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New/Featured for 2020

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Full Sun

Partial Shade
Partial Shade

Shade Lover
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


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.

Vernonia lettermannii ‘Iron Butterfly’ (P-1954)

Each $8.00

AVAILABLE LATE AUGUST 2020

<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.

Hats off to esteemed plant breeder Jim Ault from the Chicago Botanical Garden for this winning midsized Vernonia lettermannii and Vernonia angustifolia hybrid. Composed of thin violet-tinged olive-green leaves, the bushy fine-textured habit promotes an overall rich rubescent tone beneath copious deep purple flowers. Steadfast long branching stalks are uniquely intertwined and remain upright, even during storms, while supporting plump capitula packed with late season, long-lasting florets that tantalize bees, moths and butterflies. Adaptable to moist and dry conditions, ‘Summer’s Swan Song’ can be utilized singularly or planted en masse in well-drained mixed borders, pollinator gardens and near water’s edge, where it boasts impressive rust and mildew resistance. (pp#28,556)

Blooms September–October

Size: 2-1/2' high x 2-1/2' – 3' 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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