2014 Spring Flower Fair

Herbaceous Perennials

Flowers and Foliage

Acanthus hungaricus (Bear's Breeches) - Produces pink and mauve flowers on tall stalks in June and July. Very showy and always attracts interest from visitors at the Gardens. The foliage is an attractive dark green and was the inspiration for the tops of the Corinthian columns! Plant in light shade and soil that is not wet.

  • Featured in the garden by Holly House.

Acanthus spinosus (Spiny Bear’s Breeches) – Attractive pink-mauve flower spikes which have white interiors.  A very showy flower that lasts for over 6 weeks and always receives comments from visitors.  The foliage has a spiney appearance (although it is not sharp) and is a perfect addition for the north side of a house or the shade garden.  Plants are very tolerant of drought, but dislike wet feet.

  • Featured in the Art Rudolph Sun and Shade Garden at Rutgers Gardens.

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Achillea x 'Moonshine' (Yarrow) - The bright yellow, flat topped flowers appear above gray-green foliage in early to mid summer. The flowers are also very ornamental as they dry and the strong stems allow them to persist well into winter. The look great at the Highline during the fall and winter when paired with the Korean Reed Grass (Calamagrostis brachytricha). Full sun and well drained soils are best.

Actea pachypoda 'Misty Blue' (Dolls Eyes) Native! The woodland beauty produces white flower spikes in April above blue-green foliage. However, the really cool part comes in late summer, when the bright white fruit display appears on vivid red pedicels. The tips of the fruit feature a white dot which makes them appear like old-fashioned dolls eyes!

Agastache x ‘Blue Fortune’ (Anise Hyssop) – Direct from the Trompenberg Arboretum on Holland comes this great new addition to the perennial garden.  Growing to 3-4’ in height, the plants produce blue flowers from June until October!!  The foliage is nicely scented and has proven to be deer resistant.  Best grown in full sun, in well-drained soils.

  • Featured in the Otken’s Memorial Garden at Rutgers Gardens.

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Agastache x 'Heat Wave' (Anise Hyssop) - If you are looking for brighr pink flower spikes, 36" tall over aromatic green foliage, you have found your plant! Blooms from June through August. Grows best in full sun, well drained soils, zone 6 winters.

Agastache x 'Heat Wave'

Agastache x ‘Raspberry Summer’ (Anise Hyssop) – Similar to the above, but the flowers are a very showy raspberry-pink in color and appearing from July into the fall.  Full sun and well drained soils.  Dear Resistant.

Amsonia x ‘Grande’ (Blue Star Amsonia) – A robust growing plant with much larger than normal flowers!  Still retains the wonderful orange fall color found in most Amsonia species.

Agastache rupestris (Anise Hyssop) - A little known Hyssop that is both deer resistant and provides orange blooms on 18" spikes from June until frost! All it requires is a very hot, dry location, no fertilizer and well drained soils! Foliage is silver in color and very aromatic.

Agastache rupestris

 

Amsonia hubrichtii (Blue Star Amsonia) – Native!  Looking for a nearly indestructible perennial for moist or dry sites?  Here is another answer!  Clusters of blue flowers appear in late April through early June.  The foliage is very narrow, and provides great summer texture.  In the fall, the plants turn an attractive gold that lasts for 2 months.  Full sun or light shade is soil that in moist to dry.  Grows to 30” tall and wide.

  • Located in front of Holly House at Rutgers Gardens.

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Amsonia x Seaford Skies (Seaford Skies Blue Star) – A very attractive hybrid of A. hubrectii and A. tabernaemontana discovered in the Seaford, VA garden of Pam Harper, with intermediate fine textured foliage, gorgeous deep blue flowers and stupendous yellow-gold fall color.  It grows to 2’ tall but will slowly spread to 4’ or greater across.  Preferring full sun and well drained soils, it is also deer resistant!

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Amsonia tabernaemontana ‘Blue Ice’ (Blue Star Amsonia) – Native!  Wider foliage than the above with a deeper blue flower.  Grows to 24” in heigh.

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  • Featured in the Blue Chroma Garden at Rutgers Gardens

Anemone sylvestris (Wood Anemone) – White flowers in May and June, with a repeat bloom in the fall.  Great for the shade garden and those preferring to use native plants.

  • Featured in the Art Rudolph Memorial Sun and Shade Garden.

Aquilegia caerulea (Columbine) – For those that do not prefer the hot orange color of the East Coast native, this species is an attractive warm blue and is perfect for combining with Rhododendrons or other May bloomers.  Plants prefer light shade to full sun and well drained soils.

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Aquilegia vulgaris ‘Little Lanterns’ (Columbine) – Native!  A dwarf selection of our native columbine that has a lot of flower power!  It has downward facing flowers of red and yellow through April and May – a Hummingbird magnate!

Aruncus x 'Misty Lace' (Boatsbeard) - A lovely compact plant that is a cross between our native Aruncus dioicus and the Asian Aruncus aesthusifolius and incorporates the best attributes of both into one plant! Large white plumes of flowers appear over cut leaf foliage. Grows to 24" tall and wide, it does best in a shady site, which humus rich and moist soils. Hardy to zone 3.

Aruncus x Misty Blue

Artemesia ‘Powis Castle’ (Artemesia, Wormwood) – An attractive silver foliaged perennial that has a multitude of uses in the garden.  Growing to 3’ tall and wide, it is a great plant for the hot dry location in the perennial or the mixed border.  Winter hardy to zone 7.

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Asarum canadense (Canadian Ginger) – Native!  The soft green leaves appear in spring, along with large brown flowers that have the shape of small water jugs!  The leaves quickly enlarge cover the ground, which, in addition to its moderately spreading root system, makes it a great groundcover candidate for the shade!

 

Asarum europaeum (European Ginger) - Dark green, leathery foliage which forms an attractive evergreen mat in the shade garden. Gently self-sows under shrubs and into other dark corners. Average soil and moisture requirements.

Asarum splendens (Chinese Ginger) – Large shiny green leaves with silver mottling are semi-evergreen and slowly spread over the ground.  Ideal for the shady garden. 

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Asclepias tuberosa (Milkweed) – Native!  Lovely orange and yellow flowers in June and July, followed by small milkweed pods.  An important food source for Monarch Butterflies in particular.  Must have a dry, sunny site for best success.

  • Featured in the Butterfly Garden in the DBL Garden at Rutgers Gardens

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Aspidistra elatior ‘Variegata’ (Cast Iron Plant) – Rare! An evergreen ground cover with broad dark green leaves, emanating from the ground. A really great plant for that shady corner. Creamy-purple flowers appear at soil level in spring. Mature height 18 - 24" tall. Zone 7 hardy. It also makes a superb indoor plant!

Aspidistra elator 'Variegata'

Aster tatericus ‘Jin-dai’ (Tartarian Aster) – An autumn bloomer, providing lavender-blue flowers from October into November on 3’ tall stems.  Throughout the spring and summer, this plant covers the ground with impressively large, tropical leaves.  Cold tolerant to zone 4, this plant will slowly colonize and create weed free groundcover.  Full sun and humus rich soils are best, but it is tolerant of light shade and most soil types, with the exception of those that are permanently wet. 

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Astilbe arendsii ‘Etna’ (Astilbe) – An early blooming form with dense, bright red flowers that appear over burgandy colored foliage.  Usually blooms in May into June.  Astilbe enjoys a lightly shaded location, with evenly moist and fertile soils.  Foliage will scorch in dry sun.

