(Silver Angel Japanese Shrub Mint) Partial shade settings or locations with morning sun and afternoon shade are best for Leucosceptrum japonicum 'Silver Angel'. This is a fragrant, variegated mint bush that glows in dappled sunlight. It is an exceptionally cold-tolerant Japanese woodland native.
Honeybees love this perennial's fall-blooming flowers. Leucosceptrum means "white scepter." Depending on your point of view and sense of whimsy, the plant's plumes of pale white-to-yellow blossoms look like scepters held erect or bottlebrushes.
The flower spikes arise from silvery green foliage. Although the plant's leaves first emerge green, they develop a subtle, paint-spattered look with irregular, solid green margins.
This member of the mint family (Lamiaceae) loves moisture, but does well with supplemental watering based on local conditions. Give it rich, well-drained soil.
Silver Angel is just right in container plantings for shady patios or as a groundcover for woodland gardens. It also looks pretty as a border planting along a shady pathway. Its finely veined and serrated leaves light up the shade.
(Chiapas Golden Fuchsia) Cool, moist and partially shady -- those are the conditions that this tall, rare shrub loves. Once native to the mountain cloud forests of Mexico's southernmost state, Chiapas, Golden Fuchsia in 1986 became extinct in the wild and now is primarily grown by botanical gardens.
Flowers by the Sea is one of the few commercial sources for this plant.
The glowing, yellow-to-orange trumpet flowers sometimes grow more than 2 inches long. They dangle in clusters from long, wiry, burgundy peduncles -- the stemlets that attach the flower clusters to the shrub's branches. The clusters look a bit like modern, chandelier-style lights. As the shape of the flowers indicates, this is a hummingbird favorite.
In the April-June 2000 issue of Pacific Horticulture, Huntington Gardens Curator Kathy Musial says that botanist Dr. Dennis Breedlove in 1972 discovered what would be identified more than a decade later as member of the shrub and tree genus Deppea. Breedlove found his mystery plant in a canyon on the south slope of Cerro Mozotal, a mountain in southern Chiapas.
Musial notes that Breedlove never found the plant elsewhere in the wild. Luckily, he and Brad Bartholomew were able to collect seed in 1981, because the stand of Golden Fuchsia disappeared within five years when the land was cleared for farming.
Although the foggy summers of San Francisco's climate appeal to Golden Fuchsia, a partially shady environment helps it to thrive at Southern California's Huntington, which aided the original distribution of the plant. Our plants are from a variety at San Francisco's Strybing Arboretum.
Golden Fuchsia isn't a member of the Fuchsia genus, which is a member of the evening primrose family (Onagraceae). Deppea species are members of the coffee family (Rubiaceae). Give it rich, well-drained soil and plenty of water.
This is a challenging plant to cultivate, but it is beautiful and in danger of totally disappearing. Helping it to survive is rewarding.
(Speckled Dwarf Pineapple Lily) The ‘freckles’ on this petite South African plant are the reddish-purple speckles on its long, lance-shaped, olive-green leaves. It flowers from summer to fall. Shaped somewhat like a pineapple with a top-knot of green leaves, the spikes of short, rose-red flowers rise from the center of the plant's fleshy foliage.
Speckled Dwarf Pineapple Lily is about 10 inches tall to 14 inches wide. It’s heat tolerant, easy to grow in USDA Zones 7 to 10 and a fascinating selection for a border or pathway edging. In cooler zones, you can grow it as a seasonal bedding plant.
Eucomis are fragrant, water-loving succulent bulbs. They do well in full sun or partial shade. Give them average to ample water and rich soil that drains well. Their leaves may wilt a bit during hot midday temperatures, but they plump up again by the following morning.
(Gold Angel Japanese Shrub Mint) Partial shade settings or locations with morning sun and afternoon shade are best for this fragrant mint bush that glows in dappled sunlight. It is a Japanese woodland native well suited to areas with chilly winters.
Honeybees love this perennial's fall-blooming flowers. Leucosceptrum means "white scepter." Depending on your point of view and sense of whimsy, the plant's plumes of pale white-to-yellow blossoms look like royal scepters held erect or common bottlebrushes bursting from golden foliage.
