Posts by Author: Curtis Adams

Hypericum Prolificum Brings the Best of St. Johnswort to the Garden (6 photos)

Shrubby St. Johnswort (Hypericum prolificum) combines a long bloom cycle with four-season interest, compact form, low maintenance and tolerance for a wide range of growing conditions, making it one of the best woody St. Johnsworts native to North America. This shrub is not to be confused...

 

Great Design Plant: Rhus Glabra (8 photos)

To say that smooth sumac (Rhus glabra) is a common shrub is an understatement, as it is the only tree or shrub that naturally occurs in all of the lower 48 U.S. states. During most of the year it is easily overlooked as just another leafy plant, but in the fall it, and its close relatives staghorn...

 

Great Design Plant: Solidago Speciosa (6 photos)

Showy goldenrod (Solidago speciosa) is the first native goldenrod that I grew at home. Though its rather dull green foliage blends in with other plants through the summer, tall, upright golden plumes stand up and out in late summer and early fall, clearly differentiating this plant from the more...

 

Great Design Plant: Vernonia Noveboracensis (8 photos)

I was introduced to New York ironweed (Vernonia noveboracensis) in a demonstration meadow at the New England Wild Flower Society’s headquarters in Framingham, Massachusetts. At about 7 feet tall, it held its purple puffball flowers well above the other...

 

Great Design Plant: Jeffersonia Diphylla (6 photos)

Twinleaf (Jeffersonia diphylla) was one of the first plants I bought when I began seriously using native plants in my home landscaping. I wanted something tolerant of dry shade, and that’s what it said on the tag. I was not disappointed. The plant, with its butterfly-like leaves, took hold...

 

Great Design Plant: Sambucus Nigra (8 photos)

I have started using common elderberry (Sambucus nigra ssp canadensis) in my landscapes to enhance their wildlife value. I removed large quantities of berry-producing invasive plants, like autumn olive, multiflora rose and Japanese honeysuckle, and wanted to replace them with food-producing...

 

Great Design Plant: Iris Versicolor (6 photos)

Of the 26 distinct native iris species in the U.S., I have found northern blueflag (Iris versicolor) to be particularly versatile. I first obtained this plant for use in a swale that channels runoff from the yard. I had extra plants, so I put them up near the house where I could see how they performed....

 

Great Design Plant: Chrysogonum Virginianum (5 photos)

Green and gold (Chrysogonum virginianum) is a tough woodland native wildflower that can handle a wide range of conditions, from dry shade to full sun, in moist soil. It blooms in midspring, after the earliest wildflowers, and continues into early summer. In addition to the spring blooms, long-lasting...

 

Great Design Plant: Stylophorum Diphyllum (6 photos)

Celandine poppy (Stylophorum diphyllum), or wood poppy, is native to the woodlands of Appalachia. The bright yellow flowers and persistent blue-green foliage can brighten up the ground plane in a moist, shady woodland. It differs from many of the early-spring woodland species...

 

Great Design Plant: Mertensia Virginica (6 photos)

Of all the early-spring-blooming wildflowers in the mid-Atlantic region, Virginia bluebells is among the most striking. It blankets the woodland floor with sky-blue flowers shortly after breaking ground in the first weeks of spring. After the nearly month-long show, the gray-green foliage dies back...

 



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