Finch' is very cold hardy, and is a rather early bloomer. The large showy blossoms are tulip or goblet shaped.
'March til Frost' Magnolia has large upright tulip-shaped blooms of a beautiful deep rose-purple color. This introduction from Dr. August Kehr starts blooming in late March and early April, and continues to bloom sporadically throughout the summer into the fall. It was one of Dr. Kehr's favorites, and we have always loved the "surprise package" it makes when the large showy flowers open up in late summer and fall.
PRN Preferred: No other Magnolia comes close to putting out more flowers throughout the growing season. The summer and fall flowers are not washed out. Truly remarkable.
‘Royal Purple’ Magnolia was hybridized by New Zealand Magnolia breeder Peter Cave. Thought to be a sprengeri var. ‘Diva’ seedling, this beautiful fastigiate tree produces large and luscious bright purple flowers. The tepals are a darker purple on the exterior, offset by a paler pinkish purple on the inside. Because of the upright narrow habit, this would be an excellent Magnolia for tighter spaces.
'Sun Spire' Magnolia is another lovely introduction by the late Dr. August Kehr. The flowers are deep yellow and held upright on the branches. Since they appear late in the spring after the danger of frost, the display is consistently showy, like a tower of fat yellow candles. The habit is distinctly upright, making Magnolia x 'Sun Spire' is a great candidate for smaller gardens and tight spots. The parents are M. x 'Woodsman' and and M. x 'Elizabeth'.
Magnolia x brooklynensis 'Judy Zuk' is a spectacular and fitting tribute to the much missed former president of the Brooklyn Botanical Garden, Judy Zuk. Upward-facing fragrant flowers are a strong yellow, flushing to orange pink at the base. A very beautiful Magnolia coming from BBG's wonderful hybridizing work. M. acuminata is prominent in its ancestry.
PRN Preferred: The combination of yellow flushing to orange is stunning, and this is our favorite deep yellow Magnolia.
Magnolia x brooklynensis 'Yellow Bird' is a late flowering Magnolia with deep yellow fragrant flowers that are seldom damaged by frost. One of Brooklyn Botanical Garden's great introductions, and one of Rick Darke's favorite yellows.
'Wada's Memory' Magnolia was named after Japanese nurseryman K. Wada, when it was discovered in a group of Japanese seedlings grown at the University of Washington Arboretum, Magnolia xkewensis 'Wada's Memory' is covered with narrow-petaled ivory-white 6" flowers in early April, to the degree that the tree is almost completely white when in bloom. The new leaves emerge afterwards in shades of bronze which mature to green in summer. The habit is a tight upright cone, and is one of the most attractive shaped Magnolias we have grown. Go see the amazing specimen at Winterthur Museum in Delaware.
Leatherleaf Mahonia has lemon-yellow fragrant flowers in February and March, blue bird-attracting fruit in summer and is evergreen. Grow more than one shrub together for best fruit production. The upright angular habit adds to its architectural interest all year. Often used asa barrier plants due to it's spiny leaves. Mahonias native to western China and in the same family (Berberaceae) as Barberries and Nandinas and share their characteristic deer resistance. In fact, taxonomists now refer to Mahonia bealei as Berberis bealei (Beale's Barberry). If looking for a native alternative, consider Daphniphyllum macropodum or Myrica pensylvanica.
Japanese Mahonia is often confused with Mahonia bealei, but the foliage is a darker, glossier green, and the texture is finer, with more leaves per stem. According to Michael Dirr, each flower is larger and brighter yellow than M. bealei. It is evergreen, and produces fragrant yellow flower panicles in February and March. Bees and insects benefit from the blooms on warm winter days, and birds love the glaucous blue fruit in early summer. The new taxonomist designation for Mahonia japonica is Berberis japonica.
Emerald Spire® (‘Jefgreen’) Flowering Crabapple came from the breeding work of Dr. David Lane of British Columbia. This is a very tight upright Crabapple which produces fuchsia pink flowers in mid spring. Malus x adstringens Emerald Spire® has large bright green foliage which is disease resistant. Emerald Spire® Crabapple has large bright red fruit in fall, adding another season of beauty. Since Emerald Spire® is slow growing as well as very upright, this is a good candidate for small gardens, narrow spaces and street trees.
Showtime™ (‘Shotizam’) Crabapple comes from the prolific breeding work of Jim Zampini of Lake County Nurseries in Ohio. The fuchsia pink flowers cover the branches in early spring before the bronzy new growth emerges. Malus Showtime™ has an upright oval habit and has shown good to excellent foliar disease resistance. The green summer foliage is followed by red crabapples in the fall, providing important food for Robins, Mockingbirds, and other migrating birds.
