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A large shrub or small tree, Albizia julibrissin is native to Iran to Japan. It is a fast-growing plant whose seedlings can become invasive. It can be seen growing in the wild in the southeastern U.S. and California in waste places, fields, and along roads.
However, its bipinnate, ferny leaves and fluffy pink flowerheads that cover the tree in summer make it a garden-worthy plant, as do the fragrance emitted by the flowers, which attract bees. Seed pods that resemble flat beans follow the flowers and persist into winter. Still, care should be used so that seeds from garden plants can't escape into the wild.
The white- and pink-mottled leaves of 'Roseo-picta' make it appear as if the plant has been snowed upon, even though it is a tropical plant. It is an evergreen shrub growing to 3 feet or more with pink and red stems in zigzagged formation. Native to Pacific islands, it is grown as an indoor plant or perennial, or as an annual in cooler climates. The tiny flowers go generally unnoticed. Do not allow the soil to dry out, as leaf drop will occur.
Though its leaves are small, this semi-deciduous shrub stands out in the landscape. Littleleaf cordia has a prolifically branching, slightly open form that looks good year-round. Its roughly textured, dark gray-green foliage contrasts nicely with its coppery brown young stems. From late spring into fall, branch tips bear clusters of pristine, white, funnel-shaped flowers to provide a visually cooling effect during the peak of summer heat. It grows to 6 to 8 feet tall and wide.
This shrub or small tree has stunning dark red-purple foliage that turns scarlet in autumn. It has plume-like seed clusters, which appear after the flowers and give a long-lasting, smoky haze to branch tips.
This shrub or small tree has stunning deep purple foliage that turns orange-red in autumn. It has plume-like seed heads, which appear after the flowers and give a long-lasting, smoky haze to branch tips.
This is a tough evergreen shrub with pendent flowers that provide a delightful gardenia-like perfume during October and November. Brown fruit ripens to red in autumn. Handsome foliage is a lustrous green above, dull and silvery dotted with brown below.
This evergreen shrub can light up the dark corners of a garden. It grows quickly, and its branches are arched and somewhat spiny. Bright yellow, 3- to 4-inch-long leaves splashed are outlined in green. The twigs are a metallic copper color, and the undersides of the leaves are specled with a copper color, too. Tiny white flowers appear under the leaves in fall. They are hard to see, but very fragrant. Small orange fruit appear in spring. -Michael Lee, Fine Gardening issue #119
This cultivar boasts single, long-tubed, brick red flowers and dark bronze-red leaves and stems.
This erect shrub grows to 10 feet high and wide and produces many small, tubular, pendent flowers in shades of red, pink, and sometimes white. Flowers are followed by reddish purple fruits. Native to Chile and Argentina, Fuchsia magellanica is hardy in Zones 6-9 and adds bright colors and a tropical feeling to the garden. Use as a specimen or in a bed or border.
This gardenia cultivar features a very tight, upright form that is perfect for smaller gardens. It also boasts increased cold tolerance while maintaining the lustrous dark green foliage and abundant fragrant blooms you’ve come to expect from this genus.
Through the fall and into winter, pincushion hakea provides beautiful cut flowers for the holidays; the foliage and seedpods are also great for arrangements. You can prune it into a bushy shape or a slender, small tree. As a member of the Protea family, pincushion hakea does not like phosphorus fertilizer, and like most Australian plants, it prefers to be well mulched so that its specialized roots can extract nutrients from the mulch layer.
There are few better winter displays than the blossoms of 'Pallida' witch hazel. Bright green leaves line its flaring branches in spring and summer. After a display of yellow fall color, the plant shows its distinctive branch structure. Around the end of December, clusters of buds begin to open into spidery, pale yellow flowers. These cover the branches until early March, giving off a rich, fruity perfume. This small tree or large shrub grows up to 12 feet tall and wide.
This hardy, deciduous, vase-shaped, woody shrub blooms for several weeks beginning in midsummer. Cultivars include ‘Aphrodite’ (deep rose-pink flowers with a dark red eye), ‘Diana’ (large white flowers with wavy-margined petals), ‘Helene’ (white flowers with bases flushed reddish purple), and ‘Minerva' (low-branched with lavender flowers tinged with pink and dark red centers).
'Diana' has deep green foliage and large, pure white flowers that bloom from mid- to late summer. Unlike some other roses of Sharon, its flowers remain open at night. It requires little maintenance and, once established, will tolerate extreme heat, drought, and poor soil. -Judith Ireland, Regional Reports: Northeast, Fine Gardening issue #122
Oakleaf hydrangeas originated along the sandy streams of the southeastern United States, and they are more drought tolerant than many other hydrangeas. Their matte green leaves are coarsely textured and deeply lobed, and in fall they turn red and purple. White flower heads form in spring, and as summer draws to a close they turn shades of pink, green, and ecru. -Nellie Neal, Regional Picks: Southeast, Fine Gardening issue #127
Oakleaf hydrangeas are already one of my favorite shrubs: They are tough and reliable; have great foliage, flowers, and fall color; and provide stems of dried flowers in winter. Just when I thought they could not get any better, chartreuse-foliaged ‘Little Honey’ came along. Creamy white flowers appear in summer, then dry on the plant for months of show. ‘Little Honey’ rarely requires pruning, besides some thinning or shaping. To brighten the shade even more, plant hot pink or orange flowers and bright purple-foliaged tropicals nearby. -Irvin Etienne, Fine Gardening #147 (October 2012), page 72
This is a small, upright, mounded, deciduous shrub with attractive, flaking reddish-brown bark on mature stems and striking, linear to oblong blue green leaves. Midsummer to early autumn, this plant bears golden yellow flowers with striking, bushy center stamens. Reddish-brown fruit capsules ripen in September and persist well into the winter. St. John's wort excels in the Midwest.
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.
Chinese holly is a round, evergreen shrub with glossy, spiny leaves and large red berries. It grows to about 15 feet tall and wide.
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.
Yaupon holly is an upright, irregularly branched, evergreen shrub or small tree with ovate, toothed, shiny dark-green leaves and gray branches. Profuse, transluscent scarlet fruit persists through the winter.
Dime-sized, drooping, bell-shaped yellow flowers have a faint anise fragrance, but they’re hidden under new foliage in June.
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.
This early-blooming compact shrub bears intriguing pine-cone-shaped flowers that have dark-purple bracts, or “rabbit ears.” Bloom appears from late spring to summer. The foliage is gray-green.
Silver leaf is a flowering evergreen shrub with arching branches and woolly, silvery gray leaves. In summer, it bears solitary, bell-shaped rose-purple flowers an inch across.
This new, compact loropetalum has the reddest blooms of all cultivars. Dark burgundy foliage retains its color throughout the year. Great for specimen planting, mass plantings and borders.
This is an upright evergreen shrub with lance-shaped leaves. Foliage emerges bright red or bronze, turning a leathery dark green. Small white flowers appear in mid- to late spring.
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.
This evergreen shrub, native to South Africa, has long, skinny stems and phlox-like pale blue flowers. It can be used as a shrub, climber, pot plant, or groundcover.
Developed by the National Arboretum, 'Teton' pyracantha has a striking upright form, reaching 12 feet tall or more, and orange to golden yellow fruit. It is also resistant to fireblight and scab. Less hardy than some other cultivars, only to Zone 6.
This showy rose produces a pastel cloud of small pink flowers with lighter centers. The blossoms are single and shallow-cupped; they occur in large, loose clusters. Blooms hold up better in partial shade. This rose grows from 4 to 6 feet tall and wide, blooming from spring to autumn.
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.
This rose produces single, carmine-pink, slightly fragrant blooms nonstop from June until frost. It grows 2.5 to 5 feet high and wide.
The white of this rose has a purity of color that is without equal. It produces semi-double, very fragrant flowers from spring to fall, which are sometimes followed by orange hips. It grows to 6 feet high and wide.
This fragrant rose produces generous clusters of double apricot flowers that fade to a soft yellow. It usually grows to 5 feet and taller when trained, making it an ideal candidate for screening or growing up a wall, arch, or trellis. It blooms from spring to autumn.
This dwarf rose grows to only 18 inches tall, and covers itself all season long with large clusters of lightly scented vibrant pink flowers.
This fragrant rose blooms nonstop from June until frost, with vivid pink, semidouble blossoms. It grows 6 to 8 feet high, making it ideal for training up walls, pillars, or other structures.
This old-fashioned looking rose has a bicolor look with its clustered coral buds and pink double flowers with copper centers. It forms an arching shrub, reaching 5 feet high and wide, and blooms from spring to autumn, with its largest flush in the spring.
This scented rose was reputed to be a favorite of Teddy Roosevelt. It has beautifully formed, double rosy-pink blossoms. It blooms all season long and grows to 5 feet high and wide.
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 mass explosion of amber blooms. One of the new Next Generation Flower Carpet roses with improved heat and humidity tolerance and disease resistance.
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.
This choice rose has single, gently cupped light-pink flowers that exude an intense, clove-scented perfume. It blooms in spring and sporadically throughout the season, and produces red hips. In autumn, the foliage turns deep maroon, which changes to yellow tinged with coppery highlights. It grows to 3 to 4 feet high and wide.
This rose with an influential namesake has beautifully cupped double blossoms of rich pink. It produces arching stems to 5 feet or more and 3 feet wide, making it an ideal candidate for training up a low structure.
