Arundo donax var. versicolor — Variegated Giant Reed
Here’s a plant that really stands out in the garden, in more ways than one! Not only can it reach 15’ tall in a growing season, the boldly striped green, white, and creamy yellow leaves are sure to catch your eye. New growth emerges bright white in the spring. The large pink plumes in autumn are great for decoration. Prune to ground in winter, or if you begin to feel dwarfed by it. Full sun.
Asarum maximum ‘Green Panda’ — Wild Ginger
The gorgeous black and white flowers (hence the name “panda”) can reach 2” wide on this extraordinary perennial. Yet the real reason to grow it is its glossy, evergreen foliage! An easy-togrow groundcover, Asarums like humus rich soil and respond well to extra water. Forms a 6” high cluster in light shade to shade that spreads with time.
Brugmansia ‘Dr. Seuss’ — Angel’s Trumpet
This must be the plant Dr. Seuss used for his books. A profusion of 6” to 8” tangerine flowers smother this modest plant from late summer until frost. Definitely a conversation piece. Cut back after frost, but will reach 6’ to 8’ in a season. Prefers full sun to light shade.
Buddleja ‘Orange Sceptre’ — Butterfly Bush
This fun and crazy shrub will amaze your neighbors by blooming nearly year-round, with the prime season being autumn through spring! The vibrant orange flower spikes glow against the fuzzy, rough-textured leaves and provide a feast for hummingbirds and butterflies. ‘Orange Sceptre’ has an open, upright habit that can reach 8’ in height. Best in moist, well-drained soil with full sun.
Colocasia esculenta ‘Coffee Cups’ — Elephant Ear
The unusual leaves of this Colocasia are upturned, resembling small “cups”. After morning dew or a good rain the leaves will hold small amounts of water that will splash any passerby that bumps into the stem! The dark stems and foliage are a superb contrast to the greens of the garden. Will grow to a 6’ tall clump in a sunny spot, sending out little pups as the season flourishes.
Crinum ‘Ellen Bosanquet’ — Crinum Lily
Considered one of the best crinum lilies for Southern gardens, ‘Ellen Bosanquet’ shows off with wine-red blooms and a spicy fragrance from June through summer. The 2’ tall, glossy green leaves pick up the show when not in flower by creating a lush, tropical filler for other plants. Prefers rich, moist soil but will tolerant less than ideal conditions. Full sun to light shade.
Edgeworthia chrysantha — Paper Bush
Paper bush will drop its leaves in early winter to reveal smooth brown stems topped with silver flower buds. In January through March, the buds will open to reveal yellow flowers that release a heavenly fragrance that is easily detected when walking by. It makes a perfect shrub to place near a walkway or window to fully enjoy the benefit of its fragrance! To 6’ tall and wide. Part sun to shade.
Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Fuji-no-taki’ — Fuji Waterfall Hydrangea
White lacecap blooms cascade over the lush, dark green foliage of this deciduous shrub creating a beautiful waterfall effect. The 12” flower heads begin their show in summer and will repeat into fall. Will reach 3’ to 5’ in height and spread. Feed with general purpose fertilizer before spring growth. Prune to shape after flowering. Partial sun.
Hymenocallis maximilianii — Spider Lily
This native of Mexico made a home for itself in our collection garden ten years ago. Once you’ve seen it in flower, you’ll want to welcome one into your own garden. The elegant, translucent white flowers have long, dainty sepals that dangle from the central cup in June and July. The narrow, shiny green foliage graces the garden for the rest of the season. Forms a 3’ tall and wide clump in full to part sun. Prefers rich, moist soil but is quite adaptable.
Ipomoea carnea ssp. fistulosa — Bush Morning Glory
A fast growing annual with a multitude of uses. Bush morning glory can be trained up a support, used as a sprawling shrub, or planted to cascade over a wall. The bluish hue to the heart-shaped leaves provide a perfect background for the lovely, light pink flowers with purplish-pink throat. Blooms profusely from May until frost. Will reach 5’ to 7’ in a single season. Full sun.
Iris sibirica ‘Caesar's Brother’ — Siberian Iris
Though one of the oldest selections of Siberian Iris, ‘Caesar’s Brother’ is still a favorite due to the uniqueness of the rich, deep purple flowers and its vigor. The beardless flowers appear in May above 2-1/2’ tall foliage. A vigorous grower that forms colonies dense enough to choke out those pesky weeds. Best in full sun in wet or constantly moist soil, but can tolerate drier conditions.
Iris virginica ‘Contraband Girl’ — Southern Blue Flag
Not only does this native Iris have larger than average flowers, it can reach 5’ to 6’ tall and wide in ideal conditions. More vigorous in constantly moist soil, it doesn’t mind being in drier garden soil as long as it has regular watering. The blue-purple flowers are highlighted by yellow stripes and appear in spring. Full sun to light shade.
Kniphofia rooperi — Rooper’s Red Hot Poker
If our summers aren’t hot enough for you, plant a few of these South African natives to heat up your garden. The broad, 3” tall blooms start yellow at the bottom and build up to a hot ember orange at the top. This rugged evergreen perennial flowers from late summer into autumn, just when you were hoping it was getting cooler. Grows to 3’ tall in full sun and well-drained soil.
Liriope muscari ‘Pee Dee Ingot’ — Golden Lily Turf
A nice change of pace for a favorite edging plant, this liriope has bright golden foliage that matures to chartreuse by late summer when the lavender flower spikes appear. This perennial has many uses: as a border or edging plant, for illuminating shade gardens, and to offer grassy texture in containers. Grows to 10” to 12” tall and 12” to 14” wide in sun or shade.
Muhlenbergia ‘Pink Flamingos’ — Muhly Grass
In late summer into fall, the pink plumes of this cross of two native grasses resemble finely spun cotton candy. Allow some space for its impressive display as the arching stems can reach 4’ to 5’ long and the width at the base to 4’. The narrow blue-green foliage makes a perfect backdrop for companion plants or as stunning specimen planting. Drought tolerant, adaptable to a variety of soils, and not intimidated by deer. Full sun.
Rudbeckia maxima — Great Coneflower
Not your typical coneflower! A rosette of bluish, floppy 8” long leaves forms a nice 2’ tall plant, but the real treat comes when the flowers appear. Bright yellow, daisy-like flowers form atop 8’ to 10’ tall flower stalks. These sturdy flower stalks look great even after the petals drop, as the coneflower center remains, providing prolonged interest. Great for folks who like livin’ large.
Veronicastrum stenostachyum — Veronicastrum
This evergreen groundcover is a great addition to part sun/part shade locations. The long, slender foliage is reminiscent to that of Clematis armandii. Spikes of pink flowers appear from summer until frost. An impressive new plant that you don’t often see offered. A perfect specimen plant for a hanging basket or trailing out of a container! Will grow to be 12” to 18” inches tall.