Irish Moss forms an evergreen mat of mossy foliage that is covered with tiny white flowers in May and June. Prefers good drainage.
Coral Bark Willow ('Chermesina') has stunning orange to red bark coloration in winter on its first year stems, so in order to keep it looking its best, this is a Salix which needs to be cut back hard every spring. The summer foliage is the classic narrow green willow leaf we all know, but its color in the winter landscape will really stand out. Originally introduced from Germany. Wet site tolerant.
'Mt. Aso' Japanese Pussy Willow has beautiful bright pink male catkins appearing in March and April. The fuzzy flowers slowly elongate as they open, ending up almost 2" long by the time the pollen is exposed. Pussy Willows make great cut branches for forcing in January and February, and 'Mt Aso' is a particularly showy form. It is named for Japan's largest active volcano. Cut back the branches to 2' every 2 or 3 years to maintain good catkin production.
PRN Preferred: The prettiest and most showy of the Pussy Willows.
'Swizzlestick' Corkscrew Willow has twisted, upward-reaching orange-yellow stems that display themselves beautifully in fall, winter and spring. The narrow green leaves are attractive all summer, turning yellow in the fall. Salix 'Swizzlestick' thrives in wet locations and is also salt tolerant. The original plant was found and named by Darryll Probst, who saw it on a roadside and took cuttings. Cut back hard in spring to promote attractive new branches. They also make a great addition to cut flower arrangements.
PRN Preferred: Really fantastic as winter cut branches, for both color and structure.
'Black and Blue' Anise-Scented Sage starts blooming in July and continues until the first frosts. The showy flowers are a deep cobalt blue, set off by black calyces. They are produced in great numbers on long spikes above shiny green foliage. Like other large flowered Salvias, 'Black and Blue' is an amazing hummingbird and Sphinx Moth magnet. Give it plenty of room in the late summer garden, as it is a sprawler. With lots of mulch, Salvia 'Black and Blue' has been known to overwinter in Zone 6 and 7.
‘Purple Knockout’ Lyre-leaf Sage is a native Sage which has bright purple basal foliage, especially in spring and early summer. The flower spikes are largely inconspicuous but attract bees and butterflies. Salvia lyrata ‘Purple Knockout’ seeds readily and can form a dense groundcover in a sunny location, much like purple Ajugas do in shade. ‘Purple Knockout’ performs best in well drained sites, and with its showy basal foliage would make a good green roof candidate.
‘Bumbleberry’ Meadow Sage is a new color break from Walters Gardens, producing deep fuchsia pink flower spikes in May and June. The calyxes from which the flowers emerge are dark purple, producing a very colorful effect. The habit is compact, so this Salvia performs well in tight spaces and containers. Deadhead after first bloom flush and enjoy a longer flowering period. Part of the ‘Bumble’ Series,’ as in bumble bees.
PRN Preferred: A beautiful color introduction, with fuchia pike flower spikes on a compact plant.
‘Bumbleblue’ Meadow Sage is one of the ‘Bumble’ Series of Salvias from Walters Gardens. The flower spikes are a deep clear blue, covering the compact plant profusely from late spring through early summer. Pollinators of all kinds are drawn to Salvia nemorosa ‘Bumbleblue’ when in bloom, and deer and rabbits leave it alone. This is a good plant for sunny containers as well as garden borders.
Bumblesnow Meadow Sage is part of the ‘Bumble’ series (as in bumblebee) from Walters Gardens. Salvia ‘Bumblesnow’ produces lots of pure white flower spikes in May and June. The habit is compact and the green foliage is disease free and deer resistant. If deadheaded soon after blooming, Salvia ‘Bumblesnow’ will lightly rebloom. Like all Salvias, ‘Bumblesnow’ is a great pollinator magnet.
'Caradonna' Hybrid Sage has violet-blue flowers on tall dark purple flower stems in late spring to early summer, making a very showy combination. From Zillmer Plants in Germany and introduced into this country by super plant dudes, Dale Hendricks and Ron Strasko while at North Creek Nurseries.
PRN Preferred: Heidi's favorite Salvia because the tall dark purple spikes are so showy.
Marcus® ('Haeumanarc') Hybrid Sage has violet-blue flowers on a very compact form, like a short Salvia 'May Night'. From Haussermann Nursery in Germany. It reblooms well when deadheaded.
