Connoisseur Plants

Connoisseur Plants are rare, new plants, or hard-to-find old favorites. These wonderful plants are being offered to our donors.

Please note that several plants are available in very limited quantities. For some plants, we don't know the full range of hardiness, only how it has behaved at the JC Raulston Arboretum. Sometimes, we cannot find any information in our references on a particular taxon. This does not mean that the plant doesn't exist, perhaps just that we are staying one step ahead of published information. One of the purposes of the Arboretum is to test new plants for suitability to the southeastern United States. By growing some of these "new-to-us" plants in your own garden, you can be a part of this evaluation process. Feedback from you is invaluable!

Happy choosing, and thank you for your continued and invaluable support of the JC Raulston Arboretum.

Note: The distribution year listed below is the year the plants were awarded. Members request them early the following year. Ands they're picked up or delivered shortly thereafter.

2019–2020 – Closes March 8 – Check Your E-mail for a Message from Kathryn Wall

2002 Plant Selection

Abelia parvifolia
Schumann abelia

Schumann abelia is a poorly known evergreen shrub, producing masses of pink flowers throughout much of the growing season. Known best as the abelia that was used in the hybridization of Abelia 'Edward Goucher', Abelia parvifolia (formerly known as A. schumannii) exhibits the upright growth habit common to 'Edward Goucher'. Our plant was given to us by Michael Dirr, Ph.D., from his recent Abelia breeding program. (2' tall plants)

  • to 4'–6'
  • plant in sun to part shade
  • hardy
Container size:
Abelia parvifolia

Aesculus parviflora
bottlebrush buckeye

Bottlebrush buckeye is a deciduous shrub with a spreading growth habit and upright panicles of white flowers in summer. Although it is widely promoted, it is still not the most easily found shrub. For many years, our specimen has prospered in the Southall Garden under the shade of the old white oak. Specimens seen at other arboreta in the southeastern United States grow happily in full sun. Resistant to the leaf scorch that plagues most Aesculus, bottlebrush buckeye, since it does not lose its leaves to scorch, rewards you in the autumn with yellow fall color.

  • deciduous flowering shrub to 8'–15'
  • plant in sun to part shade
  • hardy
  • white flowers in spring
Container size:
Aesculus parviflora

Agave asperrima
rough agave

A medium-sized agave, reaching up to 3' tall and wide, valued for its architectural form and bluish-green to gray-green leaves, viciously armed on the margins and tips. It is known as the "rough" agave due to the rough (or scabrous) texture of the undersides of the leaves. This species is fully hardy through Zone 7b, possibly colder. The key toward successfully growing hardy agaves is to provide perfect drainage and protection from winter moisture. (4" plants)

  • perennial woody-lily to 48"
  • plant in sun, well-drained soil
  • hardy
  • deer resistant
Container size:
Agave asperrima

Agave macroculmis
bigtooth agave

This hardy, large-sized agave was grown by us from seed sent by Peckerwood Garden Foundation (Hempstead, Texas). Rarely seen offered in cultivation, bigtooth agave forms a striking specimen in any landscape. Observations here in Zone 7b have proven that this species is fully hardy here, provided that essential winter drainage concerns are met. Enjoy this fast-growing agave with bluish-green to gray-green foliage.

  • hardy
Container size:
Agave macroculmis

Agave montana
mountain agave

A newly described species of Agave collected from mountains in northeastern Mexico. Previously unknown to science. Since this plant occurs in montane environments (hence, "montana"), it should be quite cold hardy, likely through Zone 7b. Leaves are dark-green and smooth, growing to 3' by 5' in partial sun. Eventually, plants will produce flower spikes that rise to 15' or more.

Container size:
Agave montana

Allium stellatum
prairie onion

An onion native to the Great Plains of the Midwest, this species has surprisingly been absent from cultivation. Our seed, obtained in 1998, originated from Missouri, and we have been impressed with the garden performance of the plants ever since. In summer, dense heads of lavender-pink flowers on 12"–18" very sturdy scapes appear, standing atop the sea-green leaves. Bulbs multiply quickly, with clumps of 20+ bulbs/bulblets being produced only after two seasons in the ground. Hardy through Zone 5. (6" plants)

  • to 12"–18"
  • plant in sun to part shade
  • hardy
Container size:
Allium stellatum

Arundo donax 'Golden Chain'
golden giant reed

Golden giant reed is a fast-growing ornamental grass. Unlike striped giant reed, 'Golden Chain' doesn't fade in July but keeps its gold variegation.

  • grass to 10'
  • plant in sun to part shade
  • hardy
Container size:
Arundo donax 'Golden Chain'

Asclepias incarnata 'Ice Ballet'
swamp milkweed

Large, 2'–4' tall perennial with clusters of white flowers in summer. Highly tolerant of poorly drained soils. Seed pods consist of spiny, translucent bladder-like fruits. As with other Asclepias, 'Ice Ballet' is great as a food-source for the larvae of monarch butterflies. Hardy throughout the eastern United States. (2' plants)

  • hardy
Container size:

Aucuba japonica 'Crotonifolia'
variegated Japanese aucuba

Broadleaf evergreen shrub perfectly suited for brightening up shady areas. Variegation on the large leaves makes for an attractive shrub. The Hillier Manual of Trees and Shrubs describes this cultivar as the best golden variegated aucuba. Grows to about 3'–4' tall. (8"–10" plants)

  • evergreen shrub to 6'–8'
  • plant in shade
  • hardy
  • burgundy flowers in spring
Container size:
Aucuba japonica 'Crotonifolia'

