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Podcast: Let's Argue About Plants

Ep. 58 Architectural Plants

These babies give your garden instant structure

It may seem weird to talk about a garden having “architecture,” but it’s an essential component of a good design. Plants with stunning form—be it shockingly upright, or maybe acutely weeping—are what tends to draw the eye in a landscape. These plants are often focal points, and we like to think our gardens can never have enough of them. In today’s episode, Steve and Danielle talk about their favorite architectural plants; surprisingly, they’re not all trees and shrubs.


Expert testimony: Susan Morrison, owner and principle designer for Creative Exteriors Landscape Design in Concord, California.




‘Sparkling Burgundy’ pineapple lily (Eucomis comosa ‘Sparkling Burgundy’, Zones 7–9)

‘Black Magic’ elephant ears (Colocasia esculenta ‘Black Magic’, Zones 8–10)

Cardoon (Cynara cardunculus, Zones 7–9)

Yucca (Yucca filamentosa and cvs., Zones 5–10)



Sago palm (Cycas revoluta, Zones 9–10, and Zone 8 with protection)

New Zealand flax (Phormium tenax and cvs., Zones 8–11)

Bandwidth™ miscanthus (Miscanthus sinensis ‘NCMS2B’, Zones 5–9)

‘Wissel’s Saguaro’ false cypress (Chamaecyparis lawsoniana ‘Wissel’s Saguaro’, Zones 4–9)



Sago palm
Sago palm


New Zealand flax
New Zealand flax


Bandwidth™ miscanthus  
Bandwidth™ miscanthus. Photo: courtesy of Emerald Coast Growers


‘Wissel's Saguaro’ false cypres
‘Wissel’s Saguaro’ false cypress. Photo: Ashley DeLatour


‘Sparkling Burgundy’ pineapple lily
‘Sparkling Burgundy’ pineapple lily


‘Black Magic’ elephant ears
‘Black Magic’ elephant ears




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