Mother nature continues to delight us with spontaneous seedlings that have desirable qualities and that’s how most “new plants” are discovered. At American Beauties we define natives as straight species and their cultivars, with cultivars being selections of straight species that have not been hybridized with other species. That might sound complicated but these new discoveries are easy to love!
Aster novae-angliae 'Vibrant Dome' PP19538
syn. Symphyotrichum novae-angliae 'Vibrant Dome'
‘Vibrant Dome’ New England aster will brighten your garden with hot-pink flowers in late summer and early fall. It has a neat, compact, mounded habit and is resistant to powdery mildew. The late summer flowers are an important nectar source for migrating monarchs. It is also the host plant for pearl crescent and checkerspot butterflies and is considered a valuable plant for bees. This sport of A. 'Purple Dome' has the habit of Aster ‘Purple Dome’ and a color similar to 'Alma Potschke'. Introduced by Blooms of Bressingham.
Chrysogonum virginianum 'Superstar'
This little gem is a superstar groundcover for bright shade. Golden yellow blossoms flower profusely in mid to late spring and sporadically the rest of the season. This green and gold was selected for it’s vigorous, clump forming habit that doesn’t run excessively. Looks great in woodland and native gardens, beautiful as edging and for shaded borders and rock gardens. Provides nectar for butterflies, bees and other beneficial insects.
Carrie Wiles, Marketing Director at North Creek Nurseries, knows this plant well and adds "It's a sure sign that spring is underway, I love the contrast of foliage and flower with green and gold’s. This particular cultivar is very floriferous, and who doesn’t need another carefree native ground cover for the shade garden?"
Leucothoe axillaris 'Squirt'
As the name implies, ‘Squirt’ is more compact than other dwarf species of leucothoe. Its rich mahogany and copper-toned new growth really stands out against the glossy, hunter green leaves. Honeybees love the nectar from the fragrant, white, bell-shaped flowers. The low spreading form provides shelter for birds and other wildlife all year long. This woodland native can be used as an understory shrub, in the border or on slopes along creek beds and ponds and looks great planted with Azaleas and Rhododendrons. This plant comes to us from UpShoot and was a chance seedling found by Patty Zampini in Perry, OH.
Panicum virgatum 'Cape Breeze' PP24895
'Cape Breeze' was selected for it’s strong, upright habit and compact size. The airy, amber seed heads are produced earlier than other switchgrasses so you can enjoy them swaying in the breeze all season. And, they stay green until Halloween! Birds absolutely love the seed and the stems provide them with cover and nesting material. It is also a host plant for a wide variety of butterflies. The plumes are wonderful in fresh or dried flower arrangements. Vigorous but not invasive, 'Cape Breeze' is very drought tolerant once established, and untroubled by pests or diseases. It’s tough as nail but well behaved even in sterile soils and salty conditions. The perfect low maintenance guest for your garden. Introduced by North Creek Nurseries of Landenberg, PA. “Switchgrass is gaining momentum in the trade as homeowners are seeking to replace nonnatives such as Pennisetum orientale with grasses such as Panicum,” says Wiles.
Physostegia virginiana 'Pink Manners'
The much-loved obedient plant ‘Miss Manners’ has a new sister. ‘Pink Manners’ is a well-behaved, clump forming perennial that reaches 3’, just a bit bigger than her sister. Soft pink buds open to lavender pink blossoms that bloom from midsummer to autumn attracting countless hummingbirds and butterflies. The strong stems will never need staking and make fantastic cut flowers. It is an adaptable, easy to grow perennial for cottage gardens, wildflower gardens, native and prairie gardens. It will spread but not aggressively so. ‘Pink Manners’ was discovered by famed plantsman, Darrell Probst.
Bringing Life to Your Garden
Have fun out there!
Many thanks to North Creek Nurseries and UpShoot for the images!