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The "flowers" of black rose. are actually rosettes of burgundy-black leaves at the ends of stalklike stems. In winter, bright yellow flowers contrast with the dark foliage. 'Zwartkop' is a wonderful backdrop plant that can show off many companion plants to maximum advantage. -Jeff Moore, Regional Picks: Southwest, Fine Gardening issue #120
Thick, succulent grayish green leaves tipped with spines make this 3-foot-tall and wide agave a striking addition to a xeric bed or desert garden. Although its color is muted, its architectural form can't be overlooked.
This plant has a rosette of broad sword-like, succulent, gray-green leaves. It provides a statuesque presence for sunny dry sites and under glass. It's also a classic plant for urns, thanks to the architectural splendor of its simple form.
This plant has a dense rosette of fleshy blue-gray leaves and produces tall, cream-colored flowers tinged with red or pink in summer.
Aloe is best known as a medicinal plant (Aloe vera, Zones 10-11), but there are many beautiful aloes as well. Most have amazing winter flowers, and some, have interesting foliage color. Red aloe has color that varies from green to a deep, red wine hue, depending on sun and water. and, over time, will form beautiful red-purple mounds with orange flowers. It is easily propagated from cuttings. -Jeff Moore, Regional Picks: Southwest, Fine Gardening issue #120
The spine-tipped leaves of this aloe grow in a beautiful spiral; mature plants have five rows of leaves growing either clockwise or counterclockwise. It is very hardy, but will rarely flower. A native of Lesotho, Africa, it is extremely endangered due to overcollecting.
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.
'Cherry Cola' , a relatively new cultivar, features deep, dark burgundy foliage and small but sharp teeth (handle with care!). In summer, orange blossoms appear, and hummingbirds love them. Like other Dyckias, this plant tolerates extreme heat and is perfect for hot, dry locations. -Jeff Moore, Regional Picks: Southwest, Fine Gardening issue #120
Golden barrel cactus has a rounded form that eventually elongates. Bright green stems bear 20 to 40 sharply angled ribs. Yellow areoles produce golden yellow spines. Bright yellow flowers appear in summer.
This unusual looking plant has many succulent, pencil-like branches. The leaves are small and short-lived, and the flowers are insignificant. Euphorbia tirucalli can grow to almost 30 feet in the wild, but it can be used as a smaller specimen or container plant in the garden. It is hardy only in Zone 11.
A clump-forming succulent, red yucca has arching, leathery, linear foliage rising to between 2 and 3 feet tall. Dark olive-green leaves with no thorns or spines are sparsely covered with fibrous strands along the margins. Deep coral pink flowers with golden yellow throats crowd the length of the stalks that reach three feet or more. Foliage has a reddish bronze hue during winter's chill for year-round interest.
Prickly pear cactus is a clump-forming and semi-prostrate plant. Flattened round-to-oval green pads 2-10 inches across have scattered needle-like spines and tufts of glochids (bristles). Showy bright yellow flowers appear in late spring and summer, maturing to edible, pulpy, red or purple fruit.
This evergreen, perennial succulent has pudgy, swollen, deep green stems which resemble a pickle, similar to those of the iceplant. Flowers begin as pearl-sized, pale mauve capsules sitting atop succulent 1-inch-high foliage, then open to reveal half-inch-long, yellow daisylike flowers. Blooms appear from mid-spring into fall.
Large, bright-pink clusters of flowers are accentuated by lime-green leaves with a dark-green serrated edge.Information provided by Santa Rosa Gardens.
This plant is as dependable and adaptable as they come. Its flowers bloom from August into November; they open pink and mature to a copper befitting of autumn. It is 2 feet tall and wide, with succulent stems and leaves. 'Autumn Joy' looks great with ornamental grasses.
Hens & chicks are always a welcome sight, and this exciting 'Black' variety is a newer take on the old favorite.
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.
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
PLANTING PLAN: A deer-resistant bed that shines in fall and winter
by Nancy Matthews
VIDEO Selecting Trees for Structure
What to consider—and what to avoid—when making the next addition to your garden
by Andrew Bunting
Four Container Planting Ideas for Autumn
These recipes hold up even as temperatures go down
by Muffin Evander
Enchanting Japanese Maples
Two experts pick their favorites based on color, shape
by Francie Schroeder
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