This notable rose has quartered-rosette, double blossoms of rich yellow. It produces arching stems to 5 feet or more, making it an ideal candidate for training up a low structure.
This Floribunda rose was the 2010 All-America Rose Selections winner. It has abundant ruffled blooms in shades of mango, peach and apricot -- and has a fruity fragrance. More important is its disease resistance.
This fragrant rose produces semi-double, medium-pink flowers occuring in large clusters. It grows 5 feet tall and up to 8 feet wide, making it ideal for training up a wall, arch, or trellis. It blooms from spring to autumn.
This fragrant rose produces single salmon-pink blossoms with yellow basal highlights. It blooms nonstop from June until frost and grows 3 to 5 feet high and wide.
This deeply fragrant rose produces rounded double blossoms of mauve-red in spring and fall. It grows to 6 feet high and wide.
This R. bracteata and Hybrid tea cross exhibits many attributes of its parentage. It bears large, single soft-yellow blossoms (to 5 inches across) with a deeper hued center and conspicuous, ruddy-orange stamens. It grows to 20 feet high or wide and blooms continuously, making it a beautiful choice for climbing up walls, fences, or other sturdy structures. It can also be maintained as a shrub.
This profuse bloomer produces enormous sprays of small, single pink blooms with white centers and dark reddish-pink edges. While it lacks fragrance, it is disease free, and if left alone, produces orange hips. It grows 5 feet tall and up to 8 feet wide, making it ideal for training up a wall, arch, or trellis. It blooms from spring to autumn.
This rose produces musky and sweet-scented blossoms of pale to medium pink, which bloom continuously from spring until frost. They are followed by large orange hips. 'Old Blush' grows to about 4 feet high and wide.
This rose produces a profusion of rosette-shaped ivory blossoms in large clusters. It forms a densely arching shrub, reaching 8 feet high and 4 feet wide and blooming from spring to autumn. It is ideal as a low climber up a wall, arch, or trellis.
This David Austin rose produces vibrant, semi-double red blossoms with contrasting yellow stamens all season long. It grows from 2.5 to 5 feet tall.
This intensely fragrant rose has high-centered, double blossoms of creamy pink edged with deeper pink. It blooms in summer and into fall, and grows to 5 feet high and 2 feet wide.
This small rose is ideal for the front of the border because its size rarely exceeds 2 feet in height. It produces pale lavender-pink to white, quartered-rosette blossoms with a spicy fragrance. It blooms from spring to autumn.
This double-flowered rose has yellow blossoms with green outer petals. The flowers are perfectly formed and are excellent for cutting. It blooms in summer and into fall, and grows to 5 feet high and 3 feet wide.
This well-loved rose blooms nonstop from June until frost, with double, rosette-shaped blossoms of light pink. It grows 2 to 3 feet high and wide.
This rose produces brilliant hot pink blossoms at the tips of wide, arching branches. It forms a loosely branched shrub, reaching 6 feet high and 10 feet wide, and blooms from spring to autumn. It is ideal as a low climber up a wall, arch, or trellis.
This beauty is prized for the unusual qualities of its flowers, which bloom continuously from spring until frost. The single cupped flowers open a honey-yellow, then they become coppery-pink, then watermelon, and finally a rich mahogany. The foliage is reddish purple, disease-resistant, and is evergreen in warm climates. This rose can be treated as a shrub or trained as a climber, reaching 10 feet high and 6 feet wide.
Each bush is covered in a mass explosion of vivid pink blooms all summer long. One of the new Next Generation Flower Carpet roses with improved heat and humidity tolerance and disease resistance.
This species produces single medium pink blossoms with decorative indents at the tips of the petals. It blooms in spring, followed by hips that age to brown. In the winter, its bark peels in shades of brown and beige. It grows 6 to 10 feet high and 6 feet wide.