 

Baptisia alba var. macrophylla (White False Indigo) – If you like the disease and carefree attributes of the regular False Indigo, you will love this white flowered form.  Growing to 4’, it produces white flowers in May.  Full sun, well-drained soils.  A carefree group of plants.

  • Featured in front of Holly House (behind the bench) at Rutgers Gardens.

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Baptisia alba 'Wayne's World' (False Indigo) - This plant was found in N. Carolina and produces strikingly tall spikes of white flowers on dark purple stems. It also boasts and extended bloom time, starting in May and going well into June! Full sun, well drained soils are best.

 

Baptisia australis (False Indigo) – Native!  A plant native to NJ, it produces very attractive pea shaped blue flowers in May.  It is deer resistant, drought tolerant and is a very carefree and drought tolerant perennial.  The foliage turns dark purple in the fall and looks great in contrast with grasses that turn orange or yellow come October.

  • Featured in front of Holly House at Rutgers Gardens.
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Baptisia sphaerocarpa ‘Screaming Yellow’ (False Indigo) – Rare!  A new release with bright yellow flowers that bloom from June into July.  Full sun.

  • Featured in the Yellow Chroma Garden at Rutgers Gardens.

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Baptisia x 'Cherries Jubilee' (False Indigo) - A vigorous and unique selection with bi-color deep-red and yellow blooms held above blue-green foliage. Maturing to 3' tall and wide, it is densely branched and non-fussy. Full sun.

 

Baptisia x ‘Purple Smoke’ (False Indigo) – Dark purple stems give rise to smoky blue flowers.  Only growing to 30”, it also has smaller foliage than the straight species, which makes it ideal for the small garden.

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Baptisia x Solar Flare Prairie Blues’ (False Indigo) – Rare and New!  A very new and exciting selection!  The flowers start out yellow and age to orange.  Grows to 3’ tall. 

Baptisia x Starlite Prairieblues (False Indigo) - Growing to 36" tall and wide, the blue flowers have a dramatic touch of white at the base.

Baptisia Starlite Prairieblues

Baptisia x ‘Twilight Prairie Blues’ (False Indigo) – The dark purple stems give rise to blue flowers that are yellow at the base.  A very attractive new cross from the Chicago Botanic Garden, it typically blooms well into June on 3-4’ tall plants.

  • Featured in the Yellow Chroma Garden at Rutgers Gardens.

Baptisia 'Twilight Prairie Blue'

Bergenia x ‘Bressingham Ruby’ (Leather Pigsqueak) – The foliage is thick and leathery, which gives rise to its common name (it sounds like a pig squeaking when the leaves rub together).  The foliage than turns a gorgeous maroon red for the winter.  In April, umbels of pink flowers appear.  A carefree plant, ideal for shade or sun.

  • Featured in the Otken’s Garden at Rutgers Gardens.

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Bletilla striata (Hardy Orchid) – Deep pink orchid flowers in June over attractive wide green foliage.  Sound too tropical to be true?  Bletilla is an orchid that is hardy in NJ!  Grow in light shade in soils that are rich in organic matter and evenly moist.

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Brunnera macrophylla (Heartleaf Brunnera) – Large, dark green leaves provide the backdrop for sprays of tiny blue flowers that last from early April into mid-May.  A very low maintenance plant that will pleasantly self-sow.  Tolerant of moisture and drought if provided protection from the sun.

plantBrunnera macrophylla

Brunnera macrophylla ‘Jack Frost’ (Heartleaf Brunnera) – The leaves are almost completely covered with silver, making it a great addition to the shady border.  Attractive light blue flowers appear in May.

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Calamintha nepeta ssp. nepeta (Calamint) – The pale blue flowers are small but appear in ample quantities, giving the plant a blue haze from June to October!  Growing to 15” tall, the silver foliage is aromatic and is highly deer resistant.  Plants prefer well drained soils in full sun.  A great addition to rock gardens or as a filler plant between drifts of other perennials or annuals.

* Featured at the entrance to Rutgers Gardens at Ryders Lane

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Caryopteris divaricata ‘Snow Fairy’ (Blue Mist Shrub) – A recent introduction that will perform well in both full sun (in moisture retentive soils) and light shade.  This neat and tidy plant has leaves that are edged in white, providing ornament to the garden from spring to fall.  In August, blue flowers appear on the tips of the stems, giving the appearance of small blue butterflies hovering over the plant.  Unlike other Caryopteris, it dies totally back to the ground in winter and is a zone 4 plant.

  • Featured near the entrance of the Rhododendron Garden at Rutgers Gardens

     

Caryopteris 'Snow Fairy' foliageCaryopteris 'Snow Fairy' flower

Caryopteris incana ‘Sunshine Blue’ (Bluebeard) – Yellow foliage in spring gradually turns to chartreuse come summer, creating a wonderful backdrop to the deep blue flowers that appear in the axils of the leaves come August.  Growing to 3’, the foliage provides a fine backdrop for numerous perennials and woody plants in the mixed border.  Full sun, well drained soils.
            *Featured in the yellow Chroma Garden bordering the DBL Garden at Rutgers Gardens

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Ceratostigma plumbaginoides (Leadwort) – Tolerant of light shade or full sun. This low maintenance groundcover provides clean green foliage throughout the summer, with blue flowers starting in July and continuing through late October! With the onset of cool weather, the foliage turns brick red. An interesting addition to the garden since it provides 5 solid months of color and interest!   

plantCeratostigma plumbaginoides

Chrysogonum virginianum var. australe (Gold Star) – Native!  Although perfectly hardy, this is the Southern form of our native wildflower.  It has a nice low compact habit, only growing to 6” and dark green foliage.  The golden yellow flowers are produced in profusion from late April through early June, often with repeat blooms during the fall.

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Cimicifuga simplex ‘Hillside Black Beauty’ (Snakeroot) – Dark purple foliage that is tolerant of nearly full sun conditions.  In fact, the foliage is more dark purple if exposed to more sun, although it is shade tolerant.  White flowers appear on 4-5’ stems in late summer.

  • Featured at the Otken Memorial Garden at Rutgers Gardens.

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Convallaria majalis (Lily of the Valley) – White, extremely fragrant bell-like flowers in May.  A very long lived plant, best located in light shade in soils of average moisture to droughty.  Some orange fruits are produced in the fall.

  • Featured in the Art Rudolph Sun and Shade Garden at Rutgers Gardens.

Coreopsis verticillata ‘Zagreb’ (Coreopsis) – Similar to the above, but the foliage only reaches 18” and the flowers are a dark golden yellow.

  • Featured in the Otken Memorial Garden at Rutgers Gardens.

Crocosmia x Lucifer (Montbretia) – The brilliant bright red flowers appear on long arching stems, providing a very tropical feeling to the garden.  The flowers can reach up to 3’ in height, makes an excellent cut flower and is a hummingbird magnet.  The foliage is sword like and subtly attractive.  Best in full sun in soils that drain well and are enriched with organic matter or compost.

  • Featured in the Art Rudolph Sun and Shade Garden at Rutgers Gardens.

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Delosperma cooperi (Ice Plant) – If you have a tough, dry, sunny location that seems to be the deathbed to most plants, try Ice Plant.  Although it is invasive in the West, it is restrained in the northeast.  Magenta flowers cover the succulent foliage from late May to July, with sporadic blooms occurring until frost.  Plants grow to 2-4” in height.

