Butterflyweed, Asclepias tuberosa

The Perennial Plant Association’s Perennial of the Year 2017 is butterflyweed, Asclepias tuberosa.  This native milkweed offers brilliant orange flowers attractive to a wide range of butterflies and other insects and is a host for monarch butterfly caterpillars. Learn more about this tough, long-lived herbaceous perennial that makes a great addition to many types of gardens in this article…

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Mealycup sage, Salvia farinacea

Add some blue to any garden with the herbaceous perennial mealycup sage grown as an annual.  The shrubby upright clumps produce tall, sturdy flower stems above the foliage, with dense whorls of dark blue, light blue, purple, or white flowers. Learn more about these tough, heat-tolerant plants that bloom from early summer to frost…

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Garden Pyrotechnics

In the spirit of celebration of Independence Day, instead of going with fireworks filled with gunpowder, go with Mother Nature’s fireworks – plants with flowers or form that look like exploding fireworks. This fun post offers a selection of plants with cultivar names related to the season and some that just look like they’re exploding in air.

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Astrantia, Astrantia major

With small, unusual “pincushion” flowers in subtle shades of red, pink and white, astrantia or great masterwort, is a relatively uncommon perennial in American gardens. Growing in sun or partial shade it’s best suited to places where the flowers can be appreciated up close. To learn more about this perennial plant, read this article…

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Willowleaf bluestar, Amsonia tabernaemontana

With pale blue flowers in spring, a large mound of foliage that stays bright green throughout the summer until turning yellow in fall, willowleaf bluestar is a great addition to any sunny garden. This low-maintenance perennial, native to the central US, is easy to grow and has few pest problems. To learn more about Amsonia tabernaemontana, read this article…

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California Poppy, Eschscholzia californica

Bright yellow to orange flowers floating above lacy, blue-green foliage makes California poppy a cheerful addition to most gardens. Eschscholzia californica is an easy-to-grow annual, even in Wisconsin. Learn more about this California native in this article…

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Forsythia, Forsythia spp.

As one of the first shrubs to flower, the showy yellow flowers of forsythia are the ultimate symbol of spring in many places. This tough, early-blooming, medium-sized shrub does well in the urban landscape, but does have some drawbacks. Learn more about forsythia in this article…

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Guinea Hen Flower, Fritillaria meleagris

Looking for an unusual spring flowering bulb? Guinea hen flower sports a variable, checkered pattern on the nodding, bell-shaped flowers that are only about 2 inches long.  The dark colored flowers (shades of red, pink or purple) are best sited where they can be appreciated up close. Learn more about Fritillaria meleagris by reading this article…

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Cutleaf Toothwort, Cardamine concatenata

Cutleaf toothwort is one several woodland plants that are harbingers of spring with their early flowers. Although small, this charming spring ephemeral is eye-catching with its distinctive leaves and soft white flowers. Easy to grow, it’s a great addition to any woodland garden, or to just appreciate the colonies that fill many natural areas. Learn more about this native species by reading this article…

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Skunk cabbage, Symplocarpus foetidus

Skunk cabbage is one of the first plants to bloom in the spring, with odd flowers like something from a science-fiction movie. The plant can bloom when there is still snow on the ground. The bizarre flowers are followed by huge rosettes of broad leaves that disappear by summer. Read this article to learn more about this interesting native plant…

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