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The newest featured hotplant was written by:

Ben Futa

Ben Futa is the Director of the Allen Centennial Gardens at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He graduated from Purdue University with a degree in interdisciplinary agriculture.

 

 

Prairie Smoke
Geum triflorum
by Roy Diblik - posted 05/30/14

Geum triflorum is an early blooming, native perennial that provides months of interest. In early to mid-April, you’ll see red flower buds just above the cut foliage, only 4 to 6 inches tall. The whole plant—foliage and the flowers—elongate over time, growing 12 to 15 inches tall. From late April through May, the nodding pink flowers bloom. The best part comes as the flowers mature and the red stamens elongate up to 2 inches, giving the plant its smoky appearance ...   >> read article
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Cheyenne Spirit Coneflower
Echinacea ‘Cheyenne Spirit’
by Deb Wiley - posted 05/23/14

Many gardeners are drawn to perennials because they only need to be planted once. But there are a few caveats. Perennials generally take about three years to reach maturity and may not bloom until then. Often, they cost more to buy as plants and can be difficult to start from seed. Many only bloom for a short time ...   >> read article
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Commotion ‘Moxie’ Blanketflower
Gaillardia x grandiflora ‘Moxie’
by Kelly D. Norris - posted 05/16/14

For years, there was no love lost between me and blanketflowers. Despite their colors, proud garden pennants of my alma mater Iowa State, I just didn’t dig them. So many of the seed strains lack any sort of charm or panache—they melt in the summer, fall apart into a disheveled mess by fall and reseed on top of each other, resembling an unruly mosh pit. Blech ...   >> read article
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Seven-Son Flower
Heptacodium miconioides
by John Eustice - posted 04/25/14

Heptacodium miconioides or seven-son flower is new to most Minnesota gardeners. Sometimes called a crapemyrtle for the north, it is a large shrub with attractive peeling bark and late-summer blooms. When freezing temperatures evade our region until late fall, bright red calyxes develop, which offer further interest. Heptacodium is adaptable, but it prefers a sunny location and well-drained, neutral or acid soil.   >> read article
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Canadian Wild Ginger
Asarum canadense
by Pam Potter - posted 04/18/14

Asarum canadense or Canadian wild ginger is an unknown plant to most Minnesota gardens. A different species of ginger than the culinary one most people think of, Canadian wild ginger was eaten fresh or dried by the early settlers as a ginger substitute. It has a pleasant ginger-like smell when brushed up against and makes a beautiful ground cover.   >> read article
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