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Dianthus gratianopolitanus ‘Firewitch’ – The 2006 Perennial Plant of the Year!  Low, grassy blue foliage supports shocking pink and fragrant flowers in spring into summer.  Provide conditions with full sun and good drainage.

Dicentra spectabilis (Old Fashioned Bleeding Heart) – The classic bleeding heart, with pink heart shaped flowers in May.  Best in shade.

  • Featured in the Art Rudolph Memorial Sun and Shade Garden at Rutgers Gardens.

Dicentra flower

 

Dicentra spectabolis 'Gold Heart' (Old Fashioned Bleeding Heart) - It has the classic pink and white heart-shaped flowers, but they hang from pink stems which dangle from electric-yellow foliage in the spring. The leaves light up the shade garden beautifully.

Dicentra spectabolis 'Hearts of Gold'

Dicentra spectabilis ‘Alba’ (Old Fashioned Bleeding Heart) – Similar to the above, but the flowers are white!   Great for brightening up a dark corner of the shade garden.

Dicentra spectabolis 'Alba'

Dicentra x ‘King of Hearts’ (Ever Blooming Bleeding Heart) –Bright red flowers appear in great quantities in May/June, and again in the fall.  Foliage is fern-like and blue-green, effective from spring to fall.  Best in light shade.

Echinacea x 'Hot Summer' (Coneflower) – Orange/red flowers that re-bloom throughout the summer. One of the first Echinacea's to start showing color. Vigorous growing, fragrant plant that is a must have for coneflower lovers! Mature height 36" tall.

Echinacea x 'Big Sky Harvest Moon' (Coneflower) - Large and overlapping deep golden yellow petals appear on 30" stems throughout the summer.

Echinacea x Big Sky Twilight (Coneflower) - Rose-red petals surround and orange-red cone. The fragrant flowers are borne on sturdy stems, 2' tall.

Echinacea purpurea 'Fragrant Angel' (Coneflower) - This coneflower has large white flowers with horizontal overlapping petals, circling a large yellow cone! The fragance is strikingly sweet and it is a favorite for butterflies and insects. Received top ratings from the trials at Mt. Cuba! Growing to 30" tall, it is cold tolerant to zone 4.

Echinacea 'Fragrant Angel'

Echinacea purpurea ‘Magnus’ (Purple Coneflower) – Large pink flowers that have a very nice presentation of the petals, since they are held out perpendicular from the stem in June and July (August).  The seeds are beloved by Goldfinches and it is the 1998 Perennial Plant of the Year.

  • Featured in the Red portion of the Chroma Beds in the DBL Garden at Rutgers Gardens.

Echinacea purpurea ‘White Swan’ (Purple Coneflower) – Large white flowers which bloom over an extended period during the summer.

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Epimedium grandiflorum ‘Rose Queen’ (Barrenwort) – A truly tough groundcover that can withstand dry shade.  Rose Queen has large pink flowers in May, over attractive heart-shaped foliage. 

Epimedium grandiflorum ‘Lilafee’ (Barrenwort) – Long lavender-violet flowers are held well above attractive semi-evergreen heart-shaped foliage.  In Autumn, the foliage assumes various tints of red. 

  • Featured in the Art Rudolph Memorial Sun and Shade Garden at Rutgers Gardens.

Epimedium grandiflorum 'Lilafee'

Epimedium x perralchicum ‘Frohnleiten’ (Barrenwort) – Similar to the above but the flowers are yellow with a golden brown center and the foliage is evergreen!

  • Featured in the Asian Hillside Garden next to the office at Rutgers Gardens.

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Epimedium x rubrum (Barrenwort) – Similar to the above, but the flowers are deep red, the plants spread slightly more aggressively, and it is not evergreen.

 

Epimedium x versicolor ‘Sulphureum’ (Barrenwort) – Yellow flowers on tall 10-12” stems.  This is a very vigorous form, great for dry shade.  It is semi-evergreen in central NJ.

  • Featured under the Three Flowered Maple next to Holly House in Rutgers Gardens.

Eryngium 'Blue Hobbit' (Sea Holly) – Distinctive, blue, spiny flowers that add unique color and texture to the garden and floral bouquets. Tolerant of hot, dry, salty sites. Mature height 6 - 8" tall.

Eupatorium dubium ‘Little Joe’ (Joe Pye Weed) – Native!  Mauve pink flower clusters in July and August are highly attractive to butterflies.  Unlike other forms of Joe Pye, Little Joe only grows to 4’, making it much more manageable in the smaller garden. 

  • Featured in the chroma beds bordering the DBL garden at Rutgers Gardens.
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Euphorbia amygdaloides var. robbiae (Wood Spurge) - Deer Resistant! Has beautiful yellow bracted flowers in May which appear to float above the thick, leathery everygreen foliage. Great for dry shade!

Euphorbia flowers

 

Euphorbia ‘Bonfire’ (Spurge) - A spectacular variegated form! Blue-green foliage with an irregular creamy-white margin and pink in the new growth. Plants have a bushy, compact habit and chartreuse flowers in April and May. Prefers full sun to light shade, with well-drained soils and grows to a height 10 – 14”.

 

Gallium odoratum (Sweet Woodruff) – Fragrant white flowers in spring atop attractive cut leaf foliage.  Plants make a great groundcover since it has a slow creeping habit and it survives well in dry shade.  Foliage is fragrant when crushed and persists well into the late fall.

  • Featured in the Rhododendron Garden at the Rutgers Gardens.

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Geranium x cantabrigiense ‘Biokovo Karmina’ (Hardy Geranium) – A great groundcover form of Hardy Geranium, with deep pink flowers that persist from mid May until late June.  Foliage is semi-evergreen, with great fall color in bright light of full sun locations.

Geranium ‘Jolly Bee’ (Hardy Geranium) – Large blue flowers cover this 18” tall plant from late May through June.  Come fall, the foliage turns an attractive red.  Full sun to light shade, hardy to Zone 4. 

 

Geranium ‘New Hampshire Purple’ (Hardy Geranium) – Looking for a ground cover that is drought tolerant and has rose purple flowers that appear most of the summer?  Once again, you have found your plant!  Full sun to light shade, growing to a height of 12”.

 

Geranium sanguineum (Bloody Geranium) – Magenta purple flowers cover this 15-21” tall perennial in May into June.  The plant is also extremely drought tolerant and adaptable to either full sun or light shade.  Good for using in masses.

Geranium sanguineum var. striatum (Bloody Geranium) – Similar to the above, but the flowers are light pink with deep pink veins, and the plant only reaches 9-12” in height.

  • Featured in the Art Rudolph Memorial Sun and Shade Garden at Rutgers Gardens.

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Geranium x ‘Rozanne’ (Cranesbill) – Introduced by Blooms of England, this plant is barely without flowers from spring through summer.  Large purple-blue flowers with pale blue centers cover the plant in spring, and continue to bloom through August!  Foliage is finely dissected and reaches 15” in height.

  • Featured in the Blue Chroma Garden at Rutgers Gardens
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Hedera helix ‘Buttercup’ (English Ivy) – A yellow foliaged form of English Ivy, which makes a wonderful climber, or a detail groundcover for the shade.  However, make certain the location receives adequate sunlight since in too deep of shade, the plant will become more green than yellow. 

