Rhubarb, Rheum rhabarbarum

Rhubarb is the first “fruit” of the season – used as a fruit, but grows like a vegetable. With huge leaves on long red to green petioles it can also make a dramatic statement in the garden. This old fashioned perennial is very easy to grow, coming back bigger year after year with little care. To learn more about rhubarb, read this article…

Lenten Rose, Helleborus ×hybridus

Early in the spring when little else but spring bulbs are blooming, Lenten Rose is pushing up its flower spikes and deeply divided, leathery, umbrella-like leaves. The long-lasting sepals in an open, bell shape offer ornamental interest long after the seeds have developed. Learn more about this herbaceous perennial native to Asia and Europe in this article…

Woodland Phlox, Phlox divaricata

For soft blue flowers in partly shady spots in spring, nothing beats woodland phlox. This North American native thrives in dappled shade and moist, well-drained soils. With an open, relaxed habit it fits well in informal shady beds, rock gardens and wild or naturalized areas.  Learn more about this pretty late spring to early summer bloomer in this article…

Prairie dropseed, Sporobolus heterolepis

One of the showiest prairie grasses, Sporobolus heterolepis is frequently cultivated as an ornamental for its attractive fountain of fine textured, emerald-green leaves, delicate flower and seed heads, and colorful fall color. Learn more about this elegant native North American bunchgrass that makes a great addition to almost any type of landscape…

Ginger, Zingiber officinale

Many species of tropical gingers are grown for their flashy blooms, but the plants of culinary ginger aren’t particularly ornamental. Instead, culinary ginger is grown for the aromatic rhizomes which are the source of the hot, pungent flavor enjoyed in ginger ale, gingerbread and many Asian foods. Learn more about this tropical plant which is surprisingly easy to grow in containers…

Baneberry, Actaea spp.

With finely cut foliage that remains attractive through the growing season and conspicuous fruit which provide ornamental interest into the fall, red baneberry and white baneberry are two similar woodland plants that can be great additions to shady gardens. These species do have poisonous fruit, so need to be used with caution. Learn more about these native perennials …

Spotted deadnettle, Lamium maculatum

Look no further than spotted deadnettle for a tough but showy groundcover. With variegated leaves that shine in shade and a long bloom time, Lamium maculatum is an eye-catching plant throughout the year. Choose from cultivars with green and white striped or silver leaves and white, purple or pink flowers. Learn more about this adaptable, low-growing perennial in this article…

Common foxglove, Digitalis purpurea

With tall, showy spikes of tubular pink or purple flowers with speckled throats, common foxglove is a common addition to informal gardens for vertical interest. This biennial from Western Europe forms a rosette of leaves the first year and blooms in the second year. Learn more about Digitalis purpurea – the original source of the heart medicine digitoxin – but also considered an invasive weed in many places

Lemon-scented Plants

If you want to add some lemon zest to your garden, but can’t grow a lemon tree, consider trying some lemon-scented herbs or other plants. Many different plants contain the same chemical compounds that give lemons their distinctive fragrance. This article covers a collection of plants that have scents suggesting lemons.

Virginia waterleaf, Hydrophyllum virginianum

With attractive flowers and foliage, Virginia waterleaf is an herbaceous perennial of moist deciduous forests that blooms a little later than most spring-blooming wildflowers in woodlands. The common name comes from the variable markings on the leaves which resemble water spots. Learn more about this native plant in this article…

Butterflyweed, Asclepias tuberosa

The Perennial Plant Association’s Perennial of the Year 2017 is butterflyweed, Asclepias tuberosa.  This native milkweed offers brilliant orange flowers attractive to a wide range of butterflies and other insects and is a host for monarch butterfly caterpillars. Learn more about this tough, long-lived herbaceous perennial that makes a great addition to many types of gardens in this article…

Catnip, Nepeta cataria

Although a bit weedy because it self-seeds readily, if you have a feline friend, catnip is must-have.  This mint family member native to Eurasia contains a compound that is very attractive to most cats. The plant itself can be an attractive addition to the garden, especially when in bloom. Learn more about catnip in this article…

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