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New Perennials for 2015

Rue AnemoneAnemonella thalictroides ‘Schoaf’s Double’ (Rue Anemone)

The rue anemone is an underappreciated woodland gem that can serve as an uncompetitive groundcover in a shady area. This particular variety is perhaps the best (although all are worth collecting), with tiny, fully-double pom-pom style flowers in a rich pink color that must be observed up-close to see all the fine details in the arrangement of the petals. These plants produce low, slightly spreading mounds of lacy foliage which resembles Thalictrum (meadow rue) foliage, and flower fairly early in the spring and early summer. By midsummer the plants may disappear entirely. They can be planted near companions that will fill in empty space later in the season. Ht. 10-15cm Sp. 15-30cm Z3

 

Serious Black Bush Clemati
Clematis recta ‘Lime Close’ (Serious Black Bush Clematis)

This is an unusual type of Clematis which will not climb, but rather form an upright clump of stems. The foliage emerges an intense purple-black color, later maturing to deep olive green with a purple tinge. Fragrant white flowers will appear in early summer and the plant is capable of reblooming. It is an easy-growing choice to add some color and structure to a sunny area.
Ht. 1.2-1.8m Sp. 90-120cm Z3

 

 

Bishop's Hat
Epimedium ‘Fukujuji’ (Bishop’s Hat)

Bishop’s hat is another underappreciated perennial, and is actually one of the best choices for dry shade. There are a number of outstanding selections and hybrids available which are hardy on the prairies. This recent introduction from Japan boasts showy pink flowers which are larger than many Epimediums, sitting atop a decorative clump of semi-evergreen leaves on wiry stems. Blooming is heaviest in spring but plants can rebloom sporadically. The previous year’s foliage is best removed in early spring so that it doesn’t hide the flowers. Ht. 20-30cm Sp. 20-30cm Z4

 

Double Chinese Gentian
Gentiana sino-ornata ‘Eugene’s Allerbester’ (Double Chinese Gentian)

The Chinese gentian is not as commonly seen in gardens as the summer gentian (G. septemfida) or the trumpet gentian (G. acaulis), but is just as deserving of the small bit of real estate it will require. A fall-blooming species, the spreading clumps of needle-like foliage on this plant give rise to stunning azure-blue flowers at a time of year when such colored flowers are almost unheard of on the prairies. But here we have the rare DOUBLE form of Chinese gentian, with the same incredible blue flowers in fall, only with several rows of petals in each bloom. Provide a rich, moist, slightly acidic soil in sun or part shade, but not in an area that is too hot or dry. Ht. 10-15cm Sp. 30-45cm Z3

 

Bowman's Root

Gillenia trifoliata (Bowman’s Root)

This is a unique and uncommon perennial, native to North America, which produces a neat clump of divided foliage, and rising high above the foliage is a display of airy stems of white flowers with red sepals. This aesthetically pleasing plant is very easy to grow and excellent for a shady area with moist, well-drained soil. Often provides good red fall color as well. Ht. 60-90cm Sp. 60-75cm Z3

 

 

Sunstruck False Sunflower
Heliopsis helianthoides ‘Sunstruck’ (False Sunflower)

A shorter selection of the extremely popular ‘Loraine Sunshine’ false sunflower, ‘Sunstruck’ reaches roughly half the height, making it well-suited for the front or middle of a border. It features the same beautiful white leaves, which are covered with a network of green veins. In summer, large, golden yellow, sunflower-like blooms adorn the foliage. One of the easiest and most pleasing perennials for a sunny area, and an excellent cutflower. Ht. 35-40cm Sp. 30-35cm Z2

 

 

Large Blue Liverleaf

Hepatica transsilvanica (Large Blue Liverleaf)

Liverleaf is one of the first perennials to flower in spring, before the new foliage emerges. As a group these are underutilized plants for shady areas, with charming flowers and attractive, semi-evergreen foliage. This species has some of the larger flowers in the group, in a nice denim-blue color, not commonly seen in the garden. It is a low-growing plant that gradually forms a nice mound. Provide a humus-rich, moist, well-drained soil. Ht. 10-15cm Sp. 20-30cm Z3

 

‘Curly Fries’ Hosta
 
Hosta ‘Curly Fries’