An introduction of the Walters’ Gardens FASHIONISTA® collection of couture perennial Meadow Sages, Salvia pratensis ‘Moulin Rouge’ produces dark rose to fuchsia-pink flowers that bloom profusely from May to July. This variety of Meadow Sage is known for having the most stunning, dark pink blooms available for perennial sages, which are attractive not only to butterflies and bees, but the occasional hummingbird as well. This selection makes a wonderful matrix when planted in a mass, performing best in full sun and preferring average soil moisture. As with many Meadow Sages, Salvia pratensis ‘Moulin Rouge’ tends to be deer and rabbit resistant, as well as heat and drought tolerant, making it a hardy and dependable addition to a variety of gardens.
'Adams' American Elder is a fruit-bearing native with a long history of use in our country. The green pinnate leaves are borne on long pithy stems which grow in a suckering clump. The flowers are large flat white cymes blooming in June and July, covering the tips of the arching branches. They are followed by purple black edible fruit in August and September. S. 'Adams' was selected by William Adams of NY for the size and quantity of the fruit, which has been an excellent source of wine, jam, and pies. Sambucus tolerates both wet and dry sites, and provides an important source of fall food for birds. It would be more attractive as an addition to the landscape if cut back hard every spring.
Sanguisorba officinalis has been utilized in herb gardens for centuries, for its ornamental as well as its medicinal and culinary purposes. Known commonly as Greater Burnet, Sanguisorba officinalis is a clump-forming, hardy perennial with medium green, pinnately compound foliage and interesting dark red to dark purple flowers on upright spikes from May to July. Both the young leaves as well as the flowers can be eaten in salads, soups, or a variety of other culinary preparations, where they are said to impart a mild cucumber flavor. Ironically, despite its human palatability, this plant tends to deter deer. Greater Burnet makes an excellent addition to the edible garden, as well as to the full sun perennial border, where it will happily self-seed if spent flowers are not removed.
Fragrant Valley™ ('SarSid1') Sweetbox is also a very uniform selection from Canada, but its compact, thick habit is much lower growing, and makes a wonderful low evergreen groundcover. Its fragrant white flowers appear in spring over dark green shiny leaves, and its disease-resistant and deer-resistant qualities make it ideal for shady dry sites. 2021 PHS Gold Medal Plant.
Common Sassafras is a lovely small native tree that is hard to find in the trade because of the difficulty moving it B&B. We grow it in containers for that reason, and love its variable multi-shaped leaves. The flowers appear in early April and are an attractive chartreuse yellow, making a show before the leaves appear. The fall color varies from yellow to orange bronze. The root bark has been used traditionally to make an interesting tea or root beer. If you have a mature female tree, be sure to look closely at the summer fruit, which is one of the prettiest we've ever seen, with red pedicels and orange yellow bases on purple fruits, looking like match-sticks. Sassafras is a host plant for various butterflies. Prefers good moisture and organic matter. Sassafras, like Betula, is a pioneer species, so it performs well in disturbed sites.
'Carousel' Little Bluestem is a more compact version of our lovely native grass, with beautiful blue-green summer foliage which turns amazing shades of purple and bronze in fall. The delicate seedheads appear in August and September, and are especially showy when backlit by evening sunlight. Plant in excellent drainage for the best performance. Found by Donald Boehm of Illinois, and introduced by Chicagoland Grows®, so you know it's cold tolerant. All Little Bluestems attract butterflies when in bloom and songbirds when in seed.
‘Chameleon’ Little Bluestem is a chance seedling found in Hantay, France. The parent from which it sported was Schizachyrium ‘The Blues’. The foliage of Schizachyrium scoparium ‘Chameleon’ has green and white stripes in summer, which take on shades of pink, red and light purple in late summer and fall. The name of this exciting new Little Bluestem refers to its color changing characteristics. Introduced into the US by Hoffman Nursery. Must have good drainage.
‘Prairie Blues’ Little Bluestem is tall and upright, with attractive gray blue foliage in summer. Schizachyrium scoparium ‘Prairie Blues’ takes on shades of rosy orange and purple as temperatures drop in late summer and early fall. The silvery seedheads persist on the tan stems well into the winter, feeding and sheltering birds and small mammals. ‘Prairie Blues’ performs best in dry and well-drained sites. Found originally in Missouri.