Hedera helix ‘Chester’ (Chester English Ivy) – Three-lobed leaves with a heart-shaped base. Wide cream to white margins with gray-green centers. Trailing.

Hedera helix ‘Filigran’ (English Ivy) - A sport of 'Boskoop' with seven to nine nearly linear forward - pointed lobes that are tightly fluted. The leaf blade and lobes are curled downward making this one of the curliest ivies. Slow growing rate.

Helleborus x ballardiae – Large, light pink flowers in later winter or early spring atop silver veined evergreen foliage.  What more could a person possibly want from a perennial!!  Light shade and well-drained soils are best for proper growth.

Helleborus niger ‘Josef Lemper’ (Christmas Rose) – Grey green foliage gives rise to large white flowers in late February or March.  During 2010, they bloomed from late December into March!  Prefers well-drained soils and protection from the afternoon sun.  On of the true great harbingers of spring.

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Helleborus x nigercors ‘Honyhill Joy’ – Large creamy white flowers in late winter face outwards and upwards, allowing the viewer to actually stare deep into the eyes of the flowers!  Foliage is glossy and evergreen, ultimately growing to 18” tall, while the flowers can reach 24” tall in good soils.

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Helleborus ‘Golden Lotus’ (Lenten Rose) – Soft yellow, double flowers for the late winter garden!

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Helleborus x ‘Ivory Prince’ (Lenten Rose) - Dark dusty - pink buds appear in spring and open to an ivory - white. An infusion of color these flowers range from soft - green rose to plum atop the dark blue - green foliage. A great new introduction!  Mature height 10 - 12" tall.

Helleborus x 'Onyx Odyssey' (Lenten Rose) - Large, chocolate-purple to nearly black double purple flowers in March and early April. An incredibly tastu treat for the garden!

Helleborus x ‘Peppermint Ice’ (Lenten Rose) – Double flowers in shades of light pink to rose with darker picotee edges!

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Helleborus x ‘Pink Marble’ (Lenten Rose) – Long purple stems give rise to green flowers with a rose blush and burgundy highlights. Foliage is marbled with cream colored streaks. Attractive both in and out of bloom!  Culture as above.

Helleborus x ‘Red Racer’ (Lenten Rose) - Red Lenten Rose. Deep-red, cup-shaped flowers that are mostly upright. Leathery, dark-green foliage that can spread up to 24". Mature height 9" tall.

Helleborus x ‘Regal Ruffles Strain’ (Lenten Rose) – Double flowers in shades of pink, red, yellow, greens and picotees. 

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Helleborus x Royal Heritage Strain™ – Very vigorous plants, often growing to 20”, that produce pink, white and purple flowers in late winter.  Also best grown with some protection from the afternoon sun.

  • Featured along the fence in the Otkens Memorial Garden at Rutgers Gardens.

Helleborus x Royal Heritage

Helleborus x sternii ‘Hot Flash’ – Light green flowers are blushed with pink from March into April.  Foliage is a striking silver overlay on green leaves with red veining.  Evergreen and dry site tolerant.

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Heuchera villosa ‘Caramel’ (Alum Root) – Copper foliage with hints of yellow throughout the year makes this an ideal plant to work into the border with other flowers and shrubs.

  • Featured in the Otkens Memorial Garden at Rutgers Gardens.

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Heuchera villosa ‘Citronelle’ (Coral Bells) – Vivid chartreuse foliage and small white flowers throughout the year.  Ideal in light shade in well drained soils.

Heuchera 'Autumn Leaves' (Coral Bells0 –Red leaves in the spring, taupe in the summer, and ruby in the fall make this a plant for all seasons! Heat and humidity tolerant. Mature height 18" tall.

 

Heuchera x ‘Marmalade’ (Coral Bells) – Orange-umber foliage has pink undersides to its leaves, resulting in a very showy plant.  The flowers appear in spring on pinkish-orange stems.  It is much more sun tolerant than most Heucheras.

  • Featured in the Otken Memorial Garden at Rutgers Gardens.

Heuchera x 'Midnight Rose' (Coral Bells) – Extreme heat and humidity tolerant. The foliage is softly lobed with rounded leaves of pure black and splashes of pink. Small white blooms appear above the foliage in summer. Attractive to butterflies with a mature height 10 - 12" tall.

Heuchera x ‘Obsidian’ (Coral Bells) – One of the very darkest purples on the market!  Purple-black shinny foliage set the stage for the white flowers in late spring.  

Heucherella x 'Golden Zebra'  (Foamy Bells) – The feathery, yellow leaves with striking, dark-red interiors add great color to any shade garden! This plant will do great in containers, as a ground cover, or in border edging. Mature height 10 - 14" tall.

Hibiscus moscheutos ‘Kopper King’ (Mallow) – Striking copper colored foliage sets the stage for the large white flowers with a red center.  Grows to 3-4’ in height.  Ideal for the perennial or mixed border, Kopper King does best in full sun and soils that are not droughty.  Is tolerant of wet sites.

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Hibiscus moscheutos ‘Lady Baltimore’ (Mallow) – As above, but the foliage is green and the flowers are large pink bells.  At the Rutgers Gardens, they have reached 6’ in height and bloom from July through September!

  • Featured at the Otken Memorial Garden at Rutgers Gardens.

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Hibiscus x ‘Pinot Grigio’ (Mallow) – White flowers with a rose pink outer edge and center ring; very striking!  Plants are compact and tidy, only growing to 2 ½’ in height.  Enjoys wet sites, although it will flourish in average garden soils.

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Hosta ‘August Moon’ (Plantain Lily) – A neat and easy to grow group of plants.  All will grow nicely in the shade; some will also perform well in the sun with proper amounts of humus added to the soil.  Each selection has different heights and foliar patterns or color that makes them unique.  August Moon is to 20” with chartreuse foliage and light blue flowers.

Hosta ‘Blue Cadet’ – Small blue leaved foliage with lavender trumpet shaped flowers.

Hosta ‘Kabitan’ – Very narrow, iridescent yellow leaves with a dark margin describe this plant.   Dark Lavender-purple flowers contrast nicely with the foliage.  A mature height of 10”.

 

Hosta 'PlantagineHosta plantaginea (Fragrant Plantain Lily) – Rare!  Most people recognize or appreciate Hostas for their bold foliage, not for their flower.  Hosta plantaginea not only has very attractive, glossy green foliage, but come late August and September, it sports 3’ stalks of fragrant white flowers!  A hard to find plant for the garden which is ideal for enlivening the shady garden.

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Hosta 'Praying Hands' (Hosta) - 2011 Hosta of the year! Tightly folded, narrow, upright foliage. Dark-green leaves with gold margins. Mature height 14 – 18” tall

Hosta ‘Sagae’ – Winner of several awards! A stunning specimen Hosta with frosted green leaves and creamy-yellow margins. A large growing plant with good slug resistance. Mature height of 3’.

Hosta 'Stained Glass' (Hosta) - An improved sport of ‘Guacamole’. Giant, gold leaves with dark-green margins. Fragrant flowers in summer. Mature height 14 – 18” tall.

Hosta ‘Sum and Substance’ – Very large chartreuse foliage with tall lavender flowers in August.

