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Browse Plants

Narrowed By:Characteristics: Showy + Height: Less than 6 in., Over 30 ft.
Displaying 1 - 102 of 102 listings   1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6View All Sort By: Sort
Acaena inermis 'Purpurea' Acaena inermis 'Purpurea'
(Purple sheep's burr, Purple goose leaf)
(1 user review)
Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

This New Zealand native subshrub has 3-inch-wide scalloped leaves and little purple-brown to pale olive leaflets. Its rhizomatous roots spread in a mat to support this plant's wonderful ground-cover form. In early summer, 3/4-inch-wide flowers appear on short stems, and brownish green sepals and white anthers contrast with the dark leaves. The rhizomatous roots of this plant spread slowly into a mat, forming a nice ground cover. Prune every five years or so for a neat appearance; little other care is required. -Gerald Gibbens, Regional Picks: Northwest, Fine Gardening issue #120

Acer rubrum Acer rubrum
(Red maple, Scarlet maple, Swamp maple)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

This tree has lobed leaves that are green on top and gray-white beneath. It turns bright red in autumn. Its form can be round to open-headed.

Acer rubrum ‘Red Sunset’ Acer rubrum ‘Red Sunset’
(Red maple, Scarlet maple)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

This is a rounded to open-crown deciduous tree up to 70 feet tall and 30 feet wide with early, brilliant red fall coloring.

Acer saccharum 'Caddo' Acer saccharum 'Caddo'
('Caddo' Florida maple, 'Caddo' southern sugar maple)
(1 user review)
Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

The 'Caddo' maple typically reaches a mature height of 30 feet and spread of 25 feet, but may be taller. Its star-shaped leaves turn under slightly at the edges, and turn muted yellow to orange in the fall that can be spectacular. Its crown is oval-shaped, with an upright/erect growth habit. This moderately drought-tolerant maple is a great street or shade tree.

'Caddo' maples, native to southwestern Oklahoma, are well-adapted to heat and drought, and resistant to leaf tatter and scortch common among many maples. The leaves are dark green, leathery, and deeply lobed.

Adiantum venustum Adiantum venustum
(Himalayan maidenhair fern)
(2 user reviews)
Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

Elegant, lacy foliage on black stems makes this maidenhair fern a standout, even among others in the genus. In addition, when new fronds emerge in late winter or early spring, they are bright bronze-pink. Only about a foot high, Himalayan maidenhair ferns can spread by creeping rhizomes to form a sizeable colony. They also make eye-catching indoor plants and pair well with orchids.

Anemonella thalictroides Anemonella thalictroides
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

These plants are noted for their lovely, 1/2- to 1- inch-diameter crystalline white flowers. Resembling little pinwheels, each flower is composed of 6 to 10 colorful sepals spinning around a nub of lime-green and yellow. Their typical color is pure and bright white, but you might find the tinted soft rose Anemonella thalictroides f. rosea at a specialty nursery.

Anemonella thalictroides 'Rosea' Anemonella thalictroides 'Rosea'
(Rue anemone)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

The only member of its genus, rue anemone is a tuberous perennial native to the woodlands of eastern North America. 'Rosea' has pink, fragile, cup-shaped flowers on slender stems from spring to early summer, a long bloom sesaon for a spring wildflower. It often goes dormant in summer. Its flowers resemble a small anemone and its leaves resemble Thalictrum (meadow rue), hence its common name of "rue anemone." Use this delicate, small plant in a shady rock garden, in a woodland or native plant garden, or as underplanting in a shady shrub border

Antennaria neodioica Antennaria neodioica
(Northern pussy toes, Cat feet, Everlasting, Ladies' tobacco)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

This deciduous, mat-forming perennial produces everlasting flowers. It is a native prairie plant that has stem and leaf bottoms covered with white hairs and whitish flower heads that form in dense clusters. Male and female flowers are produced on separate plants.

Arctostaphylos uva-ursi Arctostaphylos uva-ursi
(Common bearberry, Kinnikinnick)
(1 user review)
Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

This is a fine plant for cascading over the edge of a wall. It's a hardy, prostrate shrub with intricate branching that often forms mats up to 3 feet wide, by runners. Fragrant, white bell-shaped flowers tinged with pink are borne in May and followed later in the season by red berries. The common bearberry's stunning red stems are studded with small, glossy, evergreen leaves.

Asarum europaeum Asarum europaeum
(European wild ginger)
(2 user reviews)
Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

European wild ginger is a low-growing groundcover with glossy, evergreen, heart-shaped leaves. Its unusual purple-brown flowers lie mostly concealed beneath foliage.

Asarum shuttleworthii Asarum shuttleworthii
(Evergreen wild ginger)
(1 user review)
Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

This wild ginger is an evergreen groundcover with heart-shaped, shiny leaves that are often marbled. Its interesting brown-purple flowers hide beneath the foliage.

