= Full Sun
(PPAF) = Propagation of this plant prohibited without a license.
Current Staff's Favorite Plant
I wanted this arrangement to celebrate the diverse beauty that autumn affords. It was photographed by acclaimed garden photographer, Saxon Holt, who happened to be visiting us.
Autumnal Fanfare: Lambent Leaves, Glistening Berries, Fleeting Flowers, last chance for Fantastic Fall Sale, Gift Certificates now on sale!
Here at Digging Dog, we’ve had some welcome rain to actually soak the soil. With the onset of shorter days and chilly nights, a quieter contemplative mood envelopes parts of the garden. As many herbaceous plants are fading into dormancy, evergreen shrubs, bold-toned leaves, textural seed-heads plus plump glistening berries take center stage. The impressive group of plants featured in this newsletter caught my eye when I strolled through the nursery and garden yesterday. I hope you enjoy these compelling autumnal offerings. In many locales throughout the country, there’s still time to tuck some botanical gems into an empty garden nook.
Digging Dog Nursery
a retail and mail order plant nursery specializing in unusual and hard to find perennials, ornamental grasses, shrubs, trees, and vines.
31101 Middle Ridge Rd.
Tues 10 am – 4 pm
Order the 2017 Catalog printed on genuine paper for $2.
“...the biggest plants I've ever received by mail. Enormous root systems!”
~Zuzu in California
Shrubs at Digging Dog
A beacon for the fall border, this deciduous Korean species is considered by many to be the most refined Beautyberry, and its boldly hued early September fruit occurs well before other varieties. Small and shiny, rounded berry clusters achieve an astonishing, almost electric lavender hue. Flowers are delicate, diminutive and pink, quietly dressing up its handsome, very green leaf mass and gracefully rounded form.
‘Early Amethyst’ prefers well drained soil, tolerates some drought, appreciates a late winter pruning and produces more fruit when planted in groups.
Size: 3' 0"–4' 0" high x 3' 0"–4' 0" wide; hardy to zone 5.
Callicarpa dichotoma ‘Early Amethyst’ (S-0587)
Heaths and Heathers
Heaths (Erica) and Heathers (Calluna) are best en masse. Drifts of their varied forms and flower and foliage colors blend beautifully. They're also fine companions for Rhododendrons, Azaleas, Pieris and other acid-loving plants in the evergreen shrubbery. The timid might try adding a few winter bloomers to the herb or perennial border for year-round interest. But be forewarned—to plant one is to want them all!
Requiring good drainage and poor, acidic soil, the Heaths and Heathers are ideal for the coastal garden. Some will perform well inland, preferring light shade, but they're sensitive to extremes of heat and cold. Wind and salt spray are tolerated as long as the plants are away from the front lines. Prune annually, with a shearing after the blooms are spent.
Callunas’ tiny scale-like leaves range from deep green to silver, gold and bronze, with some changing color after a frost. Flowering from mid-to-late summer in cool whites, pinks and purples, the small bell-shaped flowers are frozen in graceful repose on one-sided spikes. Heathers are marvelous fresh or dried.
Once you witness the blazing intensity of this bushy mat-forming beauty there’s no disputing its name. Summer paints sun-kissed gold and orange shades on dense needle-shaped foliage bejeweled with late blooming soft lavender-colored flowers, while frosty nights imbue radiant dark crimson reds to heat up the coldest winter day. ‘Blazeaway’ can be massed near Calluna ‘Firefly’ and Calluna ‘Wickwar Flame’ and juxtaposed against the dark greenery of Erica ‘Purple Beauty’ for a fulgent quiltlike spectacle.
Size: 12" high x 15"–18" wide; hardy to zone 4.
Calluna vulgaris ‘Blazeaway’ (S-0755)
This relatively new small-sized Heather makes a prismatic four season statement. Known as a ‘bud bloomer’ producing copious plump buds that don’t actually open, ‘Bonita’s snug tidy hummock signals late summer with gorgeous long-lasting reddish magenta buds. Stunning saffron, burnt orange and old gold shades enliven the fine-textured foliage and when cold weather arrives bronze tones provide additional cozy accents.
Size: 12"–18" high x 18"–2' 0" wide; hardy to zone 4.
Calluna vulgaris ‘Bonita’ (S-0788)
Named for the Oregon nursery where it originated, this reliable American cultivar offers striking crimson flowers that nearly obscure its low mound of handsome greenery. ‘Corbett’s Red’ is a compact, spreading Heather whose richly hued blooms can be partnered with Spiraea ‘Ogon’.
Size: 12" high x 2' 0" wide; hardy to zone 4.
Calluna vulgaris ‘Corbett’s Red’ (S-0601)
With full bodied colors similar to a fine Pinot Noir, this enticing beauty queen flaunts the darkest hued flower of all Callunas. Deep red buds reveal showy and plentiful, semi-double dark cherry blooms that shade to ruby amid a good-looking, compact darkly green silhouette.
Earning Holland’s prestigious Gold Medal award, ‘Dark Beauty’ will beckon you to her side whether she’s poised in the rockery, along a pathway or in a container.
Size: 8"–10" high x 14"–16" wide; hardy to zone 4.
Calluna vulgaris ‘Dark Beauty’ (S-0654)
Celebrating some of the most vibrant brick red foliage among the species, ‘Firefly’ never fails to snap us out of a gray winter-day funk. Sensational warm shades ranging from salmon to terra-cotta suffuse the leaves the rest of the year, while deep mauve flowers festoon its upright compact frame in late summer. A recipient of Britain’s sought-after AGM, this vividly colored Heather merits a choice niche in your garden.
Size: 18"–20" high wide; hardy to zone 4.
Calluna vulgaris ‘Firefly’ (S-0653)
Welcoming spring, young growing tips dress up with striking pink and fiery red hues that look resplendent against the more mature dark green foliage. Lavender-colored flowers make a late summer appearance and extend this upright cultivar’s lively display of color.
Size: 12" high x 20" wide; hardy to zone 4.
Calluna vulgaris ‘Flamingo’ (S-0437)
Christened after the owner of former British nursery Maxwell & Beale, this shapely AGM recipient has graced gardens since 1925 and remains nearly everyone’s favorite Calluna. Small linear gray-green leaves clothe a dense growing compact habit that promotes upright spiky racemes of delightful double shell pink flowers. Emphasizing soft hues, ‘H. E. Beale’s profuse long lasting pastel blooms complement any summer-time color scheme, and in winter its mauve-infused evergreen foliage further extends the hushed tones.
Size: 18" high x 2' 0" wide; hardy to zone 5.
Calluna vulgaris ‘H. E. Beale’ (S-0006)
Without a doubt, this AGM winner plays host to the most lovely double white flowers in the genus. Slowly opening, tiny buds reveal long, downward curving frosty blooms, illuminating the fine textured, bright green foliage that possesses a mounding habit, and in winter, bronze dipped tips.
Blooms July – August.
Size: 16" high x 2' 0" wide; hardy to zone 4.
Calluna vulgaris ‘Kinlochruel’ (S-0008)
Forming a dense low mat of showy bright green foliage, ‘Martha Herman’ is outstanding as a foil or accent with other Heathers and Heaths. Snow white flowers and horizontal spread are the icing on the cake. A real find!
Size: 12" high x 2-1/2' wide; hardy to zone 4.
Calluna vulgaris ‘Martha Herman’ (S-0009)
With a nod to its name, this tailored low spreading Calluna serves up scarlet spring growth, then gilt, copper and lime laden leaves for the warmer months along with tiny pale mauve late summer flowers. Lucent colors announce winter in orange and red shades, easily igniting a bleak chilly day. Rarely offered and slow growing, ‘Multicolor’ can be planted alongside dark green evergreen companions, tucked amid rocks or massed atop a wall.
Size: 6" high x 12"–15" wide; hardy to zone 4.
Calluna vulgaris ‘Multicolor’ (S-0820)
Offering a clean and classic look in the garden, this Calluna’s frosty white spires make prized additions to floral arrangements, either fresh or dried. Later to flower than most Heathers, the elegant fall blooms are showcased against handsome deep green foliage on upright branches. For varied forms, its pert stance can be coupled with Acaena saccaticupula’s low-lying, silvery blue leaves.
Size: 16" high x 18" wide; hardy to zone 4.
Calluna vulgaris ‘October White’ (S-0576)
Distinctive for its opulent finery, 'Red Star' flashes deep purplish red double blooms on long upright flower spikes near summer's end, earning this attractive somewhat open growing Calluna its name. Tiny dapper leaves craft a dark forest green foil that offsets the vivid blossoms and counterposes lime and golden-leafed Heathers, such as Calluna vulgaris 'Blazeaway' to great effect.
Size: 12"–18" high x 18"–2' 0" wide; hardy to zone 4.
Calluna vulgaris ‘Red Star’ (S-0769)
Heralding handsome woolly gray foliage throughout the year, this knightly cultivar is yet another J. W. Sparkes introduction. Colder weather paints violet tinges on the leaves, while late summer finds upright branches studded with purple flowers near the tips. Plant ‘Silver Knight’ amid deep green companions such as Calluna vulgaris ‘Dark Beauty’ and Erica ‘Rackliff’ and a captivating contrast is yours to enjoy.
