Glossary of Terms

Companion Plants:
Plants which fit in well with designated plants. Aspects include size, color (flower or foliage), site condition (wet, moist, dry), light conditions (sun, partial shade, shade), growth habit, function (bank, stream side, deer resistant, salt tolerant).
Future Crop:
Expected Future Crop quantities are listed on our website and on our Current Availability.
Future Crop Ready Dates:
These dates are highly determined by the weather so they are approximate dates for future crops.
New Plants:
Plants that are either new to our production this year, or those which are being reintroduced into production after being unavailable for several years. These plants were not included in the current year’s catalog.
Similar Plants:
Plants which have certain characteristics which serve the same function as the original plant (deer resistant, native, flower or foliage color, . size, exposure, soil conditions, etc.).

The Advanced Search feature has been enhanced to allow users to search for ALL plants that meet their criteria OR only plants that are currently available. This will limit the results to only display options for plants that can immediately be purchased, helping to avoid customer disappointment (plant is not currently available). Please note: This will not include or account for Future Crops. Don’t forget, you may call the office to check on future crop ready dates. The new Inventory Status searchable tool will be just on the bottom of the Advanced Search page, just above the "Begin Search" button on the bottom of the page.

Plant Characteristics Search

Winter: December – February
Spring: March – May
Summer: June – August
Fall: September – November

Sun: Greater than 6 hours
Partial Shade/Shade Tolerant: Between 3 and 6 hours of direct sun
Full Shade: Less than 3 hours of direct sun
Dry soils: water moves rapidly through the soil; soil is moist for brief periods following precipitation.
Moist soils: hold adequate moisture through the year.
Sandy soils: Water moves through large pore spaces rapidly and the soil is typically lower in nutrients because the fast drainage washes out most of the available nutrients. Sandy soils also warm up and cool down relatively quickly from the air temperature changes, meaning growth in the spring will start quickly but cool nights in the autumn will make the perennials go into dormancy earlier as well. In general, perennials that prefer sandy soils are happy being in drier conditions and function well with little nutrients.
Wet soils: hold visible water for most of the year.
Flower: winter flowers or catkins
Foliage: plants whose foliage takes on attractive foliage colors in the winter months
Fruit: colorful fruit present in winter
Seedheads: attractive seedheads in winter
Structure: plants with unusual branch habits or interesting silhouettes
ZONE: (USDA Hardiness Zone)
The zones on our website are based on research performed and published by the USDA, resulting in their “USDA Hardiness Zone Map”. We list the zones for the coldest temperature which the specific plant will tolerate in normal Northeastern winter conditions.
Cut Branches:
Woody Plants which offer which are ornamental when brought indoors because of flowers, fruit or twig color.
Cut Flowers:
Herbaceous plants with flowers with long enough stems to be displayed in containers indoors. Includes dried flowers and grass seedheads.
Deer Resistant:
Plants which have sap or foliage which is very distasteful to deer. This refers to eating, not buck rubbing. Virtually no plant is deer proof, because in starvation conditions deer have been shown to eat almost any plant.
Erosion Control:
Plants whose fibrous root systems and branching habit make them able to stabilize soil on a slope or on sites periodically inundated with rain runoff.  These plants also improve water quality by keeping sediment and pollutants out of waterways.
Full Shade:
Less than 3 hours of direct sun.
Plants which spread by rhizomes, stolons, branches or roots to make an increasingly large patch which deters germination of unwanted seedlings. We classify perennials a groundcover if they are 18” or less having a spreading habit (rhizomes, stolons, rooting branches or roots) which makes an increasing large patch. We have noted in the text some taller perennials for use as a groundcover as a result of their vigorous spreading habit.
Habit: Compact
Identifies species or cultivars within a Genus that are smaller in size than the standard size.

Lawn Alternative: Standard grass lawns are not environmentally friendly. Turf grass requires frequent mowing, maintenance, fertilizer, and sufficient water. There are other lawn alternatives which are pollinator/wildlife friendly and some can even be walked on. Alternatives are also needed for where grass cannot grow, such as slopes or even to prevent foot traffic (Ex: Junipers). Additional research will be required to find the best option for your project.

