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Chapter 4 ground covers.

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Ground covers are low-growing, perennial plants that take the place of turf in a landscape. The ground cover plants in this text are mostly woody, but a few important herbaceous plants are included.

Ground covers maybe deciduous or evergreen, and the classification includes both broadleaf and narrowleaf types. In addition, many vines and some shrubs can be used for covering ground. Most true ground covers, however, spread to form a solid mass over a period of time. This necessitates some regular maintenance during the warm season to confine the plant to the desired boundaries. Some major uses of ground covers are as follows:

* Covering ground in areas that are inconvenient to mow, such as steep banks, under low-branched trees, and in raised planters.

* Covering ground where turf grass does poorly, such as heavy shade and poor or wet soils.

* Adding variety or interest to the landscape while reducing the total area in need of routine mowing orwatering.

Ajuga reptans

(uh-jew'-guh rep'-tanz)

Ajuga, Bugleflower, Bugleweed

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ZONES: 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9

HEIGHT: 4" to 6"

WIDTH: Indefinite

FRUIT: Tiny seed; NOT ORNAMENTAL.

TEXTURE: Coarse

GROWTH RATE: Very RAPID in moist soil.

HABIT: Spreads by stolons into dense mat, similar to strawberry.

FAMILY: Labiatae

LEAF COLOR: Species is dark green. Cultivars vary considerably.

LEAF DESCRIPTION: SIMPLE, 4" to 5" long and 1" to 2" wide, obovate with an obtuse tip, slightly wavy margin that is smoother or entire near the base and tip, WHORLED arrangement.

FLOWER DESCRIPTION: Tiny blue, white, or rose-pink flowers on 4" to 8" pyramidal spikes, depending on the clutivar. Blooms in mid-spring.

EXPOSURE/CULTURE: The plant should be located in areas of part shade or in areas that receive no more than 4 hours of direct sunlight daily. Prefers well-drained loamy or heavy soil, but needs a location where it will receive high moisture.

PEST PROBLEMS: Crown rot is often a problem in the hot and humid southeastern states. Aphids, nematodes, and spider mites pose less of a problem.

SELECTED CULTIVARS: 'Alba'--Has white flowers. 'Atropurpurea'--Has attractive bronze-purple foliage. 'Burgundy Glow'--New foliage is burgundy, while mature foliage is variegated with cream, pink, and rose-pink. 'Catlin's Giant'--Much taller blue flower spikes rise above bronze-green foliage. Outstanding. 'Giant Green' Large, metallic-bronze foliage. 'Rubra'--Has rosey-red flower spikes. 'Variegata' Leaves variegated with light green, pink, and cream colors.

RELATED SPECIES: Ajuga genevensis--This species is non-stoloniferous; hence, it is more easily contained in the garden. Leaves are slightly to densely hairy. Ajuga pyramidalis-This species is non-stoloniferous, but spreads by rhizomes.

LANDSCAPE NOTES: Ajuga is an excellent ground cover for moist, shady areas. Flowering is excellent, and foliage texture adds interest. Containment is a factor to consider with most Ajugas.

Arctostaphylos uva-ursi

(arc-toe-staff '-e-los oo-vuh ur'-see)

Bearberry, Kinnikinick

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ZONES: 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

HEIGHT: 8" to 12"

WIDTH: Indefinite

FRUIT: 1/4" brilliant red drupes in fall.

TEXTURE: Fine

GROWTH RATE: Moderate to slow.

HABIT: Low-growing and broad-spreading with arching branches.

FAMILY: Ericaceae

LEAF COLOR: Dark green during the growing season, taking on a reddish tint during winter.

LEAF DESCRIPTION: SIMPLE leaves 1/4" to 3/4" long and 1/4" to 1/2" wide, obovate, margins entire or slightly toothed, ALTERNATE arrangement.

FLOWER DESCRIPTION: Tiny pinkish-white flowers, 1/4", urn-shaped, borne in racemes. Not bold, but quite attractive on close inspection.

EXPOSURE/CULTURE: Full sun or part shade. Prefers sandy soils that lack high fertility. Can be grown on sand dunes, where it exhibits tolerance for salt. Can be grown in other soils, but should not be fertilized. Requires very little pruning or care.

PEST PROBLEMS: Black mildew, leaf gall, leaf spots.

SELECTED CULTIVARS: 'Massachusetts'--Produces a heavier flower and berry crop, while showing resistance to leaf spot and gall. 'Wood's Red'--A more compact form with smaller leaves and larger berries.

RELATED SPECIES: There are many species, but A. uva-ursi is the primary species in cultivation.

LANDSCAPE NOTES: This is an outstanding ground cover for the northern zones and western regions. It gives an effect that is similar to that of the dwarf Cotoneasters in the southern zones.

Aspidistra elatior

(as-puh-diss'-tra e-lay'-tee-or)

Cast-iron Plant, Aspidistra

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ZONES: 6, 7, 8, 9, 10

HEIGHT: 1 1/2' to 2'

WIDTH: 2' to 3'

FRUIT: Small berry; NOT NOTICEABLE.

TEXTURE: Very coarse.

GROWTH RATE: Slow

HABIT: Upright whorled clumps, developing from rhizomes.

FAMILY: Liliaceae

LEAF COLOR: Dark green, sometimes displaying a blackish tint.

LEAF DESCRIPTION: SIMPLE, 15" to 20" long, 3" to 5" wide, long ovate shape, acuminate tip, stiff petiole that is 1/4" to 1/2" the length of the blade, linear parallel venation, entire margins, WHORLED arrangement.

FLOWER DESCRIPTION: Small and brown-purple, appearing at ground level, bell-shaped, NOT NOTICEABLE.

EXPOSURE/CULTURE: Shade plant. Can tolerate full shade or partial shade, burning badly in the presence of too much direct sunlight. Tolerates drought conditions; can be grown under overhangs and stairways, in containers, and in other areas not suitable for most plants. Protect from wind.

PEST PROBLEMS: Occasionally attacked by scale insects, especially when grown in containers or planters indoors.

SELECTED CULTIVARS: 'Variegata'--This cultivar has alternating stripes of green and white. When grown in highly fertile conditions, many of the stripes fade.

LANDSCAPE NOTES: Cast-iron plant is valued by designers for its strong textural effect. It can add interest to dull areas of the landscape not suitable for many other plants. It is especially useful in gardens where a large number of fine-textured plants are used. The effect is more dramatic when used in mass, rather than single lines.

Cotoneaster dammeri

(ko-tau'-nee-as-ter dam'-ur-i)

Bearberry Cotoneaster

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ZONES: 6, 7, 8

HEIGHT: 12" to 15"

WIDTH: 3' to 6'

FRUIT: Bright red berries in fall.

TEXTURE: Fine

GROWTH RATE: Moderately fast.

HABIT: Prostrate and spreading. Pendulous branches.

FAMILY: Rosaceae

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LEAF COLOR: Dark green, developing a purplish tinge in fall and winter.

LEAF DESCRIPTION: SIMPLE leaves, 3/4" to 1 1/4" long and half as wide, elliptic, margins entire, ALTERNATE arrangement. Leaves become deciduous in northern zones.

FLOWER DESCRIPTION: White flowers, 1/2", appearing in spring or early summer.

EXPOSURE/CULTURE: Full sun to light shade. Will grow in a wide variety of well-drained soils. Requires a minimal amount of light pruning.

PEST PROBLEMS: Fire blight, aphids, lace bugs, and spider mites. Fire blight and spider mites can be quite destructive if preventive measures are not taken.

SELECTED CULTIVARS: 'Coral Beauty'--Lower growing form with a heavier berry crop. One of the most popular cultivars. 'Eichholz'--Fruit is a showy carmine red. Large leaves change from bright green to gold or orange-red in autumn. 'Major' Has larger leaves than the species and is more hardy. 'Mooncreeper'--Very low-growing form that has glossy dark green leaves and larger flowers. 'Skogholm'--A more vigorous form for covering large areas; fewer berries.

LANDSCAPE NOTES: Bearberry Cotoneaster is most effective when used in mass plantings or located near plants with contrasting foliage.

Cotoneaster salicifolius 'Repens'

(ko-tau'-nee-as-ter suh-liss-uh-fo'-lee-us)

Dwarf Willowleaf Cotoneaster

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ZONES: 5, 6, 7, 8, 9

HEIGHT: 2' to 3'

WIDTH: 5' to 8'

FRUIT: 1/4" bright red berries in fall and winter.

TEXTURE: Fine

GROWTH RATE: Usually rapid.

HABIT: Spreading and irregular; arched branches.

FAMILY: Rosaceae

LEAF COLOR: Dark green and very lustrous; purple tinged in fall.

LEAF DESCRIPTION: SIMPLE, 1" to 1 1/2" long and 1/4" to 1/2" wide, ovatelanceolate, entire margins, ALTERNATE arrangement. Becomes deciduous in northernmost zones.

FLOWER DESCRIPTION: White, 1/4" in 1" flat corymbs, not especially noticeable. Blooms in spring.

EXPOSURE/CULTURE: Best in full sun, but will tolerate partial shade. It is easy to grow in most soil types, but it prefers well-drained soil that is slightly acid.

PEST PROBLEMS: Lace bugs, scale, spider mites. The species and cultivars are not nearly as prone to fire blight as many of the other Cotoneasters.

