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Unlike woody shrubs and subshrubs that are evergreen or leaf out annually, herbaceous perennials have soft stems. All their foliage dies back to ground at the end of their growing season and then returns at the beginning of the new one. They are some of the most popular plants around. This list contains some of our favorites that aren't Salvias.

Properly cared for, herbaceous perennials can be relied upon to provide foliage and flowers year after year. Many are cold hardy and are appropriate for USDA Zones in areas with frosty winters.

How do we decide which of the tens of thousands of new and old herbaceous perennials to cultivate for nursery sales? First, we look for vigorous plants that don't have to be coddled to survive. We kill some new plants each year in our growing trials, so that we can weed out the ones that don't flourish easily. We want to sell you plants that offer a good chance for success. We look for plants that are well above average in thriving under less-than-perfect growing conditions.

Second, we only select plants that provide unusual coloring, an extremely long blooming period, resistance to common pests and diseases and other significant qualities.

Finally, we try to stay close to our non-Salvia specialties, including Agastache, Plectranthus, Heuchera, Cuphea, Iochroma and Phlomis. We are seldom the first nursery to offer a new plant in these categories, because we spend extra time on trialing so you will experience success.

We look for "best of breed" plants that turn gardeners' heads. Sometimes these are patented varieties, which means that we purchase propagation stock from the patent holder. We want to offer you plants that have the greatest promise of success in your garden. So look to Flowers by the Sea for new, exciting perennials as well as many old fashioned favorites.


  • Acanthus mollis 'Tasmanian Angel'

    (Variegated Bear's Breeches) Found in Tasmania, this gem is the first variegated Acanthus! 'Tasmanian Angel' offers striking, bold leaves with white margins and mottling.


  • Achillea filipendulina 'Cloth of Gold'

    (Fern Leaf Yarrow) Yarrow is a standby plant in low-water gardens, because of the easy-care species tall, colorful flower spikes. Fern Leaf Yarrow has large, slightly curved umbels of tiny, intensely gold flowers and deeply cut, fern-like leaves.


  • Agastache rugosa 'Heronswood Mist'

    (Anise Hyssop) Although most varieties of Agastache (Anise Hyssop) come from the American Southwest and Northern Mexico, this is an Asian variety that is native to Korea, Japan and China. It is a magnet for butterflies, honeybees and hummingbirds.

  • Agastache x 'Ava'

    (Ava Hybrid Anise Hyssop) Raspberry calyxes support Ava's rosy-pink flowers, which whorl on tall spikes similar to many Salvias. When the blossoms are spent, the calyxes remain colorful. This long-blooming hummingbird magnet is tolerant of cold, heat and drought.


  • Agastache x 'Kudos Coral'

    (Kudos Coral Hybrid Anise Hyssop) Dense plumes of deep coral flowers are accented by mid-green foliage in this heat- and drought-tolerant favorite of pollinators. Kudos Coral is a compact, clumping, semi-dwarf variety.


  • Agastache x 'Kudos Gold'

    (Kudos Gold Hybrid Anise Hyssop) Compact spikes of burnished gold, tubular flowers attract butterflies, honeybees and hummingbirds to the latest Kudos Agastache from Oregon's Terra Nova Nurseries. The dense flower plumes are accented by mid-green, veined, spear-shaped leaves.


  • Agastache x 'Kudos Mandarin'

    (Kudos Mandarin Hybrid Anise Hyssop) Dense plumes of creamy orange flowers are accented by deep green foliage in this heat- and drought-tolerant favorite of pollinators. Kudos Mandarin is a compact, clumping, semi-dwarf variety.

  • Agastache x 'Summer Glow'

    (Summer Glow Hybrid Anise Hyssop) Sunny yellow flowers form a striking contrast with plum-colored, leaf-like calyxes in this heat- and drought-tolerant favorite of pollinators. Summer Glow is a compact, clumping, semi-dwarf variety.

  • Agastache x 'Violet Vision'

    (Violet Vision Hybrid Anise Hyssop) Wands of deep violet blossoms rise up from heart-shaped, mid-green leaves in this compact, upright Agastache developed by Oregon's Terra Nova Nurseries. Flowers and foliage alike have a sweet honey-licorice fragrance.

  • Artemisia lactiflora ‘Guizhou’

    (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.


  • Arum italicum 'Pictum'

    (Lords and Ladies) Large, glossy, arrow-shaped leaves with marble-like cream-colored variegations are one of the major attractions of Arum italicum 'Pictum'.


  • Asclepias tuberosa 'Hello Yellow'

    (Butterfly Weed) Typically a gold-flowered species, this variety of Butterfly Weed produces flat-topped umbels of tiny, star-shaped flowers atop narrow, lance-shaped leaves. Bright yellow and nectar-rich, they bloom from summer into fall.


  • Asplenium bulbiferum

    (Mother Fern) Ferns are low-maintenance plants that add a tropical look to the Salvia garden. This one grows well in USDA Zones 9 to 11. Mother Fern, which has a graceful, arching look and finely cut fronds, loves partial to full shade and lots of water. This makes it an excellent choice for damp, shady Southeastern gardens.


  • Bergenia 'Lunar Glow'

    (Pig squeak) A new mutation out of Bergenia 'Solar Flare', 'Lunar Glow' has the traditional bold, evergreen leaves of the Bergenia. Lovely magenta-pink bell-like flowers compliment the unique creamy yellow leaves produced in the spring.

  • Bergenia 'Pink Dragonfly'

    (Pig squeak) Looking for multi-season color and interest? Then this is the Bergenia for you! 'Pink Dragonfly' forms low clumps of long, narrow leaves, which develop plum-red tones in the winter.

