Saturday, April 18 @ 9:00am–12:00pm at the Botanical Garden Parking Lot (enter from Botanical Parkway)
Liven up your landscape this growing season with a wide selection of flowers, plants and shrubs available during Riverbanks’ spring plant sale. Pick from more than 60 varieties of plants including a few staff favorites. Find a complete list of plants for sale and other important details online in early April.
Acanthus ‘Summer Beauty’ — Bear’s Breeches
A favorite among shade gardeners, Acanthus provides fabulous dark green, glossy foliage that makes a wonderful backdrop to other flowering plants. The deeply serrated leaves can get very large, and provide excellent texture to any garden. In the spring a large flower spike, reaching to 6 feet, will shoot up from the middle sporting light purple to white flowers. Grows to 2–1/2 feet tall and 5 feet wide. Plant in a shady spot, or in filtered light.
Acca sellowiana — Pineapple Guava
This glaucous evergreen shrub averages up to 10’ in height but can be pruned if a smaller plant is desired. Grow this one for the exotic flowers in summer. The petals are bicolor with red on top, white beneath. Fire engine red stamens erupt from the center of the flower, each one tipped with a cream colored anther. Full sun with average water and soil are all that is required.
Acer palmatum (Palmatum Group) ‘Shishigashira’ — Lion’s Head Maple
‘Shishigashira’ is one of those names that you’re gonna being saying over and over, just because it’s fun to say. In reality, it means “lion’s head” and it’s certainly regal! Reaching 15’ tall and 12’ wide, this Japanese maple is perfect for small spaces and yards, as well as containers. It’s showy leaves will turn shades of gold and crimson in the fall. Grow in a partial shade, with moderate water.
Aeschynanthus × splendidus — Orange Lipstick Plant
This tropical beauty is a must have for anyone wanting to spice up a container or basket. Brilliant red-orange, tubular flowers appear on cascading stems, blooming all summer long. Grow in part shade with moderate moisture. Though not cold-hardy, it adapts well to home environments.
Agapanthus ‘Ellamae’ — Lily of the Nile
This Lily of the Nile will not disappoint you like many others. ‘Ellamae’ produces strong stems bearing beautiful blue-hued blossoms in mid summer. It is one of the hardiest for us and is a constant performer. And with a name that sounds straight out of Mayberry, how could you not love ‘Ellamae’! Grows 3’ tall in full sun with moderate moisture.
Agave parryi — Mescal
Sure to be coveted by succulent lovers and home-brewers, this compact agave forms an attractive dense rosette of blue-gray leaves with black tips. The perfect candidate for a container or dry garden, it will grow 18” to 24” tall and 24” to 36” wide. Exceptionally cold hardy, as long as planted in well drained soil and kept dry in winter. Full sun.
Ajuga reptans ‘Binblasca’ — Black Scallop Bugleweed
The deep maroon, almost black, foliage of this ajuga makes an attractive evergreen groundcover or companion plant for containers. The dainty purple flowers appear in late spring complementing the glossy leaves. Growing only 4” to 6” tall, it maintains a compact, spreading habit to about 2’ wide. Part shade to full sun; darkest coloration in full sun.
Albizia julibrissin ‘Summer Chocolate’ — Mimosa
This new variety of mimosa took the gardening world by storm several years ago when it first appeared on the market. The feathery, bronze-purple leaves begin to emerge in spring and darken as the seasons go on. While perfectly fine with its foliage alone, the powder-puffs of pink flowers are an added bonus in the summer. Full sun to light shade. 20’ to 40’ tall.
Anisacanthus quadrifidus var. wrightii ‘Pumpkin’ — Hummingbird Bush
With petals of brilliant orange, this Texas and Mexico native is an excellent addition to your butterfly and hummingbird garden. Despite being from an arid, hot climate, this small shrub adapts well to our humid summers and colder winters. The lovely flowers develop all summer long, continuing until frost. Reaches 3’ to 4’ tall and wide. Prefers full sun. Drought tolerant.