SELECTED CULTIVARS: None. This is a cultivar of C. salicifolius, a large evergreen to semi-evergreen shrub.

RELATED CULTIVARS: 'Emerald Carpet'--Larger leaves than 'Repens'. 'Gnome' Low-growing (1") with smaller leaves. Outstanding form. 'Repandens'--Another name for 'Repens'. 'Scarlet Leader'--Wide-spreading form with reddish-purple leaves in winter.

LANDSCAPE NOTES: This is truly one of the outstanding dwarf Cotoneasters. Foliage is especially attractive, is extremely vigorous for ground covering, and is bothered less by pests.

Cyrtomium falcatum

(sir-toe'-my-um fal-k-a'-tum)

Holly Fern

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ZONES: 8, 9

HEIGHT: 1' to 2'

WIDTH: 2' to 3'

FRUIT: NONE. Sori (spore clusters).

TEXTURE: Moderately coarse.

GROWTH RATE: Moderate

HABIT: Upright with arching fronds.

FAMILY: Polypodiaceae

LEAF COLOR: Dark glossy green.

LEAF DESCRIPTION: COMPOUND leaves (fronds), 1' to 2' long, leaflets (pinnae) 1" to 2" long with serrated margins and ovate shape, petioles (rachises) form WHORLED clumps from the ground.

FLOWER DESCRIPTION: NONE, THIS IS A TRUE FERN.

EXPOSURE/CULTURE: Must be grown in full shade or partial shade. It requires a fertile soil that is high in organic matter. Pruning should be limited to the removal of dead or damaged fronds.

PEST PROBLEMS: None of a serious nature. Occasionally bothered by mealybugs or scale.

SELECTED CULTIVARS: 'Compactum'--A more compact form. 'Rochfordianum'--This cultivar has more refined foliage than the species, and is the most popular.

LANDSCAPE NOTES: Holly Fern is a strikingly beautiful plant with holly-like leaflets (pinnae) forming fronds that take on the characteristic growth habit of ferns. This is a plant to feature, and is especially attractive in groupings.

Euonymus fortunei var. coloratus

(u-on'-e-mus for-toon'-e-i var. color-a'-tus)

Red Wintercreeper

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ZONES: 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9

HEIGHT: 12" to 14"

WIDTH: Indefinite

FRUIT: Pinkish capsule; RARE.

TEXTURE: Fine to medium.

GROWTH RATE: Rapid

HABIT: Vine-like and pendulous.

FAMILY: Celastraceae

LEAF COLOR: Dark green, turning plum-purple during fall and winter.

LEAF DESCRIPTION: SIMPLE, 1 1/2" to 2" long and 1" wide, ovate shape with serrulate margins, OPPOSITE arrangement.

FLOWER DESCRIPTION: Tiny, greenish or purplish, in cymes. RARELY FLOWERING.

EXPOSURE/CULTURE: Grows in sun or shade. Adaptable to a wide range of soil types and conditions. Avoid very wet conditions. May need occasional pruning to prevent climbing on walls or to confine to an area, especially when bordered by a solid surface.

PEST PROBLEMS: EUONYMUS SCALE, anthracnose, aphids, leaf spots, mildews.

SELECTED CULTIVARS: None. This is a cultivar of E. fortunei, a large evergreen shrub.

RELATED CULTIVARS: 'Kewensis'--Lower-growing form with tiny, 1/4" leaves. Ideal for small areas. 'Minimus'--Low-growing with 1/2" leaves. var. radicans Leaves to 2". Thicker leaves and larger stems. Will climb. 'Variegata' has leaves marked with white, pink, or yellow.

LANDSCAPE NOTES: Red Wintercreeper is a low-maintenance ground cover that takes on a totally different appearance during the winter months with its plum-colored foliage. It is appropriate for both small and large areas.

Hedera canariensis

(hed'-er-uh kuh-nar-e-en'-sis)

Algerian Ivy

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ZONES: 8, 9, 10

HEIGHT: 1' as a ground cover.

WIDTH: Indefinite

FRUIT: Tiny blue-black; NOT ORNAMENTAL.

TEXTURE: Coarse

GROWTH RATE: Moderate

HABIT: Trailing and vine-like. Will climb on vertical surfaces.

FAMILY: Araliaceae

LEAF COLOR: Lustrous dark green.

LEAF DESCRIPTION: SIMPLE, 6" to 8" long and 4" to 6" wide, 3 to 7 lobed and smooth, cordate base, acute tip (usually), overall shape is heart-shaped except for lobes, ALTERNATE arrangement.

FLOWER DESCRIPTION: Tiny greenish flowers in umbels on mature stems, NOT ORNAMENTAL.

EXPOSURE/CULTURE: Should be located in partial shade to dense shade. Tolerant of a wide range of soil types from sandy soils to heavy soils. Does best when moisture is higher and fertility is at medium or higher levels. Needs moderate pruning to control.

PEST PROBLEMS: Bacterial leaf spots, scale insects, snails, spider mites.

SELECTED CULTIVARS: 'Canary Cream'--Green leaves with creamy white margins. 'Gloire de Marengo'-Leaves variegated with green and snow white. 'Green' Bright green leaves that darken with maturity. 'Variegata'--Leaves variegated with green, gray, and creamy white.

LANDSCAPE NOTES: Algerian Ivy is an aggressive plant that makes a bold statement in the landscape. It is limited in range and not as hardy as English Ivy. It can be used as a ground cover or vine, since it climbs on solid surfaces.

Hedera colchica

(hed'er-uh kol-she-kuh)

Colchis Ivy, Persian Ivy

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ZONES: 6, 7, 8, 9

HEIGHT: 1' as ground cover.

WIDTH: Indefinite

FRUIT: 1/4" black drupe; NOT ORNAMENTAL.

TEXTURE: Coarse due to size and stiffness.

GROWTH RATE: Moderate

HABIT: Vine-like and stiff. Will climb on vertical surfaces.

FAMILY: Araliaceae

LEAF COLOR: Dull dark green.

LEAF DESCRIPTION: SIMPLE, 3" to 5" long and wide, leathery and stiff, heart-shaped (cordate) with entire margins, fragrant when crushed, ALTERNATE arrangement.

FLOWER DESCRIPTION: Tiny greenish flowers in loose umbels, not commonly flowering, NOT ORNAMENTAL.

EXPOSURE/CULTURE: Recommended for shade, but often does well in full sun. It is adaptable to a wide variety of soils. Prefers medium or higher levels of fertility and moisture. Needs moderate pruning to control. Should not be allowed to climb on painted surfaces.

PEST PROBLEMS: Bacterial leaf spot, mildews, mealybugs, scale, slugs, spider mites.

SELECTED CULTIVARS: 'Dentata Variegata'--Leaves variegated with green, gray, and pale yellow. 'Sulphur Heart'--Leaves have a yellow blotch near the center.

LANDSCAPE NOTES: This is one of the best Ivies for hardiness, and is tolerant of many conditions. However, it does appear stiff at times, giving it a rugged character. Colchis Ivy can be grown as a ground cover or vine.

Hedera helix

(hed'er-uh he-licks) Common English Ivy

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ZONES: 5, 6, 7, 8, 9

HEIGHT: 1' as a ground cover.

WIDTH: Indefinite

FRUIT: 1/4" black drupes; NOT ORNAMENTAL.

TEXTURE: Medium or coarse, depending on cultivar.

GROWTH RATE: Moderate to rapid.

HABIT: Trailing and vine-like. Will climb.

FAMILY: Araliaceae

LEAF COLOR: Dark green.

LEAF DESCRIPTION: SIMPLE, 3" to 4" long and wide, 3 to 5 lobed and smooth, cordate base on young leaves to acute base on adult leaves, acute tip, leaf veins lighter in color than blade, ALTERNATE arrangement.

FLOWER DESCRIPTION: Tiny greenish white flowers in loose, open umbels, NOT ORNAMENTAL.

EXPOSURE/CULTURE: Should be planted in part shade to shade. Will tolerate some direct light if moisture is provided. Does best in organic soil, with medium to high moisture and fertility. Needs moderate pruning to control. Should not be allowed to climb on painted surfaces.

PEST PROBLEMS: Bacterial leaf spot, fungal leaf spots, mildews, mealybugs, scale insects, snails, slugs, spider mites.

SELECTED CULTIVARS: 'Baltica'--Smaller leaves than the species but similar in shape and color. 'Chester'--Leaves variegated with green and yellow. Less hardy than the species. 'Gold Dust'--Green leaves with yellow specks. Not as hardy. 'Hahn's' Lighter green. Prominent center lobe. Tolerates more sun. 'Needlepoint'--Narrow, sharp-pointed center lobe. 'Thorndale'--Veins creamy white and showy. More cold hardy than species. 'Wilson'--Foliage is dark green with curly edges.

LANDSCAPE NOTES: English Ivy has long been used as a ground cover, especially in the south. It has been used effectively as a climbing plant on brick surfaces. A moderate amount of care is needed to maintain as a ground cover. It is very appropriate for covering large areas.

Helleborus orientalis

(hell-uh-bore'-us -ore-e-in'-tuh-lis)

Lenten Rose

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ZONES: 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8

HEIGHT: 12" to 18"

WIDTH: 1 1/2' to 2'

FRUIT: Black capsule; NOT ORNAMENTAL.

TEXTURE: Coarse

GROWTH RATE: Slow at first, then moderate.

HABIT: Forms spreading, erect mounds; reseeds freely.

