Fall Plants 2019
Fall Flowering Plants 2016 @ PDN
Fall Pink Blooms
Fall Flowering Plants 2015
Discovered by the late Madalene Hill in Arp, Texas, this grey-green, 3' or taller, clump-former has typical fine-textured foliage, a wonderful fragrance, and makes some fine rosemary chicken. Rosmarinus 'Arp' is the best grower for us in the South through both summer and winter. Beginning in the fall and continuing through the spring, the deer-resistant clump is adorned with dark blue hummingbird feeding flowers...our 8-year-old specimen is 10' across and survived 0 degrees F.
These gems are found in the wild around Buenos Aires...the same area where Rhodophiala bifida grows. Nothoscordum sellowianum makes a small clump of tiny, narrow green leaves, to 1" tall x 6" wide. It starts flowering for us in late January and produces a steady progression of brilliant yellow fragrant flowers until May. Unlike many Nothoscordums, Nothoscordum sellowianum is completely sterile, making propagation quite slow. Each pot contains several small but flowering-sized bulbs.
Hibiscus 'Rubrum' an old sterile hybrid of the Asian woody Hibiscus mutabilis and the North American native perennial Hibiscus moscheutos. Hibiscus 'Rubrum' forms an 8' tall x 6' wide woody shrub in milder climates, but for us, acts as a dieback perennial, reaching the same heights in a single season. The upper branches are adorned with terminal clusters of bright cherry red flowers from July into October. Moist to average moisture soils are fine.
From China comes a wonderful hibiscus that's virtually unknown outside of China and the Gulf Coast region of the US. Hibiscus mutabilis emerges from dormancy and shoots 10' into the air. The foliage of confederate rose mallow is quite bold, with soft, fuzzy green leaves up and down the stems...great for structure and texture even without flowers. The flowers emerge in late October and November, resembling giant, double rosy-pink camellias, fading to a light pink...holy cow!
Geranium 'Dragon Heart' is a hybrid from geranium guru Alan Bremmer, of Scotland, that forms a 2' tall x 3' wide, insanely vigorous clump topped with an abundance of 2" wide magenta-purple flowers, each highlighted by a nearly black center. The flowers start in late spring and continue well throughout the summer in cooler climates. Geranium 'Dragon Heart' has held up amazingly well in our hot, humid summers.
Gaillardia 'Grape Sensation' is a selection of the amazing, but very rare (three counties only) Texas native, Gaillardia aestivalis var. winkleri. made by Dawn Stover of the SFA Mast Arboretum in Nacogdoches, Texas. 'Grape Sensation' is a superb long-lived perennial, forming an airy 2' tall x 3' wide clump. Instead of typical gaillardia flowers, Gaillardia 'Grape Sensation' is topped with an abundance of 2" wide grape flowers from May through October....good drainage always helps.
Veronica 'Snowmass' is a groundcover speedwell with prostrate stems that are clothed with small, glossy, round, evergreen leaves, and topped in mid-spring with a mass of small white flowers, each highlighted with a blue eye-zone. Veronica 'Snowmass' appeared as a Veronica liwanensis seedling at Denver Botanic Garden. The other parent is assumed to be Veronica repens. Veronica 'Snowmass' is great in the rock garden or between stepping stones as long as the drainage is good.
Fuchsia 'Sanihanf' is another of the truly heat-tolerant fuchsias from the Suntory breeding program. This large spreading cultivar is a 30" tall x 3' wide flowering machine. The stems are adorned with pendent flowers consisting of purple petals, with contrasting red anthers and red sepals...attractive to hummingbirds. Fuchsia 'Sanihanf' makes a superb hanging basket where it isn't winter hardy. Thanks to the folks at Japan's Suntory for a moronic name for such a great plant.
Dicentra 'Dolly Sods' is a 2004 PDN introduction. Through the decades, we have made several wild collections of the US native (Michigan south to Georgia) Dicentra eximia, but none have performed as well in our hot climate as this seed strain from near the famous Dolly Sods Wilderness Area in West Virginia's Tucker County. Expect a clump 18" tall x 3' wide in 5 years. The lacy, dissected, blue-green foliage is topped all spring and summer with light pink flowers held just above the foliage.
This 2007 Plant Delights/JLBG introduction was discovered here as a flower mutation on our patch of Dianthus 'Feuerhexe' (Firewitch). The tight mats of powder-blue foliage are topped in late April with 8" tall cherry-red (RHS 66A) flowers that nearly obscure the foliage and perfume the garden with a spicy clove-like fragrance. As with the parent, we see sporadic rebloom through summer and into fall...a continual hummingbird delight.
We've had good luck with the Mediterranean Cyclamen purpurascens, provided it's planted where it can stay fairly dry in the summer and winter months. In the wild, we saw Cyclamen purpurascens growing on alkaline soils throughout much of the Balkans, hailing from as high as 4,200' elevation. The round patterned leaves and dark pink flowers of Cyclamen purpurascens spring alive from June through September, adding great color to the summer woodland garden.
Hailing from the southern Mexican states of Chiapas and Oaxaca, Cuphea cyanea 'Ashevilla' forms a dainty-looking 1' tall x 18" wide airy mound, topped, from late summer through frost with hundreds of tiny dangling pink flowers, each highlighted by a yellow tip, and two cinnamon eyes...seriously cute. Light shade or morning sun in rich soils is best. Cuphea cyanea was the winner of the prestigious RHS Award of Merit in 1978.