Bellis perennis Bellis perennis
(English daisy)
(1 user review)
Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

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.

Calocedrus decurrens Calocedrus decurrens
(California incense cedar)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

This large, conical-shaped tree has dark green flattened sprays of evergreen scale-like leaves.

Campanula cochleariifolia Campanula cochleariifolia
(Fairies’ thimbles)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

Diminutive (to 2 inches tall) spikes bear lavender-blue nodding flowers that sway in the breeze.

Campsis radicans Campsis radicans
(Trumpet creeper)
(3 user reviews)
Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

Trumpet creeper is a vigorous climber with clusters of  trumpet-shaped orange to red flowers from late summer to autumn.

Carpobrotus edulis Carpobrotus edulis
(Iceplant, Hottentot fig, Kaffir fig)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

This ground-hugging succulent perennial roots at the nodes, has a creeping habit, and often forms deep mats covering large areas. It produces abundant yellow daisy-like flowers that open at noon and turn pink later in the day.

Cedrus atlantica f. glauca Cedrus atlantica f. glauca
(Blue Atlas cedar)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

This stunning evergreen conifer can be a very large specimen tree (to over 100 feet) in the landscape. Its young, silvery foliage turns vivid glaucous blue as it ages; the sharply pointed leaves are arranged in whorls. Female cones are green and can be up to 4 inches long; they ripen slowly over 2 years to pale brown. This tree needs a lot of space to reach its majestic potential.

Celastrus orbiculatus Celastrus orbiculatus
(Oriental bittersweet, Staff vine)
(3 user reviews)
Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

Oriental bittersweet is a vigorous, woody, deciduous climber with rounded mid-green leaves that turn yellow in autumn. It bears small green flowers in summer and axillary clusters of bead-like red berries with contrasting yellow casings in the fall. Fruit splits open to reveal pink to red seeds.

Cerastium tomentosum Cerastium tomentosum
(Snow-in-summer)
(2 user reviews)
Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

Snow-in-summer is great for rock gardens and dry areas, and also works well as a container plant. Plant it on a stone wall for a cascading effect. Snow-in-summer needs room to perform. A single plant can carpet an area as wide as a yard across. After the flowers fade, the silver/grey foliage shines on in contrast to more predictable shades of green.

Chamaecyparis nootkatensis 'Pendula' Chamaecyparis nootkatensis 'Pendula'
(Nootka false cypress, Alaska cedar)
(1 user review)
Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

This is a conical tree with drooping branches and vertical, flattened sprays of bluish green to dark green foliage. This graceful cultivar has upward-curved branches with drooping branchlets and an open crown when mature. Male cones are ovoid, brownish green, and 1/8 inches long. Female cones are green, 1/2 inch long, with a recurved central hook on each scale, maturing in spring.

Chamaecyparis obtusa 'Aurea' Chamaecyparis obtusa 'Aurea'
(Hinoki cypress)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

Hinoki cypress is a conical, evergreen, coniferous tree with leaves that are actually minute scales on tiny branches in the form of fans. The outer foliage of 'Aurea' is golden and the inner is green. Growth can be slow. Use as a specimen or use several as screening.

Cladrastis lutea Cladrastis lutea
(Yellowwood)
(3 user reviews)
Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

Yellowwood is a vase-shaped spreading tree with dark green foliage that turns a delicate yellow or orange in the fall and smooth light gray bark. Breathtaking, pendulous, foot-long, wisteria-like clusters of fragrant white flowers appear in late spring and early summer, often in alternate years.

Colchicum 'Waterlily' Colchicum 'Waterlily'
(Autumn crocus, Meadow saffron)
(1 user review)
Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

Semi-erect, narrowly ovate leaves 7-10 inches long appear in spring and disappear by summer, followed by large, fully double, rosy lilac flowers resembling the blooms of a waterlily.

Cornus controversa 'Variegata' Cornus controversa 'Variegata'
(Giant dogwood)
(1 user review)
Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

This rounded, deciduous tree with spreading, tiered branches is especially dramatic in the landscape. Its branches stand out in winter while the leaves, edged in a bold creamy white, add superb color and texture to the garden. In early summer, single white flowers are borne in large, flattened clusters up to 7 inches across. Blue-black fruit follows in autumn, attracting birds.

Crocus sativus Crocus sativus
(Saffron crocus)
(1 user review)
Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

The saffron crocus blooms in the autumn, producing 1 to 5 rich lilac flowers with dark purple veins, held wide open above inconspicuous foliage.

Crocus speciosus Crocus speciosus
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

This autumn-flowering cormous perennial bears long-tubed flowers in shades of violet-blue with deeper blue veins and divided, bright orange styles.