Hypericum calycinum ‘Brigadoon’ (St. Johnswort) – Brigadoon is great for adding some color to a border.  Between the bright golden foliage and yellow flowers that bloom throughout the summer, this plant works hard for its place in the garden!  Provide a location with full sun and well-drained soil; it is drought tolerant once established.

  • Featured behind the Gazebo in the Art Rudolph Sun and Shade Garden at Rutgers Gardens.

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Iris cristata ‘Powder Blue Giant’ (Dwarf Crested Iris) – Native!  A selection of our native Iris, this is a more vigorous selection, with large light blue flowers with yellow crests.  Blooming in May, Crested Iris makes an ideal groundcover is dry and shaded locations.

  • Featured at the Otken Memorial Garden at Rutgers Gardens.

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Iris cristata ‘Tennessee White’ (Dwarf Crested Iris) – A long blooming an vigorous selection, it has lots of large white flowers accented by yellow crests in May.  A moderate spreader and a real spring ‘show-stopper’!

 

Iris germanica ‘Harvest of Memories’ (German Bearded Iris) – Bright yellow flowers appear in May into June with a very reliable and strong autumn rebloom.  Like the above, an amazing flower to see in the autumn!

Iris 'Harvest of Memories'Iris 'Harvest of Memories' flower

Iris germanica ‘Immortality’ (German Bearded Iris) - Large white flowers with purple edges and veining in May and June that will rebloom in autumn! Full sun, well drained soil.

 

Iris pallida ‘Variegata’ (Variegated Sweet Iris) – The soft lavender-blue flowers of this Iris appear in May and are a lovely addition to the striking variegated foliage.  The broad leaves are striped with green and creamy yellow, and remain attractive throughout the summer!  Full sun and well drained soils.

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Iris tectorum (Japanese Roof Iris) - Present on thatched roofs in Japan, this form has large blue flowers with a yellow throat in May and into June. The 18" tall, upwardly dramatic foliage remains an attractive glossy green throughout the summer and into the fall, an unusual trait for many Iris. Grows and flowers well in full sun and partial shade. A plant every garden should not be without.

Iris tectorum

Iris tectorum var. album (White Japanese Roof Iris) - As above, but the flowers are white.

Iris tectorum var. alba

Iris versicolor (Blue Flag Iris) - Native! Blooms in May into June with beautiful blue-violet flowers with yellow throats. Will grow well under normal soil moisture conditions, but in the wild, it in is typically found in moist to boggy meadows or along streamsides. It also has a fantastic nutrient filtering system, making it a necessary plant for bioswales and rain gardens.

  • Featured in the Rain Garden at Rutgers Gardens.

Iris versicolor flower

 

Kirengeshoma koreana (Yellow Waxbells) – Thick petaled yellow, bell-like and dangling flowers appear over a 4’ mound of maple-like leaves in August into September.  If you did not know better, you would think it was a shrub.  A super addition for the shade garden! 

  • Featured in the Otkens Memorial Garden at the Rutgers Gardens.

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Kirengeshoma palmata (Yellow Waxbells) – Similar to the above, but only growing to 3’ tall.  I saw it in mass at a garden and it looked spectacular!

  • Featured in the Asian Hillside Garden next to the office at Rutgers Gardens.
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Lamium maculatum ‘Anne Greenway’ – Neat green leaves are edged in bright gold, with a central silver stripe.  Will often rebloom in the fall.

Lamium maculatum ‘Lemon Frost – Rare!  A very interesting combination of lavender flowers over chartreuse, heart-shaped leaves.  Mature height of 6-8”

Lamium maculatum ‘Orchid Frost’ (Spotted Nettle) – A great groundcover for brightening up a corner in the light shade.  The foliage has central blotches of silver, surrounded by a blue-green margin, providing interest from April to December.  Orchid Frost is exceptional in that it produces large quantities of pink flowers in spring and again in the fall, with occasional flowers throughout the summer.

Lamium maculatum ‘Red Nancy’ (Spotted Nettle) – A great groundcover for light shade.  The foliage has central blotches of silver, surrounded by a blue-green margin, providing interest from April to December.  Red Nancy is exceptional in that it produces large quantities of deep pink flowers in spring and again in the fall, with occasional flowers throughout the summer.  Needs soil that is well drained and humus rich that does not become dry in summer.

Lamium maculatum ‘White Nancy’ (Spotted Nettle) – Similar to the above, but the flowers are white.  Great for the shady retreat in the garden.

Lavendula angustifolia ‘Munstead’ (Lavender) – The silver/gray foliage is evergreen and is extremely fragrant. Dark blue flowers appear in June through August.  Prefers full sun and well-drained soils – a very hardy form.

  • Featured in the Herb Garden at Rutgers Gardens

 

Lavendula x intermedia 'Elegance Sky' (Lavender) - Fleuroselect Gold Medal Winner! A beautiful, easy to grow, dependable & free-flowering selection. Lots of light, sky-blue blooms. Mature height 12 – 15” tall.

 

Lavendula x intermedia ‘Province’ (Lavender) – A taller growing variety, with the light, lavender-blue flowers reaching 30”.  The foliage is resistant to hot and humid summers and is very aromatic.

Leptinella squallida (Brass Buttons) - An interesting and unusual groundcover from New Zealand, which is hardy to zone 4! Only growing several inches tall, the green, fernlike foliage slowly carpets the ground and can also tolerate light foot traffic, so it is ideal for planting in-between stepping stones. In May the plant displays small golden flowers that resemble brass buttons and come autumn, the foliage turns purple! The plants are not evergreen, but re-emerge come late April. Best planted in light shade.

Leptinella squalidaLeptinella squalida fall color

Liatris microcephala (Dwarf Blazing Star) - Native! Very delicate and attractive strap-like foliage reaching 6" tall is topped by 18" purple flower spikes in August and September. Butterflies and insects love the late season flowers, which also make an excellent cut flower. Requires full sun and although it tolerates dry sites well, it grows happily in ordinary garden loam. Hardy to zone 4.

Liatris microcephala Liatris microcephala flowers

Ligularia dentata ‘Desdemona’ – Large, dark purple round leaves, each up to 10” in diameter make this a stunning addition to the moist, shady garden.  In August, orange daisy-like flowers are produced, which contrast wonderfully with the foliage.  Also makes a great container plant for the shade.

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Liriope muscarii ‘Christmas Tree’ (Lilyturf) – Clump forming with long grass-like foliage to 14”, the selection produces large, purple ‘Christmas Tree’ like flowers in late summer.  Shade to sun, in well-drained soils.

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Liriope muscarii ‘Variegata’ (Variegated Lilyturf) – Chartreuse and green striped grassy foliage, growing to 14” tall.  In the sun, the chartreuse bands become more golden. Shade to sun, in well drained soils.  

Liriope spicata 'Silver Dragon' (Variegated Lilyturf) – Leaves are striped with beautiful silver-white banding. Flower spikes of pale-lavender arise among the leaves in late summer followed by blackish fruits in fall. Moderate growth rate. Mature height 12 - 15" tall.

Lysimachia nummularia (Creeping Jenny) – Small round chartreuse leaves on creeping stems make this a great groundcover or filler plant for containers or the border.  Is happy in full sun or light shade in soils that are slightly to very moist.

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Lysimachia punctata 'Alexander' (Variegated Loosestrife) - Clumps of sturdy stems hold 1", star shaped golden blossoms over green leaves with creamy variegation. Foliage is tinged pink in spring. Mature height of 2'. Does best in full sun to light shade in soils that are average to moist.