Plants originating in the Eastern United States.
Rain Garden Plants:
A rain garden is a depressed area in the landscape that collects rainwater from a roof, patio, lawn, driveway or street, and allows water to soak into the ground. Planted mostly with shrubs, grasses and perennials with a focus on native plants, rain gardens can reduce runoff, help filter out pollutants and provide food and shelter for butterflies, songbirds, and other wildlife.   Rain gardens can also help recharge groundwater, important for maintaining our aquifers. 
A rain garden is not a water garden, pond, or wetland. A rain garden is dry most of the time, and it typically holds water only during and following a rainfall event. Plants that tolerate standing water for a longer period should be planted at the lowest level of the rain garden and plants that are more drought tolerant should be planted in the upper portion of the garden.

Plants NOT suitable for a rain garden:

-Large trees, because their growth changes sun conditions and alters spacing available for other plants
-Plants that are heavy feeders
-Plants that do not like “wet feet” for an extended period or plants susceptible to root rot (ex. Flowering Dogwood)
-Plants with aggressive root systems (ex. Willows)

Note: See Resources/Helpful Websites for additional information and links.

Attracts Pollinators:
Identifies plants whose flowers serve as a significant food source for butterflies, moths, native bees, honey bees, flies, beetles, hummingbirds or bats.  The food source can be nectar and/or pollen.
Food Source for Wildlife:
Plant which provided dependable food to insects, birds, mammals or reptiles, in the form of nectar, pollen, fruit, seeds or nuts.
Perennial Plant of the Year:
To showcase a perennial that is a standout among its competitors. Winners are suitable for a wide range of growing climates, require low maintenance, have multiple-season interest, and are relatively pest/disease-free.
PHS Gold Medal Plant:
The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society recognizes trees, shrubs, woody vines and now perennials too of outstanding merit. Plants are evaluated and chosen for their superb eye-appeal, performance, and hardiness in the growing region of Zones 5-7 as well as for their multi-season interests (foliage, flower, form or bark).
Pleasant Run Nursery Preferred Selection:
We've been asked to highlight some of our personal garden favorites.  We have found that these plants have proved excellent in both production and landscape settings.  Some of them "lead the pack" in flower beauty, foliage color or length of bloom times.  Some show a superior growth habit and disease resistance.  Others are consistently excellent but simply underused.  Lastly, some of them offer multiple seasons of appeal and should be a staple of many landscapes.
Drought Tolerant:
Plants which usually do not require supplemental irrigation after they are established in the landscape, even during prolonged droughts.
Dry Shade:
Plants which tolerate receiving only a few hours of direct sunlight in soils that usually have little moisture. These conditions are usually found under trees or shrubs where the shorter plants have to compete with the tree or shrub roots for moisture while growing under the drip lines. Another situation where dry shade conditions exist is in close proximity to walls or buildings where the structure makes a “rain shadow”.
Foot Traffic Tolerant: 
Low growing plants that can tolerate light to even heavy foot traffic without doing serious or permanent damage to the plant.  Some of these plants can tolerate more foot traffic than others so additional research is required.  Use these groundcovers options for between stepping stones or as edging options around pathways and patios. 
Salt Tolerant:
Plants that survive significant exposure to ocean salt spray.   Sources: Univ. Wisconsin Extension, Greenbelt Native Plant Center & NYC Parks & Recreations.
Wet Site Tolerant:
Plants which thrive in sites with constant moisture or periodic standing water.
Covers both conifers and broadleaved trees.
Upright narrow habit with erect, dense branching.  Useful for tight spaces.
30’ or less, with noteworthy blooms, bark and/or foliage.
Greater than 30’.
Single stem/Tree form, branching (5’ or higher should be the eventual starting point), the root habit (for sidewalk preservation), the soil requirements (not a fussy forest tree), and litter production (heavy fruit bearing trees are messy).
VINES (Clematis)
We are often asked questions about pruning Clematis, and cultivars are often divided into groupings (1, 2 and 3) which are guides for optimal pruning.  Based on our own experience at Pleasant Run Nursery (and to simplify things), we have designated our Clematis into Group A and Group B.  

Group A:  Cultivars which benefit from a light pruning in late winter or early spring, followed by a light pruning after the summer bloom period.  The second pruning encourages the large flowered cultivars to rebloom in late summer.

Group B:  Species and Cultivars which tend to be more vigorous growers.  They preform best with a yearly hard pruning in late winter or early spring.  Always remove dead stems, and cut the Group B plants back to 1' to 2'. 

All plants are listed by Botanical name
# sign represents the gallon size/pot size
If height is listed, it represent the approx current height of plant
Color of flower listed in brackets
T.F. = Treeform  M.S. = Multistem
Future Crop:  Call the office for approximate ready dates
Example:  Cercis canadensis The Rising Sun #10  6-8'  (T.F.)  (lavender)