Crocus vernus Crocus vernus
(Dutch crocus)
(1 user review)
Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

Dutch crocus is one of the hardiest, if not the hardiest, crocus species readily available to home gardeners. A true harbinger of spring, it can be planted in borders, rock gardens, and even lawns. After flowering, the foliage must be left intact until it withers, which may cause lawn-mower anxiety in some gardeners. Often sold as "mixed crocus," cultivars of this species are typically white, lilac, or purple and white striped.

no image available Cryptomeria japonica
(Japanese cedar)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

This is a coniferous evergreen with year-round interest and a graceful shape. Young foliage emerges a pale shade of yellow in a herringbone pattern in the spring and is a striking contrast to the deeper green of the older needles by summer. Crinkled brown cones dangle daintily on the ends of the branches in autumn, followed by new developing cones gleaming like little lanterns through the winter.

no image available Cryptomeria japonica ‘Sekkan-sugi’
(Japanese cedar)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

This conical evergreen offers year-round interest and a graceful shape, with branches that are more pendent than the species. Young foliage emerges a pale shade of yellow in a herringbone pattern in the spring and is a striking contrast to the deeper green of the older needles by summer. Crinkled brown cones dangle daintily on the ends of the branches in autumn, followed by new developing cones gleaming like little lanterns through the winter.

Cyclamen hederifolium Cyclamen hederifolium
(Baby cyclamen)
(2 user reviews)
Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

A fine plant for fall, this cyclamen's frequently scented, mottled flowers emerge directly from the soil, followed by a carpet of patterned, mid- to dark green leaves attractively variegated with patterns in white or silver. It often blooms for up to two months. Each small pink or white flower has swept-back petals resembling a dove in flight, marked with maroon at the mouth. It makes a good foliage display all winter after the flowers have faded.

Davidia involucrata Davidia involucrata
(Dove tree, Ghost tree, Handkerchief tree)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

This is a lovely species grown for its distinct pairs of 7-inch-long, assymetrical white bracts which hang from the branches in layers in late spring. Given room and maturity (seed-grown trees may not bloom for up to 20 years), this plant is notable in both form and flower.

no image available Delosperma 'John Proffit'
(Ice plant)
(1 user review)
Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

Covering itself with glowing fuchsia daisy-like flowers with many narrow petals, 'John Proffit' makes a beautiful groundcover or container plant. The succulent foliage looks like it has small pieces of ice on it (hence the name "ice plant') and is evergreen in warmer climates. Growing to only a few inches tall, it can spread almost 2 feet wide. It blooms from late spring to early fall.  

Delosperma ‘Kelaidis’ Delosperma ‘Kelaidis’
(Mesa Verde® Ice Plant)
(2 user reviews)
Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

Mesa Verde® is a moderately-spreading ground cover with small, bright salmon pink flowers that bloom from midspring till late fall. It is tolerant of a wide variety of soil conditions, from poor or sandy to well-drained.

Delosperma cooperi Delosperma cooperi
(Ice plant)
(2 user reviews)
Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

Summer-long bloom and a tough constitution make the mat-forming ice plant a perfect groundcover. Two-inch magenta blossoms with white anthers are produced in midsummer and late summer.

Dianthus alpinus Dianthus alpinus
(Alpine pink)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

Clusters of serrated single blooms in pink to dark crimson sit just off the ground in summer.

Dichondra argentea 'Silver Falls' Dichondra argentea 'Silver Falls'
(Kidney weed, Silver nickel vine, Silver pony's foot)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

Long silvery stems, sometimes reaching 4 feet or more, bear silvery, small leaves. Use this striking plant as a groundcover or in containers.

Draba aizoides Draba aizoides
(Yellow whitlow grass)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

Yellow whitlow grass is a small, semi-evergreen perennial perfect for growing in a trough, rock wall, or xeric bed. It grows to only 4 inches high and twice as wide. This delightful, drought-tolerant miniature has spiny rosettes of lustrous green leaves through the winter and cheerful yellow flowers in early spring.

Ensete ventricosum 'Maurelii' Ensete ventricosum 'Maurelii'
(Red banana, Abyssinian banana, Ethiopian banana)
(1 user review)
Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

This banana-like perennial has large paddle-shaped leaves, which range in color from deep claret brown to red-purple to pale green, produced from the center of the plant, with thick midribs bright red beneath. White flowers are borne in inflorescences 3 to 4 feet long. Fruits are banana-like but dry and unpalatable.

no image available Ficus lyrata
(Fiddle-leaf fig)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

Large, paddle-shaped leaves with prominent veins make this tree a standout in containers outdoors or as a houseplant. Native to topical regions of western and central Africa, fiddle-leaf fig has leathery, glossy, evergreen leaves and round fruit. In the wild, it can reach 100 feet tall and almost as wide, but its size is easily controlled in containers. It was a popular houseplant in the 1950s and 60s.