FAMILY: Ranunculaceae

LEAF COLOR: Dark green.

LEAF DESCRIPTION: PALMATELY COMPOUND, 8" to 12" wide, leaflets 4" long and 2" wide, leaflets elliptic with serrulate margins, leaves arranged in WHORLED pattern and arising from the crown.

FLOWER DESCRIPTION: White, mauve, or purple, fading to green, 1 1/2" to 2" wide. Blooms in JANUARY in the Southern zones and later in the Northern zones. Very ornamental.

EXPOSURE/CULTURE: Must be planted in partial shade or shade. Tends to do better when planted in organic soil with moderate moisture. Responds to fertilization. Does not require pruning to maintain, although seeds will scatter and germinate outside of defined areas, necessitating removal of unwanted plants.

PEST PROBLEMS: NONE SERIOUS. Chewing insects occasionally feed on foliage.

SELECTED CULTIVARS: 'White Magic'--White flowers, fading to pink. Actually a hybrid of H. orientalis and H. niger.

RELATED SPECIES: H. niger-Christmas Rose. White flowers fading to pale pink. Grows 10" to 12" with smaller leaves than H. orientalis.

LANDSCAPE NOTES: Lenten Rose begins flowering in winter when most gardens are at the peak of dullness. The flowers continue into early spring. An ideal plant to provide color in shaded areas, and it thrives in areas too shady for lawn grasses.

Hypericum calycinum

(h-i-per'-e-kum cal-e-si'-num)

Aaron's Beard St. Johnswort

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ZONES: 5, 6, 7, 8

HEIGHT: 12" to 18"

WIDTH: Indefinite

FRUIT: 1/2" red-brown capsule; NOT ATTRACTIVE.

TEXTURE: Medium in summer, less refined in winter.

GROWTH RATE: Rapid, once established.

HABIT: Low and arching, spreading indefinitely from stolons.

FAMILY: Hypericaceae

LEAF COLOR: Blue-green during growing season, turning purplish-green in fall.

LEAF DESCRIPTION: SIMPLE, 1 1/2" to 2" long and 1" wide, ovate shape with entire margins, OPPOSITE arrangement.

FLOWER DESCRIPTION: Bright yellow, to 3" wide, born singly or in clusters of 2 or 3, stamens forming a thick "brush". Blooms in mid-spring to late spring.

EXPOSURE/CULTURE: Best if located in full sun or partial shade. Tolerates a wide range of soils, including sandy soils. Moderate or less water requirements. Foliage often looks bad after winter exposure, so it is best to mow the plants to ground level in early spring.

PEST PROBLEMS: Scale.

SELECTED CULTIVARS: None

RELATED SPECIES: Several shrub-like species exist. See Chapter 6--Dwarf Shrubs.

LANDSCAPE NOTES: Aaron's Beard is often used for erosion control, especially in naturalized sections of the garden. It is appropriate as a feature plant in small or large areas.

Iberis sempervirens

(i-bee-ris sem-pur-vi'-renz)

Evergreen Candytuft

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ZONES: 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9

HEIGHT: 8" to 12"

WIDTH: 1 1/2" to 2"

FRUIT: 1/4" silicle; NOT NOTICEABLE.

TEXTURE: Fine in summer, more rugged in winter.

GROWTH RATE: Moderate

HABIT: Spreading into a rounded, thick mound.

FAMILY: Cruciferae

LEAF COLOR: Dark green.

LEAF DESCRIPTION: SIMPLE, 1/2" to 2" long and 1/8" to 1/4" wide, linear or narrow oblong in shape with entire margins, ALTERNATE arrangement.

FLOWER DESCRIPTION: Tiny white flowers in very showy 1" diameter racemes, arising from lateral axils. Flowers in early spring and continues into summer.

EXPOSURE/CULTURE: Full sun or part shade. Should be planted in well-drained soil, as it will rot under wet conditions. Prefers medium fertility. Shape and compactness can be maintained with a minimum of shearing. Prune after flowering every two or three years.

PEST PROBLEMS: None

SELECTED CULTIVARS: 'Christmas Snow'--Blooms in both spring and fall. 'Little Gem'--Very low form, maturing at 6". 'October Glory'-Compact. Blooms in spring and fall. 'Snowflake'-Has stiffer stems than the species, making it more erect in habit.

LANDSCAPE NOTES: The compactness and mounded shape make this plant effective as a border plant in the garden. It does well in rock garden areas, and it has attractive foliage when it is not flowering. It provides good contrast when planted in mass with coarse-textured plants in the background.

Juniperus chinensis var. sargentii

(jew-nip'-er-us chi-nen'-sis var. sar-gin'-tee-i )

Sargent Juniper

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ZONES: 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9

HEIGHT: 1' to 1 1/2'

WIDTH: 7 1/2' to 8'

FRUIT: 1/4" cones; blue maturing to brown.

TEXTURE: Fine

GROWTH RATE: Moderate

HABIT: Wide-spreading with long, whip-like branches that arch.

FAMILY: Cupressaceae

LEAF COLOR: Blue-green.

LEAF DESCRIPTION: 1/4" SCALE-LIKE leaves, appearing in WHORLS of 3 on many branchlets, grooved on the underside.

FLOWER DESCRIPTION: Tiny yellowish flowers in spring. NOT ORNAMENTAL and NOT NOTICEABLE.

EXPOSURE/CULTURE: Prefers full sunlight. Adaptable to a wide range of conditions and soil types. Does remarkably well in dry, sandy soils. Grows best with moderate moisture, but survives better in dry soil than any other Juniper. Avoid wet soils. Prune to maintain shape.

PEST PROBLEMS: Bagworms, Juniper twig blight, scale insects, spider mites.

SELECTED CULTIVARS: 'Aureo-variegata'--Yellow variegation at tips of branchlets. 'Glauca'--Lower growing form with thinner leaves; more refined. 'Viridis' Green Sargent Juniper. Has lighter green foliage all year long.

SPECIAL NOTE: There are many cultivars of J. chinensis. Several appear in Chapters 7, 8, and 9.

LANDSCAPE NOTES: Sargent Juniper is a beautiful ground cover that is famous for its ability to thrive under extreme conditions. It is the gardener's answer to lowmaintenance.

Juniperus conferta

(jew-nip'-er-us kon-fur'-tuh)

Shore Juniper

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ZONES: 5, 6, 7, 8, 9

HEIGHT: 1 1/2' to 2'

WIDTH: 4' to 6'

FRUIT: 1/2" blue cones, maturing to blue-black.

TEXTURE: Fine

GROWTH RATE: Rapid, once established.

HABIT: Spreading and bushy with upright branchlets.

FAMILY: Cupressaceae

LEAF COLOR: Bright bluish-green all year round.

LEAF DESCRIPTION: 1/4" to 1/2" NEEDLE-LIKE leaves, awl-shaped and pointed. White groove on top surface.

FLOWER DESCRIPTION: INCONSPICUOUS

EXPOSURE/CULTURE: Best in full sun, but tolerates light shade. Grows in a wide range of soil types, including sand. Will not tolerate wet conditions. Pruning is not necessary except to confine to edge of border.

PEST PROBLEMS: Bagworms, canker, spider mites.

SELECTED CULTIVARS: 'Blue Pacific'--More compact. (Featured on the next page.) 'Compacta'-Very compact form with light green needles. 'Emerald Sea' USDA introduction. Dense mat of erect stems and emerald green needles. 'Variegata' -Similar to species but having splashes of yellow foliage irregularly dispersed with the blue-green needles.

LANDSCAPE NOTES: Shore Juniper is a worthy plant for covering larger areas of ground. It roots along horizontal stems and forms a dense mat. It performs well in raised planters or pots. It drapes over walls--sometimes several feet, making a gorgeous display of foliage.

Juniperus conferta 'Blue Pacific'

(jew-nip'-er-us kon-fur'-tuh)

Blue Pacific Juniper

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ZONES: 5, 6, 7, 8, 9

HEIGHT: To 1'

WIDTH: 4' to 5'

FRUIT: 1/2" blue cone, maturing to blue-black.

TEXTURE: Fine

GROWTH RATE: Moderate

HABIT: Low and spreading.

FAMILY: Cupressaceae

LEAF COLOR: Blue-green, holding its color better than the species during winter.

LEAF DESCRIPTION: 1/4" NEEDLE-LIKE leaves, awl-shaped and pointed, arranged in BUNDLES of 3.

FLOWER DESCRIPTION: INCONSPICUOUS

EXPOSURE/CULTURE: Best in full sun, but is tolerant of some shade. Grows in a wide range of soil types as long as it is well-drained. Requires less pruning than the species and is more hardy.

PEST PROBLEMS: Bagworms, canker, spider mites.

SELECTED CULTIVARS: None. This is a cultivar of J. conferta, worthy of emphasis. SIMILAR CULTIVARS: 'Silver Mist'--Grows slightly taller (1 1/2') than Blue Pacific, but new growth is silvery-blue and maturing to blue-green. 'Blue Mist' and 'Blue Tosho' are VERY similar to 'Silver Mist'.

LANDSCAPE NOTES: 'Blue Pacific' has become more popular than the species due to better color and greater hardiness. However, it is slower-growing than the species and this might be a primary consideration in selection.

