Fairy primrose is among the most charming of all cool season perennials. It is native to China where it inhabits moist areas at the edges of fields and forests. It was not introduced to the west until the end of the Nineteenth Century.
This sweet little primrose forms neat clumps of flat, soft, downy leaves with undulating edges. The flowers are what make fairy primrose so magical. Each rosette sends up a straight leafless stem with up to three tiered whorls of small blossoms with lobed petal...
James H. Schutte
(Chinese Pagoda Primrose)
With a unique looking flower spike that doesn't quite belong on a primrose, Chinese pagoda primrose shows off red buds that open to violet-pink flowers in a cluster shaped like a rocket. A short-lived perennial native to the moist highland soils of southwestern China, it is easily grown from seeds.
The light-green leaves of this species are held in a rosette, each leaf narrowly oblong, crinkled with veins and hairy. In late spring to midsummer, stiff stems rise from the rosette and form a pointed...
(Lesser Spearwort, Spearwort)
Beautiful in summer with its upright leaves and buttercup blooms, spearwort is perfect for lining stream, pond, and bog edges. A hardy aquatic perennial, it is native from the British Isles eastward to Siberia, the Caucasus, and Turkey.
The botanical name lingua refers to the long, tongue-like, grayish green leaves that ascend from hollow, red-tinted, waist-high flowering stems. Plants also produce large, long-stalked, heart-shaped basal leaves in fall, which disappear by flowering...
Gerald L. Klingaman
(Majestic Palm, Majesty Palm)
Graceful and truly majestic in appearance, majesty palm originates from the riverbanks of Madagascar. This adaptable tropical palm has fine, gently arching, palm fronds of medium to dark green. The middle of the frond typically twists 90 degrees so that the outermost tip is oriented vertically. These arise from a solitary, smooth, broad-based trunk of gray to sandy brown that has horizontal striations and tapers towards the top. In summer it produces showy, bright orange-red flowers and fruits.
Pretty with green and red foliage and tall, irregular spikes of red flowers and red fruits, the ornamental rhubarb is a great addition to gardens with wet soils. An herbaceous perennial with a mounded habit, it is native of the higher-elevation forests of western China and the Himalayas.
The coarse-looking, heart-like leaves rise on purple-red stem from the roots. Each blade is medium to dark-green with prominent veins, and reddened on the underside. In midsummer, a tall stem rises well above...
Mark A. Miller
(Fingerleaf Rodgersia, Rodger's Flower)
Bold, chestnut-like leaves of crinkly green to bronze make fingerleaf rodgersia stand out in the landscape. In summer it produces upright, airy flower clusters of white that are appealing in a woodsy way. A vigorous, clump-forming herbaceous perennial, it is native to northern China and grows from rhizomes (rooting underground stems). In its natural habitat it thrives in moist, open woodlands.
In spring, new stems emerge coppery red and unfurl to show deeply lobed, lustrous leaves of deep green...
(Pinnate Rodger's Flower)
Very large, chestnut-like leaves of richest green make pinnate rodgersia stand out in the landscape. In summer it produces upright, airy, conical flower clusters of pinkish white that are appealing in a woodsy way. A vigorous, clump-forming herbaceous perennial, it is native to Southwest China and grows from rhizomes (rooting underground stems). In its natural habitat it thrives in moist, open woodlands.
In spring, new stems emerge bronzy green and unfurl to show large, lustrous, leaves of...
(Pinnate Rodger's Flower)
A truly superb pinnate Roger's flower, 'Superba' boasts bold coppery purple foliage and summer flower stalks lined with frothy panicles of pin flowers. Very large, chestnut-like leaves make pinnate rodgersia stand out in the landscape. In summer it produces upright, airy, conical flower clusters that are appealing in a woodsy way. A vigorous, clump-forming herbaceous perennial, it is native to Southwest China and grows from rhizomes (rooting underground stems). In its natural habitat it thrives in...
Mark A. Miller
(Redleaf Rodgersia, Rodger's Flower)
Bold, handsome foliage and showy late spring blooms make this large, clump-forming perennial extra special in the woodland garden. The German cultivar 'Rotlaub' (which translates to "red leaf") has beautiful bronze-red foliage. In summer the showy leaves develop hints of deep green but maintain quite a bit of their impressive color. Wild-type Rodgersia podophylla is native to Japan, Korea, and northeastern China where it thrives in moist, wooded areas.
The large palmate leaves of this...
(Black Coneflower, Western Coneflower)
Strange looking but elegant and sophisticated at the same time, the blackened purple and brown flowers of the western coneflower also have modest petal-resembling green sepals (bud leaves). A clumping herbaceous perennial native to the shortgrass prairies and montane meadows of the American West, it attracts butterflies and seed-eating songbrids. Growing from a rhizome (underground stem), it appreciates moisture and usually grows in acidic moist pockets or alongside streams.