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This gorgeous cultivar of the North American species has rich, chocolate brown foliage and contrasting lavender blooms.
Deeply cut plum-purple leaves emerge in spring and stay true to color throughout the season. Lavender-blue flowers bloom beginning in late spring. 'Midnight Reiter' grows to only about 6 or 8 inches tall and twice as wide. More shade causes the foliage to be greener.
Perfectly round, puckered, bright-gold leaves have a pattern resembling seersucker fabric. Pale-lavender flowers appear in early summer.
'Blue Angel' makes a very large tiered mound of heavily textured blue leaves that can be as wide as 18 in. in diameter.
This upright selection reaches 24 inches tall and 44 to 48 inches wide. 'Fort Knox' has an elegant vase-shaped habit and radiant yellowish-gold leaves 10 inches long by 6 inches wide. Lavender flowers appear in midsummer.
A botanical giant, 'Sum and Substance' averages 30 inches tall by 60 inches wide, sometimes more. Upright, heart-shaped, flat leaves have a glossy chartreuse hue that changes to gold when exposed to more light. Near-white lilac blooms borne on leaning scapes 36 inches long appear from late July through mid-August.
'Anne Greenaway' infuses the garden with excitement, with its bright chartreuse leaf margins. It grows up to 8 inches tall and 18 inches wide and is topped with lilac-mauve flowers in late spring. The stems root where they touch the soil, so it's easy to lift and transplant rooted stems to increase your stand. It makes a nice groundcover in a shady garden around ferns, hostas, heucheras, or geraniums.
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Use the flowers and foliage of annuals to spark summer’s show
by Elisabeth Sheldon
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We asked 42 gardening experts from around the country to select their favorite plants. Now you can see the complete results of the survey.
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How to Prune Conifers
These plants are unforgiving, so make the right cuts for the right reasons
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