‘Standing Ovation’ Little Bluestem is an introduction by those talented folks at North Creek Nurseries. The steel blue blades are wider than most Little Bluestem. With thicker stems, the habit is reliably upright throughout the summer, fall, and winter. The summer colors of blue with hints of purple turn to spectacular shades of lavender, red, and orange in the fall. The airy seedheads are beautiful, especially when backlit by afternoon light, and the light tan winter color is displayed impressively on the upright strong stems. We find that it tolerates more irrigation than we expected, although its ideal conditions are those of dry sterile sites. One of the native plants chosen by Piet Oudolf for the newly planted meadow garden at Delaware Botanic Gardens.
PRN Preferred: The multi-colored foliage is showy from spring through fall, and the growth habit is both upright and tall.
'Twilight Zone' Little Bluestem is a tall native grass which thrives in dry, sterile locations. This selection was introduced by Walters Gardens because of its vivid coloration, which is visible starting in mid summer, earlier than many Schizachyriums. The leaves and stems sport shades of silver, mauve and purple which become more purple and burgundy as the weather cools. The seedheads appear in early fall and are both beautiful and a source of food for birds. Dry sites are critical to keeping 'Twilight Zone' upright.
Hoary Skullcap blooms in mid summer, producing floriferous racemes of deep blue two-lipped flowers on tall square-edged stems (mint family, of course). Scutellaria incarnata is an adaptable native that looks best in natural settings like meadows, stream edges and the edges of the woods. Hoary Skullcap is drought tolerant when established, but also thrives in moist rich soils. Scutellaria is attractive to pollinators but not to deer.
Introduced in 2022 as a top performing Hybrid Skullcap, Scutellaria x ‘Appalachian Blues’ is a shade-adaptable perennial that produces large, purple-and-white bicolored flowers between May and June and will continue to bloom sporadically throughout the summer. Flowers are attractive to various bee species, blooming for several weeks and growing to an ultimate height of 24” over top of deep green leaves with darkened margins. This particular selection was bred by West Virginian horticulturist Peter Haus as a cross between Scutellaria ovata and Scutellaria serrata, keeping the clumping habit and shade tolerance of the latter, the ultimate height and ability to handle dry sites of the former, and the pollination services of both.
'Blue Spruce' Stonecrop grows in a mat of silvery-blue narrow foliage reminiscent of blue Spruce needles. The small yellow flowers appear in July and this Sedum must have a dry, well-drained site. Semi-evergreen.
Sieboldi Stonecrop has bluish green round fleshy leaves which turn shades of dark pink in the fall. The flower clusters also appear in late summer and fall, in shades of rose pink. Sedum sieboldi makes a showy low growing ground cover, as the foliage is very regular and neat. The habit is weeping when in a container or on a wall. Excellent addition to dry rock gardens and very cold tolerant. (New name is Hylotelephium).
'Dragon's Blood' Sedum or Stonecrop is an excellent groundcover for sunny dry locations. The orange-bronze succulent foliage spreads out to form a tight evergreen mat. Useful for lining paths, rock gardens and gentle dry slopes, Sedum 'Dragon's Blood' even tolerates dog traffic. The flowers appear in late summer in attractive clumps of rose red, providing food for bees and other pollinators. As the days shorten, 'Dragon's Blood' takes on darker red foliage coloration.
‘John Creech’ Caucasian Stonecrop was brought to the US from Siberia by Dr. John Creech of the National Arboretum in 1971. The rounded flat fleshy leaves are paired along the ground hugging stems, forming a thick evergreen mat in dry, poor soil sites. The foliage is green in summer but takes on shades of burgundy in fall and winter, the flower clusters of Sedum spurium ‘John Creech’ appear in mid summer in shades of pinkish red. This is a great Sedum for green roofs because of its excellent heat and cold tolerance.
The red tinged evergreen foliage of 'Red Carpet' Two Row Stonecrop turns burgundy in winter, especially in full sun. There is some production of red flowers in summer. Sedum spurium 'Red Carpet' produces a thick mat in dry locations, and works beautifully in roof gardens.
Wild Stonecrop is an unusual Sedum in that it is shade and tolerates more moisture than most Sedums, as well as native. The green succulent foliage is fine, often forming dense groundcover mats. The delicate starry white flowers hover above the leaves in April and May, attracting butterflies and native pollinators. Like other stonecrops, Sedum ternatum is deer and rabbit resistant.