Blooms August – September.
Size: 20" high x 2' 0" wide; hardy to zone 4.
Calluna vulgaris ‘Silver Knight’ (S-0180)
Bursting with lush growth in spring, ‘Sister Anne’s gray-green foliage contrasts nicely with its shell pink flowers. A winter chill will add a hint of purple to the foliage. This Heather is a dense mounding ground cover for lining walks or filling rocky nooks.
Size: 6" high x 18" wide; hardy to zone 4.
Calluna vulgaris ‘Sister Anne’ (S-0011)
New foliage growth blazes orange-yellow, maturing to deep green, with medium pink flower spikes on a loosely mounding form.
Size: 20" high x 2-1/2' wide; hardy to zone 4.
Calluna vulgaris ‘Spring Torch’ (S-0013)
Way back in 1938, a Miss Isabel Young, who was nicknamed Tib, happened upon this exceptional Heather in Scotland’s Pentland Hills. Unparalleled as a cut flower, either fresh or dried, the splendid rosy crimson double blooms, borne on long, erect slender stems, festoon a compact bushy mound of fine textured dark green foliage.
Eventually winning a coveted AGM, ‘Tib’ has withstood the test of time and promises to be a champion in your garden, especially when juxtaposed against the contrasting foliage of other Callunas such as Calluna ‘Firefly’ and Calluna ‘Sister Anne’.
Blooms July – September.
Size: 18"–2' 0" high x 2' 0"–2-1/2' wide; hardy to zone 4.
Calluna vulgaris ‘Tib’ (S-0711)
With so many upright and horizontal stems, this Heather has an especially wild appearance in its youth. When it matures, however, it develops into a dense, tight mound of unusual foliage: burnt orange-yellow on the upper half and lime-green below, where it is protected from the sun.
During the winter months the color intensifies, making the shrub appear almost as though it’s on fire. During the summer, the color spectrum is extended with lavender- pink flowers blooming along the upper portion of the stems.
Blooms late July–August.
Size: 15" high x 2-1/2' wide; hardy to zone 4.
Calluna vulgaris ‘Wickwar Flame’ (S-0177)
A delightful melding of warm colors, ‘Winter Chocolate’ is a year-round marvel in our Heather garden. Radiantly bedecked with chartreuse, chocolate and golden hues for winter, spring’s new growth brings creamy salmon red tips. As the days grow longer, the foliar shades broaden to an alluring range of oranges, pinks and yellows, toned by bright greens. As if this isn’t enough, soft lavender blossoms just about engulf the plant in late summer.
Blooms August – October.
Size: 12"–20" high x 18"–2' 0" wide; hardy to zone 4.
Calluna vulgaris ‘Winter Chocolate’ (S-0470)
Heaths have fine, short, needlelike evergreen leaves that vary from deep green to silver, gold, or chartreuse. Tiny, urn-shaped flowers sparkle like hoarfrost, in shades from white to pinks and rosy purples. Though most floriferous in winter and early spring, (and highly welcome at that dreary time!), a scheme for year-round color can be developed by combining with Callunas.
A beacon of dazzling color, the low-to-the-ground mat is cloaked in distinctive needlelike foliage set aglow with gilded yellow hues and bronzy red tips. Resulting as a sport from ‘Vivellii’ and named by J. W. Sparkes in 1955 for his sister-in-law, this lambent beauty is further heightened when her carmine-red racemes unfurl, cheering up a drab winter landscape.
Blooms February – March.
Size: 6"–9" high x 12"–15" wide; hardy to zone 4.
Erica carnea ‘Ann Sparkes’ (S-0637)
This shining starlet guarantees a year-round performance. Bred by Germany’s Kurt Kramer, ‘Golden Starlet’ is favored for its bright golden foliage, snowy white blooms and tidy, low spreading habit. During the summer months, the leaves attain a glowing yellow hue, while cooler weather brings lime-green accents and splendid flowers that last all winter.
Size: 6" high x 16" wide; hardy to zone 5.
Erica carnea ‘Golden Starlet’ (S-0457)
Deemed one of the loveliest and most decorative Heaths, this highly touted Erica displays bright rosy red flowers on a tidy, compact mound of Yew green foliage. Be sure to reserve a prominent spot for ‘King George’s abundant blooms, so you can easily relish them during winters’ gray days.
Size: 6"–9" high x 18"–2' 0" wide; hardy to zone 5.
Erica carnea ‘King George’ (S-0214)
Donning the name of a castle in Wigton, Scotland, ‘Myretoun Ruby’s low spreading, Yew-green needles and deep reddish purple blooms achieve a gemlike opulence. Perhaps the darkest red flowering carnea cultivar in cultivation, this Erica’s saturated blossoms age with bright crimson highlights. Nestle amid Ajuga ‘Emerald Chip’, and relish the wintertime splendor.
Size: 10"–12" high x 2' 0" wide; hardy to zone 5.
Erica carnea ‘Myretoun Ruby’ (S-0175)
Distinguished by large, two-toned blooms and a robust yet gracious form, ‘Pink Spangles’ paints the winter landscape with a truly dynamic floral display. Shell pink sepals and rosier pink petals that open from lime-colored buds ornament this superb ground cover’s medium green, spreading foliage.
Size: 9"–12" high x 2' 0" wide; hardy to zone 5.
Erica carnea ‘Pink Spangles’ (S-0213)
The result of some meticulous Erica ‘Snow Queen’ and Erica ‘Springwood White’ hybridizing by legendary plantsman Kurt Kramer, this compact much improved cultivar is near the top of many plant lover’s favorite Erica list. German for snow peak, ‘Schneekuppe’ commands its name when a long lasting avalanche of urn-shaped pure white flowers tumbles over low well-groomed bright green foliage. Tailor-made for tight spots, the rockery or drifts, its hardy easy-care foundation imparts illuminated floral accents during the winter months plus cream-colored new foliar growth as a spring bonus.
Size: 6" high x 12"–15" wide; hardy to zone 5.
Erica carnea ‘Schneekuppe’ (S-0821)
Clear pink flowers engulf the forest green foliage, followed by vigorous spring growth that sprouts bright bronze. Pair it in a drift with ‘Springwood White’.
Size: 10" high x 2' 0" wide; hardy to zone 5.
Erica carnea ‘Springwood Pink’ (S-0015)
Creamy buds open into white flowers on this old favorite in the trade. A vigorous ground cover, it can handle inland heat and tough conditions. ‘Martha Herman’ is its best mate.
Size: 10" high x 2' 0" wide; hardy to zone 5.
Erica carnea ‘Springwood White’ (S-0016)
This Heath brings carmine red flowers that cover a low spreading form. Its deep green summer foliage bronzes after the first frost. Match this gem with white varieties.
Size: 12" high x 2' 0" wide; hardy to zone 5.
Erica carnea ‘Vivelli’ (S-0725)
Distinctive for its deep green, fine textured foliage and pleasing appearance, this summer blooming Erica was named in honor of the man who discovered it—Australian born Charles Eason. Very tiny short needles and slender branches make an ideal foil for the freely borne, dense clusters of glowing dark pink flowers.
Blooms June – September.
Size: 12" high x 15"–20" wide; hardy to zone 5.
Erica cinerea ‘C. D. Eason’ (S-0565)
It was a British couple, Mr. and Mrs. Letts, whose keen eyes first noted this summer flowering beauty in the wilds of Cornwall and later introduced it. Ample-sized, more than abundant and long blooming, the luminous amethyst flowers sparkle like jewels upon the vigorous dark green needlelike foliage that defines ‘Purple Beauty’s exquisite, low bushy habit.
Blooms June – October.
Size: 12" high x 22" wide; hardy to zone 5.
Erica cinerea ‘Purple Beauty’ (S-0471)
Deep magenta flowers decorate this durable evergreen when most plants are dormant. It’s happiest in full sun and interesting with Hebe ‘New Zealand Gold’. Some experts believe ‘Furzey’ has the best flower color among Ericas.
Size: 12" high x 2' 0" wide; hardy to zone 5.
Erica x darleyensis ‘Furzey’ (S-0018)
Named for Kurt Kramer of Germany, this ornate Heath’s plushly colored flowers outclass most other Erica cultivars. Stiff branches hold dark green foliage, enhanced in winter by bronze highlights and closely set chartreuse buds, which open into cerise-magenta blooms.
Size: 15" high x 2' 0" wide; hardy to zone 5.
Erica x darleyensis ‘Kramer’s Red’ (S-0564)
We have Ireland’s James W. Porter to thank for this attractive low spreading Erica. Light-colored buds precede dainty deep lilac urns, studding ‘Margaret Porter’s attractive mid-green needles, which burnish bronzy hues during the winter months.
Size: 10" high x 2' 0" wide; hardy to zone 5.