Although this member of the mint family (Lamiaceae) loves moisture, it does well with supplemental watering based on local conditions. Give it rich, well-drained soil.
Golden Angel is just right for woodland gardens or shady patio-container plantings. It also looks pretty as a border along a shady pathway. Its finely veined and serrated leaves light up the shade.
(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. It does not do well in very warm and humid areas unless in a very well drained location with good air circulation.
(Makino) We would grow this rare clone of the woodland Japanese native Salvia glabrescens even if it never flowered, because the hairless, arrow-shaped foliage is so lush, toothed and colorful. As they age, the arrow-shaped leaves transform from yellowish green to dark green.
This is a plant for moist, shady garden spots, but can take a bit of morning sun. It is hardy as long as it receives plenty of shade, water and soil that is rich and well-drained. In autumn, short spikes of small, pink and purple two-tone flowers rise out of compact basal foliage, creating a gracefully proportioned look.
Makino should be seen up close both for its extraordinary flowers and lush foliage. Plant it in a container, along a shady pathway or as a woodland groundcover. Although slow growing, this tough yet lovely sage is worth the wait. Fortunately, deer don't like it.
(Kyushu Woodland Sage) We are in love with this short forest sage from Kyushu, Japan. Its clusters of large creamy flowers pale as fresh-churned butter begin blooming in September. Even when not blooming, its foliage is showy in a shady garden.
The number in its scientific name -- where a more descriptive appellation usually would be -- is the plant's collection number, which is assigned when a botanist or gardener first discovers or develops a new cultivar.
We thank Bleddyn and Sue Wynn-Jones of Crug Farm in Wales for introducing this beauty to commercial horticulture. It grows well in either partial or full shade and particularly likes a combination of morning sun and afternoon shade. Give it plenty of water and rich, well-drained soil. However, remember that it will take time for this plant to spread and gain full height.
Kyushu Woodland Sage is a fine choice for a mixed container planting, a perennial border or a damp spot in the understory. Gardeners in the country will be glad to know that deer pass it by.
(Big Pink Scarlet Sage) Hummingbirds are drawn to the deep wells of nectar in sages such as Salvia splendens van houttei 'Big Pink'. Its narrow, tubular flowers are a pure, clear pink and are supported by cream to dusky pink calyxes.
Of course, Salvia colors can vary during different times of the growing season or based on local conditions, such as altitude, soil chemistry and sun exposure. But Big Pink Scarlet Sage definitely isn't a peach variety.
Somewhat unusual for this species, 'Big Pink' grows into a tall but narrow plant with smallish leaves. It excels as a container plant.
Scarlet Sages are native to South America where they thrive in full sun to partial shade. Big Pink is similarly adaptable, but particularly likes locations with morning sun and afternoon shade. It's an easy-to-grow, long blooming plant that is tall and narrow. The mid-green, veined foliage contains smaller leaves than those of other Scarlet Sages.
In areas with colder winters, Big Pink grows easily as an annual bedding plant. It's also a successful container plant and a good choice for a woodland garden. It does fine with average watering based on local rainfall and humidity, but can handle ample moisture.
Another good piece of news is that deer avoid it.
(Peach Scarlet Sage) A subtle but beautiful peachy orange, the drooping blossoms of this sturdy, long flowering Salvia are the first that anyone comments on in a mixed planting. Use it singly as a dramatic garden accent or container plant; mass it for a stunning effect.
Meet its needs and Salvia splendens van houttei 'Peach' is easy to grow. Plant it in partial to full shade where you can give it rich, well-drained soil and regular watering. It can grow more than 3 feet tall, but can easily be kept to a height of 2 feet with minimal pinching.
This variety of Scarlet Sage is dramatic in woodland gardens. An annual in colder zones, it is a tender perennial in warmer ones.
Seasonally available and limited.
If you live in suburbs or rural areas where deer plunder gardens, Salvias (sages) can be part of your plan for discouraging these hungry visitors. Here are some tips.