'Coral Reef' Stonecrop has very attractive round shaped flat green leaves which take on shades of copper and bronze in fall and winter. The leaves are close together on the stems, producing an unusual texture which looks interesting in mixed containers or in masses. An added element is the delicate white to pink flowers which appear above the foliage in July and August. 'Coral Reef' works well in mixed containers and green roofs, as well as in groundcover mass plantings.
'Autumn Joy' ('Herbstfreude') Showy Stonecrop has rose-pink flowers, blue foliage and needs a dry site to perform best. The spent flowerheads remain an attractive tan rose color. Sedum x 'Autumn Joy' was introduced by Georg Arends of Germany. Our favorite common name for it, 'Pink Broccoli', comes from writer Ruth Clausen. We formerly listed 'Autumn Joy' as deer resistant but based on our own experience with have decided it may not be.
Part of the Rock ‘N Grow® collection by Walters Gardens, Inc., Sedum x ‘Back in Black’ is the perfect dark-colored Stonecrop to mix among lighter blooming summer and fall perennials as an accent in the border or rock garden. Large clusters of rosy, garnet flowerheads begin to emerge in August, contrasting against the dark purple-black succulent foliage. If left to persist on the plant, seedheads provide textural interest to the winter landscape, and may be utilized as a food source for birds. A low-maintenance and drought tolerant perennial, Sedum x ‘Back in Black’ is a great option for xeriscaping and waterwise gardens. Sedum x ‘Back in Black’ is the 2021 recipient of the National Garden Bureau Green Thumb Award.
'Dazzleberry' Stonecrop was developed by Chris Hansen, and is the original cultivar of Sunsparkler® Series. The semi-evergreen foliage makes a beautiful blue-green mat, over which hover the vivid raspberry-pink flower clusters. Sedum x 'Dazzleberry' blooms from mid summer into early fall. Because of its long season of interest, 'Dazzleberry' makes an excellent plant for mixed containers, as well as a good groundcover for sunny dry locations.
PRN Preferred: The mat-forming blue-green foliage is topped in late summer and early fall by showy raspberry pink flower clusters. Great groundcover for dry sunny locations.
‘Firecracker’ Stonecrop is part of the Sunsparkler® series of groundcover Sedums hybridized by Chris Hansen. Sedum 'Firecracker' produces burgundy red fine foliage all summer. It is topped with hot pink flower clumps in late summer and early fall. The round succulent leaves become more intense in color as the days shorten. A good choice for rock gardens and containers in sunny locations.
'Little Miss Sunshine' Stonecrop blooms heavily in early summer, producing lots of bright yellow spiky flower clumps covering the lustrous green succulent leaves. The foliage is delicately toothed, and 'Little Miss Sunshine' slowly expands to make a low attractive mat. Excellent for rock gardens, winter containers and roof gardens, this groundcover Sedum is very showy in bloom and low maintenance the rest of the year.
‘Night Embers’ Autumn Stonecrop starts blooming in late summer and is topped with mauve pink clusters into the fall. The succulent foliage is a very showy dark purple, held on stiff upright stems. Sedum x ‘Night Embers’ must be in a dry location to perform well, so rock gardens are a perfect location. Another improved plant option from Walters Gardens.
‘Steel the Show’ Stonecrop is a lovely groundcover Sedum with delicate steel blue succulent leaves and a tight, dense habit. The silvery foliage is covered with bright pink star-shaped flowers in early fall, providing food for butterflies and other pollinators. Sedum x ‘Steel the Show’ is one of the latest blooming Sedums, and performs best in sunny well-drained sites. Deer and rabbit resistant.
‘Cherry Tart’ Stonecrop comes from Chris Hansen’s Sunsparkler® series of showy Sedums. The succulent foliage keeps its shade of reddish purple from late spring well into the fall. Sedum x Sunsparkler® ‘Cherry Tart’ is crowned with large clumps of bright pink flowers in late summer, attracting butterflies and pollinators. The groundcover habit makes ‘Cherry Tart’ a good addition to rock gardens and dry perennial borders.
'Lime Zinger' Stonecrop is a new addition to the Sunsparkler® series of groundcover Sedums. The foliage has apple-green leaves which are attractively edged with rosy red margins. Clusters of soft pink flowers hover above the compact foliage in mid to late summer. Sedum x 'Lime Zinger' comes from the breeding work of Chris Hansen, and would be a showy addition to rock gardens and green roofs.