Juniperus horizontalis 'Bar Harbor'

(jew-nip'-er-us hor-e-zon-tay'-lis)

Bar Harbor Juniper

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ZONES: 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9

HEIGHT: 8" to 10"

WIDTH: 5' to 6'

FRUIT: 1/4" glaucous blue cones; RARE.

TEXTURE: Fine

GROWTH RATE: Moderate

HABIT: Low, spreading, procumbent, and very dense.

FAMILY: Cupressaceae

LEAF COLOR: Blue-green in summer, turning purplish in fall and winter.

LEAF DESCRIPTION: 1/6" SCALE-LIKE leaves in OPPOSITE PAIRS on young shoots. 1/4" AWL-LIKE needles in opposite pairs on older growth.

FLOWER DESCRIPTION: INCONSPICUOUS

EXPOSURE/CULTURE: Needs full sunlight. Grows well in many soil types and conditions, except wet or poorly drained soils. Grows well in alkaline soils, and requires a minimal level of fertility. Requires little, if any, pruning.

PEST PROBLEMS: Bagworms, Juniper twig blight, spider mites.

RELATED CULTIVARS: 'Blue Chip'--Slightly lower growing. Blue foliage has purple-tinged tips in winter. 'Blue Mat'--Grows to 6" tall with dark purplish foliage in winter. 'Grey Carpet'--Brighter green foliage in summer, turning more bronze in winter. 'Hughes'--Same size as 'Bar Harbor', but foliage has less purple tint in winter. 'Huntington Blue'--Intense blue-gray foliage that turns silvery-plum in winter.

SPECIAL NOTE: More J. horizontalis cultivars on the following pages.

LANDSCAPE NOTES: Bar Harbor Juniper is an excellent ground cover for sunny locations. It is preferred by many designers over 'Blue Rug' because it has more height and is more noticeable on flat ground.

Juniperus horizontalis 'Douglasii'

(jew-nip'-er-us hor-e-zon-t-ay'-lis)

Waukegan Juniper

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ZONES: 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9

HEIGHT: 12" to 15"

WIDTH: 7' to 8'

FRUIT: NONE, usually.

TEXTURE: Fine

GROWTH RATE: Moderate

HABIT: Trailing and wide-spreading.

FAMILY: Cupressaceae

LEAF COLOR: Steel blue in summer; tinged purple in winter.

LEAF DESCRIPTION: 1/8" to 1/5" SCALES arranged in OPPOSITE PAIRS on new growth. Foliage appears more flattened than 'Plumosa'.

FLOWER DESCRIPTION: INCONSPICUOUS

EXPOSURE/CULTURE: Needs full sunlight. Can be grown in a wide range of soils and conditions. 'Douglasii' is especially useful in sandy soils. Pruning is sometimes necessary to contain or confine to planting borders.

PEST PROBLEMS: Bagworms, Juniper twig blight, spider mites.

SELECTED CULTIVARS: None. This is a cultivar. Has more in common with 'Plumosa' than the others.

RELATED CULTIVARS: 'Sun Spot'-Has habit of growth similar to 'Douglasii,' but has yellow blotches throughout the plant.

SPECIAL NOTE: More J. horizontalis cultivars under the following section.

LANDSCAPE NOTES: Waukegan Juniper is one of the older cultivars. It has proven its usefulness for over a century, and it still outperforms many cultivars in sandy soils. Great for xeriscaping.

Juniperus horizontalis 'Plumosa'

(jew-nip'-er-us hor-e-zon-t-ay'-lis)

Andorra Juniper

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ZONES: 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8

HEIGHT: Around 2'

WIDTH: 7' to 8'

FRUIT: NONE

TEXTURE: Fine

GROWTH RATE: Moderately rapid.

HABIT: Wide-spreading and dense.

FAMILY: Cupressaceae

LEAF COLOR: Grayish-green in summer; plum-purple in winter.

LEAF DESCRIPTION: 1/6" SCALES arranged in OPPOSITE PAIRS on younger shoots; 1/4" awl-like needles on older growth.

FLOWER DESCRIPTION: INCONSPICUOUS

EXPOSURE/CULTURE: Needs full sunlight. Grows well in any soil, except poorly drained soils. Will thrive with little, if any, chemical fertilizer. The plant sometimes needs pruning to control long, horizontal branches.

PEST PROBLEMS: Bagworms, Juniper twig blight, spider mites.

RELATED CULTIVARS: 'Plumosa Compacta'--More compact form, 12" to 18" tall and very dense. 'Youngstown'--Compact habit with bright green foliage that assumes a slight bronze-purple tinge in winter. 'Winter Blue'--Foliage is lighter green and becomes a vivid blue in winter.

SPECIAL NOTE: More J. horizontalis cultivars follow this listing. LANDSCAPE NOTES: Andorra Juniper is a widely used ground cover that is a proven performer under a variety of conditions. The winter color is very noticeable, but may not combine well with red structures in the landscape.

Juniperus horizontalis 'Prince of Wales'

(jew-nip'-er-us hor-e-zon-tay'-lis)

Prince of Wales Juniper

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ZONES: 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8

HEIGHT: 5' to 6'

WIDTH: 3' to 4'

FRUIT: NONE

TEXTURE: Fine

GROWTH RATE: Moderately rapid.

HABIT: Low and spreading with uniform "starburst" pattern.

FAMILY: Cupressaceae

LEAF COLOR: Bright green and glaucous; assumes a slight purple tinge in winter.

LEAF DESCRIPTION: 1/6" SCALES arranged in OPPOSITE PAIRS on new growth, becoming more needle-like with age.

FLOWER DESCRIPTION: INCONSPICUOUS

EXPOSURE/CULTURE: Needs full sunlight. Adapts very well to a wide range of conditions, similar to most Junipers. Responds to moderate fertilization. Requires almost no pruning due to superior radial symmetry.

PEST PROBLEMS: Bagworms, Juniper twig blight, spider mites.

RELATED CULTIVARS: 'Alberta'--Very similar to 'Prince of Wales'.

LANDSCAPE NOTES: Prince of Wales Juniper is one of the hardiest Juniper cultivars. The plant is noted for its consistently radial pattern of growth. A truly outstanding cultivar.

Juniperus horizontalis 'Wiltonii'

(jew-nip'-er-us hor-e-zon-tay'-lis)

Blue Rug Juniper

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ZONES: 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9

HEIGHT: 3" to 6"

WIDTH: 4' to 6'

FRUIT: 1/4" to 1/3" blue cone; NOT COMMON.

TEXTURE: Fine

GROWTH RATE: Moderate

HABIT: Prostrate and dense; branches occasionally root.

FAMILY: Cupressaceae

LEAF COLOR: Silvery-blue foliage that assumes a slight purplish tinge in winter.

LEAF DESCRIPTION: 1/8" to 1/6" SCALE-LIKE leaves arranged in OPPOSITE PAIRS. Scales are closely pressed to the stem, especially on younger shoots.

FLOWER DESCRIPTION: INCONSPICUOUS

EXPOSURE/CULTURE: Must have full sun. The plant is adaptable to a wide range of well-drained soil types. Requires little, if any, pruning. Because of its low habit, weeds may be a problem until a solid mat is achieved.

PEST PROBLEMS: Bagworms, Juniper twig blight, spider mites.

RELATED CULTIVARS: None. This is a cultivar of J. horizontalis.

LANDSCAPE NOTES: Blue Rug certainly lives up to its name, as it gives the appearance of a carpet in the landscape. It is especially useful for erosion control on slopes, banks, and berms. Its popularity is enhanced by good year-round foliage and low-maintenance qualities, once established. Rocks and boulders look nice in Blue Rug plantings.

Juniperus procumbens

jew-nip'-er-us pro-kum'-benz)

Japanese Garden Juniper

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ZONES: 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9

HEIGHT: 1 1/2' to 2'

WIDTH: 8' to 10'

FRUIT: 1/4" cone; NOT COMMON.

TEXTURE: Fine

GROWTH RATE: Moderate

HABIT: Low-spreading with ascending tips.

FAMILY: Cupressaceae

LEAF COLOR: Light, blue-green all year.

LEAF DESCRIPTION: 1/4" to 1/3" NEEDLE-LIKE leaves arranged in IRREGULAR CLUSTERS of 3. Each needle has a visible midrib near the tip. Upper surface of needle is concave, while the lower surface is convex.

FLOWER DESCRIPTION: Tiny, green; NOT NOTICEABLE.

EXPOSURE/CULTURE: Needs full sunlight. The plant will thrive under a wide range of conditions and soil types. Does not thrive well in poorly drained or wet soils. Pruning is minimal.

PEST PROBLEMS: Juniper twig blight, two-spotted mites.

SELECTED CULTIVARS: 'Nana'--Much shorter and more compact. (Featured on the next page.) 'Variegata'--Same growth habit as species. Branches alternate with blue-green and lemon yellow foliage.

LANDSCAPE NOTES: Japanese Garden Juniper grows more densely than most Juniper species. It has diverse possibilities in the landscape, and it responds well to shearing. Often overlooked by designers because of the seemingly endless development of J. horizontalis cultivars.

Juniperus procumbens 'Nana'

(jew-nip'-er-us pro-kum'-benz)

Dwarf Japgarden Juniper

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ZONES: 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9

HEIGHT: 4" to 6"

WIDTH: 8' to 10'

FRUIT: NONE, usually.

TEXTURE: Fine

GROWTH RATE: Slow

HABIT: Spreading dense mat; mounding in center of plant.