 

Lobelia cardinalis (Cardinal Flower) – Native!  A terrific native plant for moist or shady locations in the garden, although it will grow nicely in well-drained soils.  Tall spikes of scarlet flowers are produced in June and July, which are great for attracting hummingbirds. 

  • Featured in the Native Plant Garden at Rutgers Gardens.

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Mazus reptans (Creeping Mazus) – A very attractive and underutilized groundcover of 2” in height with light green, oval shaped foliage. Moderate to fast spreading habit with lavender to light purple blooms in spring. Deer resistant!

Monarda didyma 'Blue Stockings' (Bee Balm) - Native! Dusky deep-violet blooms that are wonderfully fragrant make Blue Stockings a great addition to the garden. Foliage is mildew resistant and the sturdy upright stems reach 3'. Looks great mixed with Echinacea.Full sun, average to moist soils.

 

Monarda didyma ‘Jacob Cline’ (Bee Balm) – Native!  If you are looking to attract hummingbirds, this is the plant for you!!  I was in a garden this past summer with 5 hummingbirds fighting over the rights of this plant!  Bright red flowers last for up to 6 weeks on 2’ tall stalks.

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Musa basjoo (Hardy Banana) – A great tropical looking plant, native to Japan’s Ryukyu Islands and is hardy to zone 6 if mulched heavily with leaves in the autumn.  Plants can reach 10’ in height, with foliage up to 6’ in length.  Plants will produce new offsets each spring around the original plant, creating a great impact for the annual or mixed border!

  • Featured in the Monocot Garden at Rutgers Gardens.

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Nepeta x faassenii ‘Walker’s Low’ (Catmint) – The 2007 Perennial Plant of the Year, Walkers Low grows to 15” tall, and provides blue flowers from early summer to early autumn.  The light gray foliage is aromatic and deer resistant.

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Ophiopogon japonica ‘Little Tabby’ (Variegated Mondo Grass) – The leaves are wide and have bright creamy-white margins. Slow growing clumps. A choice plant for the intimate and detailed area of the garden. Mature height of 6".

  • Featured in the Asian Hillside Garden near the office at Rutgers Gardens.

Ophiopogon planiscapus ‘Nigrescens’ (Black Mondo Grass) – A unique groundcover for full sun or light shade.  The dark purple grass-like foliage provides a great complement to pinkish-white flower spikes. Very slow grower. Mature height of 8 - 10" in height.

Origanum rotundifolium ‘Kent Beauty’ (Ornamental Oregano) – A real beauty of a plant!  The blue-green trailing foliage is heart shaped and looks great planted in a wall or softening the edge of a container.  In summer, pink flowers are produced inside of chartreuse bracts – a very effective combination.  Hardy to zone 5, it only needs good drainage and full sun to guarantee success.

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Pachysandra procumbens (Allegheny Pachysandra) – Native!  Our native Pachysandra, it has a much showier white flower in spring than does its oriental cousin.  Leaves turn purplish in the winter.  Shade, well drained soils high in organic content.

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  • Featured in the gardens adjacent to the Rain Garden at Rutgers Gardens.

Paeonia x Itoh 'Sequestered Sunshine' (Itoh Peony) - In 1948 Toichi Itoh of Japan crossed tree peonies with herbaceous peonies and came up with this exciting group of new selections. Sequestered Sunshine has large, robust yellow flowers, representing its tree peony heritage, with a more compact habit from its herbaceous peony genes. The result is a beautiful plant that is rarely seen in Gardens or for sale. Best grown in full sun and soils that are humus enriched, yet well drained. Zone 4 hardy.

Paeonia 'Sequesterd Sunshine'

Penstemon digitalis ‘Husker Red’ (Smooth White Penstemon) – A very drought tolerant and long lived perennial, it has deep burgundy red foliage, and pinkish white flowers on tall stems.  It looks its best when grown in full sun and well-drained soils.  The 1996 Perennial Plant of the Year!

Persicaria amplexicaulis ‘Firetail’ (Fleece Flower) – Deep red spikes of flowers 3-5” long are produced from July to September.  Growing to 4’, it can be grown in sun or shade, although the broad textured foliage and red flowers look the best in some shade.  Moist site tolerant.

  • Featured at the Otken Memorial Garden at Rutgers Gardens.

Persicaria 'Firetail'

Persicaria polymorpha – Growing to 5’, this non-invasive plant will produce large white flowers in June and July.  Looks like a large Goats Beard.  Not fussy as to soil type (does not do well in overly wet soils), in sun or light shade. As I found out at the Gala last September, this was one of Wolfgang Oehme's favorite plants to use in the Garden for its impressive scale and ability to provide attractive flowers with little maintenance! 

  • Featured at the Otken Memorial Garden at Rutgers Gardens.

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Phlox stolonifera 'Sherwood Purple' (Creeping Phlox) - Native!  Low creeping foliage to 2 inches makes this native plant an ideal groundcover.  Clusters of blue flowers appear on 6" stems in April into May. Provide this plant with humus rich soils in light shade, and you will be rewarded for years to come with this carefree plant.

  • Located in adjacent to the Rain Garden at Rutgers Gardens

Platycodon grandiflorus ‘Sentimental Blue’ (Balloon Flower) – Many gardeners are searching for a dwarf and tidy plant which does not flop and blooms for most of the summer.  Sounds impossible but here it is!!  Growing to only 12”, it produces a carpet of blue flowers and blooms from June into September!  Full sun, well drained soils are ideal.

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Polemonium caeruleum ‘Brise d’Anjou’ (Jacob’s Ladder) – Light blue flowers in spring cover the neat mounds of white variegated foliage.  Ideal for the shady garden in soils that do not become excessively dry for extended periods.  Height of 15”.

Polemonium reptans ‘Snow and Saphires’ (Jacob’s Ladder) – Native!  Variegated Jacob’s ladder. Strong, reliable, low-mounding, fern-like foliage is dark-green edged in white. Tall stems of blue blooms contrast nicely in spring. Mature height 24 – 30” tall.

Polygonatum humile (Dwarf Solomon’s Seal) – Native!  A low growing species that only reaches 6” tall, but will spread to form a 1-2’ diameter matt with time!  White flowers appear at the base of the leaves in May.

Polygonatum odoratum ‘Variegatum’ (Variegated Solomon’s Seal) – For the woodland garden, the foliage of this plant has been described as butterflies unfolding their wings in spring!  The leaves have a slender white margin, and dangling white bell shaped flowers beneath the foliage.  In autumn, the foliage turns to a deep, robust yellow.

  • Featured in the Art Rudolph Memorial Sun and Shade Garden at Rutgers Gardens.

Polygonatum odoratum 'Variegatum'

Pulmonaria x ‘Cotton Cool’ (Lungwort) – Dark blue flowers with striking silver leaves.  Ideal for the shade garden with has good drainage.

Pycnanthemum muticum (Mountain Mint) - Native! As the summer advances, the new leaves of Mountain Mint assume a silvery white coloration to the point where they look like small white pointsettias! The small pink flowers are a great butterfly attractant and the foliage is deliciously aromatic. A wonderful deer resistant native!