‘Vera Jamison’ Stonecrop was found in England by Vera Jamison as a spontaneous cross in her garden. The round flat leaves start as grayish green and turn deep burgundy as the sun grows stronger. The stems add to this beauty in shades of purple, and the late summer flower clusters are dusky pink. Excellent for rock gardens and mixed containers. (New name is Hylotelephium).
'Cobweb' Hens and Chicks add year-round interest to rock gardens, containers and troughs. It's perfectly round succulent buttons are covered with silver netting just like cobwebs. The pink flowers appear on 6" stalks above the rosettes. The common name "House Leek" actually refers to its ancient use as a plant to plug "leaks" in thatched roofs. Prefers dry sites.
Autumn Moor Grass is a good adaptable short grass that produces chartreuse-green fine foliage topped by delicate creamy seedheads in late summer. It is happy in both sun and partial shade, and tolerates dry sites. Most effective in large sweeps in the landscape, especially since Sesleria stays green well into late fall.
Silene caroliniana, also known as Wild Pink, is a semi-evergreen groundcover that produces eye-catching clusters of bright pink flowers starting in May and lasting into June. Phlox-like, five-petalled flowers attract bees, butterflies, nocturnal moths, and occasionally hummingbirds. Although this plant likes full morning sun, it prefers partial shade in the afternoon, and can be quite drought and dry soil tolerant. Wild Pink makes a great addition to the rock garden or at the front of cottage or pollinator garden, where it assumes a clumping and lightly mat-forming habit. While Silene caroliniana is native to much of the central and eastern United States, it is considered endangered in Florida.
‘Short and Sweet’ Wild Pink blooms heavily in April and May, producing bright pink 5 petaled flowers on short delicate stems above the carpet of leaves. Silene ‘Short and Sweet’ makes an effective groundcover for sunny and shady sites with good drainage. When in bloom, this produces a quantity of nectar for pollinators and hummingbirds. A good addition to rock gardens and green roofs.
Sisyrinchium angustifolium 'Lucerne' has blue flowers with yellow eyes and blooms most of the summer. This Blue Eyed Grass tolerates dry and salty sites very well and the flowers only open on sunny days.
Solidago caesia is a native, summer blooming perennial with arching, blue-green to purple-green stems that produces showy clusters of golden yellow flowers from September into October that are attractive to a multitude of pollinators. Bluestem Goldenrod thrives in woodland conditions with dry to mesic soils and can handle partial sun or partial shade, making it a great addition to the edges of the wildlife or shade garden where it may still receive a few hours of sunlight daily. Solidago caesia can tolerate some drought, and generally tends to deter both deer and rabbits. Bluestem Goldenrod is a larval host species for the Wavy-lined Emerald moth. Seedheads that remain on the plant following the bloom period are a food source for songbirds such as the American Goldfinch and Indigo Bunting in late fall and early winter. Flowers make an excellent addition to seasonal bouquets, and can be harvested for both fresh and dried cut flower arrangements.
Solidago odora, known commonly as Sweet Goldenrod, or Anise-scented Goldenrod, is a native perennial with fragrant, dark green foliage that is topped by golden yellow, arching plumes in late summer. From July to October, the showy display of flowers invites a variety of bee and butterfly species to the garden. Flowers also make an excellent addition to both fresh and dried cut arrangements. Sweet Goldenrod’s ability to handle more shady conditions than other species in the Solidago genus makes it adaptable to partially shaded woodland sites. Solidago odora can tolerate clay soils, as well as poor, dry soils, and once established can tolerate drought conditions. Songbirds will eat the seedheads if left to persist on the plant following its bloom period. Due to the presence of volatile oils which give it its sweet licorice-like fragrance, the leaves of Sweet Goldenrod can be used in tea, and in fact were utilized by colonists as part of a tea substitute following the Boston Tea Party. Solidago odora was declared the Official State Herb of Delaware in 1996, and is considered a threatened species in New Hampshire, Ohio, and Vermont.
‘Golden Rockets’ Goldenrod is a seedling selection introduced by Jellito Seed. Solidago rigida ‘Golden Rockets’ produces dense rounded umbels of bright gold flowers in late summer and early fall. The habit is compact and slowly spreading (rhizomatous), making it a good choice for mixed borders, meadows and sunny banks. Since ‘Golden Rockets’ has excellent salt tolerance, it functions well near roads and walkways. Like all Goldenrods, this is a very important food source for native bee’s and pollinators.
