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New/Featured for 2020

Full Sun
Full Sun

Partial Shade
Partial Shade

Shade Lover
Full Shade

Drought Tolerant
Drought Tolerant

Picture Available
Picture Available

Drawing Available
Drawing Available

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

Hardiness Zone Map


Sporobolus

Giant Sacaton

This somewhat slow growing, yet long-lived North American prairie grass is the queen of refinement, affording grace, fortitude and versatility. A popular attraction for birds and once ground into flour by Native Americans, open lace-like panicles give way to countless seed heads that waft a unique cilantro and spiced popcorn aroma. Prairie Dropseed requires minimal care and once mature, braves drought plus an array of soil types, though it’s happiest in moist fertile sites. 

Spotted in a Wisconsin field by prairie enthusiast Neil Diboll, a trim, tightset green mound launches as many as 100 strong, lanky cardinal-colored culms, which resist the urge to droop. Uniquely displayed at a fairly uniform height, the gauzy reddish flower panicles and innumerable seed heads coupled with a more compact habit set ‘Morning Mist’ apart from other Sporobolus species. This new upright, yet somewhat arching cultivar boasts sturdy good looks, transmutes glowing golden-orange tones in fall and lends a fine-hewn rubescent flair to informal garden settings. (pp#14,344)

 

Blooms August–October

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

Hardy to zone 3.

<i>Sporobolus heterolepis</i> ‘Tara’

More compact, slightly stiffer and definitely smaller than the species, this upright fine textured dwarf cultivar was selected by astute nurseryman Roy Diblik. ‘Tara’ is a tough warm season grass, which forges a tasteful vase-shaped green foundation beneath the exquisite wispy gathering of numerous minute pinkish purple inflorescences on slender stems. Mature, round seed heads drop to the ground, hence the common name, while narrow foliage blazes red and orange for autumn. Enticing birds and gardeners, especially those who have limited space, heat tolerant Dwarf Prairie Dropseed can assort with Echinacea, Monarda or Nepeta in borders and meadows or on slopes.

Blooms August–October

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

Hardy to zone 3.

Considered the most urbane of the American prairie grasses, ‘Wisconsin Strain’ parades early reliable blooms plus a sublime fountain-style presence. The grand misty floral froth hovers well above an upright arching 1 to 2 ft. tall hummock of finely cut, soft-looking emerald green leaves that turn opulent burgundy, gold or burnt tangerine hues in autumn then blanch to light copper in winter. Savored by birds and once ground into flour by Native Americans, countless tawny colored seed heads arise from minute ethereal-like pink and brown-toned inflorescences, wafting a unique cilantro spiced popcorn aroma. This versatile slow growing grass requires minimal care, braves an array of soil types and relishes moist fertile sites, though tolerates drought once mature.

Blooms July–September

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

Zone 3/4.

Originally bred by New Mexico’s Los Lunas Plant Materials Center to be a utilitarian non-woody windbreak, this enormous grass pleasantly surprised everyone with its majestic bearing plus spectacular blonde and bronze-colored fluffy flower spikes.

Strap-like medium green foliage boldly forges a sturdy upstanding foundation, touted as the largest of all native American grasses. Possessing a versatile, non-invasive practicality unlike the Victorian era’s Pampas Grass, ‘Windbreaker’ makes a top-notch choice for a living fence, hedgerow or an awe-inspiring ornamental specimen in a mixed border.

Size: 7' 0" – 10' 0" high x 6' 0" wide.

Hardy to zone 5.

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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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