Erica x darleyensis ‘Margaret Porter’ (S-0019)
Discovered as a chance seedling at the British nursery, Holden Clough, and named for the owners’ daughter, this outstanding bushy cultivar is distinguished by erect racemes of lovely rose pink blooms and lucent short-needled golden yellow leaves that brandish warm bronze shades during the colder months. The x darleyensis hybrids combine ironclad mettles with innate good looks, conquering variable moisture plus an array of soil types far better than most Ericas, and spirited ‘Mary Helen’ is a fetching example. Highly effective when massed, her stylish countenance lends colorful year-round allure to a stone wall, Heather garden or mixed border.
Size: 10" high x 18" wide; hardy to zone 5.
Erica x darleyensis ‘Mary Helen’ (S-0801)
The pristine white flowers stand out against the deep green foliage, yet we favor this Heath for its form, which clumps to an almost spherical mound.
Size: 18" high x 18" wide; hardy to zone 7.
Erica erigena ‘W. T. Rackliff’ (S-0020)
Applauded throughout the world as one of the most cherished Heaths, this Erica’s deep cherry red blooms have as much charm as the story behind them. Mrs. Maxwell’s discerning eye first spotted its robust good-looking form while on her honeymoon in Cornwall, England and promptly sent home cuttings! Elevated above a low, deep green bush, the long upright racemes of cylindrically arranged, irresistible blooms open from the bottom up and when spent, persist through the winter burnished in russet brown hues.
Size: 18"–2' 0" high x 2' 0"–2-1/2' wide; hardy to zone 5.
Erica vagans ‘Mrs. D. F. Maxwell’ (S-0607)
Sweetshrub, Spice Bush
The crown jewel of Dr. Tom Rainey’s breeding efforts at North Carolina State University, this undeniably beautiful hybrid is a complex one, involving C. chinensis, C. floridus and C. occidentalis. Spreading branches draped in large lustrous dark green deciduous leaves, which blazon golden yellow hues for fall, construct a medium-sized foundation. Distinguished by a central infusion of yellow and purple markings plus a divine spicy fragrance, evoking strawberries and melons, the 4 in. wide exquisite Magnolia-like ivory blooms unfurl from big creamy yellow buds primarily in the spring, and then sporadically throughout the growing season. ‘Venus’ can pose amongst other shrubs or serve as a beckoning sentinel near your front door; well-drained soil and ample light will ensure her vitality. (pp#15,925)
Size: 5' 0"–6' 0" high x 5' 0"–6' 0" wide; hardy to zone 5.
Calycanthus x ‘Venus’ (S-0741)
California Mock Orange
First discovered by Colonel John Charles Fremont, this elegant evergreen was considered by the British to be “one of the most splendid acquisitions from the Californian flora.”
Fragrant yellow-eyed, double white flowers that resemble Japanese Anemones embellish gorgeous flaking bark and thick, dark green linear leaves sporting a lustrous sheen on top and a whitish down on their undersides.
Peerless as an understory for taller trees or as a backdrop for perennials, ‘Elizabeth’ can be found growing along hillsides in California’s Fresno County and is happiest in cool, moist and well-drained abodes with protection from the hot afternoon sun, though once established it can handle some drought.
Blooms May – June.
Size: 3' 0"–6' 0" high x 3' 0"–6' 0" wide; hardy to zone 9.
Carpenteria californica ‘Elizabeth’ (S-0193)
A spectacular abundance of tiny round buds and vibrant whorled blooms that look fantastic in cut arrangements mantles the fine textured bushy foundation described by compact upright stems and pewter-tinged green foliage with silver undersides. Touted as the best and the bluest of all Caryopteris, ‘Dark Knight’s swank low mounding profile can be staged right up front, tucked next to Zauschneria ‘Wayne’s Silver’ or ushered into smaller gardens.
Size: 2' 0"–3' 0" high x 18"–2' 0" wide; hardy to zone 5.
Caryopteris x clandonensis ‘Dark Knight’ (S-0758)
An unparalleled cultivar selected at Longwood Gardens in Pennsylvania, this well-groomed Caryopteris touts a taller upright stance with boundless fragrant blue-violet flowers and dashing silver-dusted gray foliage. Lavish quantities of long lasting late summer blooms, housed in terminal and axillary clusters, bewitch bees, butterflies, florists and gardeners, while the slender lance-shaped deciduous leaves waft enticing spicy aromas. Easy-care ‘Longwood Blue’ looks impressive whether planted as a low hedge, en masse or singularly as a specimen in the perennial border.
Size: 2' 0"–4' 0" high x 2' 0"–4' 0" wide; hardy to zone 5.
Caryopteris x clandonensis ‘Longwood Blue’ (S-0797)
We have esteemed English shrub breeder, Peter Catt to thank for the exceptional attributes this award winning Caryopteris promotes: small stature, elegant illuminated foliage and copious late season blooms. Whorled bright blue-violet flowers garnish a trim gathering of shimmering silver leaves that draws attention months before the blossoms appear.
An ideal addition to the mixed border, its sterling shades can be combined with the yellow umbels of Achillea ‘Hella Glashoff’ or boldly mixed with orange flowering Leonotis ‘Savannah Sunset’. (PPAF)
Blooms August – September.
Size: 18"–2' 0" high x 3' 0" wide; hardy to zone 5.
Caryopteris x ‘Lissilv’ (S-0732)
Blue Mist Spiraea
Englishman Peter Catt bred sterling qualities into this easy-to-care-for Caryopteris: deep, vivid blue blossoms, an earlier, extended bloom period, and a neatly compact form that requires little pruning. ‘First Choice’ also earns its place for winning whorls of inky flowers, which emerge from the leaf axils along the upper part of each erect stem. Serrated, with a green sheen topside, the linear leaves are a soothing gray-green beneath. Blue Mist Spiraea offers arresting texture and color when staged with the toasty hues of Sedum ‘Autumn Fire’ and Spodiopogon sibiricus.(PP#11,958)
Size: 3' 0" high x 3' 0" wide; hardy to zone 5.
Caryopteris x clandonensis ‘First Choice’ (S-1100)
One of the oldest and most dazzling of all Ceanothus hybrids, ‘Concha’ premiers a spectacular spring display of deep cobalt blue clustered flowers unfurling from tight pinkish red buds. Gracefully arching branches can withstand light pruning and are clad in lustrous, small dark green textured leaves, which etch an attractive evergreen foil.
Persisting some 15 to 25 years in a well-drained site with little or no irrigation, but amiable to minimal summer water and heavier soils, this adaptable Ceanothus can be employed as a dense hedge, a specimen shrub or for erosion control on slopes. Birds savor its seeds and seek its stately shelter, while Mediterraneans make worthy companions.
Blooms April – May.
Size: 5' 0"–7' 0" high x 6' 0"–10' 0" wide; hardy to zone 7.
Ceanothus ‘Concha’ (S-0561)
The large, glossy green foliage of this relaxed-looking Ceanothus creates an excellent foil for the profuse powdery blue flowers. More so than other species in the genus, this one will tolerate summer irrigation. Try it in the mixed border with white Lavender or yellow blooming Buddleja ‘Honeycomb’ and you’ll see why it came to be called the ‘Glory of Versailles’.
Blooms June – September.
Size: 6' 0" high x 6' 0" wide; hardy to zone 6.
Ceanothus x delileanus ‘Gloire de Versailles’ (S-0191)
New Jersey Tea
The heritage of this versatile hybrid is uncertain, but her reputation as a flirty, long blooming semi-evergreen is widespread. Amid speculation about an additional cross between x delileanus and the eastern species, Ceanothus ovatus, ‘Marie Simon’ is not adversely affected by summer watering, which is unusual for a Ceanothus.
Try planting her in the mixed border, where she flaunts a decidedly feminine display of fluffy rose-pink panicles and ornamental red seed capsules cushioned by wine-colored stems and long, serrated leaves.
Size: 5' 0" high x 5' 0" wide; hardy to zone 6.
Ceanothus x pallidus ‘Marie Simon’ (S-0246)
An American native from Texas and Oklahoma, this hard-to-find deciduous subspecies combines floriferous good looks with a rugged temperament. Compact stems, which are shorter, thicker and more rigid than the species, form a dense, widely rounded foundation, showcasing masses of bright pinkish purple flowers in early spring followed by intriguing slim, violet-hued seed pods. Broad heart-shaped green leaves don distinctive wavy margins and a gleaming leathery blue finish. Especially acquiescent to high soil pH and dry conditions, Mexican Redbud can be utilized in water wise gardens alongside other toughies such as Hypericum f. ‘Sunburst’ and Arctostaphylos ‘Vancouver Jade’.
Size: 12' 0"–15' 0" high x 8' 0"–10' 0" wide; hardy to zone 6.
Cercis canadensis ssp. mexicana (S-0784)
Named in honor of the illustrious American shrub breeder Don Egolf, this compact free flowering treasure has a lot to offer. Its clustered, bright rosy mauve blooms gather “stem to stern”, orchestrating an abundant spring display that nearly engulfs the attractive multibranched frame.