Asparagus densiflorus ‘Myersii’ — Foxtail Fern
Asparagus ferns are popular annual plants to use in containers. In fact, many are hardy including this “foxtail fern”. Appropriately named as the leaves resemble a fox’s tail, this asparagus fern can make a clump about two to three feet. It will grow in full sun to part shade with adequate moisture in a well drained site. A foxy plant indeed!
Aspidistra elatior ‘Hoshi-zora’ — Starry Sky Aspidistra
This hard-to-find selection is one of the more cold hardy clones. The foliage is speckled with small creamy spots and will become more impressive the longer it is established. Forms a slowly spreading clump to 30” in height. Plant in shade with good drainage. Drought tolerant.
Athyrium filix-femina ‘Victoriae’ — Cross-stitch Fern
This unique little fern was first shown to us by our friends down at Shady Characters Nursery in Aiken, SC. Cross-stitch fern certain lives up to the name, because its leaflets are crisscrossed against each other all the way down the fronds, which are also crested! This hardy little fern only grows to about 2’ wide and tall, and loves moderate moisture and rich soil.
Baptisia ‘Solar Flare’ — Baptisia
In late spring a profusion of 12” to 18” lemon yellow flower spikes will arise from purple asparagus-like stalks, fading with an orange to violet blush. The blue-green foliage and stems of this perennial provide interest for the rest of the season. Grows 3’ to 4’ tall and 4’ wide with an upright, vase shape. Easy to grow in average to dry soils with full sun.
Billbergia nutans — Queen’s Tears
Yes it’s hardy! This bromeliad has come back for us for several years, even surviving 10° temperatures! With such beautiful cascading blooms of pink, purple, and green, this plant is perfect in containers or baskets where the blooms with be appreciated. It also can be planted in ground for added hardiness. Partial sun. Drought tolerant, but water from above.
Brugmansia × cubensis ‘Charles Grimaldi’ — Angel’s Trumpet
It seems most everyone loves angel trumpets and ‘Charles Grimaldi’ is no exception! This beauty can grow 8’ to 10’ tall and just as wide in a growing season and will provide a profusion of peachysalmon trumpets from late summer into fall. Cut back to ground in late winter for an even more spectacular show the next year. Best in full sun to light shade and with plenty of water.
Buddleja ‘Evil Ways’ — Butterfly Bush
The bright chartreuse foliage of this butterfly bush provides a perfect foil for the dark purple flowers throughout summer. The fragrant blooms are a favorite of butterflies and hummingbirds, while the plant itself is deer-resistant. Perfect for the wildlife garden that you don’t want munched on! Performs best in full sun and if cut close to the ground in late winter. Reaches 4’ tall and 5’ wide.
Callicarpa dichotoma ‘Duet’ — Variegated Beautyberry
This recent introduction from the US National Arboretum will make a fabulous addition to any garden. With stable, green and white variegated foliage, ‘Duet’ will brighten up your landscape from spring into fall. In the fall, lovely white berries form which just add to the beauty of this gem. 6’ tall and 6 ‘ wide. Best in part sun to light shade.
Canna ‘Intrigue’ — Canna Lily
This canna is grown more for the very un-canna-like leaves than the flowers. Grayish green foliage gives way to a purple tinged edge. The leaves are long, thin, and very upright. Reddish orange flowers grace this plant late in summer, but you will love it just for the texture. 7’ to 8’ tall. Full sun.
Carex plantaginea — Plantain-leaved Sedge
This native sedge is the perfect addition to any shady, moist site and is perfect for woodland garden edges. The dimpled texture of the stunning bright green leaves makes it an ideal companion plant for other perennials. Foliage reaches 8” tall. Plant in moist, organic soil in shade.
Clerodendrum paniculatum ‘Starshine’ — Pagoda Flower
The hardy subtropical game doesn’t get better than this beautiful, orange flowered and big leafed perennial! Pagoda flower creates huge panicles of bright salmon and coral flowers in mid to late summer, adding tropical flare to any sunny site. Cut it back after frost; it will emerge again in late spring. Grows 4’ tall and 3’ wide in moderate moisture. Full sun.
Colocasia esculenta ‘Coal Miner’ — Elephant Ear
You’re sure to “dig” this elephant ear! (please pardon the pun) ‘Coal Miner’ provides superb contrast to bright flower colors and greenery. The new leaves are velvety and unfurl to show their lime green vein lines against a dark olive green background. Reaches 4½’ tall in part to full sun. Prefers rich, moist soil.