  • Bergenia cordifolia 'Winter Glow'

    (Heartleaf Bergenia) Big leaves, large and richly colored pink flowers, tough, tolerant of sun and shade, pest free, drought tolerant and cold hardy. Hummm . . . What more can you ask of a perennial?

  • Bletilla striata

    (Chinese Ground Orchid) This clone has been in our family for over 60 years, and is dependable and easy to grow. The 18 inch flower spikes carry up to twelve flowers that measure almost 3 inches across. Starting in late Spring for six or more weeks, the flowers last through rain and cold. This is without a doubt the easiest terrestrial (growing in soil) orchid, suitable for any shady garden.

  • Brunnera macrophylla 'Emerald Mist'

    (Silver Siberian Bugloss) This is without a doubt the best Brunnera since 'Jack Frost'. Compact, good growing and very showy, nothing lights up a dark space in the shade garden the way this plant does.


  • Brunnera macrophylla 'Jack Frost'

    (Silver Siberian Bugloss) Absolutely stunning in the garden from early spring to fall with sky-blue forget-me-not flowers and a netted silver overlay on each leaf.

  • Calceolaria integrifolia 'Kentish Hero'

    (Kentish Hero Pouch Flower) Do you like orange flowers? How about orange flowers that look like balloons - lots and lots of balloons? If you say, "Yes", then you will love this sun-to-shade perennial that is a perfect companion to Summer blooming Salvias.


  • Digitalis dubia

    (Dwarf Spanish Foxglove) Foxgloves are generally shade plants, but this Mediterranean species is a full-sun variety. Its pink, pendulous, bell-shaped flowers are speckled inside and are offset by mint-green foliage. Hummingbirds love its nectar.

  • Eriogonum giganteum

    (Saint Catherine's Lace) When in full bloom from spring to fall, you can barely see the foliage of this floriferous shrub. Its huge umbels of pinkish cream flowers form what seems like the skirt of a lacy bridal gown growing 6 feet tall and 4 feet wide.

  • Eucomis 'Freckles'

    (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. From summer to fall, short, rose-red flower spikes rise up from the center of this exotic foliage.


  • Geranium x cantabrigiense 'Biokovo'

    (Evergreen Cranesbill) White petals with pale pink striations and pink stamens give this petite member of the Geranium genus a delicate look that belies its cold-weather toughness.


  • Heuchera 'Canyon Belle'

    (Canyon Belle Dwarf Coral Bells) Heuchera is commonly called Alum Root or Coral Bells. Canyon Belle has red flowers and glossy green, scalloped foliage.


  • Heuchera 'Canyon Chimes'

    (Canyon Chimes Dwarf Coral Bells) Heuchera is commonly called Alum Root or Coral Bells. Canyon Chimes has dark pink flowers and glossy green, scalloped foliage.

  • Heuchera 'Canyon Duet'

    (Canyon Duet Dwarf Coral Bells) Heuchera is commonly called Alum Root or Coral Bells. Canyon Duet has dark pink-to-white flowers and glossy green, scalloped foliage.

  • Heuchera 'Canyon Melody'

    (Canyon Melody Dwarf Coral Bells) Heuchera is commonly called Alum Root or Coral Bells. Canyon Melody has medium pink flowers with a touch of white and glossy green, scalloped foliage.

  • Heuchera 'Snow Storm'

    (Snow Storm Coral Bells) Heuchera is commonly called Alum Root or Coral Bells. Snow Storm is a full-size species with deep red flowers and scalloped, variegated white and green foliage.


  • Houttuynia cordata 'Chameleon'

    (Variegated Chameleon Plant) Spectacular foliage trumps inconspicuous summer-blooming flowers in this water-loving perennial from Asia. The variegated, heart-shaped leaves are dark green with red, yellow, bronze and cream margins. Full sunlight brings out the broadest range of colors.


  • Juncus effusus 'Big Twister'

    (Big Twister Spiral Rush) Butterflies are attracted to the yellow-green flowers of this, corkscrewing rush, which blooms in summer. Small birds find cover in its soft, mid-green foliage that looks like a tall grass. Deer, however, leave it alone.


  • Libertia peregrinans

    (Bronze Sword) By turns golden, creamy green or outrageously orange, the blades of Bronze Sword rise about knee high. It's star-shaped white flowers, which bloom on shorter, branched stems, are a lovely pure white.


  • Lobelia 'Monet Moment'

    (Pink Cardinal Flower) What a great perennial. Fast, easy and rewarding. The columns of bright pink flowers last longer than most Lobelia, and are fragrant as well!


  • Lobelia x speciosa 'Compliment Deep Red'

    (Giant Red Cardinal Flower) Similar to the plumage of a Northern Cardinal, the flowers of this Lobelia hybrid are startlingly red. The tubular blossoms have lips that flare at their openings into petals shaped like poinsettia bracts.


  • Musella lasiocarpa

    (Chinese Yellow Banana) Musella lasiocarpa is not very well known - but should be. Hardy to Zone 6, this is a spectacular yellow flowered banana that is small enough for every garden.


  • Origanum x 'Norton Gold'

    (Norton's Gold Oregano) Although used in cooking, this mild tasting oregano is particularly ornamental. Its gold-green leaves turn bright gold in autumn adding a glow to herb gardens, borders and container plantings. In summer, it shoots up 20-inch-tall spikes of pink flowers.


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The plant arrived in perfect condition, was very bushy and healthy looking. I will order from this company again.
Ms. Amy Wilborn
Apr 16, 2014