Beautyberry
Callicarpa spp.
by Lynda Heavrin

No plant has given me so much pleasure spring through fall as beautyberry (Callicarpa spp.), with its tiny pink flowers in early summer, the arching branches that protect my pink sweet woodruff through the summer and the glowing purple berries in the fall that persist into early winter ...   >> read article
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Narrow-Leaf Ironweed
Vernonia lettermannii
by Barrett Wilson

With its profusion of small purple flowers and tolerance of heat and drought, narrow-leaf ironweed (Vernonia lettermannii) is a standout in the late-season perennial border in USDA Zones 4 to 9. Native to dry, rocky flood plains in Arkansas and Oklahoma, narrow-leaf ironweed thrives in almost all soil types, except soggy, heavy soils. In fact, supplemental fertilizers and excessive watering are discouraged in the garden setting ...   >> read article
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Scented Geranium
Pelargonium spp.
by Lynda Heavrin

It is summer and we reach for the bug spray, citronella oil or a candle to burn to keep the mosquitos at bay while we enjoy the beautiful evening. As you may know, citronella oil is obtained from citronella-scented geranium (Pelargonium citrosum). However, did you know that there are approximately 150 varieties of scented geranium that are not only beautiful garden plants, but can be used for potpourri and as flavoring in cooking ...   >> read article
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Blue Star
Amsonia hubrichtii
by Bob Hill

Easy to grow, providing three seasons of strong interest and serving as an airy focal point in the perennial border, or in a great mass, the blue star (Amsonia hubrichtii) should be used more often in Midwestern gardens ...   >> read article
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‘Vanderwolf’s Pyramid’ Limber Pine
Pinus flexilis ‘Vanderwolf’s Pyramid’
by June Hutson

Pinus flexilis ‘Vanderwolf’s Pyramid’, a Plant of Merit selection for 2013, is a needled evergreen. The species is native to Southwestern Canada through the Western U.S. to Mexico and is found primarily in the Rocky Mountains at elevations of 5,000 to 12,000 feet. The species name refers to the flexible branchlets and twigs ...   >> read article
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Bottlebrush Buckeye
Aesculus parviflora
by Ann McCulloh

Bottlebrush buckeye (Aesculus parviflora) is a shade-tolerant native American shrub with ornamental features all year round. Rather slow-growing at first, it produces classic deep green hand-shaped foliage the first couple of years after planting ...   >> read article
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Lantana
Lantana camara
by Chris Baker

There are some gardeners, myself included, who regard the smell of lantana foliage as stinky. There are others who describe it as fragrant. Regardless, all can agree that they are flowering powerhouses. Lantanas are covered with 2- to 3-inch clustered blossoms all summer ...   >> read article
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Smooth Oxeye
Heliopsis helianthoides var. scabra
by Barrett Wilson

Smooth oxeye, also called false sunflower or early sunflower (Heliopsis helianthoides var. scabra) is an herbaceous, clumping perennial native to much of Eastern North America. Found naturally in dry to moist open woods, smooth oxeye is especially known for its long-flowering duration (June through September). The cheery, daisy-like flowers are comprised of yellow to orange-yellow rays surrounding a cone-shaped central disk ...   >> read article
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