FAMILY: Cupressaceae

LEAF COLOR: Bluish-green during all seasons.

LEAF DESCRIPTION: 1/8" to 1/4" AWL-SHAPED NEEDLES that are both shorter and thicker than the species. Upper surface is concave, while the lower surface is convex. Midrib is visible.

FLOWER DESCRIPTION: INCONSPICUOUS

EXPOSURE/CULTURE: Needs full sun. Tolerates most well-drained soils and will grow in slightly acid to alkaline soils. Responds well to pruning.

PEST PROBLEMS: Juniper twig blight, two-spotted mites.

SELECTED CULTIVARS: None. This is a cultivar, worthy of emphasis.

LANDSCAPE NOTES: Dwarf Japgarden Juniper forms a spectacular mass of light blue-green foliage. Little mounds interrupt the flat nature of the plant, giving it a very different and noticeable effect in the landscape. Its beauty is enhanced when used on rolling terrain, especially berms. Absolutely one of the best low-growing Junipers.

Juniperus squamata 'Blue Star'

(jew-nip'-er-us skwa-ma'-tuh)

Blue Star Juniper

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ZONES: 4, 5, 6, 7, 8

HEIGHT: 2 1/2' to 3'

WIDTH: 4' to 5'

FRUIT: 1/4" black cone; NOT COMMON.

TEXTURE: Fine

GROWTH RATE: Somewhat slow.

HABIT: Forms a spreading mound.

FAMILY: Cupressaceae

LEAF COLOR: Rich steel-blue during all seasons.

LEAF DESCRIPTION: 1/8" to 1/6" AWL-SHAPED SCALES, arranged in irregular CLUSTERS of 3. Pointed tips.

FLOWER DESCRIPTION: Greenish, INCONSPICUOUS.

EXPOSURE/CULTURE: Full sun. Adaptable to a wide range of well-drained soils. Can tolerate hot, dry conditions, but cannot take high humidity. Not especially good for the southeast. Requires very little pruning.

PEST PROBLEMS: Juniper twig blight, spider mites.

RELATED CULTIVARS: 'Blue Carpet'--Lower-growing form to 1". Silvery-blue foliage.

LANDSCAPE NOTES: Blue Star Juniper is a specimen plant with striking foliage when grown under favorable conditions. The steel-blue needles at the tips give the impression of twinkling stars. It is a plant to feature and probably inappropriate for covering large expanses, where other Juniper species might prove superior.

Liriope muscari (le-ri'-o-pee mus-care'-e)

Lilyturf, Lirio, Liriope

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ZONES: 6, 7, 8, 9

HEIGHT: 12" to 15"

WIDTH: 12" to 18"

FRUIT: 1/8" black berries in fall.

TEXTURE: Fine to medium.

GROWTH RATE: Moderate

HABIT: Clump-forming, grass-like, and pendulous.

FAMILY: Liliaceae

LEAF COLOR: Dark green; developing brown tinge in winter.

LEAF DESCRIPTION: SIMPLE, 12" to 18" long and 1/2" wide, arranged in

WHORLS arising from the crown. Grass-like with parallel veins.

FLOWER DESCRIPTION: Lilac, lavender, purple, or white blooms, depending on cultivar, clustered on 4" or taller spikes that rise slightly above the foliage. Flowers in August and September.

EXPOSURE/CULTURE: Sun or shade. Adaptable to a wide range of conditions. Mow to ground in late winter to remove older leaves. Produces abundant new foliage in early spring.

PEST PROBLEMS: No serious pests.

SELECTED CULTIVARS: 'Big Blue'--Lavender-blue spikes. One of the most popular cultivars. 'Majestic'--Deep, large, lavender coxcomb spikes. Requires more shade than the species. 'Monroe's White'--White flower spikes. Must be grown in shade. 'Royal Purple'--Deep purple flower spikes. 'Webster Wideleaf'--Leaves to 1" wide. Lavender spikes; not as profuse as other cultivars.

LANDSCAPE NOTES: This is a carefree plant that is quite handsome during flowering and fruiting. Clumps may be divided and planted elsewhere in the garden. It has been used extensively along walks and in shrub borders, but is being used more in massed plantings.

Liriope muscari 'Variegata'

(le-ri'-o-pee mus-care'-e)

Variegated Lilyturf, Variegated Liriope

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ZONES: 6, 7, 8, 9

HEIGHT: 12" to 15"

WIDTH: 12" to 18"

FRUIT: 1/8" black berries in fall.

TEXTURE: Fine to medium.

GROWTH RATE: Slow to moderate.

HABIT: Grass-like and pendulous.

FAMILY: Liliaceae

LEAF COLOR: Green with yellow stripes. Yellow less brilliant in winter.

LEAF DESCRIPTION: SIMPLE, 12" to 18" long and 1/2" wide, arranged in WHORLS, arising from base. Grass-like, having parallel veins.

FLOWER DESCRIPTION: Tall spikes of lavender-purple flowers in August and September.

EXPOSURE/CULTURE: Best in shade; however, it can be grown in sun. It is tolerant of a wide range of conditions. Mow to ground in late winter; new growth will show more vivid color.

PEST PROBLEMS: No serious pests.

SIMILAR CULTIVARS: 'Gold Banded'--Leaves green with gold margins. Large lavender spikes. 'John Burch'--Leaves green with yellow margins. Large lavender spikes. 'Sunproof'--More adaptable to harsh conditions, such as parking lots. The most sun tolerant Lilyturf.

SPECIAL NOTE: This plant is often confused with Ophiopogon jaburan 'Vittata', which has much shorter, almost hidden, flower spikes.

LANDSCAPE NOTES: As with any variegated plant, location of the plant should be carefully planned. Variegated Lilyturf makes a bold statement in the landscape. Be careful not to overuse this one.

Liriope spicata

(le-ri'-o-pee spi-ka'-tuh)

Creeping Lilyturf

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ZONES: 6, 7, 8, 9

HEIGHT: 10" to 12"

WIDTH: Indefinite

FRUIT: 1/8" black berries on spikes in fall.

TEXTURE: Fine

GROWTH RATE: Usually rapid.

HABIT: Non-clumping, pendulous; spreads by underground suckers.

FAMILY: Liliaceae

LEAF COLOR: Medium to dark green; brownish tinge in winter.

LEAF DESCRIPTION: SIMPLE, 14" to 16" long and 1/4" to 1/3" wide, WHORLED at base of clump, grass-like with parallel veins.

FLOWER DESCRIPTION: Tiny, light lilac flowers on 2" to 3" spikes that rise slightly above the foliage. Flowers in August and September. Not as spectacular in flower as Liriope muscari.

EXPOSURE/CULTURE: Does best in part shade, but tolerates sun if not too intense. Grows well in any good soil and is tolerant of either moist or dry soils. Will sucker faster under moist conditions. Can be confined by steel, concrete, brick, or other edging which is at least 12" to 18" deep.

PEST PROBLEMS: No serious pests. Scale has been reported in the southeast.

SELECTED CULTIVARS: 'Silver Dragon'--Silver-white striping on leaves. Whitish-green berries in fall. Outstanding.

LANDSCAPE NOTES: This non-clump-forming species is especially appropriate for covering large areas in the landscape. It is ideal for erosion control on sloping areas. It is a finer textured plant than Liriope muscari, and gives a more uniform appearance since it doesn't form clumps. However, the blooms are not as noticeable. It must be confined as described above. This is an excellent ground cover that effectively controls weeds, once established.

Mahonia repens

(muh-hon'-e-uh re'-pens)

Creeping Mahonia

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ZONES: 5, 6, 7, 8

HEIGHT: 10" to 12"

WIDTH: Indefinite

FRUIT: 1/4" black berries in clusters in fall.

TEXTURE: Coarse

GROWTH RATE: Somewhat slow.

HABIT: Stiff, spreading by underground stolons.

FAMILY: Berberidaceae

LEAF COLOR: Dull blue-green in summer, turning purple in winter.

LEAF DESCRIPTION: COMPOUND leaves with 3 to 7 leaflets. Leaflets are 1 1/2" to 3" long and 1" to 2" long. Leaflets have long ovate shape with holly-like spinose margins. Compound leaves are ALTERNATE in arrangement.

FLOWER DESCRIPTION: Tiny, six-petaled, deep yellow flowers, clustered on 2" to 3" racemes during spring, usually April through June.

EXPOSURE/CULTURE: Needs partial shade to prevent sunburn in winter. Will grow in well-drained soil, preferably moist and organic. Tends to do better in acid soils. Pruning is minimal to remove unsightly foliage in spring.

PEST PROBLEMS: No serious pests.

SELECTED CULTIVARS: None

RELATED SPECIES: M. nervosa--Cascades Mahonia. This is more shrub-like, to a height of 2". More prone to burning than is M. repens.

LANDSCAPE NOTES: Creeping Mahonia is well-suited for naturalizing or as a rock garden plant.

Microbiota decussata (mi-cro-bee-o'-tah de-kun-sa'-tah)

Siberian Carpet Cypress

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ZONES: 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8

HEIGHT: 10" to 14"

WIDTH: 6' to 12'

FRUIT: Small naked seed; NOT COMMON.

TEXTURE: Fine

GROWTH RATE: Slow to moderate.

HABIT: Low and wide-spreading with pendulous branches.

FAMILY: Cupressaceae

LEAF COLOR: Rich green in summer, turning copper to bronze in winter.

