Gerald L. Klingaman
A cold-hardy deciduous shrub introduced to gardens in the mid-nineteenth century and still prized by gardeners, this hybrid of Spiraea cantonensis and S. trilobata evokes memories of grandmother when its arching branches are laden with clustered white flowers in late spring and early summer. The dense domed flowerheads attract bees, butterflies, and ants in search of pollen and nectar. A twiggy plant that spreads by root suckers, this medium-sized shrub has small, blue-green, somewhat...
Carol Cloud Bailey
(Blue Snakeweed, Jamaica Vervain)
Attracting butterflies and hummingbirds year-round with its spikes of flowers, this low sprawling shrub is native throughout tropical America (including southern Florida). The small trumpet-shaped flowers open successively from the bottom to the top of long, slender, whip-like flower spikes. Flower color varies from deep to pale purple to blue-purple. Inconspicuous fruits follow, often resulting in self-sown seedlings. Plants are clothed in oval, jaggedly toothed, medium green leaves that are corrugated...
James H. Schutte
(Early Spiketail, Magpie Stachyurus)
A plant connoisseur would strive to include an early spiketail in the garden, as this coarse-textured, mostly mundane shrub doesn't suit everyone's aesthetic tastes. A deciduous shrub native to Japan, it attains a broad, mounding habit. Multiple slender trunks rise from the ground and split into openly branched tiers.
In late winter, chain-like flower clusters emerge from the barren reddish-brown branches. By early spring, the pendulous flower clusters cover the branches like pale yellow icicles...
American bladdernut is admirable because of its glossy, attractive, three-part leaves and curious-looking fruits. This variably medium to large shrub, rarely a small tree, is naturally found in moist-soil woodlands, especially along stream banks. It's native to southeastern North America, east of the Great Plains from Ontario to the Florida Panhandle. It attains an upright habit with somewhat spreading branches.
American bladdernut's bark is mainly smooth and a mottled blend of gray-tan and white....
JC Raulston Arboretum at NC State University
Silky camellia is a large, upright, deciduous shrub native across the southeastern United States. It produces showy white camellia-like flowers with magical metallic or blue undertones and blue and purple anthers. Each bloom has five overlapping petals that are lightly ruffled and may be streaked with green or purple. Handsome oval leaves emerge in spring and turn purple, orange or red in autumn. Attractive, flaky, brown bark provides some winter interest.
Be aware that silky camellia is not...
A tender evergreen subshrub often used as a bedding or container plant, this Southeast Asian native is grown for its showy iridescent foliage. The paired oval dark green leaves are suffused with bronze-purple and highlighted by a shimmering silver halo. Their undersides are dark purple. Spikes of small blue-flushed flowers appear in winter. Absent pruning, it eventually forms a small leggy shrub with relatively dull foliage.
Plant Persian shield in porous, humus-rich, evenly moist soil in full...