(Irish Moss). Looks like a very fine short moss but is a perennial
-- even has tiny white flowers. Forms a dense mat and works
well between stepping stones. Rated for sun or shade, but
we believe it needs a lot
of moisture to tolerate full sun.
SALVIA (Sage). Both ornamental and culinary varieties are
included. Most sages tend to woodiness after a few years.
Divide them or cut them back sharply in the Spring so that
fresh shoots develop. Sun and good garden soil are prescribed.
(Culinary sage). To 36". Berggarten
is gray-green; Aurea
(18) is yellow and green. Leaves of Purple,
and of Tricolor
(white, green and pink), are ornamental and
is a new ornamental species to us in 2002. It forms
a 3 x 3 nearly woody clump with gray-green leaves and stately
violet-blue spires, blooming June to October in the Zone 4
Nebraska nursery from which we obtained it.
The 18-24 plants of lyrata
(Lyre Leaf Sage) have showy clusters of blue to violet flowers.
This species is a medicinal plant for the Cherokee peoples.
is a recently introduced cultivar with stunning purple foliage.
cultivars also sport long-lasting spikes of (mostly)
purple flowers. Foliage is somewhat coarse. Blue
Hill is the first true blue in this species. Snowhill
(Schneehugel) is the white form. Highly recommended. East
Friesland is 24", with blue-purple
flowers, maroon bracts, in June and July. It
reblooms with sufficient moisture. Plumosa
is unique in color and shape. Thick, plume-like blossoms are
deep dusty rose purple. Grows to 15-18. Rose
Queen is another long bloomer.
is distinctive for its white-edged foliage and shade tolerance.
It has been reliable for us. Good drainage is recommended.
Mainacht (May Night) (18"). was the 1997 Perennial
Plant of the Year.
Dark blue-violet flowers bloom early and long. Outstanding
Purple Rain. 14-20".
Smoky purple flowers on long stems, good rebloom. Foliage
rough; color heavenly.
Finally, we have several half-hardy or annual salvias which
seem to come true from seed.
SANGUINARIA (Bloodroot). 6-12". Early Spring woods wildflower.
White flowers come up before leaves. Leaves are large and
grayish, make a pleasant ground cover. We have limited quantities
of both singles and doubles.
SANGUISORBA (Burnet). A family of herbs bearing bottlebrush
flowers above basal foliage in late summer. Choices are obtusa,
to 4 ft., rose-purple flowers; tenuifolia
Atropurpurea, 5-6 ft., blood red; canadensis,
4-5 ft, white.
SAPONARIA (Soapwort). The garden plants in this family deserve
wider use. Ocymoides
(8") is a vigorous semi-evergreen creeper covered in
1/2" bright pink flowers in late May and sporadically
all summer. Hybrid Max
Frei (13) has larger flowers. Snow
Tips is white-flowered, otherwise like the species. Officinalis
(Bouncing Bet, 20") is strongly upright if divided frequently.
Our double-flowered pink blooms all summer. All of these want
sun and light soil. Z3-8.
SCABIOSA (Pincushion Flower). Two recently popularized columbaria
hybrids make this formerly boring family worth another look.
was in fact the Perennial Plant of the Year for 2000.
It carries 2" light blue blooms all summer, on a compact
plant. Pink Mist
(PP08957) is a soft pink, suitable>
SCUTELLARIA (Skull Cap, Helmet Flower). Domesticated
low-growing wildflower for sun.
6-12" spreader, roots from stems. Violet. Z4.
8-12". Yellow, with red touches, purple bracts.
The Perennial Plant Association promotes the appreciation
and effective use of perennials. While most of its members
are growers or marketers, there are a number of educators,
researchers, and garden writers, and at least a few collectors.
A PPA committee chooses the Plant
of the Year, from a short list voted by members, and promotes
it to the general public. PPA is at least partly responsible
for the fact that perennials are getting more respect from
nurserymen and landscapers nowadays. That
means more and better plants available to consumers.
SEDUM (Stonecrop). Large family of succulents, usually valued
more for foliage than flowers. Considered full sun plants,
many will perform well in part shade; well-drained soil is
the primary requirement. We have varieties which we cannot
name but value for colors and textures. The named
varieties and species below have performed exceptionally
well for us. SHORT TYPES listed first.
(Golden Moss). 2". Dense mat of bright green has yellow
flowers in June.
2" groundcover. Pink blooms in June.
5". Serrated dark green leaves, gold flowers
in June. A neat clumping edger.
Tiny gray-blue foliage, silver-pink flrs Summer.
Blue-spruce like foliage, yellow flowers in summer.
6". Striking form. Round gray leaves in clusters of
three; on radiating stems; pink flowers
prostrate cream-variegated form.
coccineum (Dragon's Blood). 4". Purple-bronze
evergreen foliage, rosy red flowers mid-Summer.
Glow. Improved Dragons Blood
Round, flat, green foliage, reddish bronze in Fall
Page 30 SYMBOL>2003
Phoenix Flower Farm
9-12". Purple-gray foliage, pink flowers. We find this
lays itself out in a circle, so treat it as a low one.
TALL TYPES. These are upright substantial plants from 18-30"
tall. All form 3 to 6" flat flower heads that blossom
in August. The blooms are long lasting and can be used in
dried arrangements or left standing for winter interest.