Pycnanthemum

Rodgersia pinnata ‘Fireworks’ (Featherleaf Rodgersia) – Tall, rose-red flowers appear above dramatic red margined large leaves.  Best grown moist shade or in soils that are enriched with humus, it reaches 3’ in height. Due to the late frost, this crop was lost in 2012.

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Rohdea japonica (Nippon Lily, Sacred Lily) – An interesting low growing lily that more resembles a coarse grass than a lily!  The small white flowers appear within the foliage in spring, to be replaced by red fruits that are very showy against the evergreen foliage during the winter.  Provide it with a shady location in well-drained but moist locations.  Performs admirably on moist banks alongside a stream, which are very moist to wet during the winter and dry during the summer. Very deer resistant!

  • Featured in the Asian Hillside Garden by the office at Rutgers Gardens.

Rohdea japonicaRhodea fruits

Rudbeckia maxima (Dumbo Ears) – Huge leaves, up to 2’ tall, are a showy powder blue, looking like a tropical foliage plant!  The flowers stems rise 4 to 5 feet above the foliage and are topped by yellow cone-shaped flowers in late June into August.  Dumbo Ears is planted in the Otkens Garden at Rutgers Gardens and always receive great commentary!

  • Featured at the Otken Memorial Garden at Rutgers Gardens.

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Rudbeckia subtomentosa 'Henry Ellers' (Sweet Coneflower) Native!- Henry Ellers produces copious amounts of golden yellow blooms in August and September on 4-5' stems. What makes the flowers so unique is that the petals are rolled and are fascinating to look at close-up. The plants are very site adaptable and are very tolerant of moist and dry soils, making it an ideal candidate for rain gardens and bioswales!

Rudbeckia subtomentosa

 

Rumex sanguineus (Bloody Dock) – Green leaves with red veins makes this plant an excellent addition for the sunny perennial garden.  Interestingly, when the leaves are small and tender they taste like spinach and make a great addition to salads.

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Sagina subulata ‘Aurea’ (Scotch Moss) – Although it is an ‘advanced plant’, Scotch Moss looks for all the world like a chartreuse moss that also functions as a great groundcover for in-between stepping stones.  Only growing to ½”, it seeds true and will rapidly fill in joints, softening the harsh edges.   Light shade is preferred but it is a very adaptable plant, as long as the soil is well drained.  Zone 5

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Salvia nemerosa ‘Caradonna’ (Salvia) – Violet blue flowers on dark purple flower stems – a striking color combination.  Full sun and well-drained soils provide the best growing conditions.

Salvia nemerosa ‘East Friesland’ (Salvia) – Similar to May Night, but the flowers are more blue than purple.

Salvia nemerosa ‘May Night’ (Salvia) – Looking for a blast of deep purple flowers in June into July?  May Night produces 12” long spikes of purple flowers in the early summer, and again in the early fall if the plant is sheared back after blooming.  Grows best in full sun and moist, but well-drained soils.  The 1997 Perennial Plant of the Year!

 

Saxifraga stolonifera (Strawberry Geranium) - Wonderful spreading ground cover with rounded and pubescent leaves that are mottled with silver and have red undersides. This underused perennial has white to light pink flowers dangle above the foliage in spring.  A good and very unusual groundcover for shade.  Hardy to zone 6.

  • Featured in the Rhododendron Garden at Rutgers Gardens.

Sedum cauticolum ‘Lidakense’ (Stonecrop) – Mounds of rounded foliage with an intense blue coloration in summer, reddish bronze in the winter.  Mature ht of 8”.

Sedum x ‘Matrona’ (Stonecrop) – Very attractive purple gray foliage provides a great accent to neighboring plants throughout the summer.  In September, pale pink flowers are produced atop the 18-24” tall stems.  As is typical for Sedums, full sun, well drained soils provide the best conditions for growth.

  • Featured in the Otkens and the Art Rudolph Memorial Gardens at Rutgers Gardens.

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Sedum repestre ‘Angelina’ (Stonecrop) – Striking chartreuse to gold needle-like evergreen foliage, topped with small yellow flowers in summer.  Assumes a reddish hue in the winter.  Tolerates dry sites – we have one planted atop a wall in the Gardens and it is has done magnificently well for the past 4 years!

  • Featured in the Yellow Chroma bed and atop the wall by the Entrance Kiosk at Rutgers Gardens.

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Sedum makinoi ‘Ogon’ – A native of Japan, this creeping sedum has bright-yellow foliage and is great in sun or light shade.  Provide soils with moderate moisture and good drainage; mature height 1” – 2”.

 

Sedum makinoi ‘Variegatum’ – A native of Japan this creeping sedum has green foliage bordered with a white margins. Mature height of only 1 - 2" tall!

 

Sempervivum ‘Black’ (Hens and Chick) – Fleshy green leaves with deep purple tips accenting a green center. Evergreen and drought tolerant. Mature height 3-6" tall

 

Sempervivum ‘Cobwebs’ (Hens and Chicks) – A collection of small, silver foliage rosettes makes a great ‘detail’ groundcover for the up-close and personal area.  Fine threads connect the rosettes, making them look like cobwebs.

Sempervivum 'Jade Rose'  (Hens & Chicks) – Red-leafed rosettes with green tips. Mature height of 3 - 4" tall.

Sempervivum ‘Purple Passion’ (Hens and Chicks) – The centers of the rosettes are a deep red, fading out to light silvery green towards the tips of the leaves!  Very cool!  Full sun and good drainage is necessary.

 

Sempervivum 'Sunset' (Hens & Chicks) – The evergreen leaves are lime-green leaves, shaded with dark-red and orange upon the arrival of cooler fall and winter weather.  Star-shaped flowers appear in the summer. Great for window boxes and rock gardens. Mature height 2 - 4" tall.

Silphium perfoliatum (Cup Plant) - A NATIVE WOW! If you are looking for a perennial that will provide yellow, daisy-like flowers from July to September on tall 6' stems and requires no maintenance, here is your plant!! Drought tolerant, this midwestern native produces leaves that litteraly surround the stem and form a cup-lilke structure, hence the common name!

Silphium perfoliatum

Sisyrinchium angustifolium ‘Lucerne’ (Blue Eyed Grass) – Native! An interesting native plant that has grassy textured foliage growing to 8”.  Myriad small blue flowers appear in May and June.  Lucerne has larger than normal sized flowers.  Great for dry shade or will grow in average garden soil in a sunny location.  A wonderful and very effective plant for the garden that has been long overlooked.

Sisyrinchium angustifolium 'Lucerne'

Sisyrinchium californicum 'Yellowstone' (Yellow-Eyed Grass) – In contrast to the normal blue flowered forms, this plant produces a great number of small, yellow, star-like flowers. A great accent for edging walkways and rock gardens. Mature height 8 - 12" tall.  Even though it heralds from California, giving it full sun to light shade and well-drained soils ensure success in zone 6 gardens!

Spigelia marilandica (Indian Pink) – Rare!  Native!  Bright red flowers on the outside and lemon-yellow on the inside!  A striking color combination, which is compounded by the petals curving outward.  It is truly a great native plant for full sun or light shade. 

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Spiranthes americana (Ladies Trusses) – Rare!  Native!  An unusual and attractive evergreen ground cover with white, orchid-like flower spikes rising above the glossy foliage in September and October. Mature flower height is 10 - 12" tall.  Locate in soils that remain moist year round or only dry-out for short periods.

  • Located in the Rain Garden at Rutgers Gardens.

