Podcast: Let's Argue About Plants

Episode 98: Upgraded Classics

Video by Danielle Sherry and Carol Collins. Edited by Kara Demos.

Everyone likes an upgrade. Whether it’s a faster car or a more efficient cell phone, it’s hard to turn down a better version of something you already like. Plants are much the same. If you already love that gorgeous catmint that flowers all season long, what not try one that not only has all the same great attributes but also has an improved habit? Today we’re talking about plants we have a great affinity for but that plant breeders have made just that much better. Perhaps it’s a longer bloom time, or stronger winter hardiness, or even a different color to the foliage. Whatever the change may be, it’s an improvement that has made us fall even more in love with these classic plants.

Expert testimony: Irvin Etienne is curator of herbaceous plants and seasonal garden design for The Garden at Newfields in Indianapolis.

Danielle’s Plants

Classic: Persian ironwood
Classic: Persian ironwood (Parrotia persica, Zones 4–8)

Upgrade: ‘Lamplighter’ Persian ironwood
Upgrade: ‘Lamplighter’ Persian ironwood (Parrotia persica ‘Lamplighter’, Zones 5–9)

 

Classic: Holly-leaved mahonia
Classic: Holly-leaved mahonia (Mahonia aquifolium syn. Berberis aquifolium, Zones 5–8)

Upgrade: 'Charity' mahonia
Upgrade: ‘Charity’ mahonia (Mahonia × media ‘Charity’, Zones 7–9)

 

Classic: Bowles' golden sedge
Classic: Bowles’ golden sedge (Carex elata ‘Aurea’, Zones 5–9)

Upgrade: ‘All Gold’ Japanese forest grass
Upgrade: ‘All Gold’ Japanese forest grass (Hakonechloa macra ‘All Gold’, Zones 5–9)

 

Carol’s Plants

Variegated weigela
Classic: Variegated weigela (Weigela florida ‘Variegata’, Zones 4–8)

MY MONET® weigela
Upgrade: MY MONET® weigela (Weigela florida ‘Verweig’, Zones 4–6)​

 

Classic: Langsdorff's flowering tobacco
Classic: Langsdorff’s flowering tobacco (Nicotiana langsdorffii, Zones 10–11)

Upgrade: ‘Bronze Queen’ flowering tobacco
Upgrade: ‘Bronze Queen’ flowering tobacco (Nicotiana langsdorffii ‘Bronze Queen’, Zones 10–11)

 

Classic: 'Walker's Low' catmint
Classic: ‘Walker’s Low’ catmint (Nepeta racemosa ‘Walker’s Low’, Zones 4–8)

Upgrade: ‘Kitten Around’ catmint (credit: Walters Gardens, Inc).
Upgrade: ‘Kitten Around’ catmint (Nepeta faassenii ‘Kitten Around’, Zones 3–8). Photo: Walters Gardens, Inc.

 

Expert’s Plants

Irvin Etienne is curator of herbaceous plants and seasonal garden design for The Garden at Newfields in Indianapolis.

Classic: ‘Flamenco’ red-hot poker (credit: David J. Stang, via Wikimedia Commons)
Classic: ‘Flamenco’ red-hot poker (Kniphofia uvaria ‘Flamenco’, Zones 5–9). Photo: David J. Stang, via Wikimedia Commons

Upgrade: ‘Mango Popsicle’ red-hot poker (credit: Irvin Etienne)
Upgrade: ‘Mango Popsicle’ red-hot poker (Kniphofia ‘Mango Popsicle’, Zones 6–9). Photo: Irvin Etienne

Classic: ‘Fireball’ hardy hibiscus, photo courtesy of David J. Stang, via Wikimedia Commons
Classic: ‘Fireball’ hardy hibiscus (Hibiscus ‘Fireball’, Zones 5–9). Photo: courtesy of David J. Stang, via Wikimedia Commons

Upgrade: 'Holy Grail' hardy hibiscus
Upgrade: ‘Holy Grail’ hardy hibiscus (Hibiscus ‘Holy Grail’, Zones 4–9)

 

Classic: ‘Storm Cloud’ lily of the Nile (credit: © Armitage/Hip Labels, LLC)
Classic: ‘Storm Cloud’ lily of the Nile (Agapanthus ‘Storm Cloud’, Zones 7b–10). Photo: ©Armitage/Hip Labels, LLC

Upgrade: ‘Galaxy Blue’ lily of the Nile (credit: Irvin Etienne)
Upgrade: ‘Galaxy Blue’ lily of the Nile (Agapanthus ‘Galaxy Blue’, Zones 6–10). Photo: Irvin Etienne

 

Classic: ‘Black Knight’ butterfly bush
Classic: ‘Black Knight’ butterfly bush (Buddleia davidii ‘Black Knight’, Zones 5–9)

Upgrade: ‘Grand Cascade’ butterfly bush (credit: Irvin Etienne)
Upgrade: ‘Grand Cascade’ butterfly bush (Buddleia ‘Grand Cascade’, Zones 5–10). Photo: Irvin Etienne

 

Classic: Mimosa (credit: Simon Garbutt, via Wikimedia Commons_
Classic: Mimosa (Albizia julibrissin, Zones 6–9). Photo: Simon Garbutt, via Wikimedia Commons

Upgrade: ‘Summer Chocolate’ mimosa
Upgrade: ‘Summer Chocolate’ mimosa (Albizia julibrissin ‘Summer Chocolate’, Zones 6–9)

 

 

View Comments

Comments

  1. User avater
    marthaclark 11/12/2021

    Such a nice image quality!

Log in or create an account to post a comment.

Related Articles

The Latest

Video

View All