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This 6- to 8-foot-tall, deciduous shrub is grown for its glossy leaves and spiky, round, creamy-white flowers that appear in early to midsummer.The flowers give way to small brown fruit clusters several weeks later. Chinese buttonbush is closely related to the North American buttonbush (Cephalanthus occidentalis), but is finer-textured and more compact.
This is a suckering, deciduous shrub grown for it's white, bottlebrush-like flowers in early summer. The flowers are considerably longer than those of the species at up to 30 inches, and emerge a couple of weeks later. The shrub grows to 10 feet tall and 15 feet wide and prefers full sun to partial shade and moist, well-drained soil. Its layers of broad leaves turn gold in fall.Suitable for a medium to large garden.
This multi-stemmed shrub or tree can reach almost 20 feet tall. At one time, it was used medicinally for many conditions. Its autumn color is bright red or yellow and its small, edible black fruits attract much wildlife.
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.
This stunning specimen has luminous, creamy-ivory leaves and narrow green margins. The pale pink flowers are secondary to the glamorous foliage, which can light up a shady border and create definitive contrast.
This small shrub to 3-4 feet tall and wide blooms from late spring to fall with a liberal sprinkling of small, white, highly fragrant flowers over grey-green leaves that form a fine-textured mound. This shrub is semi-evergreen. It will retain some of its leaves in winter, though in colder climates it may be completely deciduous.
This evergreen species produces rose-purple buds that open to white and are intensely and exotically fragrant. The blooms (from mid-winter to early spring) are followed by red fruit and dark-green, glossy leaves.
Japanese fatsia has very large, hand-shaped glossy leaves that glow in the shade. New leaves fan out on stiff stems all along the ringed trunks. The flower clusters of older fatsias attract bees. -Nellie Neal, Regional Picks: Southeast, Fine Gardening issue #127
These shrubs are beautiful, compact, and easy to grow, making them obvious choices for mixed borders, foundation plantings, and naturalizing. The fragrant, bottlebrush flowers are petalless and sweetly-scented.
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.
This evergreen, California-native shrub grows to 20 feet tall and wide and produces abundant clusters of tiny white flowers in early summer, which attract beneficial insects that help control pests. This is followed by bright red berries that feed wildlife in fall and winter. The only species of its genus, Toyon is closely related to the genus Photinia.
This re-blooming mophead features inflorescences ranging 4-6 inches wide. Their color will be pink or blue depending on aluminum availability in soil. Compact habit with glossy dark green leaves.
This bulb blooms in early summer with striking, sweetly-scented white and yellow flowers that appear on leafless stems up to 24 inches tall. Petals curve up to accent a daffodil-like cup, sometimes with green-striped tubes. Peruvian daffodil has long, strap-shaped, arching, dark green leaves.
With some of the darkest foliage you'll encounter in the genus Loropetalum, 'Carolina Midnight' is a great new introduction that will add some purple punch to the garden. The flowers are like dark fuchsia fireworks in a sky of purple. It is a great substitue for purple smoke bush (Cotinus coggygria) in the South.
Leatherleaf mahonia is a thick shrub with a formal feel. Its stiff, green-blue foliage looks something like holly foliage, and in spring, airy clusters of tiny, golden yellow flowers appear. These are followed in fall by inky blue berries. Consider this plant for a a mixed-shrub foundation planting, or use it as a hedge plant. -Nellie Neal, Regional Picks: Southeast, Fine Gardening issue #127
This upright, sparsely branched, woody shrub reaches 4 to 10 feet tall. It's easy to grow but slow-growing. It displays dark green leaves that are blue-green beneath, and large, silken blossoms 6 to 12 inches across in late spring and early summer. The plants maintain a graceful branching structure throughout the winter.
This short-lived shrub or small tree with feathery foliage is blanketed in late spring with fragrant, pea-shaped violet blooms with white wings. Though it is native to streamsides, scurf pea doesn't require extravagant watering and survives occasional drought. When the plants eventually die, they leave ample progeny and straight branches useful for garden stakes. Combine with azaleas and camellias, which bloom at the same time.
This native azalea, winner of the 2007 Georgia Gold medal award, will thrive in heat and humidity, which is why it is a good choice for the South. Large, fragrant yellow blooms appear in early spring. Reportedly pest- and disease free, 'Admiral Semmes' is a progeny of Exbury hybrid R. 'Hotspur Yellow' and R. austrinum. -Allan Armitage, Plants to know and grow, Fine Gardening issue #119
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
Find out what all the buzz is about by planting these colorful perennials
by Sally Roth
10 Shrubs for Summer Color
These vibrant bloomers give even the showiest annuals and perennials a run for their money
by Paul Cappiello
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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