Ostrich Fern has edible fiddleheads in the spring, followed by tall upward to arching green fronds. The finely dissected sterile fronds exhibit a feathery appearance resembling long Ostrich plumes, hence the common name. The fertile fronds appear in mid-summer and persist through the winter. Easily grown in average, medium to wet soils in part shade to full shade. Matteuccia struthiopteris is very wet site tolerant and is a deciduous rapid spreader. Relatively sun tolerant, if in a wet location.
Creeping Mazus has tiny green leaves that form a dense mat, covered with delicate flowers in late spring. The snapdragon-like purple-blue flowers' lower lips are spotted with yellow and red. Mazus reptans spreads by creeping stems which root at the nodes, filling in quickly without being aggressive. A great plant for rock gardens, walkways and walls.
Meehan's Mint is a lovely native groundcover that thrives in shade. But don't let the common name fool you, it does not exhibit the very aggressive tendencies of true mint. The low trailing foliage is covered with bright blue flowers in late spring. The clean, neat leaves form a good green mat in average to moist locations. Native from western Pennsylvania to North Carolina, where it typically occurs in rich woods and wooded slopes. Hummingbirds and bees are attracted to the flowers, and deer leave them alone. What could be better? The genus name honors American horticulturist Thomas Meehan.
Virginia Bluebells are pink in bud and the nodding bells turn a bright lavender-blue as they open above blue-green foliage; flowering for about 3 weeks in early spring. 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. Mertensia virginica is native to eastern Canada and the central and eastern United States, typically found in nutrient-rich, moist soils of floodplain forests.
Amber Glow™ ('WAH-o8AG') Dawn Redwood is a deciduous conifer which produces showy golden foliage. It emerges with a bronzy color on the new growth, and matures to chartreuse yellow during the summer and orange in the fall before the needles drop. Metasequoia glyptostroboides Amber Glow™ is somewhat more compact than the species, but it still grows to be a beautiful pyramidal tree which grows happily in a wide variety of soils.
Russian Arborvitae is a soft, flat growing evergreen that has plum colored winter foliage. Microbiota decussata's summer color is delicate fern-like green. Great in dry shade, where it spreads extensively. Native to the Sikhote-Alin mountains of far-eastern Russia where it grows above the timberline on bald peaks. It will not tolerate wet conditions. Foliage is bright green in summer changing to bronze-purple in fall and winter.
Celtic Pride® (‘Prides’) Russian Arborvitae is a Proven Winners® introduction. Microbiota decussata is an excellent evergreen groundcover for dry semi-shady locations, and Celtic Pride® shows improved vigor and disease resistance. Microbiotas look like groundcover Junipers, but the foliage is more fern-like and not prickly. An added benefit is the winter color, which is shades of plum and purple. Must have excellent drainage.
'Gracillimus' Maiden Grass has rose-red inflorescences in late summer over green foliage with a thin, white mid-rib. The old classic form of the Maiden Grasses, with attractive light tan winter color. Miscanthus sinensis 'Gracillimus' blooms later than most Miscanthus cultivars, and tends not to set seed before the first frost. Flower plumes persist well into winter providing good winter interest.
'Morning Light' Maiden Grass has rose inflorescences in late summer, above fine white and green striped leaves. The finest textured of the large Maiden Grasses, and one of our favorites in the landscape. Blooms later than most Miscanthus cultivars, and tends not to set seed before the first frost. Beautiful all winter.
'Skyracer' Purple Moor Grass has tall seedheads in mid summer that are very showy above short, green foliage which turns yellow in the fall. Introduced by Kurt Bluemel, it holds up well in the winter. Bruce Crawford of The Rutgers Gardens calls Molinia a 'ghost plant' because you can see things through the airy seedheads. Molinias tolerate moist soils well.
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.
Revered for its glossy, deep burgundy foliage, Monarda bradburiana ‘Midnight Oil’ is the first North American cultivar of the species to be offered in the green industry, originally introduced in 2022 by Brent Horvath of Intrinsic Perennial Gardens in Illinois. Early flowering some three to four weeks prior to other tall Bee Balms, with blooms persisting from mid-May to late June. Spidery, two-lipped, light pink blooms with magenta splotches transform into ornamental seedheads that remain on the plant until the winter months, unless removed to prolong flowering in the late spring or early summer. Monarda bradburiana ‘Midnight Oil’ is a vigorous, easy growing, heat and drought tolerant selection that attracts hordes of pollinators over its blooming period, and is capable of handling some light shade.
'Fireball' Bee Balm produces large fiery red blooms on a compact plant. It blooms from July to August, and is a mainstay for bees, butterflies and hummingbirds. All Monardas do well in dry to average sites. Like other Bee Balms, 'Fireball' spreads by rhizomes to make a large clump eventually.