(18). Cream and gold
leaves, pale pink flowers
Autumn Joy begins
as a subdued rose and matures to a brick
or rust red. It harmonizes with the late
summer colors of other perennials. Listed
at 24", may go to 30".
Both have bright rose-red flowers. Plants are
somewhat smaller than Autumn Joy.
12". Upright, but short. Wide white bands on gray-green
foliage. Variable pink to white flowers late summer.
has a dusky rose tint to the leaves, large pink
flower heads; makes a very attractive, refined clump.
Upright sedum to 18".. Foliage is completely
burgundy, flower heads rosy pink in late summer.
Best in part shade. Limited.
Ruby Glow (syn.
Rosy Glow). Purple gray foliage, rose red flowers
late summer. This sieboldi
x spectabile hybrid
has 10-12 long stems, but may droop.
Weve been told this is now the best purple
leafed sedum available. It is NEW to us in 2003.
SEMPERVIVUM (Hens & Chicks). There are hundreds of these;
we offer about 10 types, varying from year to year. Arachnoideum
(Cobweb) and Booth's
Red are popular.
(Oconee Bells). The creme
de la creme of American woodland plants. Makes dense evergreen
carpets, magnificent white flowers. Slow to establish; worth
the wait. Nursery propagated. Display only.
SIDALCEA (Miniature Hollyhock). To 3 ft. Z4 Elsie
Heugh is pale pink; Mr.
Lindbergh rosy red. Blooms July-August.
SILENE (Catchfly) Zones 4 8. Acaulis
Pink Pearl. Mat-forming, nice tidy habit with deep green
foliage and covered with soft pink blooms June-July. New in
(Robin White Breast) grows to 10. Grayish foliage and simple
white flowers of the campion type make a nice part-shade groundcover.
Swan Lake, which
has large, double flowers, is good to tumble over a wall.
Otherwise, we prefer the habit of the species. Schafta
Splendens has 8-10 stalks of rose flowers in late spring.
(2-3 high) has tiny oval leaves, carnation-like white flowers.
SILPHIUM (Cup Plant, Compass Plant). A group of prairie natives,
mostly large and free-flowering in shades of yellow, which
have proved annoyingly hard to get; limited stock from our
SISYRINCHIUM (Blue-Eyed Grass) is not a grass at all, but
an iris cousin. Grass-like leaves and stems, blue flowers.
is a lot larger than the native, but less hardy.
(False Solomon's Seal). Woods wildflower native here. Stems
to 30, arching, alternate leafed. Panicles of small, fuzzy,
cream flowers at stem ends in Spring. Pleasing summer groundcover.
SOLDANELLA. Our first offering in this family is alpina.
Its fringed lavender flowers dance over the dark green
ginger-like leavesa great addition to the shade garden.
SPIGELIA marilandica. Thanks to the efforts of the distinguished
Pennsylvania plantsman, Dale Hendricks, we are finally able
to obtain enough of this beautiful>
SPIRANTHES (Ladies Tresses) cernua
var. odorata (12) is a native orchid. Spires of sweetly
scented porcelain white flowers rise above 3-4 foliage. Damp,
organic soils are preferred. When you have enough, these make
STACHYS. Family loves sun and dry soil; hardy to Zone 3.
(Lamb's Ear). Silver felted leaves make a good groundcover
or edger for sunny dry locations. We carry a non-flowering
variety, Silver Carpet.
Helene von Stein
supposedly resists melting out in hot sun. Primrose
Heron bears creamy yellow, woolly leaves that slightly
curl upwards in a tight clump. Stachys is more than Lambs
Hummelo is a lime-loving clump-forming plant with dense
spikes of rosy purple flowers on 20 stems. Minor
is for the rock garden: Short spikes of hot magenta flowers
arise from dense, slow spreading mats of dark green leaves.
STANLEYA pinnata (Princes Plume) is a dry soil native, from
the Dakota plains. Spectacular yellow plumes grace this 2
4 ft plant in mid-Summer. Zone 4.
STOKESIA (Stokes' Aster). 15-20 except as noted. One of the
most satisfying summer bloomers. We carry several blue varieties
which seem about the same to us--Klaus
Jelitto, Blue Danube, Wyoming, etc. ). Peachies
Pick is dwarf, Omega
Skyrocket develops 36" stalks. The white cultivar
Silver Moon is
less vigorous than blues. Mary
are a distinctive
soft, yellow. Rosy lavender Purple
Parasols is a new color, as are Color
Wheel and Honeysong
(Woods Poppy), to 18. Native to open deciduous woods, it bears
2 bright yellow flowers in Spring; dissected and rounded green
leaves are gray beneath, persist all summer in moist soil.Colonizes
readily by seed and coexists well with ferns, other Northeast
natives. To Zone 4.
SYMPHYANDRA. Of the great bellflower tribe, zanzegur
hails from the rocky heights of Armenia. Its 2 violet flowers
hang singly or in short racemes during Summer. They are large
for the 12 plant. Listed as Zone 6, but OK here in 5.
(Comfrey). Low-growing Hidcote
Variegated flourishes in dry shade. Its green leaves are
splashed and edged in yellow fading to cream, blossoms blue.
Thanks to Ellen Hornig for this one. Goldsmith
is similar, with white flowers. (The herb is a large and rough
plant.) Zones 4 8.