Galanthus elwesii Galanthus elwesii
(giant snowdrop)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

The giant snowdrop has larger flowers and broader leaves than the more common G. nivalis, but grows to the same 4 inches tall and wide. Its white, nodding blooms appear in late winter, signalling spring around the corner.

Galanthus nivalis Galanthus nivalis
(common snowdrop)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

Snowdrops are some of the earliest bulbs, and flowers in general, to bloom in spring. Galanthus nivalis is the most common species, and its cultivars are the most commonly grown snowdrops on the market. They are reliably hardy and perennial. They grow to 4 inches tall and wide and flower in mid- to late winter, long before most other plants. They are the first sign of spring around the corner. Flowers are nodding and white.

Geranium cinereum ‘Ballerina’ Geranium cinereum ‘Ballerina’
(Geranium)
(1 user review)
Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

This beautiful, mounded, dwarf perennial has gray-green leaves (grayer than the species) and large, purplish pink flowers with purple veins and eyes. 

Ginkgo biloba Ginkgo biloba
(Maidenhair tree)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

One of the oldest tree species on the planet, ginkgo grows only about a foot a year, reaching 50 to 80 feet. Female trees set fleshy fruit that smell unpleasant as they decay; they contain edible nuts.

Gleditsia triacanthos Gleditsia triacanthos
(Honeylocust)
(1 user review)
Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

Honey locust grows in the wild from Pennsylvania to Iowa and south to Georgia and Texas. In the landscape, this large, spreading, deciduous tree is valuable for its elegant form and pinnate, ferny leaves that cast a dappled shade. Flowers are generally inconspicuous, but are followed by unusual large seed pods. Fall color can be a nice yellow, but leaves sometimes fall without noticeably changing colors. The species has a thorny trunk and shoots, but thornless cultivars are available.

no image available Hepatica acutiloba
(Liverwort, Sharp-leaved hepatica)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

An early bloomer, liverwort has tiny, cup-shaped, blue, pink, or white flowers in spring. Three-lobed, mottled, mid-green leaves appear after the blooms.

Ilex aquifolium Ilex aquifolium
(English holly)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

This tall, pyramidal, evergreen tree may be grown as a large shrub. Its evergreen, spiny foliage is leathery and glossy. Insignificant, though fragrant, flowers bloom in spring followed by red, orange, or yellow drupes that attract birds. Many cultivars are available.

Ilex opaca Ilex opaca
(American holly)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

This erect, evergreen large shrub or tree reaches 40 to 50 feet in height and 20 to 40 feet wide. Leathery dark green leaves have pointy, scalloped edges. Small green berries appear in late summer, maturing to crimson by autumn and persisting through the winter. Some ripen to yellow or orange. Use American holly as a specimen tree or in a woodland garden.

Lysimachia congestiflora 'Persian Chocolate' Lysimachia congestiflora 'Persian Chocolate'
('Persian Chocolate' moneywort)
(1 user review)
Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

A mass of small purple leaves and abundant golden yellow, bell-shaped flowers distinguish this groundcover. It is useful on slopes as well as in containers.

Lysimachia nummularia

Lysimachia nummularia


(Creeping Jenny, Moneywort)
(1 user review)
Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

Creeping Jenny is a  low-growing, rampant, evergreen groundcover with rounded leaves. In summer, it produces many cup-shaped, bright yellow flowers.

Lysimachia nummularia ‘Aurea’ Lysimachia nummularia ‘Aurea’
(Golden creeping Jenny, Moneywort)
(2 user reviews)
Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

Golden creeping Jenny is a  low-growing, rampant, evergreen groundcover with rounded, golden yellow leaves. In summer, it produces many cup-shaped, bright yellow flowers.

Magnolia 'Elizabeth' Magnolia 'Elizabeth'
(Magnolia)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

Few species can match the elegant drama of this specimen in full bloom. It has luminous, pale yellow, cup-shaped flowers to 6 inches across that seem to glow on the bare branches in late spring.

Magnolia 'Galaxy' Magnolia 'Galaxy'
(Magnolia)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

This deciduous hybrid offers candy-scented, goblet-shaped blooms to 10 inches across in vivid reddish-purple. It forms a pyramidal outline, and grows up to 40 feet tall.

Magnolia 'Spectrum' Magnolia 'Spectrum'
(Magnolia)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

This deciduous tree offers vivid pink flowers like M. 'Galaxy,' but with fewer, larger, and more deeply-hued blossoms. It grows up to 40 feet tall and forms a broadly oval outline.

no image available Magnolia denudata 'Forrest's Pink'
(Lily tree, Magnolia, Yulan)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

This cultivar creates a fragrant cloud of rich bubblegum-pink blossoms on bare branches in spring. It grows to 40 feet tall and wide.