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.
'Jacob Cline' Bee Balm has bright red flowers from June to August above fragrant foliage. Loved by butterflies, bees and hummingbirds. Monarda didyma 'Jacob Cline' is a mildew-resistant introduction from Itsaul Plants, found originally in Georgia and named for the son of Georgia plantsman and garden designer Jean Cline.
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.
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 didyma '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 didyma ‘Grape Gumballs’ comes from the Sugar Buzz® series developed by Hans Hansen and Walters Gardens. Its compact clean habit makes this Bee Balm a great addition to perennial borders, as well as being a good candidate for summer containers.
PRN Preferred: The compact habit, clean foliage and large showy purple blooms are a winning addition to mixed perennial beds.
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 didyma Sugar Buzz™ 'Rockin' Raspberry' a great addition to perennial borders.
PRN Preferred: Showy raspberry purple flowers crown the dark green disease resistant foliage.
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. Attracts many pollinators, including clearwing hawk moths.
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.
Muhlenbergia capillaris has deep rose purple inflorescences in September, and the effect makes people stop in their tracks and stare. Best grouped or massed for late season color. It must have a well-drained site, especially in the winter. Tolerant of heat, humidity, poor soils and urban conditions. Well suited for green roofs too.
White Muhly Grass comes from Florida Superior Trees, and is only reliably hardy in Zone 7. However, this grass is so beautiful that it is well worth planting as an annual (like Pennisetum 'Rubrum'). The airy white inflorescences make a cloud above the fine green blades starting in late summer, continuing well into the fall. This makes Muhlenbergia ‘White Cloud’ a good fall container plant, and it also performs well in dry, sterile sites. Who knows, you might get lucky and have it survive the winter.
Undaunted® Ruby Muhley Grass ('PUND01S') is a warm season grass which comes into its glory in late summer and fall. The fine green foliage is the setting for delicate airy pink plumes above the basal clump to make a stunning show in mass. Muhlenbergia Undaunted® performs well in dry high pH sites, but also tolerates moist soil, unlike Muhlenbergia capillaris. The showy seedheads are particularly striking when backlit by afternoon light, and they persist for winter interest long after the pink has faded.
Nova™ 'Flame' Mukgenia is an intergeneric cross between Bergenia and Mukdenia. This amazing hybrid was accomplished by Terra Nova® Nurseries, with Bergenia fertilized by Mukdenia 'Crimson Fans'. Nova™ 'Flame' combines some of the best qualities of both parents, with the lustrous leathery leaf of Bergenia with the delicate and reddish margins of Mukdenia. Because the leaves are thicker than those of Mukdenia, they last longer into late fall, with their lovely color intensifying with the cooler temperatures. The flowers resemble those of Bergenia, with bright pink flower clumps on reddish stems in April and May.
Japanese Fiber Banana has glossy banana leaves up to 6' long in one season. The fruits of Musa basjoo are not edible, but the plant overwinters in a sheltered location if heavily, deeply mulched (the one time mulch volcanoes are appropriate...). Per Bruce Crawford, the common name is deceptive because Japanese Fiber Banana is actually native to China.
The dark green highly aromatic foliage of Northern Bayberry is semi-evergreen. It forms large colonies eventually. Myrica pensylvanica is especially useful in dry, salty sites. Native to northeast where it is primarily found growing along the eastern coast. Gray waxy fruit borne on female plants (dioecious) in late summer and remain through the winter so grouping several plants will increase chance of having a male plant to establish fruit set. Myrica pensylvanica is not sexed. (New name is Morella pensylvanica.)
Per Yale University: "American colonists boiled the berries to extract the sweet-smelling wax coating, which they used to make clean-burning candles. The wax coating on the northern bayberry fruit is indigestible for most birds, but a few species have adapted to be able to eat it, notably the yellow-rumped warbler and tree swallow in North America. As the wax is very energy-rich, this enables the yellow-rumped warbler to spend winter further north in cooler climates than any other American warbler if bayberries are present. The seeds are then dispersed in the birds’ droppings.
Mexican Feather Grass has delicate, hair-like green foliage which is topped by airy tan seedheads in early summer. It is great in mixed containers. Formerly named Stipa. Plants may go dormant during periods of summer drought. Bruce Crawford of The Rutgers Gardens has had it survive in North Jersey, so maybe it's hardier in the ground in a well-drained site.
‘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.
PRN Preferred: Compact habit plus very showy large blue flower spikes for an extended display.
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.
