As hard as we work in our gardens, sometimes nature just one-ups us. Here are a few of my favorites that I’ve spotted in various hikes and walks through the woodlands of the eastern US.
The great white trillium (Trillium grandiflorum, Zone 3 – 8). Can anything beat this incredible bloom? This trillium is one of my very favorite wildflowers. Sadly, deer love them, and deer overpopulation is doing a great deal of harm to these and other wildflowers in the US. So if you have a fenced garden, consider planting a few trillium. They are easy to grow in shady, woodland conditions, and if you can keep the deer out, the plants will thank you. Learn about gardening with trillium.
Trillium cuneatum (Zone 5 – 8) Though the flowers of this little trillium aren’t quite as showy as the big white trillium, they make up for it with their leaves that are covered with an incredible kaleidoscope of dark and silver spots. Very easy to grow in the garden, and make a dramatic statement wherever they are found.
When I think orchids, I usually think tropical plants with big showy flowers. But how about this, a winter hardy orchid that has incredibly beautiful leaves! This is Goodyera pubescens (rattlesnake plantain, Zone 3 – 9)which boasts some of the most beautiful leaves I’ve ever seen.
… leaves so dark they are nearly black!
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