Magnolia kobus Magnolia kobus
(Magnolia)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

This deciduous tree grows to 40 feet tall and blooms in early spring with a profusion of white-tinged pink goblet to saucer-shaped blossoms that are 3 to 4 inches wide.

Magnolia macrophylla Magnolia macrophylla
(Bigleaf magnolia, Large-leaved cucumber tree, Umbrella tree)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

This deciduous species has remarkable leaves that are over 3 feet long and 1 foot wide. They are light green above and silvery beneath. It flowers in early summer with creamy-white, fragrant blossoms that reach a foot across. Magnolia macrophylla grows up to 40 feet tall and wide. It is native to North America.

Mazus reptans Mazus reptans
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

Mazus reptans is a mat-forming perennial with rosettes of lance-shaped toothed leaves. It spreads quickly through rooting stems. From late spring to mid-summer, it bears 2- to 5-flowered racemes of snapdragon-like purple-blue flowers with lower lips spotted with yellow and red.

Metasequoia glyptostroboides Metasequoia glyptostroboides
(1 user review)
Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

This deciduous, monoecious, coniferous tree grows to 100 feet tall. Its oddly shaped, branch-pitted trunk is often deeply fluted and "buttressed" and has orange-brown bark. Attractive, lacy foliage is bright green in early summer, turning golden bronze before falling in autumn. Female cones are light brown and ovoid, while male cones are rounder, pendent, and darker brown.

Oxydendrum arboreum Oxydendrum arboreum
(Sourwood)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

Sourwood, the lone species of the genus, is found in woodlands and along streams of eastern North America. This plant (named for the sour taste of its leaves) forms a pyramidal tree to 30 feet tall, with canoe-shaped, glossy leaves that turn vivid maroon, yellow, or purple in autumn. In late summer, its delicate panicles of fragrant, urn-shaped flowers spray forward, decorating the tree in white. The blossoms, which resemble lily-of-the-valley, are followed by yellowish seed capsules that turn brown and persist into winter. It makes an outstanding specimen both for a prominent position and also for a naturalized setting.

no image available Phellodendron amurense
(Amur cork tree)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

This spreading tree with a graceful habit bears glossy, dark green leaflets. Thick shoots grow quickly when young—and more slowly as the tree reaches maturity. In fall, foliage turns a handsome shade of yellow and the tree bears clusters of blue-black berries. Deeply corrugated, pale gray-brown bark is a striking feature; unfortunately, it doesn’t develop until the tree matures.

Pinus densiflora 'Oculus Draconis' Pinus densiflora 'Oculus Draconis'
(Dragon's-eye Japanese red pine)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

This pine's needles are marked with bands of yellow and green. The buttery yellow variegation on the 3- to 5-inch needles is present year-round, but intensifies as summer turns to fall and persists into winter. The scaly, fissured bark is lovely, ranging in color from gray to rich rusty orange. This is a graceful tree when mature, with an irregular branching habit and tilted trunk.

no image available Pinus strobus 'Fastigiata'
(Eastern white pine)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

This robust evergreen tree has a narrowly columnar crown with ascending branches, slender gray-green leaves, and smooth gray bark. Tapered green female cones ripen to brown.

Pseudolarix kaempferi Pseudolarix kaempferi
(Golden larch)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

The golden larch is a lovely deciduous conifer whose lacy foliage turns golden in autumn. Its bright green needles are slightly larger than those of the European larch. Golden larch becomes a large pyramidal tree with an ultimate height of about 50 feet in cultivation. Its broad, horizontal branches are arranged in an open growth habit. In a big garden, it makes a neat specimen that never fails to attract attention.

Pulsatilla vulgaris Pulsatilla vulgaris
(Pasque flower)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

Pasque flower blooms for 4 to 6 weeks in spring with fuzzy flower buds that open to 1.5-inch-wide purple flowers that dance in the breeze. Fuzzy, feathery seedheads take up the dance when the blooms end. By then, the felted leaves have pushed up to produce a lacy gray-green backdrop.

Pyrus × Pyrus ×
(Asian pear)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

This easy-to-grow, pest-resistant pear resembles a Bradford pear in size and shape, with profuse white blooms in spring and great crisp fruit. There are 30 cultivars.

Robinia pseudoacacia 'Frisia' Robinia pseudoacacia 'Frisia'
(Golden locust)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

This large, fast-growing tree has droopy leaves that stay sunny yellow from spring until frost, spiny shoots, and fragrant white flowers in late spring and early summer on pendent racemes. The flowers are followed by smooth brown seed pods that are also interesting. 'Frisia' is one of the cultivars that is grown more for foliage than for its flowers and it does not flower as freely as the species.