Colocasia esculenta ‘Elena’ — Elephant Ear
Finally, the gardening world has a hardy chartreuse elephant ear. Plant in full sun to part shade and give it plenty of water and ‘Elena’ will reward you with a profusion of large 20” leaves with a small reddish center. Grows to 3’ in height and will spread in moist sites.
Colocasia esculenta ‘Yellow Splash’ — Elephant Ear
We love elephant ears here at Riverbanks, which explains why we’re offering 3 different cultivars. ‘Yellow Splash’ is a hard-to-find selection with (you guessed it) splashes of creamy yellow on large, apple green leaves. Reaching 4’ tall, this one spreads by underground stems. As with all elephant ears, best growth occurs in rich, moist soils and part to full sun.
Cyperus alternifolius (long leaf form) — Umbrella Plant
Umbrella plant has fabulous, palm-like foliage which makes it a great plant for textural combinations, as well as lending a tropical flair. This selection has even longer-than-average leaves making it even better. Grows happily in normal garden conditions, yet it is also perfect on the edge of a water feature. 3’ to 4’ tall in full to part sun.
Dichroa febrifuga ‘Yamaguchi Hardy’ — Chinese Quinine
This evergreen hydrangea relative produces blue flowers in the spring, which are followed by the most amazingly iridescent blue berries you have ever seen. A fabulous addition to any garden. This is a more robust, improved variety over the straight species. Grows 3’ tall and wide in part sun to light shade.
Digitalis ‘Illumination Flame’ — Digiplexis
This one’s taking the plant world by storm! From this compact, vigorous perennial erupts a multitude of flowering stems in colors reminiscent of a lush tropical sunset. The show starts in mid spring and continues into fall. Upright growing to 36” tall and 18” wide, making it perfect for borders and containers in full sun to light shade with moist, well drained soil.
Disporum cantoniense ‘Night Heron’ — Fairy Bells
The dusky purple emerging foliage turns green in late spring, just in time for the dainty, creamy white flowers. The arching, bamboo-like stems grow 3’ tall. A semi-evergreen to evergreen perennial which will slowing spread to form a colony in part to full shade.
Dracunculus vulgaris — Dragon Arum
Here’s an odd herbaceous perennial for the gardener who’s looking for the unique. The fan shaped foliage has spotted finger-like lobes which resemble a dragon’s claw. In April, large maroon-purple spathes around an almost black central spike arise above the leaves. Adds a distinctive flair to any full sun to light shade site in average, well drained soil.
Echinacea ‘Hot Papaya’ — Coneflower
A multi-tasking perennial! The intense orange-red flowers of this are sure to spice up the garden all summer, enticing the hummingbirds and butterflies to visit. Be sure to leave spent blooms on to provide food for the birds and winter interest. The cut flowers will last up two weeks in arrangements. Reaches 36” tall and 24” to 30” wide. Full sun in average, well drained soil.
Edgeworthia chrysantha — Paper Bush
Paper bush drops its leaves in early winter to reveal smooth stems topped with silver flower buds. From January through March, the buds open to reveal yellow flowers with a zesty lemon fragrance that is impossible to miss. A perfect shrub to place near a walkway or window to fully enjoy its fragrance! To 6’ tall and wide. Part sun to shade.
Ensete ventricosum ‘Maurelii’ — Ethiopian Red Banana
This gorgeous red banana is hardy in the ground for us in the Midlands. It also works well in a container for a bold tropical look. The stem can reach a height of 8’ to 10’ in a growing season. Plant in full sun and give plenty of water for the best growth.
Eryngium planum ‘Blue Glitter’ — Blue Eryngo
Small, steel blue flowers cover this perennial from summer into fall and are perfect for both fresh and dry arrangements. Easy to grow in dry, well drained soil in full sun, it can reach 2’ to 3’ tall and spread 1’ to 1½’ wide. Best to leave undisturbed as it doesn’t like to be transplanted once it is established.