‘Purple Haze’ Catmint produces a multitude of lavender blue flower spikes, displayed on a mat of aromatic grayish green foliage. The bloom period of Nepeta x ‘Purple Haze’ is very long, especially if cut back after the first heavy flowering. This member of the Mint family is attractive to a variety of pollinators and unattractive to deer and rabbits. An introduction from Terra Nova® Nurseries. ‘Purple Haze’ would make a beautiful hanging basket plant because of its prostrate habit.
Montauk Daisy has single white daisies that are borne profusely in September and October over glossy succulent-like foliage. New growth may be cut back slightly in spring to maintain plant compactness and encourage bushy form Very salt tolerant. It went from Nipponanthemum to Chrysanthemum and then to Leucanthemum but we are staying with Nipponanthemum, to avoid confusion!
Green Gable™ ('NSUHH') Black Gum or Tupelo is a really amazing selection of this native tree. It has the classic brilliant red fall color we know and love, but its habit is a huge departure from regular Nyssas, with an upright pyramidal shape and extremely uniform branching. With its lustrous green foliage in summer, excellent fall color and perfect silhouette in winter, it is clearly the best answer we've seen to the Pear requests people still have. Alex Neubauer of Hidden Hollow Nursery in Tennessee found this exciting native, which is primarily a male form (but probably polygamo-dioecious, which means it will infrequently bear some fruit). Wet site and salt tolerant. 2023 PHS Gold Medal Plant.
PRN Preferred: This tree has a wonderful upright habit and consistantly beautiful fall color.
‘Siskiyou’ Evening Primrose has excellent tolerance of dry gravelly sites, and its vigorous spreading habit makes it a good groundcover for tough sunny sites. The finely dissected green foliage is crowned in summer by soft pink saucer shaped flowers which open in the evening. Since Oenothera berlanderi ‘Siskiyou’ blooms during the night, it is attractive to moths as well as butterflies. A good choice for green roofs, rock gardens and road sides, but it can be an aggressive groundcover.
The bronzy leaves of Oenothera fruticosa 'Fireworks' ('Fyrverkeri') are topped by bright yellow flowers in June and July. This Evening Primrose forms a burgundy rosette in winter. 'Fireworks' is a more compact cultivar, featuring red stems and red flower buds before opening. Sphinx moths and other pollinator enjoy visiting this native plant. Each flower is short-lived, but flowers bloom in succession over a fairly long period of two months.
Dwarf Mondo Grass is an excellent evergreen groundcover between stepping stones because it has good tolerance for moderate foot traffic. The delicate strap-like leaves are dark green and very uniform. This plant is a good grass-like substitute for lawns in shady areas. Dwarf Mondo Grass is very useful for water run off in shade, as well as water absorption on shady green roofs. A member of the Asparagus family (as you can tell by the occasional blue fruit).
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'.
‘Drops of Jupiter’ has a combination of beautiful flowers over colorful foliage. The late summer flower clumps are mauve pink with purple calyxes, and are very attractive to butterflies and other pollinators. The mat of foliage is chartreuse yellow, providing a nice contrast. Origanum x ‘Drops of Jupiter’ loves full sun and well-drained soils, so it can help with erosion issues as it expands. An introduction by Walters Gardens, ‘Drops of Jupiter’ is edible but not as flavorful as the regular herb Oregano.
'Sasaba' Holly Tea Olive has dramatic dark green deeply incised leaves on a compact, shade loving plant. Dr. Michael Dirr calls it "A plant handler's worst nightmare" because the leaves are very stiff and prickly. Of course, that is what makes it a wonderful evergreen for deer country. The insignificant flowers appear in November and are highly, deliciously fragrant. There is a lovely large plant at the Scott Arboretum, home of so many specimen plants. Slow growing, with good cold tolerance.
Cinnamon Fern has medium green somewhat coarse foliage. The fertile cinnamon-colored fronds appear in early spring, and very upright. Osmunda cinnamomea is very wet site tolerant, and a deciduous creeper. Osmunda fiber used in the potting of orchids comes from the roots of these ferns. Great in rain gardens.
Royal Fern is a tall broad fronded fern that thrives in wet, shady sites. At 48", it towers over other native ferns and stands out because of its coarse open texture. Osmunda regalis is a deciduous spreader, slowly colonizing moist woodland settings. When provided with consistent moisture, Royal Fern ever tolerates full sun. An excellent tall addition to stream sides, ponds, rain gardens and wet meadows. Osmunda fiber used in the potting of orchids comes from the fibrous roots of these ferns.
Sourwood has strands of bell-shaped white flowers in mid to late summer and brilliant red fall foliage. Oxydendrum arboreum is a wonderful tree for honeybees, producing excellent flavored honey. Leaves have a sour taste, hence the common name. This is a multi-season beauty from the Ericaceae. Try planting it with other acid loving plants like Azaleas and Rhododendrons.