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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.
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.
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.
Carolina silverbell is a handsome tree with clean green foliage and an upright spreading habit. In mid- or late spring, hundreds of silvery-white bell-shaped flowers dangle from every branch before foliage emerges. The tree also has attractive bark, unusual four-winged seedpods, and yellow fall color.
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.
Dense clusters of pendulous yellow flowers dangle from spreading branches in late spring. Leaves are dark green. Smooth green bark adds some winter interest.
This is a fast-growing, upright deciduous tree with delicate white flowers in early summer. As it matures, it develops a spectacular patchwork of bark in shades of gray, maroon, and brown. Oblong dark green leaves turn red-orange in autumn. Cultivar 'Fantasy' is vigorous and hardier than the species, with exceptional bark.
Crape myrtle is an upright deciduous tree or large shrub. Dark green leaves emerge bronze. White, pink, red, or purple flowers appear from summer to autumn. Peeling gray-and-brown bark is attractive.
A deciduous conifer with a pyramidal growth habit, European larch has pendulous lower branches. In spring, needles emerge a shiny chartreuse, turning to deep green by summer and to sunset gold in late fall. Cultivars include 'Pendula', a weeping cultivar; 'Fastigiata', a narrow and upright variety; and 'Pyramidalis'.
Fissured and scaly bark bark is tinted rust-brown in winter. Purplish red winter shoots are covered in a waxy bloom. Gray-green or bluish green leaves grow to 1.5 inches long.
This hardy cross between M. liliiflora and M. stellata is an open, deciduous shrub up to 20 feet tall and wide. It blooms in early spring and sporadically into fall, with goblet-shaped, deep pinkish-red flowers that are 7 to 9 inches long.
This cross of M. acuminata and M. denudata usually forms a small tree with an upright central leader or sometimes a multi-stemmed shrub. It has yellow cup to star-shaped flowers (3 to 4 inches across) that are fragrant and appear before the leaves in early to mid-spring.
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.
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.
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.
This small tree is a cross of M. kobus and M. stellata. It has star-shaped flowers (3 to 5 inches across) with 10 to 14 narrow white petals, sometimes tinted in lilac-purple or pale pink. The blossoms are fragrant and appear before the leaves in mid-spring. Loebner magnolia grows to 30 feet tall.
This rounded, small tree grows to 25 feet tall. It is a cross of M. kobus and M. stellata 'Rosea'. It has star-shaped flowers with 12 narrow petals, white on the inside and purplish-pink on the outside; the transition of color from bud to bloom is a beautiful study in color. The blossoms are fragrant and appear before the leaves in early to mid-spring.
This vigorous, erect tree grows from 20 to 30 feet tall and has star-shaped flowers with 15 broad white petals blushed with pink. The blossoms are fragrant and appear before the leaves in early to mid-spring.
This widely grown hybrid of M. denudata and M. lilliflora is the ancestor to numerous cultivars and grows to 25 feet tall. In mid-spring, it bears fragrant, saucer-shaped white flowers from 3 to 6 inches across deeply flushed with rose-pink or violet.
This spreading deciduous shrub or small tree has large, light-green glossy leaves to 2 feet long. It flowers in early summer with jasmine- and citrus-scented blossoms in white with maroon markings at the base. Each flower is up to 10 inches across. It grows up to 30 feet tall and wide and is a native of North America.
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Deer resistant and dynamic, these bulbs provide color from the first showers of spring to the last leaves of fall
by Stephanie Cohen
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These vibrant bloomers give even the showiest annuals and perennials a run for their money
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Enchanting Japanese Maples
Two experts pick their favorites based on color, shape
by Francie Schroeder
Q&A Moving houseplants outdoors for the summer
by Tim Pollak
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