Stay Connected with Fine Gardening
OR Browse All Plants
This tall, upright perennial has single flowers of various colors that grow along a spike. It blooms in early summer and midsummer.
This plant has lobed, densely hairy, chartreuse foliage that is crimped at the edges. Soft, frothy, yellow-green foliage hovers above the plant from early summer through autumn.
For long-lasting bright yellow flowers that sparkle in midsummer, try Allium moly. It is robust, hardy, and an excellent cut flower, naturalizing and increasing happily in the sun in most garden soils. The cultivar 'Jeannine' flowers earlier and produces larger umbels on sturdier stems.
This plant bears terminal racemes of two to three nodding blue flowers, sometimes with white tips.
Rocky Mountain columbine is a beautiful, hearty, native perennial with blue and white flowers. It self-sows readily.
This airy perennial has ternate dark green leaves, and produces many nodding flowers from midspring to midsummer. Its scarlet flowers have yellow, downward-pointing sepals.
A. chrysantha is a vigorous grower that will add a real burst of color to any southern garden. This southwestern U.S. native has 3-inch yellow flowers in spring and reaches almost 3 feet tall.
The fan columbine produces short, plump, nodding, blue-purple flowers with white petal tips.
A favorite of children, Jack-in-the-pulpit is a tuberous perennial producing one or two leaves, each divided into three narrow leaflets. But it's best known for its spring to early summer display of hooded, green spathes—Jack's pulpit—which are often striped with purple. Autumn brings clusters of densely packed, showy red berries.
English daisy bears stems topped with a single white, daisy-like flower. The flowers are tinged maroon and yellow; but cultivars are available with single, semi-double, or double button flowers in shades of white, pink, salmon, and ruby. The plant's smooth, spoon-shaped leaves form neat rosettes. This carpeting perennial is often grown as a biennial. Its many cultivars are used for bedding out or container displays.
This plant is one of the most popular campanulas. Its stiff mat of slowly spreading evergreen rosettes is topped by 3-foot-tall, all open, bell-shaped lavender to white flowers in late spring.
Bachelor's buttons bear charming and prolific flowers in hues of blue, pink, lavender, white, and maroon. Those with a true blue color are especially welcome in the garden as that color is rare in nature. Each disc-shaped flower is about 1.5 inches across, with ragged petals radiating out from the center.
Mountain bluet is an excellent choice for the border or rock garden. Blue flowers open from attractive buds in late spring to midsummer, then leave behind a mass of vigorous, silvery-green woolly foliage and woolly stems.
This low-growing, spring-blooming succulent touts 5-petaled, pale-pink striped flowers with strap-like foliage that continues to grow after bloom but disappears in late spring when the plants go into dormancy. It can literally carpet the ground in early spring, giving the impression of a light dusting of snow. Its flowers open when the sun is out and close when it is cloudy.
As the name implies, this species bears large, daisy-like blossoms (2.5 inches across) of golden yellow rays and darker yellow centers. It blooms from late spring to late summer and is native to the central and southeastern U.S.
This plant bears a profusion of lavender-pink flowers with yellow centers from mid-summer to early autumn. This perennial has finely textured leaves that give it an airy appearance.
'Zagreb' produces star-like blossoms in egg-yolk yellow in early summer on plants 12 inches tall and wide. The sturdy, upright stems and finely textured foliage add delicate texture to the garden.
These showy shrubs have two distinct phases of garden interest. In winter, they display boldly colorful bark—red, yellow, or orange—on twiggy stems to make a striking scene. In spring, the stems lose their vivid color and produce bright green, gold, or variegated foliage that accents the garden through the fall. Twig and leaf color vary according to the cultivar.
In spring, this biennial produces small yellow flowers, which are carried tightly over finely divided, sea green leaves. It self-sows freely.
This plant's tapering, finely dissected leaves make it look like a fern relative. The bronzy tints of the emerging foliage add to this plant's beauty. It bears buttery yellow blossoms from spring to summer.
This species has bluntly spurred golden yellow flowers from late spring to early fall. Its pale green, glaucous leaves form compact, ferny mounds.
This species produces mauve-pink, purple, or white flower spikes in spring over deeply divided gray-green leaves that are barely 10 inches tall.
This autumn-flowering cormous perennial bears long-tubed flowers in shades of violet-blue with deeper blue veins and divided, bright orange styles.
This mat-forming species with dark green leaves is one of the easiest to grow. Blossoms range from white to red and are usually single and without fragrance. Use as bedding or in rock gardens.
Originating in mountainous woodland and stony habitats from Europe to western Asia, yellow foxglove is tolerant of dry shade but flourishes with moisture. Arising in midsummer from neat clumps of fine-toothed foliage, a mass of soft yellow open bells, speckled brown inside, blooms along one side of a 3-foot-tall stem. Usually described as a perennial, it is more accurate to call it a biennial or short-lived perennial. If the flowering stalk is cut down after blooms have faded, it may rebloom in the fall. When a few flower stalks are left, the plant self-seeds.
This foxglove has long-lasting flowers in seductive shades of burnt umber. Its glossy, linear leaves are evergreen in mild climates, but turn brown in colder climates.
This is a biennial or short-lived perennial, which may last longer and rebloom if deadheaded. It sports dramatic blossoms in contrasting colors in spires reaching six feet high in rich soil, but more likely to 3 or 4 feet.
This native meadow perennial has daisy-like blossoms in early summer. It bears copper-orange central cones surrounded by short, arching, ray petals in pink or purple-pink, and occasionally white.
Because of its carefree performance, this native meadow perennial with daisy-like flowers appropriately inhabits the gardens of many. It blooms from midsummer into early autumn, with prominent, copper-orange central cones surrounded by rose-purple, ray petals (to 5 inches across).
This native meadow derivative is a compact version of the species. It blooms from midsummer into early autumn, with prominent, copper-orange central cones surrounded by drooping, rose- or purple-pink ray petals. It will reach 24 inches if not cut back.
This native meadow derivative has vibrant, daisy-like flowers that bloom from midsummer into early autumn. Its prominent, dark orange central cones are surrounded by larger (to 7 inches across) and more horizontal, reddish-pink, ray petals than the species.
This native meadow derivative with daisy-like flowers blooms from early summer into early autumn. 'Bright Star' has prominent, copper-orange central cones surrounded by red-purple ray petals (to 5 inches across), and grows to less than 3 feet tall.
This cultivar of a native meadow coneflower has white, daisy-like flowers from early summer into early autumn. Its prominent, coppery-green, central cones are surrounded by large white ray petals that reach 4.5 inches long.
Autumn olive is a vigorous, deciduous shrub with pale yellow-white bell-shaped flowers to a half-inch long borne in late spring and early summer. Its silvery fruit turns red in fall and attracts birds. Wavy-margined leaves are silvery when they emerge and mature to bright green above.
This eastern U.S. woodland plant has clusters of small, fluffy white flowers topping stiff 3- to 5-foot-tall stems midsummer to frost.
Electric yellow bracts bloom on a low cushion in April and persist, but gently fade as the stems elongate to form a 16-inch mound by midsummer. The leaves produce shades of red, orange, and purple in autumn.
This clump-forming perennial bears striking, sunflower-like yellow blooms on long stalks from midsummer to early autumn.
Blue flax is a short-lived perennial with blue-green needlelike leaves on graceful 2-foot-tall stems. Satiny sky blue flowers, borne on wiry stems, appear in late spring, last through mid-summer, and open fully only on sunny days. Small rounded seedheads form in summer.
This elegant fern-like herb has a mounding form and anise-flavored bright-green leaves. In late spring, it bears compound umbels of star-shaped white flowers, followed by shiny, ridged brown seeds.
This Division 10 Bulbocodium species blooms late in the season, bearing up to 5 fragrant and nodding golden-yellow flowers. It has cylindrical, dark-green stems to 12 inches. It is good for naturalizing, and prefers neutral to alkaline soil.
Iceland poppy is a short-lived perennial usually grown as a cool-weather annual, or biennial. From hairy tufts of linear blue-green foliage rise wiry stems bearing a pendant bud. The single (occasionally double) short-lived flowers unwrinkle their petals into a wide-spreading saucer shape 3 inches across.
A native of the Southwest, Palmer's penstemon sports sharp, prickly, gray leaves and thrives in the harsh conditions. Snapdragon-like pale pink flowers boom in late spring or early summer, and their sweet-honey scent attracts bumblebees. Toothed, sage green leaves skirt the upright stems for the rest of the gardening season.This perennial wildflower is one of the largest penstemons. It looks good in the back of a border or as a focal point, perhaps near a path where its fragrance can be enjoyed or in an informal grouping with other native penstemons and grasses, or with other plantss that have similar maintenance and water requirements. -Katie Nicolich, Plants to know and grow, Fine Gardening issue #120
This cultivar of the popular blue phlox has round, full flowers with overlapping petals. It is noteworthy for its particularly rich blue-violet color. Use it in rock gardens or alpine houses, in a dry wall, or as edging.
This sturdy, upright perennial reaches 2 to 4 feet tall. In July and August, and through September with deadheading, it bears flowers in shades of white, coral, pink, red, lavender, and violet, depending on the cultivar. Some have a lighter or darker eye, and others have variegated leaves. Many of the cultivars are fragrant; scent is most noticeable at night.
This North American native bears deep blue or occasionally white, bell-shaped blossoms in spring and possibly late summer if deadheaded. It grows from 1 to 3 feet tall. Use Jacob's ladder in a lightly shaded border, rock garden, woodland, or cottage garden.
This North American native bears light blue bell-shaped blossoms in spring to early summer. It has a lax, sprawling habit to 1.5 feet tall. The leaflets are arranged like the rungs of a ladder, hence the common name.
Large flowers consisting of brassy orange-yellow rays surrounding brown cones are what make this plant so popular. It blooms for 7 or 8 weeks beginning in midsummer. The flowers top 18- to 30-inch-tall plants that will readily self sow in cultivated soils.
This biennial or short-lived perennial has given rise to numerous cultivars which are often grown as annuals. From summer into early autumn, it bears daisy-like blossoms (to 3 inches across) with light or deep yellow rays and brownish-purple centers. The flowers are a staple in late summer bouquets.
This choice species makes a strong vertical statement with its large, smooth, sea-green leaves and towering stems to 6 feet tall. It bears short, yellow ray florets with giant, upright cones at the center. It prefers average soil with good drainage, and is excellent in native or wild plantings.
The unique, finely quilled, 2-inch-wide flowers are what make 'Henry Eilers' stand out from the rest of the coneflowers. The petals sit separate from one another, forming a brilliant, golden yellow starburst around a dark brownish purple cone. The blooms grow on strong, upright, 4- to 5-foot-tall stems in late summer, and are produced in such abundance that you can cut some for bouquets and you'll never even notice they are missing from the garden. The stems are covered with a soft, hairy down, while the leaves have a pleasing vanilla-and-anise scent.
This biennial makes a superb, self-sown companion in a mixed border or wild garden. It reaches up to 5 feet tall and exhibits a long-lasting, airy spray of small, daisy-like blossoms in yellow with purple-black centers. The flowers are beautiful in late summer bouquets.
Little bluestem is a tidy, finely textured clumping grass with a blue-green summer color. Its silvery seed heads rise to a height of nearly 2 feet in late summer and are at their best when backlit in the morning or afternoon sun. In fall, the grass turns a rosy rust color that lasts all winter.
This shade-loving perennial produces plumes of creamy white blossoms in spring, followed by mottled yellowish-green berries that turn to deep red. The fragrant, ivory white blossoms occur on the ends of arching branches, distinguishing them from true Solomon's seal (Polygonatum). The plant grows to 3 feet high and 2 feet wide.
