Rodgersia

Native to China and Japan, this spectacular genus will grow in ordinary garden soil, but give it rich, moist soil along a pond, stream or marshy area and it will thrive. Rodgersias are fine architectural specimens characterized by bold textured leaves that can spread to a foot across, originating from brownish black, fleshy rhizomes. So be sure to provide plenty of space. 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.

<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 textural 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 fine textured 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 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 divided into 5 to 9 large leaflets with sharply serrated edges. The stylish richly tinted foliage turns dark green in midsummer, warmed 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 harbinger 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 long 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 panicles feature rounded clustered buds and copious small starry porcelain-colored flowers, which impart cozy 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

Helianthus 'Sheila's Sunshine', Persicaria 'Summer Dance', and Selinum wallichianum

Helianthus ‘Sheila’s Sunshine - P-0461

The sunflower was once an emblem of the Sun God of the Incas. Our sunflowers tolerate a wide range of garden soils, attract bees, and make great cut flowers. Blooms early August – October.

Persicaria ‘Summer Dance’ - P-1312

With foliage that’s close to lime-green, and spiky floral tails that approach the scarlet spectrum of rosy pink, this slow spreading perennial is sure to please. Happiest in semishade with ample moisture. Blooms August–November.

Selinum wallichianum - P-1406

This refined Himalayan beauty happens to be one of our favorite perennial umbellifers. With untold elegance, infinitely divided leaves craft a delicate, lacelike transparency. The compact yet airy green canopy is framed by distinctive, purple-infused branching stems that elevate a charming, late season display of white flattened umbels.

Subduing the riotous array of summertime blooms, it seldom needs staking, and appreciates a well draining moist niche. Blooms June–August.

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