Rubus pentalobus Rubus pentalobus
(Creeping raspberry)
(1 user review)
Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

This prostrate evergreen species produces a mass of richly textured leaves, making it an attractive groundcover for formal areas, rock gardens, or woodland beds. The leaves are thick, neatly rounded and formed, with bronzy undersides and autumn color that persists through the winter. In summer, it bears white flowers, which are sometimes followed by red fruits.

Sciadopitys verticillata Sciadopitys verticillata
(Japanese umbrella pine)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

This glorious conifer constitutes the sole member of both its genus and plant family. It is without a peer in its beauty; on a mature specimen, its rich needles compose a sculpture of form, texture, and color that is unrivaled. The foliage develops a bronzy tint in winter. While it often grows to 30 feet in cultivation and 90 feet in the wild, its slow-growing nature inspires patience.

Sedum cauticola Sedum cauticola
(Stonecrop)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

This Japanese native is perfect for the rock garden. It is a compact species with blue-green foliage and pink stems, and bears purplish-red flowers in fall. Sedum cauticola grows to about 3 inches tall and a foot wide.

Sedum kamtschaticum Sedum kamtschaticum
(Stonecrop)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

This tough, drought-tolerant species has glossy deep green leaves and, in early summer, half-inch golden yellow flowers that open from pink buds. It grows to about 6 inches tall and a little wider and makes a good groundcover. 

Sedum kamtschaticum 'Variegatum’ Sedum kamtschaticum 'Variegatum’
(Stonecrop)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

This variety is more compact than the species, and its leaves are variegated with creamy margins. In late spring to summer, its star-shaped yellow flowers open from pink buds and mature to crimson. It grows to just 4 inches tall and 12 inches wide.

Sedum kamtschaticum 'Weihenstephaner Gold' Sedum kamtschaticum 'Weihenstephaner Gold'
(1 user review)
Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

This low-growing sedum has dependable, dark bronzy green foliage and prolific flowering. New spring growth is a welcome, cheerful red. Prolific, star-shaped flowers are golden yellow with pinkish orange overtones and cover the plant twice during the growing season. Plants grow to just 2-4 inches tall and 10 inches wide.

Sedum rupestre Sedum rupestre
(Rocky stonecrop, Stone orpine)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

This is a vigorous, mat-forming evergreen species with small gray-green leaves and terminal clusters of star-shaped, vibrant yellow flowers in summer. The drooping buds face upward when they open. It grows to 4 inches tall and 2 feet across.

Sedum rupestre 'Angelina' Sedum rupestre 'Angelina'
(Stone orpine)
(2 user reviews)
Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

This vigorous, mat-forming, evergreen species has electric golden-yellow foliage that holds its color through the heat of summer. The foliage tips sometimes develop an orangey hue. In June and July, 'Angelina' has terminal clusters of star-shaped, vibrant yellow flowers. The drooping buds face upward when they open and the plant can grow to 6 inches tall and 12 inches wide. It is superlative as a groundcover, spilling over rock walls, and in containers. It also makes an excellent accent for plants with dark foliage.

Sedum sieboldii Sedum sieboldii
(October Daphne, Stonecrop)
(3 user reviews)
Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

This lovely mound-like species splays out from the center like a miniature fountain. It has half-inch rosy flowers in fall and blue-green leaves with matching rosy margins. Frosty temperatures bring out pink in the leaves. Sedum sieboldii grows to 4 inches tall and about twice as wide.

Sedum spurium 'Fuldaglut' Sedum spurium 'Fuldaglut'
(Two-row stonecrop)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

This mat-forming species forms a carpet of rosy-red flowers in late July and August, contrasting against green leaves with bronzy-maroon highlights.

 Sempervivumarachnoideum 'Forest Frost'

 

Sempervivum arachnoideum 'Forest Frost'
('Forest Frost' spiderweb hens & chicks)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

Hens & chicks make a charming addition to any container, rock garden, or footpath. This 'Forest Frost' spiderweb variety is extra special for its deep green color and the cottony web that hangs taught between the points of its rosettes.

no image available Sophora secundiflora
(Mescal bean, Texas mountain laurel)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

This flowering evergreen tree has pinnate leaves 4 to 6 inches long. Notched, mid-green leaflets grow in pairs. Pea-like, fragrant blue-violet flowers in terminal racemes appear in spring, maturing to bright red seeds.

Stewartia pseudocamellia Stewartia pseudocamellia
(Japanese stewartia)
(1 user review)
Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

A multi-stemmed, deciduous tree with a rounded columnar form, stewartia features stunning bark that exfoliates in strips of gray, orange, and reddish brown once the trunk attains a diameter of 2 to 3 inches. Serrated foliage emerges bronzy purple in spring, develops into a dark green by summer, and turns red or orange in the fall. In midsummer, "glamorous" white camellia-like flowers open in random succession and are followed by pointed brown seed pods, which are persistent but not very ornamental.