LEAF DESCRIPTION: Tiny, AWL-SHAPED needles held tightly on branchlets; branchlets are flattened and lacy, forming sprays that are very ornamental.

FLOWER DESCRIPTION: NOT NOTICEABLE.

EXPOSURE/CULTURE: Full sun or partial shade. Unlike most conifers, it actually performs exceptionally in shade. Survives well in most well-drained soils. Virtually maintenance-free.

PEST PROBLEMS: None

SELECTED CULTIVARS: None

LANDSCAPE NOTES: The plant gives a Juniper-like appearance in the garden. The plant was discovered in Soviet Siberia, and it is one of the hardiest of all landscape plants. The foliage reminds one of the coniferous sprays used in floral arrangements. Although it is low-growing like the dwarf Junipers, its foliage is more like that of Arborvitae.

Ophiopogon japonicus

(o-fee-o-po'-gon juh-pon'-e-kuss)

Mondo Grass, Monkey Grass

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ZONES: 7, 8, 9

HEIGHT: 6" to 10"

WIDTH: Indefinite

FRUIT: 1/8" blue-black berries in fall.

TEXTURE: Fine

GROWTH RATE: Moderate to rapid.

HABIT: Spreading, pendulous, and grass-like. Forms a very dense mat.

FAMILY: Liliaceae

LEAF COLOR: Deep green, taking on a slight brown tint in winter.

LEAF DESCRIPTION: SIMPLE, 10" to 12" long and 1/8" to 1/6" wide; arranged in WHORLS arising from grass-like clumps. Parallel veins. Spreads by stolons.

FLOWER DESCRIPTION: Pale lilac flowers on 1" to 2" spikes in late summer. Spikes are mostly hidden by the foliage.

EXPOSURE/CULTURE: Grows in sun or shade, but best in shade. Does well in most well-drained soils. Tends to prefer organic soil where average moisture is maintained. Provide a 12" deep steel, concrete, or brick edging to prevent suckering into lawn areas. Mow in late winter to eliminate old growth.

PEST PROBLEMS: No serious pests. Rabbits have been known to nibble the foliage.

SELECTED CULTIVARS: 'Nanus'--Dwarf Mondo. Very low-growing with leaves only 3" to 5" long. 'Variegatus'--Foliage has green and white stripes. White flowers.

LANDSCAPE NOTES: Mondo Grass provides excellent erosion control, once established. The plant is much more refined in appearance than Lilyturf. It grows extremely densely and loses the clump-like characteristics when mature. It is often used as a border for planting beds, but is very attractive in mass, especially under trees or in well-defined planting beds.

Pachysandra procumbens

(pac-e-san'-druh pr-o-kum'-benz)

Alleghany Pachysandra

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ZONES: 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9

HEIGHT: 10" to 12"

WIDTH: Indefinite

FRUIT: Small capsule; NOT ORNAMENTAL.

TEXTURE: Medium

GROWTH RATE: Slow to moderate.

HABIT: Low-growing and dense; spreads by rhizomes.

FAMILY: Buxaceae

LEAF COLOR: Grayish-green.

LEAF DESCRIPTION: SIMPLE, 3" long and 2" wide, obovate shape with coarsely toothed margins (dentate) toward the tip and smooth (entire) near the base. ALTERNATE arrangement.

FLOWER DESCRIPTION: White or purplish flowers on 3" spikes that arise from the base of the stem. Flowers in early spring.

EXPOSURE/CULTURE: Grows in full shade or part shade. Adaptable to a wide range of soil types, but prefers organic soil that is well-drained. Needs protection in northernmost zones to remain evergreen. May need containment, since it spreads by underground stems.

PEST PROBLEMS: No serious pests.

SELECTED CULTIVARS: None important.

LANDSCAPE NOTES: Alleghany Pachysandra is an excellent ground cover for shaded areas. It is not as refined as P. terminalis, but combines nice foliage with coarse texture to add variety in the landscape.

Pachysandra terminalis

(pac-e-san'-druh term-uh-n-ay'-lis)

Japanese Spurge

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ZONES: 4, 5, 6, 7, 8

HEIGHT: 6" to 10"

WIDTH: Indefinite

FRUIT: 1/3" white drupe; NOT ORNAMENTAL.

TEXTURE: Fine to medium.

GROWTH RATE: Somewhat slow.

HABIT: Erect stems, low-growing, spreading by rhizomes into a dense mat.

FAMILY: Buxaceae

LEAF COLOR: Olive-green.

LEAF DESCRIPTION: SIMPLE, 1 1/2" to 2 1/2" long and 1" wide, obovate shape with dentate margins from middle to tip, entire at base. ALTERNATE arrangement.

FLOWER DESCRIPTION: Small, creamy white on 1 1/2" to 2" terminal spikes; not especially showy. Flowers in early spring.

EXPOSURE/CULTURE: Needs shade. Prefers well-drained organic soils. Needs a moderate amount of moisture to perform well. Looks sickly yellow when allowed too much sun. Easier to contain than most suckering ground covers.

PEST PROBLEMS: Stem rot, scale, mites, nematodes.

SELECTED CULTIVARS: 'Green Carpet'--Wider leaves that are deeper green in color. Flowers more profusely. 'Variegata'--Sometimes listed as 'Silver Edge'. Green leaf with white margins.

LANDSCAPE NOTES: Japanese Spurge is one of the more attractive ground covers when conditions are optimal. I have seen large areas suffering from too much sun. The fleshy stems are easily crushed, so the plants should not be located adjacent to foot traffic. Outdoor pets, especially dogs, can hinder the plant. This is a gourmet plant for the avid gardener.

Phlox subulata

(flocks sue-bu-lay'-tah)

Moss Pink, Thrift

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ZONES: 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9

HEIGHT: 4" to 6"

WIDTH: Indefinite

FRUIT: 3-valved capsule; NOT ORNAMENTAL.

TEXTURE: Fine

GROWTH RATE: Moderate

HABIT: Low, spreading mounds, rooting along the stems.

FAMILY: Polemoniaceae

LEAF COLOR: Light to yellowish-green.

LEAF DESCRIPTION: Leaves to 1" long and 1/4" wide, AWL-SHAPED and needlelike, pointed, crowded along the stems, OPPOSITE arrangement. Leaves near the tip may be alternate.

FLOWER DESCRIPTION: White, pink, red, blue, or purple, depending on the cultivar. Flowers are 3/4" wide and have 5 petals, sepal lobes, and stamens. Flowers profusely in early spring.

EXPOSURE/CULTURE: Needs full sun. Grows well in any well-drained soil, but does best in sandy soils. Will thrive in hot, dry locations. Not demanding as to fertility, but avoid high rates wherever possible. Weeds may present a problem. Divide (thin) every 3 to 5 years.

PEST PROBLEMS: Red spider mite has been reported.

SELECTED CULTIVARS: 'Alba'--White flowers. 'Alexander's Pink'--Pink flowers. 'Blue Emerald'--Blue flowers. Blooms over a longer period. 'Blue Hills'--Sky blue flowers. 'Millstream Daphne'--Pink flowers with a yellow "eye". 'Red Wings'--Crimson red flowers with dark red centers. 'Scarlet Flame'--Bright scarlet flowers. 'White Delight'--Abundant, pure white flowers.

RELATED VARIETIES: var. atropurpurea--Purple flowers.

LANDSCAPE NOTES: This is an outstanding ground cover for rock gardens, draping over walls, low borders, and massing.

Rosa pimpinellifolia 'Petite Pink'

(rose'uh pim-pi-nell-uh-fo'-lee-uh)

Petite Pink Rose

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ZONES: 5, 6, 7, 8

HEIGHT: 2' to 3'

WIDTH: 3' to 5'

FRUIT: Black hip with hairy achenes.

TEXTURE: Fine, lacy foliage.

GROWTH RATE: Moderate to rapid.

HABIT: Dense and mounded; tips may root.

FAMILY: Rosaceae

LEAF COLOR: Bright green.

LEAF DESCRIPTION: COMPOUND, 5 to 9 leaflets, 1/2" to 3/4" long and 1/3" to 1/2" wide, leaflets ovate with serrated margins, ALTERNATE arrangement. Stems or canes may have spines.

FLOWER DESCRIPTION: Pink, 1/2" to 1", double, fading to white. Flowers in spring for approximately 3 weeks.

EXPOSURE/CULTURE: Full sun or light shade. Adaptable to a wide range of soils from clay to sand. Drought-resistant and salt-resistant. Pruning should be done after flowering. It may be sheared heavily to keep compact.

PEST PROBLEMS: No serious pests.

SELECTED CULTIVARS: None

SPECIAL NOTE: At this writing, authorities disagree as to the species for this plant. Some attribute the plant to R. pimpinellifolia, while others place it in R. wichuraiana or R. spinosissima.

LANDSCAPE NOTES: 'Petite Pink' is an outstanding ground cover for adverse conditions in sunny exposures. It is especially effective on sloping banks, and can be used to stabilize sand dunes in coastal areas. Evergreen to around 15 degrees. This plant should be more widely used in both commercial and residential landscapes. Great for xeriscaping!

Santolina chamaecyparissus

(san-to-li'-nuh cam-e-sip-uh-ris'us)

Lavender Cotton, Silver Santolina

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ZONES: 7, 8, 9

HEIGHT: 1' to 1 1/2'

WIDTH: 3 1/2' to 4'

FRUIT: 1/2" brown pod; NOT ATTRACTIVE.