'Fireworks' Rough Stemmed Goldenrod has bright yellow flowers in late summer on a compact slowly spreading plant. Selected by Ken Moore of the NC Botanical Garden and introduced by Niche Gardens. Try Solidago rugosa 'Fireworks' as a cut flower; it is great! An important source of seed for winter birds.
'Solar Cascade' Short's Goldenrod is a named selection of our rarest native Goldenrod. Found only in parts of Kentucky and Indiana, it has great drought and sterile soil tolerance. 'Solar Cascade' was chosen for its showy, cascading yellow flowers, as well as its long bloom period in late summer and early fall. It is flourishing in the parking median at the Cincinnati Zoo; 'Solar Cascade' loves the heat and lean soil providing zoo visitors with weeks of blooms. The green foliage is highly disease resistant, so a mass planting of 'Solar Cascade' stays attractive right up until the end of the season. Since it tends to stay in a clump instead of suckering, it also works well in mixed perennial boarders. Hummingbirds and insects love it.
'Golden Fleece' Goldenrod has golden yellow flowers from mid August to October over semi-evergreen foliage. This Solidago spreads to form a tough adaptable groundcover with some shade tolerance. Another wonderful introduction from the Mt. Cuba folks. Solidago sphacelata ‘Golden Fleece’ was a chance seedling found in Eden, North Carolina and brought to Dr. Richard Lighty for Mt. Cuba’s evaluation. Winter birds eat the seeds.
PRN Preferred: This short Goldenrod is shade tolerant.
The lemon-yellow flowers of 'Little Lemon' Goldenrod appear in late summer over extremely compact, finely textured foliage. Solidago x 'Little Lemon' was bred originally as a good florist pot plant.
PRN Preferred: Colorful long lasting flowers on a tidy, compact plant.
The new leaves of 'Sem' False Spirea emerge orange-red, set off by chartreuse yellow older foliage in spring and early summer. Large fluffy white panicles start in July when the foliage has turned a uniform light green. Texture of plant is light and airy with delicate pinnate leaf form. Suckering habit.
'Indian Steel' Yellow Prairie Grass has 3' steel-blue foliage that is crowned in mid to late summer by 5' showy yellow and orange flower spikes. These turn a beautiful orange-bronze in the fall, as does the foliage, and the effect in mass is stunning. Sorghastrum n. 'Indian Steel' prefers dry sites, and is a very important source of food in late summer for grassland birds.
The flowers of Indian Pink are bright red on the outside and lemon-yellow on the inside. A striking combination, especially since the petals curl outward at the ends. Indian Pink blooms in early summer and looks stunning in a mass. Likes moist sites, but the earlier you plant it in the summer, the better it survives the winter. 2023 PHS Gold Medal Plant.
‘Little Redhead’ Indian Pink is a selection by Hans Hansen of Walters Gardens of one of our most beautiful native wildflowers. Spigelia marilandica ‘Little Red Head’ was chosen for its tight upright habit, and it has a plethora of vivid red tubular flowers with bright yellow interiors. This is a hummingbird favorite, blooming for an extended period during the summer. In order to get good overwintering, Spigelias are best if planted in spring or early summer.
'Tor' Birchleaf Spirea is a little-used tough plant with several attractive attributes. The white flowers appear in compact dome-like clusters in May, above increasingly dark green clean foliage. The foliage turns to lovely shades of gold, bronze, and red in fall, and is one of the showiest Spireas by far for fall interest. Our friend, John Story first brought it to our attention for its fall color, and since it is deer-resistant as well as very hardy, it deserves more usage.
'Anthony Waterer' Spiraea has new growth that emerges reddish-purple in spring, turning to light green in summer and wine-red in fall. Flowers are rose-red and bloom for an extended period starting in June. Summer trimming increases the flower show. 'Anthony Waterer' shows good salt tolerance.
Candy Corn® ('NCSX1') Spiraea is a very showy addition to Spring Meadows's Double Play® series. The foliage emerges in early spring in shades of red, turning to yellow and orange as the leaves mature. The pinkish purple flowers appear in May and June. If trimmed lightly after blooming, Spiraea Candy Corn® will continue to produce to produce the beautiful contrasting new growth. Spiraea Double Play® Candy Corn® comes from the great breeding work done at NC State.
