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Hardiness Zone Map


Schizachyrium

Little Bluestem

Prevalent in the eastern half of this country, Schizachyriums are becoming a favorite of gardeners everywhere. These warm season clumping grasses have soft-looking, narrow blades, though most of the plant’s height is due to its flower spikes: sheer fluffy plumes of steel-hued seed heads that look great backlit or as part of a cut arrangement. Deciduous and drought tolerant, they will grow in almost any type of soil except those overly soggy.

True to its name, ‘Blaze’ displays intense fall colors ranging from pinkish orange to russet-red to purple, often persisting through the winter. This Schizachyrium works well en masse interspersed with other grasses or as a colorful stand-alone in the rock garden.

Blooms July–October

Size: 12" – 2' 0" high x 2' 0" wide.

Hardy to zone 4.

Discovered by Donald Boehm in Rushville, Illinois, this distinctive, broad bowl-shaped grass sprouts narrow, tightset violet-tinged blue-green blades on reddish stalks plus fluffy mercury-hued plumes with delicate, nearly transparent seed heads. Exceptional copper, rosy tan, orange and mahogany shades imbue the foliage and flowering stalks once cool weather arrives, proclaiming the cultivar name and painting prismatic fine textured accents across the garden. Later, narrow sturdy stems blanch to a warm almond-hue and remain dutifully upright all winter, even after multiple snow storms.(pp#20,948)

Blooms July–October

Size: 2-1/2' high x 2-1/2' wide.

Hardy to zone 3.

Another fabulous Intrinsic grass introduction, this Schizachyrium ‘The Blues’ offspring orchestrates a winning shorter stance than its relation plus upstanding glaucous steel blue blades. Dainty racemes of bronzed purple flowers on branched stems give way to fleecy looking translucent silver seed heads that gleam when backlit by the late afternoon sun, while mauve and purple shades dress the slender linear leaves in autumn. Adaptable, versatile and plucky, ‘Jazz’ is a grace note for mixed borders, cottage gardens or stylized prairie settings.

Blooms July–October

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

Hardy to zone 3.

Discovered amongst a field of seedlings by Mary Meyer at the University of Minnesota, this outstanding new cultivar grows taller than the species and touts a valiant prismatic stance. Nonflopping, upright light blue foliage deepens to blue-gray, then later imparts vibrant violet and burgundy for summer, while heralding fall with pink, wine-red, purple and coppery-orange tones. Above the dashing, slim flattened leaves, a bird-friendly array of glossy purplish panicles and eye-catching, silver-haired tan seed heads add extra panache. (pp#17,310) 

Blooms August–October

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

Hardy to zone 3.

Cool-hued consistently steel blue blades sizzling with orange and red hues as summer wanes, is what sets this improved Jelitto Seeds cultivar apart. Easily tolerating heat and humidity, ‘Prairie Blue’s lavender-tinged ribbon-like foliage grows into a sturdy upright clump that looks outstanding planted in drifts just about anywhere.

Blooms July – October

Size: 3' 0" high x 15" – 2' 0" wide.

Hardy to zone 4.

<i>Schizachyrium scoparium</i> ‘Standing Ovation’

Introduced by Pennsylvania’s North Creek Nursery, this new cultivar’s tidy upright stature gives you good reason to applaud nearly year round. The sturdy bundle of tight-knit blue stems with purple-hued bases and spiky blue-green blades, thicker than most in the genus, promotes a dogged constitution, splendid foliar colors and an arresting winter persona. Gauzy pewter-hued inflorescences plus the autumn encore of scintillating orange, red, ocher and purplish mocha shades further enhance ‘Standing Ovation’s strong performance that will keep you entertained in spite of rain, high wind, snowfall and dry impoverished sites. (PPAF)

Blooms July–October

Size: 3' 0" – 4' 0" high x 12" – 18" wide.

Hardy to zone 3.

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Current Staff's Favorite Plant

Current Staff's Favorite Plant

Our feature plant: Primula vulgaris ssp. sibthorpii

Precious Primulas, Prized Pulmonarias and Fabulous Foliage!

Primulas offer elaborately-crafted colorful blooms in varied shapes,……

including draped bells, candelabras, drumsticks and pincushions. Many Primrose flowers  waft a delectable scent. Second-to-none for the dappled recesses of your garden, these easily grown, cold-hardy Primulas crave well-drained, humus-rich niches with adequate moisture and good air circulation. They can grace containers or be planted in swaths along shady walkways or in woodland gardens. Be sure to peruse our online Primulas.

Prized Pulmonarias……

One of the earliest perennials to bloom, you can be picking their enchanting urn-shaped flowers in February while the rest of the garden still slumbers. Many cultivars showcase an array of mercury-hued dapples, speckles and spots, while others sport solid pewter sheens or striking silver streaks. Easy-to-grow Pulmonarias prefer the lacy light of a woodland setting plus cool moist soil. Our newsletter also includes a handful of other shade-loving perennials that promise alluring foliage. Many of these perennials can be partnered with Pulmonarias for intriguing foliar contrast. You may wish to check out our online Pulmonaria offerings.

All of us plant and paper wranglers wish you good health and happy digging!

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