Thankfully incapable of spawning unwanted seedlings, the vibrant nonfruiting flowers herald heart-styled, dark green deciduous leaves. Unfazed by hot dry conditions and different soil types, but sensitive to poorly drained sites, ‘Don Egolf’ exhibits excellent disease and pest resistance and makes a stellar slow growing specimen for the smaller garden, a shrubby border or the woodland’s edge.
Blooms April – May.
Size: 8' 0"–9' 0" high x 8' 0"–9' 0" wide; hardy to zone 6.
Cercis chinensis ‘Don Egolf’ (S-0742)
Beloved by hummingbirds, bees, and butterflies, this lush Central and South American member of the Potato family has a colorful allure nearly all year round. Arching stems coated with mahogany-colored fuzz showcase profuse nodding clusters of waxy, deep red tubular flowers and purplish red berries dramatically set amid burgundy-tinged leaves, which are soft as velvet and taper to a point.
A tall-standing vigorous evergreen shrub well-suited for a container, ‘Newellii’ blooms summer through winter and in some instances much longer, appreciating a protected wall or overhang, a light or heavy pruning to maintain its shape, moderate moisture and where its warm, partial shade.
Blooms May – November.
Size: 6' 0"–8' 0" high x 3' 0"–5' 0" wide; hardy to zone 9.
Cestrum ‘Newellii’ (S-0689)
Quince were once coined “one of the most precious and invaluable of the early flowering shrubs” by British author, Mrs. C. W. Earle, so it’s no surprise ‘Cameo’ headlines many gardeners’ top ten lists. Heralding winter’s end, gorgeous double flowers with soft apricot pink shades are poised in stalkless clusters on thick, springy bare branches. Later, fine-toothed deciduous foliage hosts pleasantly perfumed edible reddish yellow fruit, commonly utilized for delicious preserves and as a Chinese remedy for inflammation since 500 A. D. Acquiescent to drought and clay soil, though happiest when allotted a sunny well-drained site, this preeminent cultivar crafts a dense, compact thicket that can be easily maintained along a trail or dramatically spotlit against a wall.
Size: 4' 0"–5' 0" high x 3' 0"–5' 0" wide; hardy to zone 4.
Chaenomeles x superba ‘Cameo’ (S-0655)
Coveted for its close-knit habit and galvanizing deep crimson-red flowers which flaunt showy golden anthers, this bold cultivar has been gracing gardens since 1939. Plentiful cup-shaped blooms are borne on naked twigs well before the lustrous dark green cloak of deciduous foliage appears. ‘Crimson and Gold’s low spreading, more easily managed habit can be espaliered against a wall, while its perfumed greenish yellow fruit makes a zesty addition to pies, jelly and lemonade.
Size: 2' 0"–3' 0" high x 2' 0"–3' 0" wide; hardy to zone 4.
Chaenomeles x superba ‘Crimson and Gold’ (S-0785)
Wintersweet’s spicy smelling, wonderfully strange flowers make it one of the finest shrubs for winter effect. Borne on stiff naked stems, nodding waxy blooms produce a double row of petals: the outer pale yellow ones, nearly translucent and somewhat cupped, while the inner petals showcase purplish maroon streaks. Yielding sweetly scented essential floral oils employed in perfumes, sachets and tea flavorings, this beguiling Chinese denizen forges a rounded thicket-like deciduous green frame, cloaked with opposite, rough textured lance-shaped leaves. C. praecox, cultivated since 1000 BC, is enjoyed today near a threshold, south-facing wall or frequently trodden pathway, where it accepts either acidic or alkaline soil, but flourishes in bright well-draining sheltered abodes and requires little care.
Size: 8' 0"–10' 0" high x 10' 0" wide; hardy to zone 7.
Chimonanthus praecox (s-0454)
Valued for its fragrant flowers and aromatic, evergreen foliage, this elegant small shrub is a hybrid bred to life by Peter Moore, Hillier’s propagator. The white blossoms burst forth in profuse clusters from pink buds. Almost almond in scent, they are hosted terminally on slender, glossy and trifoliate dark green leaflets.
Resistant to deer, ‘Aztec Pearl’s handsome rounded visage will form a close-knit and finely textured low screen or informal blooming hedge in your garden.
Size: 4' 0"–5' 0" high x 4' 0" wide; hardy to zone 8.
Choisya ‘Aztec Pearl’ (S-0562)
Goldfingers Mexican Orange
Sharing the same Choisya arizonica and Choisya ternata lineage plus breeder (gifted British horticulturalist Peter Moore) as ‘Aztec Pearl’, this dazzling evergreen cultivar is similar to its green-leafed relation save for its lambent gold dusted foliage. Large citrus-scented clusters of terminal white blooms decorate the polished palmately divided leathery leaves that emit a strong aroma. Bushy, rounded and generally pest-free, ‘Limo’s handsome mien serves as a brilliant counterpoint against dark greenery, plus savors dappled light and free draining locations.
Size: 3' 0"–4' 0" high x 3' 0"–4' 0" wide. Zone 7b.
Choisya x dewitteana ‘Limo’ (S-0790)
This genus from the Mediterranean region fortunately grows exceptionally well in our mild climate. These evergreens are called Rockroses for their conspicuous single papery blooms, resembling wild rose blossoms. Though these last only a day, they arrive in such profusion, carpeting the ground beneath, that one can count on color for 2 or 3 months.
Fast growing and appreciative of well drained sites, they tolerate drought, poor soil, ocean winds, salt spray and even desert heat. Cistus vary from low spreaders to tall, imposing bushes, and are terrific for informal hedging and screens.
We favor this upright, robust Cistus for its decorative leaves and large showy flowers. A Cistus ladanifer and Cistus populifolius hybrid backcrossed once again with Cistus ladanifer, ‘Maculatus’s foliage is fastened by reddened petioles, tapers to a point and features margins so evenly rippled that the edges are pulled up. The intriguing slender greenery elevates 3 in. wide, billowy white blossoms whose closely arranged petals flaunt a striking, almost triangular, wine-colored mark at their bases while encircling a bright gilded hub of stamens.
Blooms late April–mid-July.
Size: 6' 0" high x 4' 0"–5' 0" wide; hardy to zone 8.
Cistus x aguilarii ‘Maculatus’ (S-0603)
Olivier Filippi, guardian of the French National Cistus collection, kindly gave us this delightful Eric Sammons hybrid. A robust descendant of Cistus dansereaui ‘Decumbens’, ‘Ann Baker’ is pleasingly attired with delicate, white saucer-shaped flowers, centered by a singular sanguine marking and a small yellow splash on each petal. Slightly undulating and lacking petioles, the handsome, dark green leaves clasp arching, red-tinged stems.
Noteworthy for blooming later than most other Rockroses, ‘Ann Baker’ prolongs the flowering period well into September, and is a welcome addition to the Mediterranean garden alongside Lavender, Rosemary, and other Rockroses.
Size: 2-1/2'–3-1/2' high x 5' 0" wide; hardy to zone 8.
Cistus ‘Ann Baker’ (S-0559)
Silvery pink, crepe paper-like petals float over the ripple-edged gray-green foliage of this tasteful low growing evergreen shrub. Equally at home in tough coastal or inland environments, ‘Anne Palmer’ makes a memorable combination with Salvia ‘Waverly’ and Lepechinia hastata.
Size: 2-1/2'–3' 0" high x 6' 0" wide; hardy to zone 8.
Cistus ‘Anne Palmer’ (S-0187)
This well-mannered Cistus wins a place in our garden for its neat rounded habit that stays relatively small. Knitting a handsome upright foil, the easily shorn, maroon-tinted stems and small, wavy and textured gray-green leaves parade quantities of 1-½ in. blooms with prominent golden eyes and white parchmentlike petals tinged pale yellow at each base.
Blooms June – July.
Size: 3' 0"–4' 0" high x 3' 0"–4' 0" wide; hardy to zone 8.
Cistus creticus f. albus ‘Tania Compton’ (S-0691)
An excellent shrubby ground cover, this Cistus displays luminous flowers against a vigorous and glossy, dark green foil of wavy-margined, lance-shaped leaves. Each ornate snowy white petal is elegantly marked with a prominent burgundy blotch at its base.
Size: 2' 0" high x 4' 0" wide; hardy to zone 8.
Cistus x dansereaui ‘Decumbens’ (S-0413)
A merlot-colored triangular brush stroke boldly brands each overlapping tissuelike petal, etching a distinctive 5-pointed star with a pronounced golden center. Large blossoms, spanning 3 snowy white in. across, are cupped, rimpled and renown for their long lasting flowery pomp.
Named after a private English garden and parented by Cistus ladnifer and Cistus inflatus, ‘Jenkyn Place’s small vigorous frame blends shapely red-tinged green stems and narrow sticky, pucker-edged deep green leaves that smell spicy and taper toward their tips.
Blooms April – July.
Size: 4' 0"–5' 0" high x 4' 0"–5' 0" wide; hardy to zone 8.