PRN Preferred: The multi-colored new growth is even more beautiful than the early summer flowers. Trim after blooming to get a reflush of new growth.
Magic Carpet™ Spirea has deep pink flowers that start in May and continue through summer if trimmed after blooming. The new red foliage ages to chartreuse. It has great fall foliage, in shades of yellow and orange. Introduced by David Tristram of the U.K.
'Neon Flash' Spirea has rose-red flowers in May through July with new foliage emerging with a purple tinge before turning green in summer. It reblooms well, especially if trimmed after blooming. An improved form of Anthony Waterer, it was introduced by Barry Yinger and Brookside Gardens.
Double Play® Blue Kazoo® ('SMSMBK') Spiraea produces dusty blue foliage, with bronzy new growth in spring and early summer. The delicate white flower clusters are produced in May and June, and make an attractive compliment to the bluish green leaves. In the fall the foliage of Spiraea media Double Play® Blue Kazoo® takes on attractive shades of red. A recent introduction from Spring Meadows, this Spiraea would be useful as a colorful low hedge or as a foundation plant.
'Ogon' Spirea has white flowers in March and April, with small narrow bright yellow leaves which turn to bronze in fall, odd but showy. It does best with repeated pruning. The deer resistance is excellent. This is our favorite Spiraea by far.
Vanhoutte Spiraea is a classic Victorian garden staple, blooming reliably every year is April and May, while adding graceful arching green branches to the landscape in summer. When in bloom in mass, Spiraea x vanhouttei looks like "a cresting wave of white", to quote our sister Louise Gross. Blooming on new growth, Vanhoutte Spiraea performs very well to periodic trimming, and can be used to make a tough but showy hedge, as well as a stand alone specimen. The small leaves are fine textured and very clean. Resulting from a cross between S. trilobata and S. cantoniensis.
Prairie Dropseed is a green clumping grass with airy delicate panicles held high above the foliage. The fall color is a wonderful orange, changing to cream in winter. It is extremely tolerant of dry sites, and it has a wonderful flowery fragrance to boot when planted in mass. An important seed source for winter birds.
PRN Preferred: What other grass combines beautiful airy seed panicles, showy fall color and great fragrance?
Giant Sacaton is a big warm season grass that is readily adaptable to a variety of soil types. Sporobolus wrightii produces narrow green blades that make a 4’ clump, out of which come 5’ silvery inflorescences in late summer. The seedheads make a striking addition to fresh or dried flower arrangements. Giant Sacaton originated in the Southwest, where it is an important food source for livestock (grazing) and wildlife (seeds). This is an excellent native replacement for Miscanthus.
Stachys spathulata, known as Dwarf Betony, is an adorable and underutilized South African perennial groundcover that produces an abundance of cheery rose-purple flowers spikes from June into July. Dwarf Betony’s diminutive form typically reaches only 4-8” in height, although when planted along the border or in the rock garden, it can make for a lovely groundcover that attracts butterflies. While it is capable of handling some light shade especially in hot climates, this plant performs and flowers best in full sun. Crinkled, dark-green leaves with scalloped margins add texture to the garden when the plant is not in bloom. Like others in the Stachys genus, Dwarf Betony is mostly deer and rabbit resistant.
'Hummelo' Alpine Betony was named after Piet Oudolf's hometown. The low growing rosette of textured green leaves is topped by showy spikes of lavender-pink flowers in mid summer for an extended period. Stachys 'Hummelo' is a tough, carefree beauty and used extensively on the High Line Park in NYC. If you haven't gone there yet, go soon! 2019 Perennial Plant of the Year.
'Pink Cotton Candy' Betony has fat bright pink flower spikes held on tall stems above the green basal rosette. The cotton candy pink flowers are produced for a long period of time in early to mid summer, and are tall enough to make a good cut flower. Found by Richard Hawke of the Chicago Botanic Garden.
‘Summer Crush’ Betony produces tall spikes of delicate two-lipped pink and white flowers in June and July. The bicolored flowers make good cut flowers because of their long leafless stems, emerging from dark green wrinkled basal foliage. Stachys x ‘Summer Crush’ is rhizomatous, so it can be used as an attractive deer resistant groundcover. An introduction from Brent Horvath of Intrinsic Perennials.