In early autumn, this species produces elegant, wand-shaped flowerheads atop wiry stems with blue-green, linear leaves. It is found in open woods and along woodland edges, and prefers some shade. It responds well to rich soil, but can tolerate dry soil also.
This species is aptly named for its distinctive crooked stems that bend back and forth at 45° angles between nodes. It bears starry, medium-yellow flowers atop 1- to 3-foot tall stems.
This is the first goldenrod to bloom, featuring bright yellow, plume-like panicles in midsummer. It has dark green leaves along reddish stems, which form a vase-shaped clump when mature.
This is one of the smallest species of goldenrod, topping out at only 4 to 6 inches high in poor soils, and 2 feet high in fertile soils. It is considered a garden-worthy species, with gray-green leaves that form clumps and languid, one-sided yellow plumes. It is tolerant of both sandy and clay soils.
This lovely goldenrod has velvety leaves that are gray-green in summer and dusky rose in autumn. It has broad, flattened clusters of rich yellow flowers, which create a striking display on stems 2 to 5 feet tall.
This species has open, tree-shaped flower clusters that radiate out like a fountain. It has given rise to S. rugosa 'Fireworks'. It can grow to 7 feet tall and blooms in mid- to late autumn.
This garden-worthy species has dramatic, bright yellow flowers that are arranged into erect, pointed clusters. It has deep reddish stems that grow to 3 feet tall. It blooms in late summer and early autumn.
This outstanding cultivar forms a neat, 1-foot tall groundcover. It has dense, branched panicles that splay upward and outward whimsically, resembling a mass of elegantly bunched bouquets.
This native North American species has pale green heart-shaped leaves which develop bronze highlights in the autumn. In summer, it produces a profusion of starry white flowers on 4- to 12-inch spikes. It self-sows freely.
This trillium has upright or outward-facing blossoms of chocolate or reddish-purple, or occasionally white or yellow. At close range, it bears an unpleasant scent. It blooms in mid- to late spring, and grows from 14-20 inches tall and a foot wide.
This white-flowered form of red trillium has delicate, outward-facing petals with striking dark centers. At close range, it bears an unpleasant scent. Plants bloom in mid- to late spring, and grow to 14-20 inches tall and a foot wide.
This biennial or short-lived, semi-evergreen perennial forms rosettes of leaves densely covered with grayish-yellow hairs. In summer, its bright-yellow or occasionally white blossoms flower along erect, branching stalks up to 5 feet high. It has naturalized in regions of the U.S.
This annual, biennial, or short-lived perennial is grown for its long season of pansy flowers in shades of purple, blue, yellow, and white. Viola tricolor is pretty in containers, as edging, or as a companion for bulbs. It self-seeds readily.
This lovely native of the eastern U.S. offers delicate, lemon-yellow broccoli-like flowers in late spring to early summer. Flowers last for weeks. Plants grow to about 2 feet tall and half as wide.
Annuals Pep Up Perennial Borders
Use the flowers and foliage of annuals to spark summer’s show
by Elisabeth Sheldon
Experts Pick Their Favorite Plants
We asked 42 gardening experts from around the country to select their favorite plants. Now you can see the complete results of the survey.
10 Outstanding Succulents
Skip the finicky selections and go for these unique yet reliable beauties
by Maureen Gilmer
Sweetly Scented Annuals
Pique your senses all season long with colorful, long-blooming beauties
by Danielle Ferguson
4 Ways to Design with Coleus
If you're having trouble finding the right plant for the right place, this versatile performer offers a multitude of options
by Ray Rogers
FineGardening.com and VegetableGardener.com are part ofthe Taunton Home and Garden Network
Taunton Home |
Books & Videos |
Contact Us |
Product recall information
Copyright Notice |
Taunton Guarantee |
User Agreement |
About Us |
Work for Us |
Contact Us |
Press Room | Customer Service
| Subscriber Alert
© 2013 The Taunton Press, Inc., Part of Taunton’s Women’s Network. All rights reserved.