Perennials


NGB’s Perennial of the Year 2012: Heuchera

The National Garden Bureau is shining a spotlight on Heuchera as their first ever perennial of the year. This native American genus of more than 50 species from a variety of habitats offers a plethora of leaf forms and foliage color, and plant breeders are extending the range even more. To learn about this great group of plants, read this article...

Blue Fescue, Festuca ovina glauca

Ornamental grasses are a common addition to many landscapes. Festuca ovina glauca – blue fescue or sheep fescue – is a low clumping species with blue-green foliage. This cool season grass can be used as a specimen or in masses. To find out more about this attractive grass, read this article...

Solomon’s Seal, Polygonatum spp.

Solomon’s seals are woodland plants with arching stems. There are a number of both native and exotic species and cultivars that are used primarily as foliage plants in ornamental shade gardens (as their small hanging flowers are attractive, but relatively inconspicuous). To learn more about the genus Polygonatum read this article...

Stachys byzantina ‘Big Ears’

Lamb’s ears (Stachys byzantina) are a good addition to Midwestern gardens for their silvery foliage. One cultivar that stands out is ‘Big Ears’ for it’s extra large leaves. The leaves of this one aren’t quite as silver as many others, but it offers bold texture in a low mounding plant. To learn more about this big-leafed beauty, read this article...

Turtlehead, Chelone spp.

Looking for a fall-bloomer other than mums or asters? The genus Chelone is a native perennial with the common name of turtlehead from the resemblance of the flowers to the shape of a turtle’s head with its mouth partly open. The various species all bloom in late summer to fall, for a spark of pink, red or white flowers on dark green plants. You can learn more about this genus in this article...

Autumn Crocus, Colchicum spp.

Brighten the fall landscape with fall-blooming bulbs – yes, there are some fall-bloomers that thrive in Wisconsin. Autumn crocus is probably the best of these, with large, chalice-shaped flowers in pink or white. The foliage appears in spring and dies back in early summer, leaving the flowers to pop up on their own in the fall. To learn more about this bulb (that isn’t really a true crocus), read this article... 

Cardinal Flower, Lobelia cardinalis

With its spires of brilliant red flowers, cardinal flower is an unmistakable perennial for moist spots. This American native is found in moist open woods, streambanks and marshy areas throughout the eastern US from Canada through Central America. Learn more about this great plant with flowers that are irresistible to hummingbirds in this article...

Stachys ‘Hummelo’

The genus Stachys includes many members, some prized for their fuzzy leaves (lamb’s ears) while others are grown primarily for their flowers. The cultivar ‘Hummelo’ is one of the latter, with bright purple-pink flowers in mid-summer held well above the dark green basal leaves. Read more about this attractive Stachys cultivar in this article...

Japanese Bloodgrass, Imperata cylindrica var. rubra

With short, bright red leaves held upright for a spiky appearance, Japanese bloodgrass is an interesting addition to the garden for contrast in texture and color. But this species is also an invasive pest in many parts of the world. To learn more about this plant read this article... 
 

Chives, Allium schoenoprasum

Chives are a popular culinary herb in the home garden. This small-bulbed allium is easy to grow, as long as you have a sunny spot with good drainage. This herbaceous perennial can also be used as an ornamental in the landscape, and is particularly attractive when in bloom. To find out more about this herb, read this article...

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