Phoenix Perennials and Specialty Plants

From the E-Newsletter: July 2005

Avoiding the Late Summer Doldrums
Great Plants for High Summer and Early Fall

A Checklist

The late summer doldrums occur for many gardeners through July, August and September when not much colour can be found in their gardens after the vibrant spring displays have faded. The most common reason for the doldrums is that many gardeners do their plant shopping in the spring and tend to select mostly plants that they can see in bloom. Unfortunately, the late summer bloomers, which rarely show colour in garden centres during the spring months, tend to get passed up.

Here is a list of great plants for colour in the high and late summer gardens. This is the list that accompanies the Late Summer Doldrums talk that Gary gives to garden groups. Every bulleted item corresonds with a slide of images in the PowerPoint presentation.

If you suffer from the late summer doldrums and can't afford to go on vacation for the whole summer, bring this list down to the nursery and have a look at some of these fabulous summer blooming plants.

Late Summer Staples

  • Asters -- A. frikartii 'Monch', dumosus 'Purple Dome', laterifolius 'Prince'
  • Black-Eyed Susans -- Rudbeckia fulgida 'Goldsturm'
  • Coneflowers -- Echinacea purpurea, 'Vintage Wine', 'Little Giant', 'Doppelganger', 'Orange & Mango Meadowbrite', 'Big Sky Sunrise & Sunset'
  • Lilies: Asiatic & LA: 'Centerfold, 'Landini', 'Fangio'; Tigers: 'Tiger Pink', 'Sweet Surrender'; Trumpets: 'Regale', 'African Queen', 'Pink Perfection'; Orienpets: 'Visaversa'; Orientals: 'Dizzy', 'Golden Stargazer', 'Starfighter'; Species Type: 'Black Beauty', 'Citronella'
  • Japanese Anemone -- Anemone 'September Charm', 'Pamina', 'Whirlwind'
  • Butterfly Bush -- Buddleia 'Dartmoor', 'Honeycomb'
  • Daylilies -- Hemerocallis 'Moonlit Masquerade'
  • Stonecrops -- Sedum 'Strawberries & Cream', 'Citrus Twist', 'Bon Bon', 'Purple Emperor'
  • Hydrangea macrophylla 'Nigra'
  • Crocosmia 'Lucifer', 'George Davidson'
  • Ornamental Grasses -- Miscanthus giganteus, sinsensis, transmorrisonensis, Pennisetum orientale, P. 'Karley Rose'

Other Great Late Summer Plants

  • Monkshood: 'Stainless Steel', fischeri, 'Pink Sensation'
  • Rudbeckia 'Goldquelle', 'Herbstsonne'
  • Beardtongue -- Penstemon 'Midnight', 'Garnet', 'Sour Grapes'
  • Red Hot Pokers -- Kniphofia 'Alcazar', 'Traffic Lights', 'Green Jade'
  • Globe Thistle -- Echinops 'Platinum Blue'
  • Lavatera 'Burgundy Wine', 'Lavender Lady'
  • Sneezeweed -- Helenium 'Autumn Lollipop', 'Rubinzwerg'
  • Helianthus 'Lemon Queen'
  • Cape Fuchsia -- Phygelius
  • Bugbane -- Cimicifuga 'Brunette', 'Pink Spike'
  • Bronze Fennel -- Foeniculum 'Purpureum'
  • Sea Holly -- Eryngium 'Hellas', 'Blue Jackpot'
  • Red Flag -- Schizostylis coccinea

Less Common Late Summer Perennials

  • Hardy Gingers -- Hedychium coccineum 'Tara', greenii
  • Hardy Begonia -- Begonia grandis
  • Helianthus 'Low Down'
  • Anemone crispa
  • Guernsey/Spider Lily -- Nerine bowdenii
  • Joe Pye Weed -- Eupatorium purpureum, rugosum 'Chocolate', dubium 'Little Joe'
  • Passionflower -- Passiflora caerulea
  • Subtropical Foliage -- Hardy Banana (Musa sikkimensis or basjoo), Windmill Palm (Trachycarpus fortunei), Black Bamboo (Phyllostachys nigra), Yucca sp., New Zealand Flax (Phormium)
  • Korean Waxbells -- Kirengoshoma palmata
  • Toadlilies -- Tricyrtis hirta, 'Raspberry Mousse', 'Dark Beauty', 'Tojen'
  • Reineckea carnea
  • Perennial Hibiscus -- 'Kopper King', 'Moy Grande'
  • Lily-of-the-Nile -- Agapanthus 'Storm Cloud', 'Sea Foam', 'Back in Black'
  • Chilean Cardinal Flower -- Lobelia tupa
  • Cobra Lily -- Arisaema consanguineum
  • Italian Arum -- Arum italicum

Tender Plants for Summer Colour

  • Canna 'Semaphore', Cleopatra', 'Bengal Tiger', 'Stuttgart', 'Picasso'
  • Burgundy-Leaved Dahlias -- 'Bishops of Oxford, Canterbury, Llandaff', 'Excentrique'
  • Angel's Trumpets -- Brugmansia
  • Solanum pyracanthum
  • Mexican Hens-and-Chicks -- Echeveria
  • Flowering Maples -- Abutilon 'Jezebel', 'San Francisco', 'Ashford Red', 'Burgundy', striatum

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