Eucalyptus pulverulenta ‘Baby Blue’ — Silver-leaf Gum
Florist’s eucalyptus! Fresh cut branches are perfect for arrangements and may be preserved in glycerine. This evergreen can be grown as a small tree 15’ to 25’ in height or as a shrub by cutting down at the base. In fact, the more pruning done, the bushier it gets providing plenty of foliage for decorating. Well drained soil in full sun is best.
Farfugium japonicum ‘Aureomaculatum’ — Gold-spotted Leopard Plant
The large, shiny green foliage of this evergreen perennial are accentuated with bright yellow spots, providing a delightful match to the bright yellow flowers in fall. Provide well drained but moist soil in part sun to light shade. Reaches 20” tall by 24” wide.
Farfugium japonicum ‘Kaimon Dake’ — Leopard Plant
The leaves of this herbaceous evergreen emerge creamy-white with green specks, aging to solid green. Spikes of yellow, daisy-like flowers emerge in fall and attract an array of pollinators. This selection prefers an hour or two of sun. 1’ tall by 2’ wide in part sun to light shade in rich, moist soil.
Gloxinia perennis — Canterbury Bells
The beautifully textured foliage with serrated edges is just one reason to grow this Gloxinia. In summer, showy lavender-blue bell-shaped flowers appear along speckled stems. A native of Central and South America, this is a tender perennial for us so mulch well for winter protection. Grows 1’ to 2’ tall and wide in moist soil; prefers some morning sun and afternoon shade.
Gomphrena sp. ‘Grapes’ — Perennial Gomphrena
The sprawling habit and dainty, wiry stems of this perennial make it an ideal filler plant for containers and hanging baskets. Tiny purple “globe” flowers erupt up and down the stems in spring, then it rests for the summer, saving up for another show in fall. The blooms are long lasting as cut flowers and are exquisite dried flowers. Can reach 4’ tall and wide. Very drought tolerant. Full sun.
Helianthus angustifolius — Swamp Sunflower
A native perennial to brighten the fading colors of late summer into fall, this golden yellow sunflower attracts butterflies, birds and bees to the garden. Though commonly called swamp sunflower, it can be planted in well drained soils as long as it is watered during dry spells. Best flowering in full sun. Upright growing to 4’ to 6’ tall and 4’ wide.
Helleborus × hybridus (Pine Knot Select Strain) — Hybrid Lenten Rose
From the people that literally wrote the book on Hellebores, comes this excellent hybrid strain in a myriad of flower colors. These carefree, long-lived perennials provide color from winter into spring. They will naturalize, forming a evergreen groundcover over time. Prefers well drained soil rich in organic matter in light to full shade.
Hesperaloe parviflora — Red False Yucca
Hesperaloe is one of those plants that take your breath away when you see a big specimen! Its bright pink-red blooms in the summer are a magnet for hummingbirds. It is the ideal plant for driveway beds and anywhere you can’t run a hose (as the saying goes). Reaches 3’ to 4’ tall and 2’ to 3’ wide in full sun. Drought tolerant.
Hibiscus moscheutos ‘Pink Clouds’ — Rose Mallow
The large, bold pink flowers of this hardy perennial are sure to catch your eye from summer into fall. They will also attract butterflies and hummingbirds to your garden. Grows 4’ to 5’ tall with a width of 3’. Prefers full sun to light shade in consistently moist soil. Hibiscus is late to break dormancy in the spring. Cut back in late fall.
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.
Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Amethyst’ — Oakleaf Hydrangea
‘Amethyst’ features a unique color for oakleaf hydrangeas. The 6” blooms emerge white, but quickly change to a wine-red color. Even better, this rich shade stays when blooms are cut for fresh or dried arrangements. If that’s not enough, the foliage turns burgundy shades in fall and the exfoliating bark provides winter interest. 5’ to 6’ tall and wide in sun to shade.
Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Pee Wee’ — Oakleaf Hydrangea
This is one of our favorite small shrubs. Reaching only 3’ to 4’ tall, you get all the glory of an oakleaf hydrangea in a smaller package. In late spring through summer, ‘Pee Wee’ sends out panicles of white flowers that mature with a pinkish tinge. Great burgundy fall color and exfoliating bark in winter. Sun to part shade.
