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Regional Picks: Plants for Winter’s Worst – Southern Plains

Fine Gardening - Issue 149

Southern Plains


Paintbrush lily (Scadoxus puniceus, syn. S. natalensis)

USDA Hardiness Zones: 8 to 11

Size: 20 to 30 inches tall and wide

Conditions: Partial shade; moist, well-drained soil

This stunning bulb produces large globe-shaped torches of vibrant orange flowers held high on sturdy stalks in early spring before the leaves emerge. The glossy foliage, which persists through summer and fall before going dormant, adds a whole new textural dimension to the shade. Paintbrush lily is slow to multiply and can be hard to find, but it is worth seeking out because it is so amazing.


Paco’s possumhaw holly (Ilex decidua ‘Pacos’)

Zones: 5 to 9

Size: 15 feet tall and 12 feet wide

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

This is one of our favorite native ornamental trees, which can be grown as a single- or multitrunk plant. Paco’s possumhaw holly is a female plant (only females produce berries), which is…

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