James H. Schutte
(Cardoon, Porto Spineless Cardoon)
Porto Spineless cardoon is a handsome herbaceous perennial with large gray-green leaves and buds without spines. Although the buds are edible and have a buttery flavor, 'Porto Spineless' was bred specifically for use as a cut flower. Native to the Mediterranean region, cardoon or artichoke is relatively winter tender and often grows only as an annual in cold hardiness zones. If the flower head is not harvested as an artichoke vegetable, bees and butterflies love the flowers. The deeply lobed, silvery...
Gerald L. Klingaman
(Artichoke, Globe Artichoke)
Artichoke is a handsome herbaceous edible perennial with large gray spined leaves and purple thistle-like flowers in autumn. Native to the Mediterranean region, artichoke is tender and often best grown as an annual in colder hardiness zones. Bees and butterflies love the flowers of this plant.
Give artichoke a rich, well drained soil. Full to partial sun is required. They do not like cool wet winters or cold in general, so a thick protective layer of mulch or evergreen boughs may be a good...
Gerald L. Klingaman
Native to upland woods throughout eastern and central North America, this large, attractive, clump-forming perennial is now rare or extinct over much of the northern part of its range. It is also rare in gardens.
Basal rosettes of large, oval, fuzzy leaves give rise in late spring to clusters of small, pale blue, funnel-shaped flowers on stout, hairy, knee-high (or taller) stems. Small, bristly, bur-like fruits ripen in midsummer. Plants from northern populations (var. boreale) are...
(Moccasin Flower, Pink Lady's Slipper, Pink Ladyslipper Orchid)
Mid- and late spring brings out moccasin flower's rosy pink flower with brown sepals. A ground-dwelling (terrestrial) orchid that is an herbaceous perennial, this beauty grows from a rhizome (underground stem). This is a highly variable species, depending on where in North America it originates; and it readily hybridizes with other lady's slipper species. The native range is large: from Alaska southward across the lower half of Canada as well as the Rocky Mountains of the United States and a large...
(California Lady's Slipper, Ladyslipper Orchid)
Mid- and late spring brings out ladyslipper orchid's palest pink flower with brown sepals. A ground-dwelling (terrestrial) orchid that is an herbaceous perennial, this beauty grows from a rhizome (underground stem). It is native to the moist acidic conifer woodlands and stream banks of extreme northern California and southwestern Oregon in the western United States.
The plant grows five to ten bright green leaves that are pointed ovals and clasp up the stem. In spring to early summer summer,...
(Small White Lady's Slipper, White Lady's Slipper, White Ladyslipper Orchid)
Mid-spring and early summer brings out the diminutive beauty of white lady' slipper's speckled white and green flowers. A ground-dwelling (terrestrial) orchid that is an herbaceous perennial, this beauty grows from a rhizome (underground stem). It is native to the moist, woodland meadows and tallgrass prairies southern Canada (Saskatchewan and lower Ontario) and a swath of the United States from Minnesota to Nebraska and east to New York and New Jersey. It is an extremely rare orchid because of habitat...
(Queen Lady's Slipper, Showy Lady's Slipper, Showy Ladyslipper Orchid, Showy Pink Lady's Slipper)
Behold North America's most revered and beloved orchid and the state flower of Minnesota! The summer equinox finds the showy lady's slipper's pink and white flowers, truly a rare delight in the moist prairies and woodlands of east central North America from Canada's Newfoundland and southern Saskatchewan south to America's Arkansas and Tennessee. A ground-dwelling (terrestrial) orchid that is an herbaceous perennial, this royal beauty grows from a rhizome (underground stem) that often sports multiple...
(Dahlia, Formal Decorative Dahlia, Princess Dahlia)
Nothing beats dahlias as everblooming warm season bedding plants and cut flowers.
Named for Swedish botanist and student of Linnaeus, Anders Dahl (1751 to 1789), this genus in the daisy family consists of over 30-species, many more subspecies and varieties and literally thousands of cultivated varieties. All are herbaceous tender perennials with bulbous underground tuberous roots, which are colloquially referred to as "tubers" even though the term is botanically incorrect.
Noel Elhardt, Wikimedia Commons Contributor
(California Pitcher Plant, Cobra Lily)
The cobra lily is one of the most intriguing carnivorous plants. Its insect-digesting, colorful, tubular leaves and pendulous burgundy flowers make it a beautiful plant kingdom oddity. Native to the infertile boglands of The Pacific Northwest, from British Columbia, Canada to northern California, this pitcher plant traps insects to digest them for trace nutrients. Often the cobra lily is found growing in areas where heavy metals exist in the soil. In much of its natural habitat it is listed as threatened.
(Downy Thornapple, Pricklyburr)
Downy thornapple is a large, bushy, herbaceous perennial (or annual) that looks best in early morning when its flowers stand open to the dawn sky. It has naturalized in dry washes, rocky hillsides and waste places from sea level to middle elevations in northern Mexico and the southwestern United States as well as regions in the northeast, though it is native to Central and South America.
This heat-lover relies on a deep tap root to reach moisture trapped beneath dry soil. Its downy, oval, dark...