Stachys byzantina ‘Helene von Stein’ (Lamb’s Ears) – I believe to be one of the best forms of Lamb’s Ears, with it’s larger than normal silver-green foliage and few flowers.  Grown best in full sun and well-drained soils.

  • Featured in front of the Holly House at Rutgers Gardens.

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Stachys monieri 'Hummelo' (Lamb's Ears) - A low growing rosette of thickly textured green leaves is topped by spikes of lavender-pink flowers in June through August. A tough, carefree plant for full sun and well drained soils.

 

Tiarella cordifolia ‘Running Tapestry’ (Foamflower) – Discovered in Pennsylvania, this running form creates a great groundcover.  White flowers in May over bronze speckled foliage.  Best grown in light shade in humus rich and well-drained soils.

Tiarella x ‘Iron Butterfly’ (Foamflower) – White flowers appear over an extended time from spring to summer, which is enhanced by purple-black markings on the center of the green foliage.  A clumping form.

Tiarella x ‘Pink Skyrocket’ (Foamflower) – Pink flowers in spring and summer with green foliage.  Will tolerate full sun in humus rich soils, otherwise partial shade is ideal.

Tradescantia x ‘Sweet Kate’ (Spiderwort) – Golden yellow foliage with blue flowers from May into July!  A spectacular plant for the lightly shaded location and well-drained soils.

  • Featured in the Art Rudolph Memorial Sun and Shade Garden at Rutgers Gardens.

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Trillium sessile (Wake Robin) – Native!  A spectacular woodland plant bearing flowers with deep maroon-brown petals.  Hosta-like triple lobed leaves are mottled with purple or white.  An absolute necessity for the woodland or shade garden!

Vernonia lettermannii 'Iron Butterfly' (Ironweed) - Native! No, it will not play 'In A Godda Da Vida' (for those that remember the 1960's), but this is a really cool plant offering many months of interest for both flower and foliage. The foliage is slender and threadlike, providing excellent texture all summer. In September, bright purple flowers appear on stems above the foliage. Tolerant of both wet and dry soils and is best in sun to part shade.

Vernonia lettermannii 'Iron Butterfly'Vernonia lettermannii 'Iron Butterfly' (flower)

Vernonia noveboracensis (New York Ironweed) - Native! This NJ native enters into all its glory come late summer and early fall when a cloud of purple flowers appear at the tops of the 5-6' tall stems. It prefers moist to average soils in full sun. Butterflies absolutely adore the flowers!

Vernonia noveboracensisVernonia noveboracensis (flower)

Veronicastrum virginicum (Culver Root) – Native!  Tall white spires stretch to the sky on 3-4’ tall stems.  A wonderful and underutilized native plant for the garden that is tolerant of wet or normal soil conditions. The seed capsules of the flowers (bottom right) look great in autumn when featured with ornamental grasses!

  • Featured in the Otken Memorial Garden at Rutgers Gardens.

Veronicastrum virginicumVeronicastrum virginicum (dried flower)

Veronicastrum virginicum ‘Lavender Towers’ (Culver Root) – Native! Identical to the above, but the flowers are a very attractive powdered lavender.  Very easy to grow!

Yucca filamentosa ‘Color Guard’ (Variegated Adam’s Needle) – Broad spiky foliage, accented by creamy- gold centers and green margins. Leaves take on a rose color in cold weather.  White flowers along 4’ tall spikes in May into June. Color Guard is tolerant of dry, poor soils, maturing to a height of 2’– 4’.

  • Featured in the Yellow Chroma Garden at Rutgers Gardens.

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Hardy Ferns

Athyrium filix-femina ‘Lady in Red’ (Lady Fern) – Clump forming and to 2’ tall, this very elegant and lacey fern has a red central stem, making it all the more becoming.  Can tolerate some sun, but best in the shade. 

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Athyrium ‘Ghost’ (Ghost Fern) – The leaf fronds are silver-white in appearance!  A spreading plant, it is a great addition to that dark shady corner.

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Athyrium nipponicum ‘Pictum’ (Japanese Painted Fern) – Silver, purple and green foliage make this fern a staple for the shady garden.  Plants will slowly expand and become a sizable groundcover in time for the shady garden spot.  The 2004 Perennial Plant of the Year.

  • Featured in front of the Gift Shop at Rutgers Gardens.

Athyrium 'Regal Red' (Japanese Painted Fern) – Dark-violet painted fronds that contrast beautifully with its silver edges. Twisted pinnules give it a much fluffier look than the typical species.  Mature height 12 - 18" tall.

Athyrium x ‘Branford Rambler’ (Running Painted Fern) – Green and purple foliage forms a dense, non-invasive groundcover for the shade.  A selection from the garden of Dr. Nickolas Nicou of Branford Connecticut. 

Dryopteris atrata - Shaggy Shield Fern. Fronds have gold-green color contrasting nicely with other darker green ferns. Mature height 18” – 24”.

Dryopteris 'Golden Mist' (Asian Wood Fern) – NEW Lovely, arching habit with new fronds emerging a stunning golden-yellow! An evergreen relative of the autumn fern & a true beauty in the landscape. Mature height 18 – 24” tall.

Matteuccia struthiopteris (Ostrich Fern) – Native!  Slowly forming a colony, this fern develops to heights of 4’ in moist shady locations.  A beautiful fern, the fiddleheads are edible and considered a gourmet food at many retail establishments.

  • Featured at the entrance to the Native Plant Garden at Rutgers Gardens.

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Osmunda cinnamomea (Cinnamon Fern) – Native!  Although this fern takes its name from the rusty wool that is very abundant on the new fronds in spring, it also has tall fertile leaves in the center of the plant that are covered with cinnamon colored sporangia and provide great ornamental interest. A native plant, growing best in moist soils or standing water with a mature height 3’ – 4’.

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Osmunda regalis (Royal Fern) – Native!  Very neat coarsely divided foliage on large, erect fronds. Plants mature to a height 3’ – 5’ and grow best in moist shade.

Polystichum decursive-pinnata (Japanese Beech Fern) – Erect, lime-green fronds with elegantly drooping tips. Maturing height between 12 and 24", depending upon soil conditions. Hardy to zone 4. Tolerant of low light levels!  Mature height 8 - 18" tall.

Thelypteris decursive-pinnata (Japanese Beech Fern) – A deciduous spreading fern, this fern has bright green formal appearing fronds and is exceptionally dry site tolerant (I have grown it beneath a fir tree with great success). Hardy to zone 4.


Tropical Ferns  (All these ferns will overwinter well indoors.)

Adiantum hispidulum ‘Rosy Maidenhair’ (Maidenhair Fern) – Wonderful horseshoe-shaped fronds that have a delicate red color to the new growth.

Asplenium bulbiferum (Mother Fern) – A lacy fern with light green, waxy fronds.  The species epithet refers to the small bulbets that form along the fronds.  A good candidate for sun or shade, ultimately growing to 2’ tall. 

Asplenium nidus ‘Antiguum’ (Japanese Bird’s Nest Fern) – Smooth wide leaves encircle the growing center to make an upright green nest.  The foliage has a slight wave and the plant is more compact than most Bird’s Nest Ferns.

Nephrolepsis exaltata ‘Tiger’ (Boston Fern) – Each leaf is marbled or patterned with chartreuse, giving the plant an appearance of a Tiger!  Growing to 2’ in height.