Taxodium distichum and cvs. Taxodium distichum and cvs.
(Bald cypress)
(1 user review)
Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

Its great beauty and variety of sizes and shapes makes this deciduous conifer a candidate for extensive use. Bald cypress is a tall, conical, almost columnar tree with pale brown, shallowly fissured bark. Its bright green needles become golden in the fall. The cultivar 'Monarch of Illinois' is shaped totally unlike the typical bald cypress, but shares its delicate foliage and warm-looking, ruddy bark. It has a large, rounded crown, like a maple. With an ultimate height of about 85 feet and spread to 65 feet, it is suited to large gardens. A smaller cultivar, 'Shawnee Brave', has a narrow, pyramidal growth habit, an ultimate height of 70 feet, and a span of up to 18 feet.

no image available Teucrium chamaedrys var. compactum
(Wall germander)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

This compact, evergreen subshrub has glossy, dark green leaves and grows to only 5 inches tall and 16 inches wide. It bears long-lasting, lavender flowers, and it is a great choice for low edging or for a rock garden. 

Thymus 'Pink Ripple' Thymus 'Pink Ripple'
(Thyme)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

In early- to mid-summer, this mat-forming thyme erupts with masses of 6-inch-high spikes covered with pink flowers. The light green, tiny foliage, hugging the ground in mats, has a pleasing lemon fragrance when crushed. This plant shines when spilling over stone walls or between the cracks in paving stones, where passersby can tread on the leaves and release the lemony scent.

no image available Thymus polytrichus subsp. britannicus
(Mother of thyme, Thyme)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

This thyme grows to 6 inches tall, with fuzzy stems and tiny, rounded, fuzzy blue-green leaves. In summer, it produces clusters of very small white to lilac-pink flowers. Plants spread to about 9 inches wide. The leaves are aromatic but the strength of their scent varies according to the plant's site and the time of year. 

Thymus pseudolanuginosus Thymus pseudolanuginosus
(Woolly thyme)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

Woolly thyme—the wooliest of all thymes—forms a dense ground-covering mat of tiny, densely hairy leaves. The foliage has barely any fragrance and is unsuitable for culinary use. In summer, tiny pink tubular flowers appear. Plants grow to only one inch or so in height and spread to about a foot across.

Thymus serpyllum 'Pink Chintz' Thymus serpyllum 'Pink Chintz'
(Mother of thyme, Wild thyme, Serpolet)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

One of the first thymes to flower each year, this charming and reliable cultivar bursts into bloom in early spring with unique salmon-pink flowers. Its fuzzy olive-green foliage forms a mat 1 to 2 inches tall and 18 inches wide. It is one of the most tolerant of thymes of dry conditions, but grows robustly with plenty of water.

Tilia americana Tilia americana
(American linden, Basswood)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

This deciduous tree with dense foliage and a stately habit produces hanging clusters of fragrant yellow flowers in mid-summer. It grows in a broadly columnar shape and has dark green leaves that are glossy underneath. Basswood makes a good specimen or street tree, although it doesn't tolerate pollution. It can grow as tall as 80 feet with a width of 50 feet. It attracts bees; basswood honey is a sought-after gourmet food.

Torenia 'SUNrenilabu' Torenia 'SUNrenilabu'
(Summer Wave® Blue wishbone flower)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

This compact plant produces abundant blue, tubular, two-lipped flowers from planting time until frost. It is excellent in containers and as bedding.

Torenia Golden Moon™ Torenia Golden Moon™
(Golden Moon™ wishbone flower)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

Golden Moon™ brightens up gardens with unique, saturated gold-and-maroon blooms. This vigorous, low-growing introduction is loaded with flowers all season long. It is beautiful in a container.

Trachycarpus fortunei Trachycarpus fortunei
(Chinese windmill palm, Chusan palm)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

One of the hardiest palms, Chinese windmill palm has single stems with large, 4-foot-wide fans of sword-like leaves. It produces large plumes of yellow flowers in early summer; the flowers of female plants transform into bluish-black fruits. Chinese windmill palms may be shoot-hardy to Zone 6 if protected with 10 inches of mulch. With their rich fans and handsome habits, they make attractive specimens for formal outdoor spaces. These evergreen palms are native to the mountains and temperate regions of subtropical Asia. Plants can grow to 20 feet tall and 8 feet wide.