TEXTURE: Fine.

GROWTH RATE: Moderate

HABIT: Thick, spreading mound.

FAMILY: Compositae

LEAF COLOR: Silver-green to gray-green.

LEAF DESCRIPTION: Leaves 1/2" to 1" long and 1/8" wide, PINNATELY COMPOUND with tiny leaflets, ALTERNATE arrangement. Highly aromatic foliage when crushed.

FLOWER DESCRIPTION: 1/2" button-like flowers, bright yellow and very showy, rising several inches above the foliage. Quite attractive before flowers die. Flowers in June.

EXPOSURE/CULTURE: Plant in full sun. Tolerant of any well-drained soil, but prefers loamy to sandy soils. Will not stand frequent waterings as the plant will rot and become loose in habit. Flower heads should be removed after they fade. Great plant for shearing.

PEST PROBLEMS: Can develop fungus problems where moisture is high or during damp, humid weather.

SELECTED CULTIVARS: 'Nana'--Similar to species, but slower growing. Matures at 10" to 12".

LANDSCAPE NOTES: Lavender Cotton should be considered for its silvery foliage effect, as well as its attractive blooms. It does especially well in rock garden settings and in raised planters. It can be used in foundation plantings so long as it does not receive frequent waterings. Provides great foliage effect against dark backgrounds. The plant pictured above is growing on a berm.

Santolina virens

(san-to-li'-nuh vi'-renz)

Green Santolina

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ZONES: 7, 8, 9

HEIGHT: 1' to 1 1/2'

WIDTH: 3 1/2' to 4'

FRUIT: 1/2" brown pod; NOT ORNAMENTAL.

TEXTURE: Fine

GROWTH RATE: Moderate

HABIT: Thick, spreading mound.

FAMILY: Compositae

LEAF COLOR: Deep emerald green, sometimes turning brownish in winter.

LEAF DESCRIPTION: 1 1/2" to 2" long and 1/16" to 1/8" wide, PINNATELY COMPOUND with tiny leaflets, ALTERNATE arrangement. Highly aromatic foliage 81when crushed.

FLOWER DESCRIPTION: 1/2" button-like flowers, bright yellow, rising several inches above the foliage. Starts flowering in June.

EXPOSURE/CULTURE: Plant in full sun. Tolerant of any well-drained soil, but prefers loamy to sandy soils. Will not stand frequent waterings as the plant will rot and become loose in habit. Flower heads should be removed after flowering when they begin to turn brown. Responds well to shearing.

PEST PROBLEMS: Fungus rot when moisture is high or during long periods of rain or high humidity.

SELECTED CULTIVARS: None

LANDSCAPE NOTES: This plant is similar in many ways to Lavender Cotton, but has larger leaves and a radically different color. It does well in rock gardens, raised planters, and foundation plantings. It is often used as a border plant or a low hedge. Like Lavender Cotton, it cannot be watered with the same frequency as many other plants. This is an old "standby" that Grandma will remember.

Sarcococca hookerana var. humilis

(sar-ko-kok'-uh hook-er-a-nuh var. hu'-mill-iss)

Himalayan Sweet Box

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ZONES: 6, 7, 8, 9

HEIGHT: 12" to 15"

WIDTH: Around 2'

FRUIT: 1/4" black drupe; NOT ORNAMENTAL.

TEXTURE: Medium

GROWTH RATE: Slow

HABIT: Loose, informal mound. Spreads slowly by stolons.

FAMILY: Buxaceae

LEAF COLOR: Dark green and glossy.

LEAF DESCRIPTION: SIMPLE, 1 1/2" to 2" long and 3/4" wide; narrow elliptic shape with entire margins. ALTERNATE arrangement.

FLOWER DESCRIPTION: 1/4" white flowers, fragrant, arising from the axils of leaves. Mostly inconspicuous, except for fragrance.

EXPOSURE/CULTURE: Needs part shade to full shade. Will not prosper in full sun. Prefers organic, moist, well-drained soil. Partial to acid soil. May need light annual pruning to remove dead wood or to shape.

PEST PROBLEMS: None

SELECTED CULTIVARS: None

RELATED SPECIES: S. ruscifolia--Fragrant Sarcococca. Grows 2" to 3" tall and is less cold hardy than Himalayan Sweet Box (zones 6, 7). Noticeable red drupes.

LANDSCAPE NOTES: Himalayan Sweet Box is noted for its fragrance and informal appearance. It deserves a prominent, well-chosen location. Not a good choice for maintenance-free landscapes.

Vinca major

(vin'-kuh may'-jer)

Big Periwinkle

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

ZONES: 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9

HEIGHT: 12" to 18"

WIDTH: Indefinite

FRUIT: None

TEXTURE: Medium

GROWTH RATE: Rapid

HABIT: Upright, spreading stems that root along the ground.

FAMILY: Apocynaceae

LEAF COLOR: Dark green.

LEAF DESCRIPTION: SIMPLE, 2" to 3" long and 1" to 1 1/2" wide, ovate shape with entire margins, OPPOSITE arrangement. Sometimes cordate (heart-shaped).

FLOWER DESCRIPTION: 1 1/2" to 2", light blue, five-petaled. Flowers in early spring. Abundant and attractive.

EXPOSURE/CULTURE: Grows in sun or shade. Will thrive in almost any soil type, but is partial to moist, organic soils. Usually requires moderate pruning to confine to bed areas. Does not like hot, dry conditions.

PEST PROBLEMS: Leaf blight, leaf gall, dieback.

SELECTED CULTIVARS: 'Aureomaculata'--Has one blotch of yellow-green on each leaf. 'Variegata'--Green leaves with creamy markings. Sometimes reverts to solid green.

LANDSCAPE NOTES: Big Periwinkle has larger leaves and flowers than V. minor, and tolerates more sun. It is probably more suitable for covering large areas or for erosion control. This plant grows too fast to use in small areas of the landscape.

Vinca minor

(vin'-kuh my'ner)

Common Periwinkle, Cemetary Vine

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

ZONES: 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9

HEIGHT: 4" to 6"

WIDTH: Indefinite

FRUIT: Follicle; NOT COMMON.

TEXTURE: Fine

GROWTH RATE: Moderate to rapid.

HABIT: Low and spreading; stems rooting along the ground.

FAMILY: Apocynaceae

LEAF COLOR: Glossy dark green.

LEAF DESCRIPTION: SIMPLE, 1" to 1 1/4" long and 1/2" wide, ovate shape with entire margins. OPPOSITE arrangement.

FLOWER DESCRIPTION: 1" lilac-blue, 5-petaled, funnel-shaped with spreading petals. Flowers in early spring. Flower color varies among the cultivars. EXPOSURE/CULTURE: Grows best in shade or part shade. Tolerant of many soil types, but prefers moist organic soils of medium fertility. Does not require as much pruning as V. major.

PEST PROBLEMS: Blight, leaf gall, stem canker, dieback.

SELECTED CULTIVARS: 'Alba'--Similar to above, but with pure white flowers. Atropurpurea'--Deep purple flowers. Very showy. 'Bowles'--Clumping habit and less spreading; lavender-blue flowers. 'Jekyll's White'--White flowers. 'Rosea'--Has single flowers that are an attractive violet-pink color. 'Rosea Plena'--Has double violet-pink flowers. 'Sterling Silver'--Green leaves with cream colored margins.

LANDSCAPE NOTES: Common Periwinkle is suitable for large areas, and is more suitable for smaller areas than Big Periwinkle. Looks good under trees, especially Dogwood and other small trees. Great for naturalizing.

Epimedium x versicolor 'Sulphureum'

(ep-e-meed'-e-um x ver'-see-color)

Yellow Barrenwort

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

ZONES: 4, 5, 6, 7, 8

HEIGHT: 10" to 12"

WIDTH: Indefinite

FRUIT: NONE

TEXTURE: Somewhat coarse.

GROWTH RATE: Moderate to slow.

HABIT: Dense and upright.

FAMILY: Berberidaceae

LEAF COLOR: Green in summer; brown and ragged during winter.

LEAF DESCRIPTION: COMPOUND leaf, biternate with 3 divisions, each division having 3 leaflets. Leaflets 2" to 3" long, cordate in shape with serrated margins, WHORLED arrangement from the base.

FLOWER DESCRIPTION: Bright yellow, 3/4" to 1" long, 4 spur-like petals surrounded by 4 pale yellow inner sepals that serve as petals. Flowers in spring on new growth.

EXPOSURE/CULTURE: Needs part shade to deep shade. Soil should be well-drained, moist, and highly organic. Will not tolerate dry soils. Annual fertilization is recommended when grown under trees. May require some maintenance to confine. Prune in late winter to remove dead growth.

PEST PROBLEMS: None, except occasional attack by chewing insects.

SELECTED CULTIVARS: None. This is a cultivar of E. x versicolor, which has red-mottled leaves and flowers.

RELATED SPECIES: E. pinnatum--Has green foliage, 1/2" to 1/4" flowers are red-brown with bright yellow inner sepals. A parent of E. x versicolor. E. grandiflorum Foliage is red in spring and bronze in fall. Flowers are violet with red inner sepals, 1" to 2" long. A parent of E. x versicolor.

LANDSCAPE NOTES: Barrenwort is an outstanding ground cover for naturalizing under woodland trees and for rock gardens. HERBACEOUS PERENNIAL.