This much sought-after crinum lily was discovered as a seedling in the garden of the late Marcia Clint Wilson by Texan Scott Ogden. The dark purple reflexed foliage makes a dramatic 4' tall clump, topped in late spring and again in fall with 48" spikes of rosy pink flowers. Crinum 'Sangria' is much more winter hardy than other purple leaf crinums. Some of the material that is sold as Crinum 'Sangria' is simply the much less winter hardy Crinum procerum 'Splendens'.
For over a decade, we have been so pleased by the performance of Chrysanthemum 'Country Girl' in our hardy mum trials. The low-spreading clump (5' wide in 5 years) is topped in mid-October with a solid cover of lovely, 3", soft, light pink flowers...perfect to cheer you up on a dreary fall day. Chrysanthemum 'Country Girl' seems to have originated in TX, possibly as a seedling of the well-known Chrysanthemum 'Sheffield Pink', but our detective work continues.
Carex scaposa is one of those head-turning sedges, whose flowering usually results in a popular phrase...WTF? Native to woodland slopes and along streams in southern China and Vietnam to 5,000' elevation, this clumping sedge is composed of wide green leaves, topped for us, starting in mid-July and again in late September with 1' tall spikes of exquisite pink-plumed flowers. Average to slightly moist soils are best. Honeybees have declared it a favorite as well.
Buddleia 'Pink Cascade' is a new creation from Walters Gardens, blending the form of Buddleia davidii with the pendulous flowers of Buddleia lindleyana. The 5.5' tall x 6.5' wide butterfly magnet is laden all summer with a plethora of 10" long branched panicles of soft pink flowers...not to mention bumble bees and butterflies.
"Good golly, Miss Molly"...to quote a line from the old Little Richard favorite. This amazing hybrid from NCSU plant breeder Dr. Dennis Werner takes Buddleia 'Miss Ruby' a step closer to the elusive red by crossing it back onto Buddleia 'Attraction'. The fragrant sangria-red flowers top the compact 5' tall clump from July until frost...a treat for hummingbirds.
Brugmansia 'Cherub' is the first angel trumpet out of the ground in spring, the most vigorous, and by far the most floriferous. This seedling of Brugmansia 'Ecuador Pink' was hybridized by Dr. Jim Alston. The 7' tall stalk jumps out of the ground in spring, adorned by long, dark green leaves. Starting in late summer (NC), the top of the deer-resistant clump is adorned with hundreds of large, dangling, salmon-pink, trumpet-shaped flowers that are exceedingly fragrant in the afternoon and evening.
This Heronswood introduction of the durable Begonia grandis was made from wild-collected seed from Dan Hinkley's 1997 expedition to Japan. While the triangular green foliage on the vigorous 3' tall x 4' wide clump is similar to the species, the huge and excessively large flower clusters of deep pink make this a unique selection. For us, Begonia 'Heron's Pirouette' begins flowering in June and continues non-stop until fall. Begonia 'Heron's Pirouette' reproduces true from axillary bulbils.
We originally acquired Aster 'Fanny', a selection of the American native Aster oblongifolius, from Montrose Gardens, which acquired it from Ruth Knopf of Boone Hall Plantation in South Carolina. Aster 'Fanny' is one of the last asters to flower in our garden, usually in October and November. 'Fanny' makes a nice 2' tall clump to 8' in width and is smothered with 1" blue flowers starting in October (NC)...awesome! For a fall show in a hot dry site, a nice 'Fanny' is a hard thing to beat.
If you have never seen a mass of Aster 'Purple Dome' in full flower, then you haven't yet lived...horticulturally speaking! From Dr. Dick Lighty comes this wonderful selection of our drought-tolerant native New England aster. The 18" stems of fuzzy, narrow, green leaves are topped in early fall with vivid, 1.5" wide, shocking purple daisies...so thick you can't see the foliage. Aster 'Purple Dome' will eventually spread to 3'. Planted en masse, the effect is indescribable!
Aster 'Pink Star' is a Dutch selection of our North American native Aster ericoides that has been one of the most superb asters in our garden trials. Native to most of the eastern US, Aster ericoides is incredibly tolerant of dry, sunny conditions. Aster 'Pink Star' makes an airy-looking dense mound of small, narrow leaves to 2' tall x 3' wide. In late summer (August and September), the clump is smothered with thousands of 1" light pink flowers and contrasting colored butterflies...superb!
What will they think of next...a native (NC south to Florida) woody aster that climbs! We figure the North American native Aster carolinianus watched too many old kudzu movies. Yes, it grows, it climbs, it mingles, it blooms...it closely resembles a clematis in habit with fragrant lavender-pink flowers from late September into November (NC). Give Aster carolinianus a trellis, deer fence (which it really loves) or let it socialize in the border...it's actually well-behaved!
This bigeneric hybrid of Amaryllis belladonna x Crinum moorei produced one of the most fabulous bulbous perennials for the South. The short, glossy, strap-like leaves to 18" give rise, starting in mid-August to 2' stalks, each topped with 6-8 large, lovely pink, exquisitely fragrant flowers. As soon as one stalk finishes flowering, another emerges, and this flowering pattern continues until frost. In colder climates, xAmarcrinum makes a superb potted specimen!
Allium kiiense is an amazing fall-flowering, endangered ornamental garlic that hails from the Kii Peninsula and surrounding Gifu, Aichi, and Yamaguchi prefectures in southern Japan. Allium kiiense makes a very small, rock garden-sized clump of needle-thin, 6" long, fleshy green leaves. The clumps are topped in late October and November with clusters of small, outfacing, lavender-purple flowers...simply delightful. We have found Allium kiiense easy to grow in our part sun rock garden.