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This upright, sparsely branched, woody shrub reaches 4 to 10 feet tall. It's easy to grow but slow-growing. It displays dark green leaves that are blue-green beneath, and large, silken blossoms 6 to 12 inches across in late spring and early summer. The plants maintain a graceful branching structure throughout the winter.
Panicum Ruby Ribbons’ soft blue-green foliage emerges in the spring on upright, clumping plants. The foliage takes on a wine-red color in early summer, which intensifies as the season progresses. Flower heads appear in late summer, followed by ornamental seed heads, which, if left uncut, provide long-lasting winter interest.
This rhizomatous perennial grass has a narrowly upright, clumping form. Mid-green stems bear stiff, erect, blue-gray leaves to 24 inches long. Foliage turns yellow in autumn. Weeping panicles of tiny purple-green spikes appear in early autumn.
This exemplary species has felted, gray, crinkled leaves. Over a long period, it exhibits sprays of butterfly-shaped, rich wine-red flowers, which contrast dramatically with the foliage. Its small stature makes it a perfect candidate for a container or a walkway edge. It has been used medicinally for the treatment of various infections, including bronchitis. It is a native of Africa.
This annual grass produces deep pink flowers that resemble rabbits' tails. Flowers persist throughout the season. It forms a tidy, evergreen clump, 2 feet high and 3 feet wide.
This annual produces deep reddish-black flowers that resemble rabbits' tails. Flowers persist throughout the season. This plant forms an evergreen clump of green foliage with burgundy highlights, 2 feet high and 3 feet wide.
A refreshing new look to an old time favorite ornamental grass! Pennisetum ‘Fireworks’ is the first variegated purple fountain grass. The midvein is the typical burgundy color and is flanked by hot pink margins. Produces beautiful red-burgundy foxtail flowers. Great accent plant and excellent in containers. -Santa Rosa Gardens
This tropical annual produces mounds of narrow burgundy-red foliage and purple plumes to 1 foot long. It is invaluable for containers and stunning, annual foliage color in a border. It rarely sets seed.
This plant is a bushy, vigorous perennial with smooth, narrow, dark green leaves and small, tubular, deep wine-red flowers borne in erect spikes, from early summer to late autumn.
This erect perennial has basal rosettes and stems bearing lance-shaped mid-green leaves. The plant bears long panicles of scarlet or yellow flowers from early summer to early autumn.
This New Mexico/Texas native offers the garden spikes of dangling, rich red flowers in midsummer that attract hummingbirds. Grow in a border, rock garden, or cottage garden. It appreciates a moist but well-drained soil, but can also take more xeric habitats.
This penstemon cultivar has huge red flowers with white throats on upright spikes. The plants bloom all summer, even more so when given a weekly dose of liquid fertilizer. Hardy in Zones 9 and above, Phoenix™ Red is usually grown as an annual.
An excellent architectural specimen, New Zealand flax has a striking geometric shape and intriguingly colored foliage. Rigid, upright leaves to 10 feet long grow in a clump. Cultivars come in chocolate-brown or a mixture of cream, pink, and green stripes. In summer, this Phormium produces a 12-foot-tall spike of tubular red flowers.
This evergreen shrub is often grown as a tender perennial where not hardy. It sports long spikes of red, dangling, bell-shaped flowers with yellow throats in summer. It makes a beautiful and unique addition to a perennial or shrub border.
This outstanding rose has single, fragrant blossoms of rich cabernet-red. The young foliage emerges chartreuse, while the new stems and small thorns are claret. The flowers are followed by hips the color of ripe grapes, which contrast with the amber autumn foliage. This rose grows up to 8 feet high.
'Betty Boop' is a bushy, upright, floribunda rose growing to 3 to 5 feet tall. Semi-double, ivory-white flowers with red edges are borne in clusters over a long period. They are mildly scented. New leaves are dark red, maturing to glossy green. This cultivar does not produce hips.
A miniature, upright rose with glossy, dark green leaves and very dark red flowers from spring to fall, 'Black Jade' reaches only about 2 feet tall. It is good for growing in containers, rock gardens, and other small areas, or at the front of beds and borders.
This is one of the darkest-flowered roses from the oldest class of garden roses, the gallicas. 'Cardinal de Richelieu' is a strong grower with a compact, lax habit. The rounded, double, fragrant, deeply colored flowers are a deep burgundy-purple. They are in bloom from spring to early summer. Introduced in 1840.
This rose has large clusters of small, violet-red pompom blossoms with a spicy fragrance. It blooms nonstop throughout the season and grows to 5 feet or more.
Each bush is covered in a masses of scarlet red blooms from late spring thru fall. One of the new Next Generation Flower Carpet roses with improved heat and humidity tolerance and disease resistance.
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Skip the finicky selections and go for these unique yet reliable beauties
by Maureen Gilmer
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Use plant combinations that focus on complementary colors, textures, and forms
A guide to growing, care, and propagation of rex begonias, plus some great cultivars
by Rita Randolph
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by Nancy Matthews
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