Epimedium x youngianum

(ep-e-meed'-e-um x yun-gee-ay-num)

Young's Barrenwort

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

ZONES: 5, 6, 7, 8

HEIGHT: 10" to 12"

WIDTH: Indefinite

FRUIT: NONE

TEXTURE: Somewhat coarse.

GROWTH RATE: Moderate to slow.

HABIT: Dense and upright; spreading by rhizomes.

FAMILY: Berberidaceae

LEAF COLOR: Green in season, bronze in spring, and reddish in fall.

LEAF DESCRIPTION: COMPOUND leaf, biternate with 3 divisions, each having 3 leaflets. Leaflets 2" to 3" long, cordate shape with serrated margins, WHORLED arrangement arising from the base of the plant.

FLOWER DESCRIPTION: White or rose, 1/2" to 3/4" long; pendulous. Flowers in spring on new growth.

EXPOSURE/CULTURE: Needs light shade to deep shade. Soil should be well-drained, moist, and highly organic. Will not tolerate dry soils. Fertilization is important when grown under trees. Plants may require some maintenance to confine. Prune in late winter to remove ragged growth.

PEST PROBLEMS: No serious pests. Sometimes bothered by chewing insects.

SELECTED CULTIVARS: 'Niveum'--Flowers pure white. 'Roseum'--Flowers rose-lilac in color.

LANDSCAPE NOTES: Barrenwort is an ideal ground cover for use under trees in shaded gardens, and it makes a nice plant for use in rock gardens and hillside gardens. HERBACEOUS PERENNIAL.

Hemerocallis hybrida

him-er-o-cal'-iss hi-brid-uh)

Hybrid Daylily

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

ZONES: 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9

HEIGHT: 1' to 4' depending on cultivar.

WIDTH: 3' to 4' or more.

FRUIT: Dehiscent capsule; NOT ORNAMENTAL.

TEXTURE: Medium to coarse.

GROWTH RATE: Somewhat rapid.

HABIT: Clump-forming, arched leaves; spreading by rhizomes. Very vigorous.

FAMILY: Ranunculaceae

LEAF COLOR: Varies from green to gray-green to blue-green depending on the cultivar.

LEAF DESCRIPTION: SIMPLE, 1' to 4' long and 1/2" to 1 1/2" wide (depending on cultivar), long linear shape with entire margins, WHORLED, two-ranked, arising from base.

FLOWER DESCRIPTION: (Depends on cultivar.) 3" to 6" wide, 6-parted perianth giving appearance of 6 petals, colors ranging through orange, pink, purple, red, white, yellow, to bicolored. Flowers in summer.

EXPOSURE/CULTURE: Needs full sun to light shade. Too much shade will reduce flowering. Tolerant of a wide range of soils, but prefers well-drained, organic soil. Minimal fertilization needed. Remove dead flowers after flowering. Rake dead foliage in early spring. May be divided and transplanted.

PEST PROBLEMS: Thrips, slugs and snails, spider mites, nematodes, leaf blight.

SELECTED CULTIVARS: 'Aztec Gold'--Low growing and rapid spreading with yellow-gold flowers. 'Baggette'--Variegated (bi-tone) blooms of rose-lavender and yellow. 'Eenie Weenie'--Light yellow flowers on 12" plants. 'Hyperion'--One of the best. Heavy blooming with citron-yellow flowers. Grows 3 1/2" tall. 'Ming Toy'--Orangered with golden throat. Blooms early. Grows 1 1/2" tall. 'Royal Red'--Red flowers with golden yellow throat. Grows 2" tall. 'Stella De Ora'--Yellow flowers. 1" to 2" tall plants. Blooms May through September. Very popular.

LANDSCAPE NOTES: Daylilies make excellent plants for massing, especially in borders. There are literally thousands of varieties. Recent development is with tetraploids for even greater variety. Dwarf cultivars are in high demand.

Hosta lancifolia

(hos'-tuh lan-see-fo'-le-uh)

Narrow-leaved Plantain Lily

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

ZONES: 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9

HEIGHT: 1 1/2' to 2'

WIDTH: 2' to 2 1/2'

FRUIT: 3-valved capsule; NOT COMMON.

TEXTURE: Coarse

GROWTH RATE: Moderate to slow.

HABIT: Rounded clump; spreads by rhizomes.

FAMILY: Liliaceae

LEAF COLOR: Dark green (depending on cultivar), turning brown in winter.

LEAF DESCRIPTION: SIMPLE, 6" to 8" long and 3" to 3 1/2" wide, ovate-lanceolate in shape with entire margins, slightly wavy, parallel leaf veins, WHORLED arrangement, arising from basal clumps.

FLOWER DESCRIPTION: Violet with faint white streaks, 1 1/2" long, bell-shaped, appearing in loose racemes of 5 to 30 flowers. Flower stalks 1 1/2" to 3". Flowers in summer.

EXPOSURE/CULTURE: Light shade to dense shade. Prefers well-drained, organic soil with adequate moisture. Annual fertilization is recommended, as well as supplemental water during drought. Remove flower stalks to base after flowers die.

PEST PROBLEMS: Slugs, snails, and chewing insects sometimes attack foliage.

SELECTED CULTIVARS: 'Albo-marginata'--Has white leaf margins. 'Tardiflora' Flowers in fall instead of summer.

RELATED SPECIES: H. sieboldii--Seersucker Plantain Lily. Similar to 'Albomarginata', except that the variegated bands are smaller. Fruit/seed production is heavier.

LANDSCAPE NOTES: All Hostas make excellent ground covers for shady locations. Unlike many plants, flower production is generous in shade. Hostas can be used as single specimens, in massed plantings, in raised planters, or as border plants. The plant is valued for its bold foliage effect and its dense, symmetrical habit. HERBACEOUS PERENNIAL.

Hosta plantaginea

(hos'-tuh plan-tuh-juh-nee'-uh)

Fragrant Plantain Lily

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

ZONES: 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9

HEIGHT: 1 1/2' to 2'

WIDTH: 2' to 3'

FRUIT: 3-valved capsule; NOT COMMON.

TEXTURE: Coarse

GROWTH RATE: Moderate

HABIT: Rounded clump; spreading by rhizomes.

FAMILY: Liliaceae

LEAF COLOR: Yellowish-green to dark green and glossy.

LEAF DESCRIPTION: SIMPLE, 8" to 10" long and 5" to 6" wide, ovate shape with cordate base and entire margins, parallel veins, WHORLED arrangement, arising from basal clump.

FLOWER DESCRIPTION: White, 5" long and 2" wide, funnel-shaped, rising well above foliage on multi-flowered racemes. Very fragrant. Flowers in late summer.

EXPOSURE/CULTURE: Light shade to dense shade. Does best in well-drained, organic soil. Should be fertilized annually, and supplemental water should be supplied during dry periods. Remove flower stalks to base after flowers die.

PEST PROBLEMS: Slugs, snails, and chewing insects sometimes attack foliage.

SELECTED CULTIVARS: 'Aphrodite'--Very similar to the species, having double, white flowers. Very impressive plant.

RELATED SPECIES: H. sieboldiana--Has thick, gray-green leaves and 1 1/2" pale lilac flowers. Cordate leaves.

LANDSCAPE NOTES: Fragrant Plantain Lily is the only Plantain Lily with fragrant flowers. The plant is very coarse and quite spectacular in flower. Can be used in mass or as a border in front of taller plantings. It is large enough for specimen status. A good plant for naturalizing.

Hosta sieboldiana

(hos'-tuh see-bol-de-ay'-nuh)

Siebold Plantain Lily

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

ZONES: 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9

HEIGHT: 2' to 3'

WIDTH: 2 1/2' to 3 1/2'

FRUIT: 3-valved capsule; NOT ORNAMENTAL.

TEXTURE: Coarse

GROWTH RATE: Slow to moderate.

HABIT: Rounded clump; spreading by rhizomes.

LEAF COLOR: Bluish-green (depending on cultivar); turning brownish in winter.

LEAF DESCRIPTION: SIMPLE, 10" to 15" long and 8" to 12" wide, broad cordate shape with entire margins, parallel veins deeply cut, giving ribbed or puckered effect, WHORLED, arising from basal clumps.

FLOWER DESCRIPTION: Pale lilac, 1 1/2" long, funnel-shaped in racemes of 6-10 flowers, often hidden by foliage. Flowers in summer.

EXPOSURE/CULTURE: Light shade to dense shade. Prefers well-drained, organic soil. Needs additional water during droughts. Any fertilizer application should be light.

PEST PROBLEMS: Occasional attack by slugs, snails, or chewing insects.

SELECTED CULTIVARS: 'Elegans'--Blue-green leaves with lavender cast to flowers. 'Frances Williams'--Blue-green leaves with gold margins. PICTURED. 'Great Expectations'--Cream colored leaves with blue-green margins.

LANDSCAPE NOTES: Siebold Plantain Lily is a very noticeable specimen plant in the garden. Many of the best Hostas appear in this group. 'Frances Williams' is the most highly prized.
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Title Annotation:SECTION 2 Landscape Plants
Author:Bridwell, Ferrell M.
Publication:Landscape Plants, Their Identification, Culture, and Use, 2nd ed.
Article Type:List
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jan 1, 2003
Words:9869
Previous Article:Chapter 3 functional and aesthetic uses of plants.
Next Article:Chapter 5 vines.
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