Cistus x dansereaui ‘Jenkyn Place’ (S-0621)
Created and named by British Cistus aficionado, Eric Sammons, this Cistus ‘Little Gem’ and Cistus laurifolius cross celebrates not only showy blooms but a low comely mound, which responds well to pruning. The gold-centered, 2-½ in. white papery flowers are engraved with striking, nearly triangular burgundy marks at each petal’s base, while gracing long, matt-finished, dark green slender leaves and somewhat lax, wine-infused stems.
Full of vigor, ‘Jessamy Beauty’ merits her name especially when set against Melianthus ‘Antonow’s Blue’s large blue-tinged foliage.
Blooms June – July.
Size: 3' 0" high x 5' 0" wide; hardy to zone 8.
Cistus ‘Jessamy Beauty’ (S-0690)
From afar, its easy to mistake this Cistus’ pure white, 5 in. wide flowers for those of a Romneya. Against cinnamon-colored stems and two-toned leathery leaves that are a glistening bright green on top and silver beneath, the frilly, unusually large, gold-centered blooms deliver an awe-inspiring presentation.
Yielding a sticky, sweetly fragrant resin known as Labdanum, the vigorous growing ‘Bennett’s White’ can be planted with Lavandula ‘Ana Luisa’ in a dry Mediterranean garden where its superlative flowers and pleasant aroma will undoubtedly turn quite a few heads.
Size: 4' 0"–5' 0" high x 4' 0" wide; hardy to zone 8.
Cistus ladanifer var. petiolatus ‘Bennett’s White’ (S-0596)
A refined Eric Sammons hybrid of Cistus inflatus parentage and distant Cistus ladanifer ancestry, this small-statured Cistus presents delicate white flowers. A single dark maroon mark is attractively painted at the base of each petal, enhancing the sunny yellow center. Lining red-tinged stems, the textured linear leaves are slightly reflective and provide a contrasting foil for Helianthemum ‘Cheviot’.
Size: 3' 0" high x 4' 0" wide; hardy to zone 8.
Cistus ‘Little Gem’ (S-0477)
Dotted with soft yellow, one inch wide, paper-thin blooms, this splendid Rockrose celebrates a flower color that is pleasantly unique! Rose-scented, overlapping petals swirl around a sunlit hub, while slender green leaves—long, tapering and ripple-edged—garb its small, well-branched frame. Collected on the Mediterranean island of Majorca by Harold Read, ‘Vicar’s Mead’ makes an airy evergreen companion for Isoplexis canariensis.
Size: 4' 0" high x 3' 0" wide; hardy to zone 8.
Cistus monspeliensis ‘Vicar’s Mead’ (S-0636)
With overlapping, sheet white petals drawn together by prominent, golden clusters of stamens, the jubilant-looking, 2 in. wide flowers remind us of sunnyside-up eggs. A Cistus laurifolius and Cistus inflatus progeny, this vigorous, tall growing Cistus hosts long and pointed, dark green leaves that are gray-green below, narrowly shaped and sticky. Its sizable presence, handsome foliage and perky floral display makes it a good neighbor for Rhamnus ‘Variegata’.
Size: 6' 0" high x 4' 0"–5' 0" wide; hardy to zone 8.
Cistus x oblongifolius (S-0604)
So named because of the ½ in. blood red spot at the base of each good-sized, paper-thin white petal, this dense, striking Cistus comes to us from Ken Montgomery of Boonville, California. Its deep green, glossy linear leaves and young stems are fragrant and sticky to the touch. Bold, deer resistant and adorned with eight-chambered brown seed pods, ‘Red Eye’ deserves to be displayed as a specimen.
Size: 5' 0" high x 5' 0"–6' 0" wide; hardy to zone 8.
Cistus palhinhaii ‘Red Eye’ (S-0024)
With a high-born lineage that includes Cistus parviflorus and Cistus salviifolius, it’s no wonder this seldom offered, easy-to-maintain Cistus is shapely and small statured, unlike so many other Rockroses. ‘Natacha’ displays attractive textured gray-green foliage and delicate pink-tinged, yellow-centered white flowers. Stimulated by pruning, her rounded profile makes a superb companion for more diminutive plants like Ballota pseudodictamnus and Calamagrostis foliosa.
Blooms April – June.
Size: 4' 0" high x 4' 0" wide; hardy to zone 8.
Cistus x pauranthus ‘Natacha’ (S-0745)
The unique apple green foliage has decorative rippled margins and comprises dense hearty mounds, creating a luxurious backdrop for its yellow-centered white flowers. Big red-hued buds appear in late winter and look stunning with the verdant leaves and springtime tissue-thin blooms.
Blooms April – June.
Size: 6' 0" high x 6' 0" wide; hardy to zone 8.
Cistus populifolius (S-0273)
Achieving the delicacy of parchment, each white overlapping petal features a striking maroon brush mark at its base. The large flowers are drawn together by a predominant yellow eye, while poised amongst wavy, dark green narrow leaves. Upright and sticky, red-flushed stems forge a rounded profile that can be associated with Perovskia abrotanoides and Eryngium ‘Blaukappe’ for an arresting union.
Size: 5' 0"–6' 0" high x 5' 0"–6' 0" wide; hardy to zone 8.
Cistus x purpureus ‘Alan Fradd’ (S-0652)
Parented by Cistus laurifolius and Cistus canescens, this compact mounding Cistus delivers a lavish display of silvery pink flowers dressed in tissue-paper delicacy, shimmering against lance-shaped green leaves with gray undersides and curvy margins. Showy gilded stamens upstage the cheerful, white-centered petals. Plant ‘Silver Pink’ amid Nepeta ‘Snowflake’ and fellow Mediterranean Euphorbia myrsinites for an engaging collage of foliar colors, flowers and textures.
Size: 3' 0" high x 4' 0"–5' 0" wide; hardy to zone 8.
Cistus ‘Silver Pink’ (S-0602)
Regarded by Eric Sammons as perhaps the most successful of his unreleased hybrids, this well-bred Cistus claims Cistus populifolius subsp. major and Cistus inflatus as its parents. ‘Snow Fire’ closely resembles ‘Snow White’, except for a slightly smaller, more spreading stance and its decorated blooms, whose blazing marks undoubtedly kindled the “fire” in this cultivar’s name. Dainty white overlapping petals surround a golden eye, and each is brushed by a prominent burgundy-red patch at its base. The bright green, wavy-edged leaves and reddish stems respond quite well to pruning.
Size: 4' 0"–4-1/2' high x 4' 0"–5' 0" wide; hardy to zone 8.
Cistus ‘Snow Fire’ (S-0560)
The name ‘Snow White’ surely refers to the multitude of orange-centered, papery white flowers that embellish this choice mounding Cistus. Perhaps even more noticeable are the large, intricately-winged buds. Deep red in color, and covered with a downy fuzz, they nearly obscure the bright green, undulating foliage for most of the season, adding to its soft, alluring appearance.
Size: 6' 0" high x 8' 0" wide; hardy to zone 8.
Cistus ‘Snow White’ (S-0401)
A denizen of China and Japan, this exotic large deciduous shrub has a big impact. Clothed with fuzzy dark green oval leaves, the sparse upright branches and pendulous lower ones define its elegant, often multitrunked silhouette. Gracefully drooping terminal panicles of slightly upturned white flowers make a sweetly perfumed late summer appearance. Tended by large pinkish green prominently ribbed calyxes, the blooms age to a pale mauve and are followed by extraordinary jewel-like, small steel blue fruit cradled in star-shaped magenta calyxes.
Harlequin Glorybower is a sublime contender for the mixed border or a large patio pot, where it fancies full sun and moist well-drained soil.
Blooms August – September.
Size: 10' 0"–12' 0" high x 10' 0"–12' 0" wide; hardy to zone 7.
Clerodendrum trichotomum (S-0743)
Lily of the Valley Tree
A resident of the Madeira Islands, this winsome evergreen is densely attired in lustrous coppery green 4 to 6 in. long leaves. Copious small white fragrant flowers, resembling Lily-of-the-Valley blooms, embellish large showy rose-tinged panicles that cluster at branch tips from summer to fall and sustain our interest with round long lasting auburncolored seed heads. Tailormade for narrow sheltered spaces, Clethra arborea's wellgroomed upright frame requires protection from hard freezes and savors moist, freely draining acidic soil.
Blooms August – October.
Size: 15"–20" high x 8' 0" wide; hardy to zone 8.
Clethra arborea (S-0729)
Just like candles on a birthday cake, the larger, more upright flowers of this superlative Michael Dirr selection are a splendid sight. A glossy late spring flush of tooth-edged leafage in emerald hues sets the stage for the abundant creamy white flowers. Made even more dazzling by their spiced-honey scent, the 6 in. long blooms form nearly horizontal, close-knit cylindrical spires.
In autumn, foliage matures to a pleasing yellow. Strongly vertical, slightly downy brown branches and persistent seed spikes etch winter’s somber landscape. With a compact mounding habit, this Clethra offers a winsome presence in small spaces, and is a choice feature for a patio pot. Give this easy-to-grow shrub moist, slightly acidic soil and, where summers are hot and dry, shade each afternoon.
Blooms late June–July.
Size: 2-1/2' high x 3' 0" wide; hardy to zone 4.
Clethra ‘Sixteen Candles’ (S-0585)
Valued for their handsome evergreen foliage and easy care even when the going gets tough, this well groomed genus hails from the Southern Hemisphere. Their rounded, leathery leaves are borne in opposite pairs and garb a fast growing, sun-loving frame that appreciates good drainage, handles drought, wards off deer and begs an easily viewed position anywhere fine foliar texture is appreciated.
A twiggy stage where shadows and light become the cast, ‘Beatson’s Gold’ captivates an audience with variegated foliage and a distinctive horizontal branching pattern. The narrowly oval, tiny leaves are lime-yellow and rimmed by a crisp dark green. Stiff and upright, this handsome New Zealand native can be planted as a specimen, a formal or informal hedge or as a screen. It happily resides in coastal climates, obliging nearly any soil type, especially very dry ones.
Size: 8' 0" high x 6' 0" wide; hardy to zone 8.
Coprosma ‘Beatson’s Gold’ (S-0026)
Because of the handsome horizontal growth of its long slender stems, and the exceptionally elegant variegation of its small lustrous leaves, this New Zealand native is a first-rate evergreen ground cover. Small, neatly cream-margined gray-green leaves display attractive, translucent white berries preceded by inconspicuous flowers. Its low-lying branches provide a deft transition between upright shrubs such as Rosmarinus ‘Herb Cottage’ or Cistus ‘Bennett’s White’.
‘Variegata’ willingly accepts a wide range of soils, can handle wind and salt spray, and promises a dense handsome form if pruned regularly.
Size: 12"–2' 0" high x 4' 0"–6' 0" wide; hardy to zone 8.
Coprosma kirkii ‘Variegata’ (S-0586)
Accentuated by a marvelous surface so highly sheened it seems unreal, small, thick, almost succulent-looking foliage exhibits bronzy red and green hues. The lustrous, ovoid-shaped leaves angle upward while their tips curve down, and come winter transmute deep purply rubescent shades. Erect and not as wide-angled as ‘Beatson’s Gold’, light-colored reflective stems define a compact bushy shrub that casts cozy glimmers on Mediterraneans or fellow New Zealanders like Uncinia rubra or Carex tenuiculmis.
Size: 4' 0"–6' 0" high x 3' 0"–4' 0" wide; hardy to zone 8.
Coprosma ‘Roy’s Red’ (S-0651)
Bold, bronzed and tropical-themed, 'Red Star's long sword-shaped dark burgundy blades are applauded as the most handsome and the hardiest of the red-foliaged Cordylines. Endemic to New Zealand and eastern Australia, this winning palm-styled evergreen slowly forges an upright half-hardy vigorous frame that premiers large panicles of small sweetly perfumed flowers. Cabbage Palm's year-round drama can be staged as a water-wise focal point for a dry garden or ample-sized container, where it appreciates light shade with occasional water during intense heat and shelter from harsh winter weather. 10–15´ x 5–8´.
Size: 10' 0"–15' 0" high x 5' 0"–8' 0" wide. Zone 8/9.
Cordyline australis ‘Red Star’ (S-0770)
An elegant, large evergreen shrub or small tree, this slow growing Dogwood is a perfect anchor for the shrubby border. Handsome, curved leathery leaves with light green veins provide a pleasing texture and turn bronze in the winter months. Buttonlike flower heads surrounded by creamy yellow bracts precede the long lasting, prominent, pinkish red strawberry-shaped fruit that appears in November and can be brought inside as a colorful complement to holiday greenery.
Size: 16' 0" high x 8' 0" wide; hardy to zone 8.
Cornus capitata (S-0364)
Red Osier Dogwood
With common names like Hart’s Rouges, Kinnikinnik and Shoemack, who would expect this North American riparian native to be a vibrant beauty igniting the winter landscape? ‘Cardinal’ sculpts an unflappable, extremely cold-hardy multi-stemmed shrub that has a lot to offer: fiery red-hued stems in winter, flat-topped clusters of petite white flowers in spring, creamy white summertime fruit, and dark green deciduous foliage manifesting a purple-red fall display.
Beloved by gardeners, birds and the azure butterfly, the Red Osier Dogwood prefers rich, somewhat moist soil, but tolerates a variety of sites and can be ensconced near Acer griseum for an intriguing blend of colors and textures.
Trim roots to remove unwanted suckers and prune 30% of the old wood in early spring to stimulate brilliant new growth.
Blooms August – September.
Size: 6' 0"–8' 0" high x 6' 0"–8' 0" wide; hardy to zone 3.
Cornus sericea ‘Cardinal’ (S-0733)
Pendulous droves of dainty tubular blooms resembling Fuchsias promise to tempt the hummingbirds in your garden, and enliven it with fall, winter and early spring color. These evergreen shrubs have attractive dense growth, often with down covered stems and foliage. A small group of Australian natives, Correa are exceptionally tough, tolerating drought, salt spray, poor soil, wind and deer, but beware of over watering them. Plant in a well-drained spot on a bank or in the mixed border, and provide shade in hotter climates.
Everyone loves this chance evergreen hybrid from U.C. Davis, except those pesky deer. It makes a great windbreak, forming a dense, tidy mound of smooth topped, fuzzy bottomed leaves and soft rust-colored stems, while tolerating coastal breezes. Small white, star-shaped flowers borne at the leaf axils are a nice touch in the drab months of late winter. Beware of overwatering!
Blooms January – March.
Size: 8' 0" high x 8' 0" wide; hardy to zone 8.
Correa alba (Bronze Select) (S-0343)
Hailing from Down Under, in Australia’s western Victoria on a limestone cliff top, it’s a happy chance that Mr. Pat Urbonus came upon this stalwart beauty. The tidy, semi-upright mound entertains a dainty gathering of pretty pink starry flowers, whitening as they age. Enveloped by a soft-looking rust-colored fuzz, the light stems and green oval-shaped leaves with pale gray-green undersides possess an untiring resilience to drought, wind, coastal frontlines, pesky deer and pruning. ‘Western Pink Star’ can be sited in a favored patio vessel or massed in a dry border amid Mediterraneans and grasses such as Stipa arundinacea.
Size: 3' 0" high x 4' 0"–6' 0" wide; hardy to zone 8.
Correa alba ‘Western Pink Star’ (S-0638)
Red Australian Fuchsia
Sprinkled amongst waxy green leaves, ‘Dusky Bells’s pendulous red tubular flowers, dressed in chartreuse calyxes and flared tips, become one of winter’s more endearing attractions. The dainty long lasting blooms appear in autumn and persist through early spring, luring both gardeners and hummingbirds alike.
Whether utilized as a low mounding specimen in a large vessel or as a tidy evergreen ground cover for banks, hillsides or other tough spots, the Red Australian Fuchsia favors good drainage and light shade where it’s hot. This densely branched shrub is undaunted by deer, ocean frontage, poor rocky sites, and occasional drought. Affiliate with other steadfast companions like Ceanothus ‘Concha’ and Stipa arundinacea.
Blooms November – early March.
Size: 18"–2' 0" high x 2' 0"–3' 0" wide; hardy to zone 9.
Correa ‘Dusky Bells’ (S-0735)
Bright vermilion nodding narrow blooms with flared chartreuse tips jazz up a tailored dark green foil. Sporting a glint on top and lighter undersides, clasping pairs of small narrowly heart-shaped leaves cloak the rounded, intricately branched habit of this preeminent Australian Fuchsia. Introduced by U.C. Santa Cruz and Koala Blooms, ‘Carpenter Rocks’ makes an attractive textural statement when planted in drifts or sited singularly in a shrubby border.
Blooms November–early March.
Size: 3' 0"–4' 0" high x 3' 0"–4' 0" wide; hardy to zone 9.
Correa reflexa ‘Carpenter Rocks’ (S-0756)
Buttercup Winter Hazel
This choice delicate shrub will grace a woodland garden with the scent and sight of primrose yellow blooms on 3 in. racemes. The bristle-toothed leaves, which cluster densely on gently arching branches, are smaller than others in the genus. Long lasting as a cut flower, Buttercup Winter Hazel is irresistible with an understory of early flowering blue Brunnera.
Size: 5' 0" high x 8' 0" wide; hardy to zone 6.
Corylopsis pauciflora (S-0028)
Golden Winter Hazel
Though Winter Hazel's dangling chains of primrose yellow flowers are always a much anticipated, late winter delicacy, this new artful cultivar offers an additional radiant bonus. Lovely butterscotch colors bathe the rounded deciduous foliage, which emerges with red and orange tints, matures quickly to canary yellow and dons saffron and pumpkin shades for fall. All this lambent splendor embellishes layered, zig-zagging and gracefully arching branches. Favored by hummingbirds and bees, ‘Aurea’ can be situated in a shady open setting, where it sheds light on deep green companion shrubs and perennial shade aficionados such as Omphalodes, Corydalis or ferns.
Size: 6' 0" high x 6' 0" wide; hardy to zone 6.