Iris ‘Nada’ — Butterfly Iris
This evergreen iris makes a charming addition to the shade garden. The white ruffled flowers, highlighted with a pale lavender blush and a yellow throat, appear atop 2’ stalks in spring. This perennial reaches 2’ in height and spreads slowly in part sun to light shade.
Iris cristata ‘Powder Blue Giant’ — Dwarf Crested Iris
Plant this vigorous and easy to grow perennial along a walkway where the light blue flowers can be appreciated all spring. Foliage grows 6” to 8” tall and it will naturalize by its spreading rhizomes. Best in full to partial shade, but can be grown in full sun if soil remains consistently moist.
Kniphofia ‘Echo Mango’ — Red Hot Poker
If our summers aren’t hot enough for you, plant a few of these South Africa natives to heat up your garden. Large, mango-colored blooms appear above the grassy foliage. This rugged evergreen perennial flowers from late summer into autumn and attracts hummingbirds. Grows 2’ to 3’ tall in full sun and well drained soil. Drought tolerant once established.
Leonotis nepetifolia var. nepetifolia ‘Staircase’ — Lion’s Ear
Electrify your full sun border with this mammoth selection of the reliable Lion’s Ear. This plant quickly grows to heights up to 15’, studded with 4” balls of bright orange fuzzy flowers and slightly aromatic textured foliage. Hummingbirds regularly fought over this plant in our garden last summer! Provide rich, well drained soil and regular to frequent water for an unforgettable show.
Leucanthemum × superbum ‘Daisy Duke’ — Daisy May Shasta Daisy
This prolific bloomer will provide white flowers all summer on 1’ to 2’ tall plants. Deadheading, while not necessary, will extend the bloom season. Easy to grow in average to dry soils in full sun. Prefers well drained soils, especially in winter. Full sun to light shade. Attracts butterflies.
Lilium ‘Red Alert’ — Lily
The intense, luxurious blooms of this perennial appear to be made of plastic and make great cut flowers. The deep red, almost burgundy, flowers appear in late spring to early summer and are lightly fragrant. Will reach 3’ to 4’ in height in average, well drained soil. Best flowering in full sun.
Lilium longiflorum ‘White Heaven’ — Easter Lily
A perennial Easter lily for the garden! Fragrant, white trumpets bloom in early summer on sturdy stems reaching 2’ to 3’ tall. ‘White Heaven’ is easy to grow in average, well drained soil and full sun to light shade. Mulch around the plants to keep the roots cool.
Lonicera sempervirens f. sulphurea ‘John Clayton’ — Coral Honeysuckle
A cultivar of our native honeysuckle vine, ‘John Clayton’ is excellent choice for a non-invasive plant that hummingbirds and bees adore. This tried and true vine is perfect for a mailbox or fence, and will delight you and your mailman (or woman) with lovely yellow, tubular flowers on an evergreen stem. Plant in partial shade to full sun.
Manfreda guttata ‘Jaguar’ — Manfreda
The fleshy, olive green leaves of ‘Jaguar’ are decorated with deep purple spots and form an arching rosette. Fast growing, it will produce offsets freely near the base of the original plant and can reach a spread of 3’. Unlike other succulents like agaves and cacti, this ‘Jaguar’ is gentle enough to pet. Drought tolerant in part to full sun.
Molineria capitulata — Palm Grass
Don’t trust a common name! This is neither a palm nor a grass, but it certainly looks like palm grass! The deeply pleated leaves arch to a height of 2’ to 3’ to provide a textural element to the garden. It also makes an tropical structure plant for containers. This perennial can be cut back if leaves are showing cold damage. Light shade and moist soil.
Muhlenbergia dumosa — Bamboo Muhly
This feathery soft grass is a favorite in the garden. Nobody can resist a touch when they pass by. The chartreuse foliage tops out at about 4’ in height. We cut this terrific texture plant back to the crown in February. Planting in full sun makes a fuller plant. You gotta have one!
Ophiopogon japonicus ‘Nanus’ — Dwarf Mondo Grass
The lush, dark green foliage of this dwarf mondo grass forms dense little mounds. Evergreen and easy to grow, ‘Nanus’ works well as a groundcover, edging, tucked amongst companion plants, or in a container. Slow growing to 4” to 6” in height in light sun to shade.
