Stay Connected with Fine Gardening
OR Browse All Plants
Showy sprays of pretty purple or white flowers in spring are followed by papery, flat seedpods that look like silver dollars. Flowers may attract butterflies.
Russell hybrid lupines are widely available and available in myriad colors. They produce spikes of pea-like flowers in early and midsummer on 30-36-inch plants.
This spreading evergreen perennial has clumps of grass-like deep green basal leaves. Tiny, brilliant white flowers borne in tight clusters appear in early summer and midsummer.
Gray-green, spear-shaped leaves form a low, tidy, circular mound about 1 foot in diameter. This plant puts on a dazzling show of five-petaled magenta flowers on straight stalks about 2 feet high in mid-spring.
Red spider lily’s brilliant red flowers remind me of an azalea’s ball truss. Blooms fade quickly in hot weather, but a higher degree of shade helps them last a while longer. Depending on where it grows in the Southeast, red spider lily blooms from early September to mid-October. After the bloom stalks fade away, foot-long, strap-shaped leaves emerge and last through winter. Red spider lily is an heirloom bulb that is easily passed from hand to hand. Replant offsets as the leaves die in spring. -Parker Andes, Fine Gardening #147 (October 2012), page 71
In early spring, this plant produces 16-inch-long, pointed white spathes that mask spikes of tiny green flowers, with no offensive odor. Large, glossy, leathery, oblong leaves 20 to 39 inches long grow from the base of the spathes.
Hairy loosestrife has dark burgundy- to chocolate-colored foliage that spreads to form large clumps but is generally not invasive. In midsummer, clusters of small yellow star-shaped flowers contrast with the leaves. It grows to 4 feet high and 2 feet wide and is good in a moist border, at a pond margin, or in a wild garden.
This vigorous grower has attractive, smooth, narrowly oval pointed leaves are mid-green above, pale green beneath. Tiny saucer-shaped white blossoms are produced in dense, tapered terminal spikes, 4 to 8 inches long, that curve gracefully over and down, from July to September. Leaves turn to rich gold in autumn.
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.
This herbaceous perennial forms clumps of gray-green leaves from which arise slender racemes of small white flowers with mauve-colored veins, making for an almost gray appearance. It makes an interesting cut flower, and the plant is not invasive like other loosestrifes.
Creeping Jenny is a low-growing, rampant, evergreen groundcover with rounded leaves. In summer, it produces many cup-shaped, bright yellow flowers.
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.
The showy purple spikes of purple loosestrife are attractive in the garden and along roadsides, but the plant's rampant spread has greatly reduced the ecological value of marshes by displacing native wetland vegetation such as cattails (Typha spp.) that wildlife uses as food or shelter. One mature plant can produce over 2 million seeds a year that are easily transported by the wind or water into wetlands. The seeds easily germinate, and no natural predator holds this plant in check. Even cultivars reported to be sterile can produce highly fertile seed if grown with other cultivars or wild loosestrife.
“Soft caress,” indeed! You’ll barely recognize this shade dweller as an Oregon grape when it sends up its long slender foliage without a single thorn. Its spikes of fragrant, lemon yellow flowers bloom from fall through winter, and will add a jolt to any shady bed. But the large clusters of silver-blue berries that follow the blooms are what I look forward to most. For the best results, give this drought-tolerant perennial afternoon shade, well-draining soil, and plenty of water the first year. -Leslie Finical Halleck, Fine Gardening # 147 (October 2012), page 74
Horehound is a spreading perennial with scalloped, toothed, gray-green leaves, white-felted beneath, to 2 inches long. Small tubular flowers open in whorls in late spring, varying from tepid gray and pale lilac to greenish white.
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.
A native perennial shrub that grows to about 2 feet tall and wide and covers itself the whole season with honey-scented, white and yellow daisy flowers. The foliage is typical of the aster family. Plant en masse in a well-drained border or use in a rock garden. Blackfoot daisy can be short-lived.
This clump-forming perennial has light blue to purplish blue pendulous flowers that open from pink buds atop 16- to 24-inch stems in mid- to late spring. Elliptic to ovate, hairless, bluish green leaves yellow and die back once the flowers fade after about 10 days.
Sprays of long, tubular buds spark into a fiery scarlet and fade to a pale cream on this annual climbing vine. A single flower holds tints of yellow, warm pink, orange, and red as if a watercolorist had laid down colors one layer at a time. As the bud matures, the colors wash away, leaving a pale blossom pushed open at the tip by protruding anthers. From a distance, the plant seems to be covered in hundreds of brightly lit candles. This vine also produces rich, bronzy-purple new growth which ages to a lovely deep green. The heavily indented, trilobed leaves resemble a hawk's strong wings, giving the plant the look of birds in flight. The foliage stays intact and healthy until frost. The bottom of the vine sheds its leaves as the season progresses, so disguising its bare base behind lower-growing plants is a must.
This bushy perennial has oval, deep green leaves on branched stems. In summer, blooms appear: fragrant red, pink, magenta, yellow or white flowers with a delicate, faded-vanilla aroma. Flowers open in late afternoon and die by morning.
Alliums All Season Long
Deer resistant and dynamic, these bulbs provide color from the first showers of spring to the last leaves of fall
by Stephanie Cohen
Spectacular Spring Bloomers
These perennials are the light at the end of the long, wintry tunnel
by Dave Demers
Find out what all the buzz is about by planting these colorful perennials
by Sally Roth
Enchanting Japanese Maples
Two experts pick their favorites based on color, shape
by Francie Schroeder
How to Grow Trilliums
Plant the best species for your region in fall for a spectacular display in spring
by Gene E. Bush
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 |
| Subscriber Alert
© 2013 The Taunton Press, Inc., Part of Taunton’s Women’s Network. All rights rserved.