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Unlike most trailing lobelias, this cultivar does not falter in hot temperatures. Techno® Blue is covered in intense, cobalt blue flowers. Its semitrailing, mounding habit is a great addition to containers and hanging baskets.
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.
This evergreen bushy shrub has fragrant, spider-like pink flowers borne in cymes in late winter or early spring. The oval leaves are burgundy colored.
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.
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
Silver-blue, rushlike foliage is graced by one of the most distinctive flowers of all grasses: the inflorescence looks like little origami birds.
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.
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.
This hardy cross between M. liliiflora and M. stellata is an open, deciduous shrub up to 20 feet tall and wide. It blooms in early spring and sporadically into fall, with goblet-shaped, deep pinkish-red flowers that are 7 to 9 inches long.
This cross of M. acuminata and M. denudata usually forms a small tree with an upright central leader or sometimes a multi-stemmed shrub. It has yellow cup to star-shaped flowers (3 to 4 inches across) that are fragrant and appear before the leaves in early to mid-spring.
Few species can match the elegant drama of this specimen in full bloom. It has luminous, pale yellow, cup-shaped flowers to 6 inches across that seem to glow on the bare branches in late spring.
This deciduous hybrid offers candy-scented, goblet-shaped blooms to 10 inches across in vivid reddish-purple. It forms a pyramidal outline, and grows up to 40 feet tall.
Building Better Borders
Use plant combinations that focus on complementary colors, textures, and forms
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