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Daylilies are classic, extremely popular garden plants. They feature long, arching, strappy leaves and long stems of generally 6-petaled flowers, though double flowers are popular as well. Each flower lasts only one day, hence the plant’s common name. Daylilies come in a wide range of colors, from cream and cheery yellow to peach, orange, fiery red, deep burgundy, pink, and purple. Some have contrasting throats and "eye-zones." Daylilies are ideal for a mixed herbaceous perennial border.
This is an upright penstemon with striking deep burgundy, purple, sometimes lavender or cream flowers on thin stems. The stem leaves are lance shaped and the basal leaves are spoon shaped.
This vigorous perennial bears elegant clusters of pure white flowers marked with purple or pale violet from early to late summer. Semi-evergreen basal rosettes and deciduous or semi-evergreen stems are also often marked reddish purple.
'Little Joe' is a dwarf cultivar of a species of our native Joe Pye weed. It can reach 3 or 4 feet tall and 2 to 3 feet wide, and it has the familiar large domes of lavender-pink flowers that attract lots of butterflies in late summer and early fall. Its smaller size makes it a better fit in moist borders, beds, meadows, or roadside plantings.
'Husker Red' is one of the few penstemons that does well in wet winters and hot, humid summers. Ruby-toned leaves appear in spring, followed in late spring and early summer by 3-foot-high stems adorned by panicles of white blooms. The flowers attract bees, hummingbirds, and butterflies, but the plants are not magnets for deer or rabbits. In autumn and winter, songbirds feast on the seed. For a stunning display, plant 'Husker Red' in groups. -Chris Kelley, Regional Picks: Midwest, Fine Gardening issue #120
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