Tsuga canadensis Tsuga canadensis
(Canada hemlock)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

This North American native grows to 70 feet tall, with a broadly pyramidal outline. It has deeply furrowed bark, small, oval cones, and slightly drooping branchlets with finely textured needles. It is suitable to a wide variety of uses, such as hedging or screening, and group or specimen plantings. It has given rise to a number of notable cultivars.

no image available Tulipa linifolia
(Tulip)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

This species tulip blooms in mid- to late spring with fire-engine-red flowers that look like open, pointed stars with purple centers. It reaches 4-6 inches tall and not quite as wide. Species tulips prefer sharp drainage and plenty of room to grow; they will often naturalize. Most do well in rock gardens, small displays, and containers.

no image available Veitchia montgomeryana
(Montgomery palm)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

This tropical palm grows to 35 feet tall and has stiff, feathery-textured fronds. In summer, it bears yellow flowers followed by fruit that ripens to bright red. It tolerates both alkaline soil and coastal conditions well.

no image available Veronica pectinata
(Blue woolly speedwell, Woolly speedwell)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

This dense, mat-forming species has 3-inch-tall evergreen foliage with toothed gray leaves. Its saucer-shaped flowers are deep blue with white eyes, and they bloom from early spring to summer. It is drought tolerant and makes a good groundcover. In garden sites, it needs protection from winter moisture.

no image available Veronica peduncularis 'Georgia Blue'
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

'Georgia Blue' forms beautiful mats of purple-tinged leaves. In spring, this free-flowering groundcover boasts abundant iridescent blue flowers. It grows to about 9 inches high and a foot wide. It is a vigorous and easy-to-grow cultivar.

Veronica umbrosa 'Georgia Blue' Veronica umbrosa 'Georgia Blue'
('Georgia Blue' speedwell)
(1 user review)
Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

This tough, versatile plant requires little maintenance. 'Georgia Blue' is willing to grow in sunny or shady spots, puts up with excessive rain or drought conditions, and attracts butterflies with a low blanket of sky blue flowers from spring into summer. Small, dark green leaves turn glossy burgundy in winter. Use it in containers or rock walls, or as a companion groundcover to spring bulbs under trees.

Vinca minor 'Illumination' Vinca minor 'Illumination'
(Common periwinkle, creeping myrtle)
(1 user review)
Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

Like other creeping myrtles, 'Illumination' is a tough evergreen ground cover for shade that will grow in almost any soil. Its hallmark is its bright gold leaves that are edged with a border of irregular green. Periwinkle-blue flowers appear in spring. Use 'Illumination' as a shade ground cover or in hanging baskets. -Tom Nelson, Regional Picks: Northern California, Fine Gardening issue #127

Viola tricolor Viola tricolor
(Heartsease, Johnny-jump-up, Love-in-idleness, Wild pansy)
(3 user reviews)
Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

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.

Wisteria frutescens Wisteria frutescens
(American wisteria)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

This North American native vine boasts abundant clusters of pale lilac-purple flowers. Though it is not as fragrant as Asian wisterias, it is easier to control because it doesn't send out long root suckers. American wisteria blooms later, from June to August, so its blossoms are less prone to being killed by a late frost. It can grow to 30 feet or more when trained to climb over an arbor, pergola, or wall. It can also be trained into a small tree or standard. 'Nivea' is a white-flowered form.

Wister­ia sinensis Wister­ia sinensis
(Chinese wisteria)
(2 user reviews)
Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

Dramatic flowers with an intoxicating fragrance cover this vigorous twining climber. Its cascading flower clusters grow to about 1 foot in length and are borne in abundance, with each one on the plant blooming more or less simultaneously, in late spring. Each small flower is usually light blue mixed with white, but plants are also available in colors such as violets, whites, and pinks. It blooms before foliage emerges.

Wollemia nobilis Wollemia nobilis
(Wollemi pine)
(1 user review)
Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

Long thought extinct, the wollemi pine was discovered in 1994 in a remote section of Australia. With only a small grove in existence, a plan was developed to save the tree from extinction by propagating it and selling its offspring. Trials in the U.S. have placed the wollemi pine in Zones 7 to 11. Grow it in full sun. Because this tree has been around since the time of the dinosaurs, it's safe to say it is long-lived. And apparently brontosaurus browsing isn't a problem.

Zephyranthes reginae Zephyranthes reginae
(Rain lily, Rainflower, Valles yellow rain lily, Zephyr lily)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

These Mexican native bulbs actually offer demanding gardeners flowers on demand. They produce strappy foliage to 12 inches tall and clusters of buttery-yellow, starry, crocus-like blossoms two to three days after every rain in summer and early autumn. Or, if it doesn't rain, simply water and fertilize three days prior to your intended display, and the moisture will prompt the flowers to appear, hence the common name, rainflower. These bulbs are widely adaptable to diverse soil conditions, and may be grown in full sun to partial shade, but they prefer some shade.

Zinnia grandiflora Zinnia grandiflora
(Prairie zinnia)
(1 user review)
Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

This native perennial wildflower of the American Southwest bears a profusion of bright yellow to golden yellow flowers atop 4-inch high plants that spread to 15 inches wide. They bloom from late summer into fall. 


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