The colorful pyramidal plumes of plume cockscomb are commonly enjoyed in annual borders and containers, and tall cultivars make great cut flowers. These bushy annuals may occasionally survive for a year or more in southern regions where winters are mild. They grow quickly from seed and have foliage that may be bright green, purple-red or bronze, depending on the cultivar. Their long-lasting plumes are comprised of many small bracted flowers that come in shades of bright yellow, orange, pink, purple,...
Gerald L. Klingaman
(Common Hackberry, Hackberry)
Common hackberry is a deciduous shade tree native to the eastern United States nad extreme southern Canada. The foliage is reminiscent of the American elm but often suffers from small warty galls. It has purple, pea-sized fruit in the fall and readily self seeds and can become invasive. Fall foliage color is a clear yellow. Mature trees have distinctive, coarse ridged bark. It is susceptible to witches-broom.
Common hackberry is a tough plant, tolerant of windy and/or cold winter locations. Plant...
Mark A. Miller
Valued for its handsome foliage, compact habit, and tough constitution, this small deciduous tree is found over much of the central and western United States and northern Mexico. It typically forms a short multi-trunked tree with sinuous branches and an asymmetrical rounded crown. The oval, dark-green to gray-green, prominently veined leaves have toothed edges and pale yellow-green undersides. They turn yellow in fall. Inconspicuous flowers in late winter or early spring give rise to pea-sized fruits...
In effect a dwarf version of common hackberry, this native of eastern and central North America typically forms a dense multi-stemmed shrub with rough oval dark green leaves. The elm-like foliage is sometimes marred by warty galls. Fall color is dull yellow. Inconspicuous flowers in spring give rise to pea-size fruits that ripen orange, brown, or red in late summer. Birds and other wildlife harvest the fruits for their thin, edible flesh, which surrounds a hard central nutlet. The gray, often warty...
Carol Cloud Bailey
Dare to walk though a patch of southern sandspur and be prepared to pluck prickly, annoying seeds from your pants and shoe laces. Believed native to southern North America and the Caribbean, southern sandspur's weedy, invasive tendencies now finds the species growing all over the world, especially in tropical and warm-temperate regions. This annual, fast-growing grass has a fibrous root system and tidy, clumping habit. Its ability to flower and produce seeds in abundance allows it to become a colonizing...
Gerald L. Klingaman
Mounds of silvery white foliage, stunning in daylight glowing eerily in night gardens, make dusty miller a favorite of gardeners everywhere. This perennial is often grown as an annual and is native to southern Europe mostly Italy.
Botanically known as a sub-shrub, dusty miller will develop a woody base with age. The plants are evergreen and well branched. The leaves alternate each other on the stem. They are extremely variable, most are oblong to oval, much divided and often look like feathers...
(Colchester White Centaurea, Dusty Miller, Silver Centaurea)
Few silver-leaved ornamentals offer the cool, crisp color of ‘Colchester White.’ This favorite foliage plant produces tall mounds of frosty, ferny leaves that look cool in the daylight and glow eerily in the evening. Centaurea cineraria is native to southern Europe where it is adapted to heat and moderate drought. It is a short-lived, shrubby perennial that’s often grown as an annual.
Botanically known as a subshrub, dusty miller develops a woody base with age. ‘Colchester White’ is...
(Persian Cornflower, Whitewash Cornflower)
Summertime finds the Persian cornflower showing off its rosy-pink flowers with white centers above its light, gray-green foliage. This undemanding, clump-forming perennial is native to the Caucusus - the highlands between the Caspian and Black Sea and nearby eastern Turkey.
Each leaf is oblong and narrow with two deep lobes on the sides, light green above and grayish green beneath. In midsummer, the rosy-pink flowers appear on stem tips. The central, flat disk of the blossom is pink and white,...
Gerald L. Klingaman
(Mountain Bluet, Perennial Cornflower)
Native to the mountainous regions of Central Europe, mountain bluet is a perennial that thrives in temperate climates with drier soils. Plants form low mounds of gray-green, lance-shaped leaves from which arise stems of single blue feathery flowers in late spring to summer. This montane plant is great for rock or alpine gardens as well as perennial borders. Plants tend to self-seed, so spent flowers should be removed. Divide these perennials every two to three years for best growth.
James H. Schutte
(Mountain Bluet, White Mountain Bluet)
Native to the mountainous regions of Central Europe, white mountain bluet is a perennial that thrives in temperate climates with drier soils. Plants form low mounds of gray-green, lance-shaped leaves from which arise stems of delicate single white spidery flowers in late spring to summer. This montane plant is great for rock or alpine gardens as well as perennial borders. Plants tend to self-seed, so spent flowers should be removed. Divide these perennials every two to three years for best growth....