Rhubarb, Rheum rhabarbarum

Rhubarb is the first “fruit” of the season – used as a fruit, but grows like a vegetable. With huge leaves on long red to green petioles it can also make a dramatic statement in the garden. This old fashioned perennial is very easy to grow, coming back bigger year after year with little care. To learn more about rhubarb, read this article…

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Lenten Rose, Helleborus ×hybridus

Early in the spring when little else but spring bulbs are blooming, Lenten Rose is pushing up its flower spikes and deeply divided, leathery, umbrella-like leaves. The long-lasting sepals in an open, bell shape offer ornamental interest long after the seeds have developed. Learn more about this herbaceous perennial native to Asia and Europe in this article…

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Woodland Phlox, Phlox divaricata

For soft blue flowers in partly shady spots in spring, nothing beats woodland phlox. This North American native thrives in dappled shade and moist, well-drained soils. With an open, relaxed habit it fits well in informal shady beds, rock gardens and wild or naturalized areas.  Learn more about this pretty late spring to early summer bloomer in this article…

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Spotted deadnettle, Lamium maculatum

Look no further than spotted deadnettle for a tough but showy groundcover. With variegated leaves that shine in shade and a long bloom time, Lamium maculatum is an eye-catching plant throughout the year. Choose from cultivars with green and white striped or silver leaves and white, purple or pink flowers. Learn more about this adaptable, low-growing perennial in this article…

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Common foxglove, Digitalis purpurea

With tall, showy spikes of tubular pink or purple flowers with speckled throats, common foxglove is a common addition to informal gardens for vertical interest. This biennial from Western Europe forms a rosette of leaves the first year and blooms in the second year. Learn more about Digitalis purpurea – the original source of the heart medicine digitoxin – but also considered an invasive weed in many places

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Virginia waterleaf, Hydrophyllum virginianum

With attractive flowers and foliage, Virginia waterleaf is an herbaceous perennial of moist deciduous forests that blooms a little later than most spring-blooming wildflowers in woodlands. The common name comes from the variable markings on the leaves which resemble water spots. Learn more about this native plant in this article…

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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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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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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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