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New/Featured for 2019

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Full Sun

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Partial Shade

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Full Shade

Drought Tolerant
Drought Tolerant

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Picture Available

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Drawing Available

(PPAF) = Propagation of this plant prohibited without a license.

Hardiness Zone Map


Actaea

Black Snakeroot

A botanical “Renaissance Man,” Actaea is at home in an informal garden, a refined border or in an arrangement for opening night at the Met. Their ambrosial perfume floats through the air as they illuminate their surroundings. Actaea is happiest in moist, humus-enriched soil and bright shade; otherwise it’s carefree and low maintenance.

An 1805 discovery by German-born Frederick Pursh in the Appalachian Mountains of Virginia and North Carolina, this superb hard-to-find American native sprouts broad ample-sized foliage, distinctive for its handsome Maple-like appearance. Straight emerald-hued steadfast stems, bearing fragrant creamy white floral candles, tower above a leafy verdant clump. Appalachian Bugbane can be ensconced near Athyrium 'Ghost', where it vows luminous late season accents, deer resistance and easy care.

Blooms July–September

Size: 4' 0" – 4-1/2' high x 2' 0" – 2-1/2' wide.

Hardy to zone 4.

A superior South Korean selection recently introduced by Darrell Probst, this compact courtly Actaea furnishes lush verdant layers of jagged-edged, shiny green leaves clasping blackish purple stalks. The dark pearl-shaped buds plus tiny snow-white blossoms embellish tall close-set glittering candles that gracefully herald the season’s end.

Blooms August–September

Size: 3' 0" – 4' 0" high x 18" – 2' 0" wide.

Hardy to zone 4.

Promising three season appeal for the woodland garden, this marvelous soft-looking East coast native is a Dr. Richard Lighty selection from Delaware’s esteemed Mt. Cuba Center. Its handsome glaucous clump of finely cut silvery blue-green foliage hosts small starburst-like creamy white blooms on short stalks in spring and several months later, wondrous round white berries, each tattooed with a distinctive black spot at the tip and poised upon a striking bright red pedicel. Long-lived White Baneberry crafts an exceptional multistemmed ground cover that favors moist well-drained soil.

Size: 2' 0" – 3' 0" high x 2' 0" – 3' 0" wide.

Zone 3/4.

<i>Actaea racemosa</i> <i>Actaea racemosa</i>

Long wandlike, creamy white flower racemes seem to dangle and dance on invisible stems above clumps of Astilbe-like foliage. Try this Actaea (Cimicifuga) in a naturalized setting, under a tall canopy at the back of the border, next to leafy Ligularia.

Blooms July–August

Size: 5' 0" – 6' 0" high x 2' 0" – 3' 0" wide.

Hardy to zone 4.

<i>Actaea simplex</i> ‘Atropurpurea’

Grown from seedlings carefully selected for dark, coppery purple foliage, the regal profile of ‘Atropurpurea’ shows its good breeding. A garden dweller with a stately bearing, its sturdy reddish purple stems soar above your head, displaying dense spires covered with round mahogany-hued buds and sweet pouffes of white. Echo this Actaea’s somber tones by bringing it together with Angelica gigas, and let the lime-green foliage of Choisya ‘Limo’ lighten the mood.

Blooms August–September

Size: 6' 0" high x 2' 0" – 3' 0" wide.

Zone 3/4.

Noted around town for her purple-black leaves and stems, ‘Brunette’ is sure to turn some heads with her graceful fern-like foliage. At the back of the border, amidst the chaos of summertime greenery, this dark lady’s shadow lingers long before offering up arching racemes of fragrant, slightly blushed white flowers. One of the most sought-after cultivars, ‘Brunette’ is another lovely dark foliage selection of Actaea simplex seedlings.

Blooms August–September

Size: 5' 0" – 6' 0" high x 2' 0" – 3' 0" wide.

Zone 3/4.

Lofty, lean raisin-colored stems culminate in long honey-scented pale pink spires stretching skyward above a refined, Ariel-like mass of sumptuous, serrated chocolaty purple foliage. This coveted garden aristocrat casts a decidedly feminine aspect on Geranium maculatum ‘Espresso’s coffee-hued leaves.

Blooms August – October

Size: 5' 0" high x 2' 0" – 2-1/2' wide.

Zone 3/4.

Surprisingly underused, ‘White Pearl’s bright white, bottlebrushlike blossoms and large pearly buds will light up a somber setting just like the animated glow of a 4th of July sparkler. The good-sized ambrosial flowers unfurl later than most other Actaeas, while their densely set stalks are more arching than racemosa’s.

Tolerating drier, less rich soils, deceptively tough wiry stems and finely cut, toothed foliage compose the medium green nimble-looking stand which slowly spreads.

Blooms September–October

Size: 4' 0" high x 2-1/2' wide.

Hardy to zone 4.

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Saturday Strolls & Plant Chats 2019!

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Current Staff's Favorite Plant

Current Staff's Favorite Plant

Our Featured Plant: Echinops bannaticus ‘Taplow Blue’

View our Early August 2019 Newsletter via this link!

Exceptional Echinops, Plants to freshen up your August garden, Saturday Strolls!

Exceptional Echinops!

The striking floral orbs sport either frosty white, cobalt blue or metallic-blue shades, while perched atop sturdy erect stems with handsome jagged-edged foliage. Cherished by pollinators, floral designers and gardeners alike, Echinops thrive in sunny, well-drained niches, though are tolerant of poor soil as well as rock-strewn or sandy sites. These undemanding European natives are perfect candidates for a formal border, cottage garden, meadow-style planting or a cut arrangement. Be sure to check out our online Echinops offerings.

Cool colors for your summer plantings….

Icy white, pale pink and chartruese shades perk up our August borders, while effortlessly blending with just about any color imaginable. These composed hues provide our eyes with bright, yet soothing focal points and an overall beat-the-heat ambience! Some of our cool-down favorites include: Echinops, Sidalcea ‘Elsie Heugh’  Euphorbia mellifera, Kniphofia ‘Green Jade’, Phlox ‘David’ and Tanacetum ‘Isla Gold’. I’ve also featured a handful of richer-toned flowers that I discovered on my early morning walk today. We hope you’ll try sprinkling a few of these perennials amid your landscapes and enjoy both their tranquil or more spirited effects.

Happy August and Happy Digging from all of us Digging Dog plant wranglers!

 

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