A fast growing shrub with delicate maple-like leaves, Cutleaf Stephanandra makes a very tough groundcover for banks, masses and shady locations. The new growth is bronze, turning to a clear light green. Flowers are an inconspicuous ivory white in June. It is used as a bank stabilizer at UVA.
Korean Stewartia features white Camellia-like flowers which appear in June. Based on our experience, the flower of S. koreana is more upright and slightly larger than S. pseudocamellia. Stewartia has exfoliating bark in shades of tan and gray and beautiful burgundy-red fall foliage. A wonderful plant in all four seasons.
Japanese Stewartia is almost identical to Stewartia koreana in habit and exfoliating back characteristics. The only difference we have observed is that Stewartia pseudocamellia's lovely white flowers appear somewhat later in June, and are a little bit smaller. The Camellia-like flowers are accented by showy yellow stamens, and are produced for several weeks. They are a source of pollen for a number of native pollinators, and are followed by interesting printed brown seed capsules in fall. The fall foliage is shades of yellow, red and purple, and the patchy multi-colored bark is beautiful all winter.
'Peachie's Pick' Stokes Aster was found by Mississippi plants woman Peachie Saxton. Stokesia 'Peachie's Pick' is a compact version of this long blooming native, with large lavender blue flowers. Stokes Asters flower virtually all summer, especially when spent blooms are deadheaded. When established, Stokesia Peachie's Pick is surprisingly drought tolerant and overwinters best in well drained locations.
'Evening Light' Japanese Snowbell is an exciting new color break for this lovely small ornamental tree. The leaves emerge for a glossy purple in spring, followed be graceful hanging white bells. The growth habit is slow, resulting in an upright, vase shaped tree which fits well into small, sunny spots in the garden. When Styrax 'Evening Light' is in bloom, pollinators flock to the fragrant flowers. Found as a chance seeding by Henry Kolster of the Netherlands.
PRN Preferred: The purple spring leaves make a really showy setting for the multitude of delicate white bells.
Magical® Mandy (‘Kolmaman’) Snowberry produces small pink flowers in early summer all along the stems. These are followed by large soft pink berries which resemble pearls. The fruits of Symphoricarpos x Magical® Mandy appear in early fall and persist into early winter, making a showy addition to the autumn landscape. Magical® Mandy makes a dramatic hedge for fall, or can be used as a specimen plant. The heavily berried branches are great in cut flower arrangements. Hybridized by Kolster BV of the Netherlands.
Proud Berry® ('Sofie') Coralberry is an improved version of Amethyst™ Coralberry, bred by Catharina Hoekstra-Arisz of the Netherlands. This lovely upright shrub produces round neat foliage in shades of blue green, which makes an attractive backdrop for the pink bell-shaped flowers in late summer. The showy large berries are produced in fall in vivid shades of pink. The color deepens as the weather cools, and the remaining fruit often provides food for birds in late winter. Symphoricarpos Proven Winners® Color Choice® Proud Berry® fruits most prolifically after an early spring pruning.
Summer Charm® (‘DTR124’) Pekin Lilac was introduced a long time ago by noted nurseryman Bill Wandell, but is still a great ornamental tree choice. Syringa pekinensis Summer Charm® is a subspecies of Syringa reticulata, with lustrous dark green foliage and lovely creamy white fragrant flowers in June. The panicles take on shades of pale yellow as they age, and they are followed by interesting brown seed capsules in clusters. An added interest comes in winter when Syringa Summer Charm® has amber exfoliating bark and a neat upright oval habit.
'Ivory Silk' Japanese Tree Lilac has creamy white flower clusters in June that are displayed on top of dark green lustrous foliage. Makes a lovely, summer-interest small tree. Bark on the branches is an attractive reddish-brown in winter. An introduction from Sheridan Nursery of Ontario, Canada. We grow them treeform only.
Proven Winners® Color Choice® Bloomerang® Dark Purple ('SMSJBP7') Lilac is a compact rebloomer, producing purple flower clumps in late spring and then again in late summer to early fall. The fragrant flowers are plentiful, attracting butterflies and pollinators. The leaves are small and neat, without the foliar problems of French Lilacs, and Syringa x Bloomerang Dark Purple can be pruned to make a neat, showy hedge as well as being used as a specimen.