(Guizhou White Mugwort) Long-blooming panicles of creamy white flowers on strong, dark maroon stems make this tall Mugwort a perfect choice for back of border. It grows well in full sun to light shade.
The flower spikes of this hardy Chinese native are so strong that they don't require staking. The deep green foliage is infused with purple tones. It is deeply lobed and serrated, which gives it a lacy appearance.
Although Guizhou White Mugwort appreciates average watering based on local conditions, it is drought resistant. This cold-hardy shrub is an excellent choice for frosty USDA Zone 4 winter temperatures.
Stems of Guizhou White Mugwort are lovely in floral arrangements, but we mostly leave them alone in the garden to enjoy until first frost. Many herbalists use Mugwort species in teas and folk remedies.
(True Blue Echium) Hot pink buds become a profusion of gentian blue flowers from spring to fall in this spectacular member of the borage family. Its homeland is the Island of La Palma, one of the Canary Islands off the west coast of Africa.
Although heat- and drought-tolerant, True Blue Echium prefers the balmy summers of its mountainous homeland, the rocky slopes of the volcano La Caldera de Taburiente. Temperatures there approximate those of San Francisco during summer.
The plant’s foliage is equally eye-catching with its red stems and blue-green leaves with cream stripes. It makes a dramatic background planting, groundcover, perennial border or dry garden standout.
You can grow True Blue Echium in a container as well, but select a deep pot for its long roots and expect it to grow smaller than its in-ground size of 4 feet tall and wide. Butterflies, honeybees and hummingbirds are all attracted to this long blooming, true blue beauty.
(Trumpet Spurflower) A close relative to Salvia, once known as Plectranthus longitubus, this woodland native from the Japanese mountains of Honshu, Shikoku, and Kyushu is a Fall delight in the shade.
Clouds of 1 1/2 inch long pale sky-blue trumpets are uncountable. This shrub has a angular branching pattern and light yellow-green toothed leaves that give it an airy look. Blue Fall color in the shady garden is rare, and this delightful plant is tough, fast growing and rewarding.
(Arizona Blue Sage) We are so impressed with this top-performing, drought-resistant ground cover that we have rated it best of class. Arizona Blue Sage is adaptable to a variety of shady conditions and blossoms so abundantly that it seems to have as many rich blue flowers as it has leaves. It is native to dry, shaded areas in mountain canyons in Arizona, New Mexico and Texas.
This softly mounded plant also works well as a patio container plant. Although it grows well for us in dense shade, it does particularly well in spots where it receives morning sun and afternoon shade. Providing regular watering based on local conditions is best, but this hardy perennial tolerates shortages. It also can withstand a wide temperature range, including extreme summer heat and the chill of Zone 6 winters when mulched.
(Red Betony) Heralding from the arid Southwest, this attractive and desirable perennial is one of the best hummingbird plants. Small pastel red/orange flowers make a real impact due to their numbers - this plant is often covered in flowers. And the furry leaves have a mild, fruity fragrance, especially in warm weather.
This mounding small perennial is native to shady mountain canyons in Arizona and Texas. This is a fine hardy perennial for shady spots, and even grows in full sun with adequate water. It can stand drought when established, but does very well with regular garden water. This plant blooms for us April - October!
This is another Salvia-like perennial that deserves much greater prominence in our gardens.
Highly recommended. The hummers will thank you!
Hummingbirds love Salvia (sage) nectar and are attracted to it by the bright colors of tubular sage blossoms. In particular, these little whirlybirds can easily spot flowers in the red spectrum, which is prevalent among sages. Here are some hummingbird gardening tips.
Fragrance as well as color attracts butterflies. However, they don't have noses. Instead, butterflies smell and taste with their antennas and feet. Here are some ways to attract them: