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Regional Picks: Underused Perennials – Midwest

Fine Gardening - Issue 187

1. Martagon Lily

Name: Lilium martagon

Zones: 3–9

Size: 3 to 6 feet tall and 1 to 2 feet wide

Conditions: Partial sun to partial shade; evenly moist, well-drained soil

Native Range: Europe and Asia

This shade-tolerant species is not commonly found in garden centers and can be relatively pricey compared to its sun-loving cousins. The investment may be high to start, but this is an easy grower that multiplies. Tall stems hold numerous downward-facing Turk’s cap flowers with intensely recurved tepals. I have counted over 50 flowers per stem. Blooms may be yellow, pink, lavender, orange, gold, red, purple, or white, and most have freckles. Morning sun increases flowering.

 

2. ‘Double Stuff’ Solomon’s Seal

Name: Polygonatum odoratum ‘Double Stuff’

Zones: 3–8

Size: 2 to 3 feet tall and 1 to 2 feet wide

Conditions: Partial to full shade; tolerates drought, wet soil, and nutrient-lean soil

Native Range: Temperate regions of Europe and Asia

Recently there has been an explosion…

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