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

Hardiness Zone Map


Andropogon

This large cosmopolitan genus gleans its name from the Greek word pogon, or beard, alluding to the lustrous hairs that blanket the inflorescences. Closely associated with Schizachyrium, 13 clump-forming warm season Andropogon hail from North America. Many of the garden-worthy Beardgrass are often drought tolerant, and generally characterized by attractive, easily grown sturdy demeanors, late summer blooms plus prismatic autumn color.

<i>Andropogon gerardii</i>

Historically renowned as the sod our ancestors broke their backs busting, Big Bluestem is the most widespread of all the prairie grasses. Its regal and wild color show makes it a must in our garden. Growing to great size, the stand’s lush, blue-blushed summer greenery becomes a burgundy and copper glory at first frost. Soaring three-pronged red seed heads beg its other common name, Turkeyfoot.

Reliable, heat tolerant and sturdy, Andropogon gerardii thrives in poorly drained clay to dry sandy soils, and easily transitions the outskirts of your garden into the wild meadow beyond.

Blooms late August–October

Size: 5' 0" – 8' 0" high x 3' 0" wide.

Hardy to zone 4.

<i>Andropogon gerardii</i> ‘Lord Snowden's Big Blue’

Spotted near Crowley, Texas by John Snowden, acclaimed grass expert and Bluestem Nursery founder, this American native’s unwavering fortitude belies its graceful lush-looking silhouette. Thick, straight bluish mauve-hued stalks supporting slim, 3-pronged rubescent inflorescences emerge from large, upright ¼ in. wide powder-blue blades, which broadcast reddish purple, dusky pink, tangerine and copper tones in September. An undemanding color-rich candidate for dry sunny locales, ‘Lord Snowden’ can be massed or planted as a specimen, and associated with Astrantia ‘White Giant’ and Gaura ‘So White’.

Blooms August–November

Size: 5' 0" – 7' 0" high x 4' 0" wide.

Hardy to zone 3.

This recent Intrinsic Perennial Garden introduction is quickly earning kudos for its spectacular shades of red and long-lived amenable character. August brings rich cardinal-red accents to lush dark green blades that define a substantial straight-up clump, while unique 3-branched inflorescences with bright red pollen sacs roost above. Boasting fiery scarlet-red and burgundy colors by the first frost, aptly named ‘Red October’ furnishes welcome cover for nesting birds and makes a galvanizing addition to a mixed planting, meadow garden or naturalized space. (PPAF)

Blooms July–October

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

Hardy to zone 3.

A more refined, compact form of the variable southeastern native, this winning, tough-as-nails cultivar was recently selected by North Carolina Arboretum Curator Terry Dalton. Initially spotted at his fifth-generation farm near Black Mountain, N.C., its upright, glaucous blue-green base looks similar to both Andropogon virginicus and Schizachyrium scoparium, though its pearlescent floral display is singular. Green flowering stalks develop maroon hues and slim stems, which jut out, affording bird-friendly, tuft-like spikelets with sparkling silvery white hairs plus a wondrous glimmering halo. Ideal for a well-drained, midborder position, Split Bluestem’s tidy, low growing habit hosts purple, copper and red fall leaves and tackles drought, but sulks in overly wet soil.

Blooms mid-August–October

Size: 2-1/2' – 3' 0" high x 15" – 18" wide.

Hardy to zone 6.

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Current Staff's Favorite Plant

Current Staff's Favorite Plant

Our Featured Plant: Crambe cordifolia

Compelling Crambes!


A study in Paleolithic proportions and high drama, this Cruciferous family member is a sturdy long-lived perennial. Large, coarsely toothed crisp green leaves launch a hefty multi-branched pale green stem, which bolsters an enormous Gypsophila-style cloud of tiny 4-petaled white flowers. Crambe can be utilized as a backdrop or a bold specimen mid-border, plus makes a stunning addition to cut arrangements, fresh or dried. It craves a sunny spot with well-drained average garden soil.

Usher in Summer with June Blooms!


June is an exciting month in the garden. It is a time of transition, a changing of the guard, so to speak, as many early flowering perennials are beginning to fade, while the summer bloomers are taking center stage. I’ve included a handful of perennials, whose beckoning floral or foliar effects usher in summer! 

Happy digging and happy summer from all us Digging Dog Plant Wranglers!

 

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