Corylopsis spicata ‘Aurea’ (S-0800)
With prolific and large ultra-fluffy plumes, packed full of shell pink and maroon flowers, winsome bluish green foliage and a compact multistemmed hearty habit, what’s not to love about this daydream? Its over-the-top floriferous display and fiery scarlet autumn encore were first observed more than 50 years ago at Michigan’s Newport Nursery and subsequently patented in 1959. Highly prized by horticulturists and savvy gardeners alike, ‘Daydream’ promises to lull your senses when ensconced near cohorts such as Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Ruby Slippers’ and Panicum ‘Warrior’.
Size: 8' 0"–10' 0" high x 8' 0"–10' 0" wide; hardy to zone 5.
Cotinus coggygria ‘Daydream’ (S-0757)
If you’ve lusted after a Cotinus but didn’t feel like you had the room, consider this floriferous smaller statured Smoke Bush. Compact slow growing stems plus rounded glossy green leaves elevate a cream-tinged pink frothy mass of colossal flower pouffes. The astonishing floral presentation unfurls at an earlier age than most Cotinus, while the brilliant orange and red fall foliage vitalizes the late season garden. Developed by Dutch breeder, Hendrik Kolster, easily managed ‘Young Lady’ looks splendid in a good-sized container, ensconced near a bench and anywhere else that is tight on space.
Size: 4' 0"–6' 0" high x 4' 0"–6' 0" wide; hardy to zone 5.
Cotinus coggygria ‘Young Lady’ (S-0786)
Hallmarked by a lambent-leafed spectacle bridging three seasons and signature gauzy panicles, this new upright Cotinus makes a dynamic mainstay for any garden. Young leaves emerge a lime-green color, turn a brilliant golden hue in summer, and then broadcast a glorious mélange of coral, orange and red in autumn.
An Adriana Sanders-van Harn introduction and a lively companion for blue flowering Clematis, Aconitums and Oakleaf Hydrangeas, ‘Golden Spirit’ develops as an open multistemmed deciduous shrub that appreciates average moisture, some protection from hot scorching sun and a pruning to maintain its size and good form. (pp#13,082)
Blooms July – August.
Size: 8' 0" high x 8' 0" wide; hardy to zone 5.
Cotinus ‘Golden Spirit’ (S-0734)
An arresting beacon as the sun casts a ruby glow through its purple-black leaves, ‘Grace’ inherits her elegance from Cotinus coggygria ‘Velvet Cloak’ and Cotinus obovatus. The sprays of tiny deep pink flowers throw a smoky, wine-colored fog over its robust form, and a close glance reveals bright yellow at the center of each bloom. Lovely in contrast with the silver foliage of Teucrium fruticans (Select Form), ‘Grace’ conveys a stately presence matched by few other plants.
Size: 12' 0" high x 12' 0" wide; hardy to zone 5.
Cotinus ‘Grace’ (S-0394)
A more compact habit, increased leaf luster plus copious coral red fruit distinguish this winsome mostly evergreen AGM recipient from Cotoneaster dammeri, a central and southern Chinese native. Boasting easy-care, year-round appeal, the attractive interlacing mass of stiff slender branches premieres diminutive 5-petaled sparkling white flowers with purple anthers plus colorful late summer and early winter fruit amid petite, leathery deep green foliage that tinges purple in cold weather. Undaunted by deer, poor soil, dry conditions and erosion, but woeful if the weather’s too hot, long-lived ‘Coral Beauty’ crafts a low-lying woody ground cover for rock gardens, foundations, walls or embankments.
Size: 6"–12" high x 4' 0"–6' 0" wide; hardy to zone 5.
Cotoneaster dammeri ‘Coral Beauty’ (S-0819)
Sparkling star-like white flowers that are larger than those of the central Chinese species, plus tiny bright red berries dress up the round-tipped prominently veined dark green foliage. Growing as a dense polished ground cover, resourceful ‘Mooncreeper’s narrow ground-hugging red-tinged branches are perfect for massing. This winsome evergreen can be added to a bonsai collection, rock garden, foundation planting or embankment, where it abides deer, poor soil and southeastern humidity.
Size: 4' 0"–5' 0" high x 3' 0" wide; hardy to zone 5.
Cotoneaster dammeri ‘Mooncreeper’ (S-0799)
A striking deciduous selection made at the Beijing Botanic Garden by Don Hackenberry, this deer-resistant gem celebrates a lilac-like bounty of delicate tubular-shaped lavender pink blossoms on unique, long leafless sable gray stems. Every node of the wiry upright vigorous growth sprouts a breathtaking flower followed by handsome greenery with silken-haired undersides. Good drainage, acidic nutrient-rich soil and a little shelter from late frost ensures Daphne genkwa’s singular beauty, while a permanent residence guarantees its survival.
Blooms April–early June
Size: 3' 0" high x 3' 0" wide; hardy to zone 5.
Daphne genkwa (S-0804)
The common name of this fascinating deciduous shrub conjures strange images–and it delivers. Attaining a length of 2 to 3 ft., bold pinnate leaves cloak an airy structure of stout, upright stems in tropical luxuriance. Amid young blue-tinged leaflets, which mature to dark green above and glaucus blue-green below, pendulous yellow-green panicles of dainty star-like blooms set the stage for extraordinary droves of beefy broad, 3 to 4 in. long, slate blue beans. Large decorative buds provide winter allure.
Blue Bean hails from the highlands of western China but is easy to grow anywhere, when planted in a moist well-drained location, it soars.
Size: 10' 0"–18' 0" high x 10' 0"–18' 0" wide; hardy to zone 6.
Decaisnea fargesii (S-0588)
Closely related to Philadelphus, these deciduous Asian shrubs are named after Johann van der Deutz, a lawyer, town councilor and amateur botanist from Amsterdam. Gracing the garden with a lovely long lasting profusion of flowers, Deutzias are simple to cultivate in any well-drained fertile soil.
Drink in the pearlescent splendor of this spirited vintage whose frosty star-shaped blossoms sparkle amid burn resistant and serrated lemon-green foliage. Exploding from clustered immaculately white buds, the delicate flowers adorn gently arching branches. A luminous companion for Viburnum ‘Molly Schroeder’s deep greenery, with the small textural leaves of Ajuga ‘Emerald Chip’ skirting below, ‘Chardonnay Pearl’s orderly profile assures a bright crispness all season. (PPAF)
Blooms late May-early June
Size: 2' 0"–3' 0" high x 2' 0"–3' 0" wide; hardy to zone 5.
Deutzia gracilis ‘Chardonnay Pearls’ (S-0605)
Unfurling from a galaxy of small round buds, dainty five-petaled crisp white blooms illuminate this tailored low growing Japanese cultivar. ‘Nikko’s diminutive dark forest green leaves fashion a compact ground cover-like shrub that entertains wine red shades in autumn and makes a stellar candidate for the rockery, nestling along steps or any other cozy nook.
Blooms March – April.
Size: 2' 0" high x 3' 0" wide; hardy to zone 5.
Deutzia gracillis ‘Nikko’ (S-0140)
As the name implies, this is a magnificent hybrid that comes to us via the famous Lemoine Nursery in France, where many Deutzia and the closely related Philadelphus were hybridized between 1894 and 1927. It is a vigorous, upright shrub with a dense branching habit. Its exfoliating bark and pure white double flowers, carried in tightly clustered sprays along the branches, create much interest, especially in a shrubby or mixed border with a dark background.
In our garden, we contrast the white flowers with purple-leafed Cotinus ‘Grace’ and summer blooming Hydrangea ‘Blue Billow’.
Size: 6' 0"–8' 0" high x 6' 0" wide; hardy to zone 6.
Deutzia x magnifica (S-0196)
This exuberant bloomer parades dense frothy clusters of striking star-styled flowers, gradating in color from deep to light pink with white at the base and along the margins of each pretty petal. Opposite elliptical green leaves line long gracefully arching stems and older stalks, which sport exfoliating reddish brown bark. A robust easily cultivated hybrid between Deutzia longifolia and Deutzia discolor, ‘Monzia’ is well-suited for a mixed border or an informal hedge, where its deciduous upright visage and amazing floriferous display appreciate good drainage, moderate fertility and an occasional hard pruning.
Size: 7' 0" high x 5' 0" wide; hardy to zone 5.
Deutzia ‘Monzia’ (S-0195)
Named after a French surgeon called Dierville who introduced the plant to Europe in the early 1700s, this small staunch genus counts Honeysuckle and Weigela among its cousins and calls the southeastern U.S. its home.
‘Copper’s vigorous, low mounding form makes a colorful statement with red-tinted stems, delicate lemon yellow flowers and opposite lance-shaped, deciduous green leaves that transmute copper shades when unfurling and red and purple hues come autumn.
Undeterred by varying soil pH and excessive moisture or drought, the highly enduring Bush Honeysuckle can serve as a honey plant, while underground stolons control erosion. It’s the best choice for dry alkaline sites and looks attractive just about anywhere else.
Blooms June – August.
