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Hardiness Zone Map


Vernonia

Culver's Root

These vigorous American denizens promote an obliging stalwart demeanor plus welcome late summer flower-power. A nectar feast for the butterflies, Vernonia can be peppered throughout meadow plantings and native landscapes, accompanying chums such as Helianthus ‘Lemon Queen’, Eupatorium ‘Riesenschirm’ and Sporobolus ‘Tara’.

A robust presence, unsurpassed late fall color and a compelling winter silhouette are this North American prairie dweller’s claim to fame. Painted with opulent crimson-purple hues, the flat branched heads of Aster-like flowers surmount proud stiff stems and long lance-shaped, rough-to-the touch green leaves. A finale of fluffy white seed heads matures to a rusty orange, earning its common name, while the genus pays tribute to William Vernon, a British botanist who collected the species in Maryland in 1698.

Clump-forming Ironweed is well-suited for a modern meadow-style theme, holding its own amongst bold, green bladed Miscanthus or more airy Molinia or tall perennials like Helianthus ‘Lemon Queen’ and Aconitum. Beloved by bees and butterflies everywhere, it’s easily cultivated, appreciating a well drained moderately moist site.

Blooms August – September.

Size: 5' 0" high x 12" – 2' 0" wide.

Hardy to zone 5.

<i>Vernonia fasciculata</i> <i>Vernonia fasciculata</i>

Venerated for its iron-related traits including arrow-straight brawny stems, fluffy warm rust-tinged seed heads and a rugged constitution, this easily grown late bloomer roams the moist prairies from Ohio to North Dakota and south to Missouri, Oklahoma and Texas. Glabrous green linear leaves line smooth stalks, rendering a brilliant purple burst of densely clustered composite flowers that hosts the American Painted Lady butterfly. Its substantial hard-working presence can be featured in informal borders or meadow-style settings and ensconced with Sanguisorba 'Chocolate Tip', Eryngium yuccifolium and native grasses.

Blooms July–September

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

Zone 3/4.

<i>Vernonia lettermannii</i> ‘Iron Butterfly’

We owe a round of applause to Dr. Allen Armitage for his University of Georgia plant trials, which produced this highly acclaimed selection of Arkansas resident, Vernonia lettermannii. Distinguished by dainty-looking thread-like green leaves, the robust, yet compact, attractively branched mounding habit affords small, tubular bright purple blooms housed in showy terminal sprays. Possessing both a herculean mettle and ultrafine texture, "Iron Butterfly" demands free-draining niches, extends seasonal interest with warm rusty toned autumn flower color plus triumphs over hot dry conditions as well as sandy, infertile rock-strewn sites.

Blooms August–September

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

Hardy to zone 4.

A flashy new 2014 Jelitto Seeds introduction, this quibble-free white-blooming version of the New York Ironweed propels erect upright stalks, densely cloaked in serrated, lanceolate green leaves, buoying fluffy delicate plumes of narrow-petaled creamy white daisies. Followed by decorative seed heads, the long-lasting late season blooms make bright additions to cut arrangements and entice many garden visitors, especially the bees and butterflies. "White Lightenings" clumping bushy habit can be massed or planted as a striking focal point for a somewhat informal venue, where it readily adapts to variable conditions.

Blooms August–October

Size: 6' 0" high x 2-1/2' wide.

Hardy to zone 4.

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Current Staff's Favorite Plant

Current Staff's Favorite Plant

Our featured plant: Crocosmia x crocosmiiflora ‘Honey Angels’

Colorful Crocosmias, Be Awed by your August garden, Saturday Strolls!

Click here to view our Late August 2019 Newsletter!

Colorful Crocosmias!

Crocosmias pack a punch of late summer color as our gardens transition into autumn. Their clustered tubular flowers populate the ends of gracefully arching spikes, which emerge from handsome sword-like foliage. Ranging from yellow, peach and orange to fiery red, their prismatic shades look exceptional with white flowering perennials such as Phlox ‘David’, Selinum wallichianum and Aster ‘Bridal Veil’, as well as the blue blossoms of Aconitum, Agapanthus ‘Storm Cloud’ or Aster ‘Twilight’. For fun you could create a hot border, blending them with Kniphofia, Helenium, Salvia and even other Crocosmia, plus be sure to include some in your next bouquet. Commonly referred to as Montbretia and hardy to Zone 6, they appreciate, good drainage, adequate water and some shade in scorching summer sun. Please feel free to check out our extensive collection of Crocosmia cultivars in the perennial section of our online catalog.

YES, it’s possible to be in awe of your late August garden….

At this point in the season, some areas in our gardens may appear a tad worn or lackluster. If you haven’t already done so, you may wish to cut back a few tired looking perennials, such as the Nepetas or Geraniums, so you can enjoy a fresh flourish of growth plus more blooms. Adequate moisture and an additional application of compost will also ensure late summer vigor. Incorporating plants that provide a bounty of flowers and alluring leaves in August and September helps buoy our spirits, and hopefully even inspire a little awe as we approach fall. Though the plants featured in this newsletter either promote a bold statement or possess more refined aspects, they equally caught my eye and made me pause to take a closer look. Perhaps they’ll spark a wondrous moment for you as well. All of us Digging Dog plant wranglers wish you Happy Digging!

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