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New/Featured for 2020

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Full Sun

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Partial Shade

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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


Rodgersia

Native to China and Japan, this spectacular genus will grow in ordinary garden soil, but give it a rich moist home along a pond, stream or marshy area and it will thrive. Rodgersias are fine structural specimens characterized by brownish black fleshy rhizomes, which remain visible through winter. The numerous unpetaled flowers, colored by intriguing creamy salmon sepals and stamens, are borne on large panicles, and when in bud look almost like miniature cauliflowers. And, be warned! The textured, dark green leaves can spread to a foot across, so be sure to provide these plants with plenty of space.

<i>Rodgersia aesculifolia</i>

Rodgersias are fine architectural specimens characterized by brownish black, fleshy rhizomes and large textured leaves spreading to a foot across, so be sure to provide these plants with plenty of space.

Similar to the palmate leaves of Horse Chestnut, the crinkled foliage of this species is tinted bronze and heavily veined. The 7 leaflets radiate from the center and shaggy brown hair covers the loosely branched stalks, which hold pyramidal flowers, ranging in color from porcelain white to muted pink.

Blooms June–mid-August.

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

Hardy to zone 5.

A harbinger of bold drama, ‘Die Stolze’ is prized for its impeccably handsome foliage and wide Astilbe-like floral towers. Large deep green pinnately compound leaves—bronzed when young and affixed to long petioles—entertain shiny pleated surfaces and toothed margins. Warmed by salmon shades, the branched flowering panicles feature rounded clustered buds and copious small starry pale pink flowers. As the sturdy blooms mature, their color deepens, imparting cozy russet hues and retaining their good looks well into October.

Blooms June – mid-August.

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

Hardy to zone 5.

A topnotch foliage plant selected by Ernest Pagels, ‘Braunlaub’ delivers stylish bronzed leaves. Loose ivory-colored panicles rise high above the striking tactile clump composed of prominently veined compound leaves divided into 5 to 7 lobed leaflets with sharply serrated edges. Becoming dark green by midsummer and later transmuting brilliant copper and red autumn hues, this Rodgersia’s large richly colored foliage offsets refined plants like Carex ‘Oehme’ and Thalictrum ‘Elin’.

Blooms June–mid-August

Size: 2-1/2' high x 3' 0" wide.

Hardy to zone 5.

A 1974 Ernest Pagels introduction, ‘Smaragd’ translates to emerald, aptly describing the eye-catching lime-green hues that brighten large tropical-looking leaflets. Jagged toothed margins, broad lobed tips and heavy venation further embellish the lush foliage beneath a marvelous summer display of alabaster-colored Astilbe-like flowers. Infused with cozy bronze tones when young, this somewhat smaller-sized cultivar recently earned a 4-star rating in the Chicago Botanical Garden trials for its consistently robust, winsome bearing.

Blooms June–mid-August

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

Hardy to zone 5.

<i>Rodgersia podophylla</i> ‘Bronze Form’

A must-have foliage plant selected at Washington’s Bellevue Botanic Garden, this topnotch cultivar brandishes red-tinged chocolate-colored new growth. Open ivory-hued panicles rise high above the striking textural clump, composed of prominently veined compound leaves that are divided into 5 to 9 large leaflets with sharply serrated edges. The stylish richly tinted foliage turns dark green in midsummer, enhanced by occasional ruddy shades and come autumn, transmutes brilliant copper and maroon hues, offsetting fine-hewn plants like Carex ‘Oehme’ and Thalictrum ‘Elin’. 

Blooms June–mid-August

Size: 4' 0" high x 18" – 2' 0" wide.

Hardy to zone 4.

A stronghold of daring drama, ‘Rotlaub’ is prized for its newly emerging red leaves, considered the most vividly colored and longest lasting among the species. Defined by lanky petioles, shiny pleated surfaces and jagged edges, the big pinnately compound green foliage entertains bronze, henna and burgundy hues, intensifying as fall approaches. Admirable in the woodlands and in cut arrangements, its sturdy, branched blooming spires feature rounded clustered buds and copious, small starry porcelain-colored flowers, which impart warm russet hues as they age and retain their beauty well into October.

Blooms June–mid-August

Size: 4' 0" high x 18" – 2' 0" wide.

Hardy to zone 4.

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Current Staff's Favorite Plant

Current Staff's Favorite Plant

Our Featured Plant: Crocosmia ‘Zeal Tan’

Captivating Crocosmias, Plants that Dodge to Dog Days of Summer, 2020 T-shirst have arrived!

Captivating Crocosmias!

Crocosmias boast a bounty of late summer color as our gardens transition into autumn. Displayed on the ends of gracefully arching spikes above winsome sword-like leaves, the clustered tubular flowers range from yellow, peach and orange to fire-engine red. The prismatic tones meld well with white-flowering Hydrangeas and perennials such as Selinium wallichianum, Actaea simplex 'Atropurpurea', Alcea 'Polarstar' or Aster 'Bridal Veil'. The yellow and melon shades sparkle amid the blue blossoms of Aconitum, Caryopteris 'Longwood Blue', Perovskia 'Blue Steel' and  Aster 'Little Carlow'. For sizzling fun you could create a hot border, intermingling them with Kniphofia 'Bee's Sunset', Helenium 'Potter's Wheel' or Helianthemum 'Fire Dragon'. Be sure to add some to your next cut arrangement!

Commonly known as Montbretia, they do their best when provided with good drainage, moderate moisture and some protection from hot afternoon sun. Please feel free to check out our extensive collection of Crocosmia cultivars in the perennial section of our online catalog.

Dodge the Dog Days of summer….

with plants that pack a punch of blooms and alluring leaves at this time of year. By late August, our borders can look a tad tired and may be in need of some sprucing up. Adequate moisture and an additional application of compost will ensure late summer vitality. You can trim perennials, such as Nepetas and Geraniums, and savor their fresh new growth plus a flourish of blooms, often until the first frost! We hope some of the plants featured in this newsletter lift your spirits and maybe even inspire a little awe as summer wanes. 

All of us Digging Dog plant wranglers wish you Happy Digging and good health.

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