Size: 4' 0" high x 4' 0"–5' 0" wide; hardy to zone 4.
Diervilla lonicera ‘Copper’ (S-0736)
Named after a surgeon called Dierville, this impressive Dutch cultivar is a member of a small deciduous genus that moseys throughout the southeastern U.S. and counts Honeysuckle and Weigela among its kin. A magnet for hummingbirds and butterflies, upright terminal clusters house cheerful yellow flowers with recurved petals and sprightly stamens. The handsome lustrous leaves, characterized by tapered tips, newly unfurled bronze tones and mid-green summer-time hues, signal autumn in shades ranging from ebullient yellows to fiery reds. As if the bounty of sunshine-bright blooms, colorful tidy foliage and sturdy red-tinged stems wasn’t enough, ‘Butterfly’s compact habit exhibits some dogged traits. It can stabilize hillsides plus thwart deer, drought and harsh winds, as well as endure varying sun exposures, poor soil or otherwise difficult sites.
Size: 3' 0"–4' 0" high x 3' 0"–4' 0" wide; hardy to zone 4.
Diervilla sessilifolia ‘Butterfly’ (S-0787)
Although the genus epithet is derived from the acrid taste of its bark, everything else about this impeccably tailored shrub is elegant and sweet. Native to Tasmania, Mountain Pepper spawns a striking composition of small lance-shaped lustrous dark greenery juxtaposed against wine-red stems, leaf buds and petioles. The tiny spherical shiny black berries, which follow petite greenish white flowers, plus the smooth thick evergreen foliage with paler undersides, deliver a spicy pepper-like taste savored in Australian cuisine. A swank botanical aristocrat for milder climates, Drimys lanceolata can grace a large container, forge a hedge or stand alone, preferring partial shade as well as rich evenly moist, well-drained soil.
Size: 6' 0"–10' 0" high x 4' 0"–8' 0" wide; hardy to zone 8.
Drimys lanceolata (S-0255)
These remarkable Asian Daphne relative promise an unprecedented late winter flower-fest.
Red Paper Bush
Delivering a late winter visual delight, prominent silky white button-like buds give way to small waxy tubular blooms with luscious tangerine orange shades and a pleasant fragrance. The unique tightset clusters congregate on the tips of erect yet pliable, smooth silver-laced naked branches, which develop in a noteworthy open fashion. Lustrous deep green 4 in. long deciduous leaves arise from the stem apexes. A prized source for high-end paper and a Daphne relation, this Asian native’s slow growing rounded habit enjoys a partially shady somewhat moist sheltered locale, while its exotic flair can be superimposed against a dark backdrop and surrounded by low-lying Epimediums and Sarcococca.
Blooms late February to March
Size: 5' 0"–6' 0" high x 4' 0" wide; hardy to zone 7.
Edgeworthia chrysantha ‘Akebono’ (S-0747)
Gold Paper Bush
Prized for crafting high-end paper, warm brown-colored naked branches–erect, smooth and thick, yet pliable–congregate in a distinctive open fashion with prominent silky white buttonlike buds at their tips. A late winter bevy of small waxy tubular blooms explodes from unique tightset clusters, delivering a pleasant fresh fragrance and bright gold to creamy yellow shades. Dark green 4 in. long deciduous leaves populate stem apexes. 'Nanjing Gold's slow growing rounded form favors a partially shady somewhat moist sheltered locale and injects exotic panache wherever its planted, especially when positioned near broad-leafed shrubs such as Oakleaf Hydrangeas or Physocarpus 'Coppertina'.
Size: 8' 0" high x 6' 0" wide; hardy to zone 8.
Edgeworthia chrysantha ‘Nanjing Gold’ (S-0771)
Aptly named, this topnotch undemanding shrub quickly composes an upright, multistemmed silvery frame well-suited for hedging or screening. The dapper deciduous leaves—long, slender and alternate—manifest tiny bronze dots, which reflect sunlight, and create a splendid sparkle, while small cream-colored flowers tucked into leaf axils exude a sweet fragrance.
Originating in England as a chance hybrid seedling first identified by celebrated British plantsman Roy Lancaster, the ever-acquiescent ‘Quicksilver’ dresses the garden with luminous accents and withstands wind, drought and most soils.
Size: 8' 0" high x 4' 0" wide; hardy to zone 4.
Elaeagnus ‘Quicksilver’ (S-0697)
Variegated Five-Leaf Aralia
Wherever this carefree east Asian native is staged, it quickly matures into an engaging, medium-sized specimen full of panache. Artfully showcasing irregular creamy white margins, Buckeye-style, bright green five-fingered leaves garb numerous upright and arching cane-like stems plus spawn tiny spines at each base..
This hardy deciduous mound struts great fortitude, which readily adapts to a wide range of soil, even dry conditions, plus flourishes in sun or dappled light. The only dilemma you’ll encounter is narrowing down the myriad choices of where to plant Variegated Five-Leaf Aralia: the shade garden, the backside of a perennial or shrubby border or perhaps along the edge of your property as a screen or hedgerow.
Size: 6' 0"–8' 0" high x 6' 0"–8' 0" wide; hardy to zone 5.
Eleutherococcus sieboldianus ‘Variegatus’ (S-0628)
The Chinese call the blossoms of this shrub Tsiau-Tsung-hoa or Suspended Bells. Botanically speaking, the true flowers are enclosed in an assemblage of clustered bracts, for a flower-within-a-flower appearance. Borne in clusters, each petal of these ivory green blooms is lightly veined with pink and ends in a delicately scalloped deep pink tip. The glossy, jade-colored foliage provides brilliant fall color. Enkianthus campanulatus is an elegant specimen to star in the shrubby border.
Size: 10' 0"–16' 0" high x 4' 0" wide; hardy to zone 4.
Enkianthus campanulatus (S-0038)
Enchanting creamy yellow blooms– pendulous, distinctively rimmed in deep red and coveted by flower arrangers– earn this outstanding Japanese shrub its cultivar name. More compact than the species, ‘Red Bell’s upright tiered habit generates glistening refined deciduous leaves, which are clustered at the tip of each twig, transmuting brilliant yellow and fiery scarlet hues in autumn. An elegant specimen for a shrubby border or patio, it relishes adequately moist acidic soil and can be under planted with Dicentra ‘Margery Fish’, Sarcococca and Epimediums.
Size: 8' 0" high x 4' 0"–5' 0" wide; hardy to zone 4.
Enkianthus campanulatus ‘Red Bells’ (S-0039)
Spangled with incandescent, gleaming golden foliage and terminal panicles of long blooming raspberry-colored flowers, this drop-dead gorgeous evergreen shrub promises to delight you throughout the seasons. The dashing medium-sized rounded leaves are leathery and toothed, transmuting fresh lime-green shades during the summer.
Acquiescent to salt spray and varied soil conditions, even dry ones, ‘Gold Brian’s bushy hard-to-miss visage demands a well-drained abode, a trim immediately after the blossoms are spent and protection from hot afternoon sun.
Size: 5' 0"–8' 0" high x 4' 0"–8' 0" wide. Zone 7/8.
Escallonia laevis ‘Gold Brian’ (S-0759)
Slim elongated dark green foliage, exquisitely enhanced with silver veins plus a lustrous finish, is the trademark of this stylish hard-to-find ground cover. Selected by Dan Hinkley in China’s Wolong Nature Preserve, Silver-Veined Wintercreeper’s versatile close-knit persona brings year-round non-invasive evergreen accents that augment the rockery, a stone wall or a container, staying low or even clambering upwards, when trained. Undemanding ‘Wolong Ghost’ cherishes quick draining soil and withstands seaside locations as well as deer.
Size: 8"–12" high x 3' 0"–4' 0" wide; hardy to zone 5.
Euonymus fortunei ‘Wolong Ghost’ (S-0803)
Butterflies and garden visitors alike will flock to this fragrant Mexican beauty. Small bronzy green leaves and stems fashion a dense, twiggy evergreen shrub that broadcasts a luminous last hurrah when fluffy masses of large, flat white flower heads nearly engulf its upright frame.
Discovered in 1867, Eupatorium ligustrinum creates an extraordinary and easily maintained backdrop for a mixed planting. It appreciates well drained soil, periodic deadheading and protection from wind and winter cold.
Blooms August – November.
Size: 8' 0" high x 6' 0" wide. Zone 8/9.
Eupatorium ligustrinum (S-0714)
Originating in the Southeast, deciduous Fothergilla bears the name of a British physician who specialized in growing American plants. Selected by Mike Dirr, ‘Mount Airy’ is an outstanding new cultivar featuring attractive leaves, good-sized blooms and consistently spectacular red, orange and yellow autumn color.
Possibly a hybrid between Fothergilla gardenii and Fothergilla major, this vigorous upright shrub has handsome, heavily textured deep green foliage with whitish undersides and an abundance of fragrant white flowers borne in large terminal clusters.
Size: 5' 0"–6' 0" high x 5' 0"–6' 0" wide; hardy to zone 5.
Fothergilla major ‘Mount Airy’ (S-0416)