Panicum virgatum ‘Shenandoah’ — Switch Grass
This ornamental grass is another favorite of ours, spicing up the garden with its burgundy red foliage during the summer and panicles of wispy flowers in July. It is taller (about 3’) than it is wide, so makes a perfect candidate for small yards or mass plantings. Plant now and leave up through February for nice winter interest! Full sun. Drought tolerant once established.
Pennisetum orientale ‘Karley Rose’ — Oriental Fountain Grass
The upright, deep green foliage of ‘Karley Rose’ is topped with rosy purple plumes from late spring to fall. This easy to grow selection of fountain grass is more winter hardy than most. The 3’ tall foliage provides winter interest, but remember to cut foliage back before new growth emerges. Average, well-drained soil and full sun for best flowering. Deer resistant.
Polystichum tsus-simense — Korean Rock Fern
One of the best hardy ferns, Korean rock fern is a small evergreen fern with dark green fronds. The upright, finely divided fronds keep a refined, neat appearance. Perfect for the shade garden, this species also makes a long-lived container plant. Grows 9” to 12” tall with a 9” to 18” spread. Part to full shade in rich soil with good drainage.
Prunus mume ‘Dawn’ — Japanese Apricot
‘Dawn’ brightens the winter garden in January and February with her ruffled, double pink flowers. The spicy fragrance is delightful on those chilly winter breezes. This small, deciduous tree will reach 20’ to 30’ tall and wide. The rounded habit makes a nice addition to the landscape. Full sun for best flowering.
Rodgersia podophylla ‘Rotlaub’ — Rodgers’ Bronze-leaf
This spreading groundcover is known for its reddish-bronze new foliage. The large pleated, palmate leaves begin to emerge in spring and are followed by plumes of white flowers in late summer. Grows 2’ tall, to 4’ with flowers. Prefers part sun to shade and moist soil.
Rohdea japonica — Sacred Lily
Looking for an alternative to Liriope or Aspidistra for the shade? Rohdea is the perfect candidate! The lush, deep green foliage forms an evergreen vase-shaped cluster which will slowly reach to 2’ wide. Short stalks of bright red berries appear late in the season and last through winter. Dependable and easy to grow, even in dry shade. Reaches 12” tall in light to deep shade.
Rudbeckia triloba ‘Prairie Glow’ — Three-leaved Coneflower
This phenomenal coneflower packs a punch of color into any garden. We couldn’t keep count of the blooms it produced last year, and the show of oranges, reds and yellows was enough to almost put your eye out! This biennial can be allowed to reseed to ensure another show the next season. Likes dry to moderate moisture in full sun. 3’ to 4’ tall.
Sprekelia formosissima — Aztec Lily
Don’t let the exotic, vivid red blooms of this Mexican native fool you. The 6” flowers appear in summer and resemble delicate orchid blooms, but this is a reliable and hardy perennial native to the rocky habitat of the mountains. The bulbs multiply forming a cluster of narrow green foliage to 12” tall. Full sun will provide best flowering.
Tagetes lemmonii — Mexican Bush Marigold
We’ve grown this perennial marigold for years. In late summer and fall, it is covered with hundreds of yellow flowers. The scented foliage releases its fragrance when brushed against. A great addition for color in the late season. Tolerant of dry conditions and poor soils. Reaches 3’ tall and 4’ wide in full sun.
Tricyrtis formosana ‘Emperor’ — Variegated Toad Lily
This herbaceous perennial is sure to brighten the shade garden with its bright golden foliage edged in creamy-white. The purple speckled flowers appear in midsummer and are reminiscent of dainty orchids. Reaches 12” in height and slowly spreads to form a colony. Prefers slightly moist, rich soil in part sun to light shade.
Veronica ‘Sunny Border Blue’ — Speedwell
‘Sunny Border Blue’ is a clumping perennial reaching about 2’ in height and 18” wide. In early summer, the plant is topped with 4” to 5” spikes of violet-blue flowers and continues well into fall. Deadheading spent spikes will encourage flowering as well as resulting in a more tidy plant. Performs best in full sun and well amended soil.