This new selection is part of our expanded lineup of dwarf and miniature hostas for 2015. The unusual foliage on this plant is very narrow and has very rippled edges. The leaves are a bright chartreuse-green color. Excellent to add some contrast in both color and texture to a shady spot. Give it a try in a sunnier spot too! Ht. 10-15cm Sp. 35-40cm Z3

 

 

Rebun Island Lily
Lilium maculatum ssp. davuricum f. rebunense (Rebun Island Lily)

Rebun Island, off the coast of the Japanese mainland, is home to a number of unique plant species and forms that only occur on the island. This amazing lily is one of them. The tiny plants are shorter than dwarf Asiatic lilies, and bear flowers that are very large for the size of the plant. Each bloom is cupped and in a bright coral-orange color, with a yellow center which is peppered with fine black-purple spots. This is a unique and rare plant that is sure to satisfy collectors, lily lovers, and gardeners in general everywhere. Excellent for rock gardens in particular; provide a moist, well-drained soil in sun. Ht. 10-12cm Sp. 10-12cm Z3-4

 

Western Wood Lily
Lilium philadelphicum (Western Wood Lily)

Our native “tiger lily”, this is one of our most requested perennials every year, and also one of the most difficult to obtain. This year we finally have some! Not really a tiger lily, the western wood lily is a special plant that deserves a special place in every garden. The medium-height stalks have whorls of leaves similar to a martagon, and are topped with gorgeous cupped flowers in a rich, deep orange-red color. The centers of the blooms fade to yellow and are peppered in fine purple-black spots. This species prefers a sandy, moist soil in part shade to full sun. Ht. 30-60cm Sp. 30cm Z2

 

Himalayan MayapplePodophyllum hexandrum (Himalayan Mayapple)

The mayapples are very uncommon woodland plants which are coveted for their unique foliage and, often, dainty blooms. This is the only species that is hardy on the prairies, but thankfully it is also one of the best. Emerging and flowering fairly early in spring, this will produce pretty pink flowers that close up at night and during cloudy days. After the blooms fade, they are replaced by large, plum-sized fruit which will ripen to a bright red color and emit a pleasant fragrance. The leaves, which are tinged red as they start to unfold during the blooming period, open to a large umbrella shape in a glossy green color. This plant has it all – attractive flowers, beautiful foliage, and ornamental fruits. It is quite unlike anything else in the garden. Plant in a humus-rich, moist, well-drained soil in part shade. Ht. 30-45cm Sp. 30-40cm Z3

 

Asiatic Primrose
Primula sieboldii (Asiatic Primrose)

One of the most prized primrose species, these are bred extensively and obsessed over by the Japanese. This woodland species forms a rosette of attractive leaves that look like serrated arrow heads. In spring, short stems bearing clusters of showy blooms rise above the foliage. The blooms are traditionally an intense pink color, but there are many different color forms available, as well as double forms. This is a must-have for a shady area! Plant in moist, rich soil. Ht. 15-30cm Sp. 30-40cm Z3

 

 

Prairie Crocus
Pulsatilla patens (Prairie Crocus)

Another of our most requested perennials, and also difficult to obtain, this year will be your chance to grab one of these excellent native plants. Similar to the ever-popular Pasqueflower (P. vulgaris), these fuzzy plants are among the first perennials to emerge and bloom in spring. The pale lavender flowers are a sure sign that spring has arrived, and are followed by fuzzy seedheads which also provide some interest in the garden. The soft, ferny, grey-green foliage is attractive as well. With time, these will form a nice clump, and will self-seed as well. Plant in moist, well-drained soil in sun. Ht. 15-30cm Sp. 15-30cm Z2

 

Ranzania
Ranzania japonica (Ranzania)

A true collector’s gem, this Japanese woodlander is unlike any other perennial you will encounter. Elegant stems topped with divided leaves are adorned with dainty clusters of dangling soft lavender-pink flowers in spring. Forming nice clumps with time, this choice and easy-growing plant is off the charts in beauty and singularity. Visitors to your garden are sure to want the name of this plant when they see it, and may eventually beg you for a piece, as it is almost impossible to find! Plant in humus-rich, moist, well-drained soil in parts shade.

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