'Agnes' is one of the few yellow rugosa roses, and it epitomizes the finest rugosa attributes in both leaf and overall form. Doubled blooms give this selection an old-fashioned aspect, as does its delightful fragrance, which is reminiscent of antique roses. Bloom color changes somewhat with the temperature: in cool temperatures, the flowers are an apricot hue, but as the weather warms, they turn a soft yellow. -Suzanne Verrier, No muss, no fuss rugosa roses, Fine Gardening issue #121
Though not very well known, 'Dart's Dash' is one of the best of the crimson double rugosa roses. 'Dart's Dash' has large blossoms with the spicy scent typical of rugosas and when blooming is done, the plant puts forth a marvelous display of showy hips. It establishes itself quickly and is a fine choice for a low hedge. -Suzanne Verrier, No muss, no fuss rugosa roses, Fine Gardening issue #121
Large, open, semi-double pink flowers with yellow stamens and an intoxicating scent make 'Foxi' an outstanding rugosa rose. The relatively small height of the shrub makes the blossoms appear larger. This is a relatively new rugosa rose. -Suzanne Verrier, No muss, no fuss rugosa roses, Fine Gardening issue #121
'Henry Hudson' has flattened, symmetrical, semi-double, white flowers with a spicy clove scent. The dense and deep green foliage makes a fitting backdrop for this selection's reddish buds and ensuing cream-colored flowers. The blossoms don't drop cleanly, so deadheading is necessary. -Suzanne Verrier, No muss, no fuss rugosa roses, Fine Gardening issue #121
'Linda Campbell' is an unscented, true red rugosa rose. Attractiv, smooth-leaved glossy foliage and clusters of elegant buds open to bright blossoms. It grows in an upright habit and makes a very nice addition to the back of a hot-color border. -Suzanne Verrier, No muss, no fuss rugosa roses, Fine Gardening issue #121
'Polar Ice' is one of the most vigorous and densely growing rugosa roses and features clusters of double, slightly nodding flowers. Green buds open to creamy white blooms with pink petals and deeper pink centers. The flowers smell lightly of baby powder, and the new lime green foliage smells like strawberries and sweet grass. In autumn, the foliage turns bright yellow. -Suzanne Verrier, No muss, no fuss rugosa roses, Fine Gardening issue #121
'Purple Pavement' has large, ruffled blossoms with a purple-red color and strong fragrance. In the fall, the blossoms give way to large, handsome hips, and the foliage turns from green to shades of yellow and maroon. This shapely shrub with dependable repeat bloom it is especially good for a late display, when the hips appear alongside fall asters and other perennials with assertive autumn colors. -Suzanne Verrier, No muss, no fuss rugosa roses, Fine Gardening issue #121
'Wasagaming' (pronounced "wah-SAG-ah-ming") is a prolific bloomer that has the charm of the antique roses but with greater vigor and better growth habit. Cascading rich pink blossoms with an old-rose scent spill across the shrub. 'Wasagaming' will thrive in less sunny but bright conditions. -Suzanne Verrier, No muss, no fuss rugosa roses, Fine Gardening issue #121
This variety has single, papery white blossoms that open from light pink buds and have contrasting yellow stamens. The heavily-scented flowers are followed by reddish-orange hips. It grows up to 6 feet high.
This evergreen or deciduous subshrub is grown for its attractive, dark green aromatic foliage and its light pink to deep purple flowers, which blossom in summer and early fall. This garden workhorse can be used in troughs, containers, low hedges, knot gardens, rock gardens, or as edging.
There are some shrubs that will light up the fall garden with both leaf color and fruit. 'Winterthur' viburnum is one of those shrubs. It begins its display in late summer, as clusters of half-inch-diameter fruit begin to blush pink and become more intense over the course of a few weeks until the whole shrub looks bedecked in bubble gum. The fruit quickly change to a deep blueberry blue as the glossy, leathery leaves become infused with maroon and red. 'Winterthur' maintains a compact, 6-foot-round, multistemmed habit that produces abundant fruit and more intense fall color than the species. In late spring, it's covered with small, off-white, slightly fragrant flowers.
Blackhaw Viburnum is a large shrub or small tree with clusters of creamy white flowers followed by pink-rose berries, which birds love to eat. Its distinctive bronze-green foliage on reddish purple stems turns blue-black in the fall. Blackhaw grows to 12 to 15 feet high and 8 to12 feet wide.
This vigorous, coarsely textured evergreen shrub has an upright habit and 8-inch-long, lustrous, deeply veined oval leaves with dark blue-green surfaces and pale green undersides. The leaf stems are fuzzy brown. In spring, fragrant creamy-white flowers bloom in clusters. Blue berries form in June and become plump through September, maturing to glossy black. Plants grow 10-15 feet tall and wide.
A deciduous shrub, wiegela has gracefully arching branches studded with pink tubular flowers. Dwarf, medium, and tall cultivars are now available for the front, middle, or back of the border: 'Midnight Wine' has dark burgundy foliage and pink flowers; 2- to 3-foot-tall and wide 'Minuet' has purplish-green foliage and magenta-rose and pale purple flowers; and 'Dark Horse' has dark burgundy foliage and deep pink flowers. Many other garden-worthy cultivars are available.
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.
Flowering Paperwhites for Winter Windowsills
These easy-to-force bulbs have superior blossoms and scents
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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
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Alliums All Season Long
Deer resistant and dynamic, these bulbs provide color from the first showers of spring to the last leaves of fall
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VIDEO Potting Soil Recipe for Cacti and Succulents
Perfect drainage makes this recipe succeed
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