Gerald L. Klingaman
(Mexican Grain Amaranthus, Prince's Feather, Purple Amaranthus)
Nothing beats this tough, heat-loving annual for big, bold summer bedding displays. This Central American native has been grown since ancient times for its grain and greens, as have two other amaranths: Amaranthus hypochondriacus and A. caudatus. Purple amaranth was central to the Aztec culture, playing an important role in many of its religious rituals. Most contemporary gardeners cultivate it purely for its showy flower spikes, though it is increasingly grown...
James H. Schutte
(Prince's Feather, Prince-of-Wales-Feather)
This large, colorful annual is probably a naturally occurring hybrid originating in Central Amercica. It has been grown since ancient times for its grain and greens, as have two other amaranths: Amaranthus cruentus and A. caudatus. This amaranth was widely cultivated and revered by the Aztecs, playing a central role in their diet and in many of their religious rituals. Most contemporary gardeners cultivate it purely for its showy flower spikes, although it is increasingly...
(Bishop's Weed, Bullwort)
There is no better cutflower for airy, wildflower looks. The large, white, parasol-shaped flower clusters of Ammi majus look just like larger versions of Queen Anne's lace blooms, but the plant is not as weedy. This fast-growing annual originates from regions along the Mediterranean, so it can withstand drought and warmth once established.
Fine, lance-shaped, compound leaves of soft green line the tall stems. In summer, the big lacy white blooms appear and should be cut regularly to keep...
(Big Bluestem, Turkey Foot)
Big bluestem is an rugged, clump-forming perennial grass that makes a dense clump of leaves and tall flower stalks topped with distinctive seedheads in autumn. Native to a vast range across North America, from southern Canada to northern Mexico, it has become quite rare in the western United States.
The blue-green stems and green leaves are relatively short throughout the summer, but with the onset of fall, the stems lengthen as the flowers emerge. Silvery-red or red-purple in color, the tiny...
(Bushy Beardgrass, Bushy Bluestem, Bushy Broom Grass)
Exceptionally showy in flower and once dried in autumn and winter, the fluffy and broom-like seed heads of bushy bluestem are worth inclusion in any garden. An upright, clumping perennial grass native to Central America and the West Indies, it will reseed itself in the landscape especially if soils are moist.
The upright grassy foliage is bluish green and semi-evergreen in very mild winter regions. From late summer to late winter, depending on climate, upright plumes of silvery white to light...
James H. Schutte
(Broomsedge, Broomsedge Bluestem)
Broomsedge bluestem is a perennial, clump-forming warm-season grass that sends up seedstalks topped with coarse seedheads in autumn. Itis native to the dry fields and open woodlands of the eastern United States. Autumnal frosts and sunshine will turn the entire plant a warm, orange-tan or brown, and the small hairs of the seeds are stunning when the glow in low-angle sunlight. Skipper butterflies lay their eggs on the grass's leaves, and birds eat and spread the seeds, which sprout readily, making...
(Bush Spark Kangaroo Paws, Kangaroo Paws)
Showy and long-blooming, 'Bush Spark' is an evergreen perennial hybridized from parents native to extreme southwestern Australia. It grows as a low fountain of tapering leaves from which emerge tall branched stems topped with clusters of tube-shaped red flowers that open at their tips, revealing that the inside of the tube is chartreuse. Flowering begins in spring and can continue into fall, or year round in ideal conditions.
Like other selections in the Bush series, 'Bush Spark' should be planted...
(Bush Bonanza Kangaroo Paws, Kangaroo Paws)
The Bush Bonanza kangaroo paw, 'Rambubona,'is a tightly clumping, long-blooming evergreen perennial, hybridized from parents native to extreme southwestern Western Australia. In mid-spring through summer, and even year round in ideal conditions, it freely produces flowers on well-branched stems above its upright, strap-like leaves. These floral tubes are a cheerfully bright yellow.
This selection,'Rambubona,' should be planted in a moist but well-drained soil that is kept drier in summer and fall....