Aucuba japonica 'Leucocarpa'
white-fruit Japanese aucuba

Low-growing Japanese aucuba, leaves sparingly spotted. Although this clone is often confused with 'Variegata' (the commonest of the variegated Japanese aucuba cultivars), it can easily be distinguished by its fruits that are yellowish-white (rather than the normal red) in color. This is also forms a smaller plant (maturing at 3'–4' tall) than 'Variegata' (which matures at 5'–6' tall). (8"–10" plants)

  • hardy
Container size:
Aucuba japonica 'Leucocarpa'

Berberis ×ottawensis 'Concorde'
dwarf Ottawa barberry

A very nice dwarf Japanese barberry, 'Concorde' forms a tight mound of intense black-purple foliage throughout the growing season. Per a given amount of time, 'Concorde' will stay much smaller than the more commonly seen 'Atropurpurea Nana' (syn. 'Crimson Pygmy'). 'Concorde' is reputed to mature at 2'–3' tall. Foliage color holds in heat and sun. (10"–12" plants)

  • hardy
Container size:
Berberis ×ottawensis 'Concorde'

Betula tianschanica
Tian Shan birch

Our seed of this birch was obtained from the North American Rock Garden Society. Tian Shan birch is a native of the mountains of the same name, in central to eastern Asia. Surprisingly, our plants growing in the nursery have withstood our summer heat and humidity, although the trees seem to be slow-growing. We expect to see better performance in the North Carolina mountains than here in Raleigh. (2' plants)

  • hardy
Container size:
Betula tianschanica

Camellia japonica
Japanese camellia

In 1985, a plant expeditionary team was sent to South Korea to collect seeds of several plants, including a population of Camellia japonica that was believed to represent more cold-hardy germplasm. Our plants have since been growing at the JCRA and appear to be tougher than the average camellia. We are offering these seedlings derived from seeds collected off of our plants. Expect reddish-pink, somewhat small, bell-shaped flowers (an adaptation to bird-based pollination)—not the typical flat-faced flowers of modern Japanese camellias, derived from centuries of hybridization. (8"–12" plants)

  • hardy
Container size:
Camellia japonica

Camellia ×williamsii 'Golden Spangles'
variegated Williamsii camellia

Japanese camellias are deservedly popular in the southern United States due to their large, brightly colored, often double, winter flowers. In 'Golden Spangles', variegated foliage also comes included in the package. A real eye-catcher with its central splotch of bright yellow on the dark green leaves, expect dark pink flowers, partly double, in winter. Part shade to part sun.

  • to 8'
  • plant in sun to shade
  • hardy
Container size:

Cephalotaxus fortunei
Chinese plum-yew

Chinese plum-yew is a shade tolerant large evergreen shrub to small tree (ultimately reaching 15'–20' in height). Our plants are derived from cuttings taken from the research plots at University of Georgia assembled by Donglin Zhang, Ph.D., for his doctorate work while enrolled there. Chinese plum-yew differs strongly from the commonly grown Japanese plum-yew (Cephalotaxus harringtonia) by its much longer leaves, reaching up to 2"–3.5" long. Leaves are soft to the touch. All Cephalotaxus are considered deer-resistant plants.

  • evergren shrub or small tree to 8'–20'
  • plant in sun to shade
  • hardy
Container size:
Cephalotaxus fortunei

Cephalotaxus fortunei 'Prostrate Spreader'
spreading Chinese plum-yew

This is the rarely seen spreading form of Chinese plum-yew. Although Cephalotaxus harringtonia 'Prostrata' is easily found in commerce, C. fortunei 'Prostrate Spreader' is uncommon and differs in its much longer leaves, reach 3" long or more. A great ground cover plant for shade due to its low, spreading form and deep green leaves. (10"–12" plants)

  • hardy
Container size:
Cephalotaxus fortunei 'Prostrate Spreader'

Cephalotaxus harringtonia 'Fritz Huber'
dwarf Japanese plum-yew

This cultivar of Japanese plum-yew, selected for its compact, shrubby growth habit, has grown for years at the JCRA in a secluded, shady location. The branches are layered, resembling 'Prostrata' somewhat, although the leaves are shorter than 'Prostrata'. This clone has been reported as being sun tolerant as far south as the Houston, Texas area. Sun or shade, Zone 6. (8"–10" plants)

  • hardy
Container size:
Cephalotaxus harringtonia 'Fritz Huber'

Cephalotaxus harringtonia 'Pedunculata'
Japanese plum-yew

This clone of Japanese plum-yew was derived from Donglin Zhang's Ph.D. work at the University of Georgia. 'Pedunculata' originated as a female plant from the Arnold Arboretum. Since most cultivars of Cephalotaxus harringtonia are male, 'Pedunculata' will likely produce seeds in the presence of other cultivars. Grows in sun or shade. Deer will not bother this plant much. Zone 6. (8"–10" plants)

  • hardy
Container size:
Cephalotaxus harringtonia 'Pedunculata'

Cephalotaxus harringtonia 'Prostrata'
spreading Japanese plum-yew

This prostrate growing form of Cephalotaxus harringtonia is valued for its layered branches and dwarf stature. As an evergreen shrub, few others can compete with this in shady sites. As with other Cephalotaxus, plants are slow to establish, usually requiring two growing seasons, but they will reward you as long-lived, tough plants suited to a wide range of landscape conditions. Zone 6. (8"–10" plants)

  • hardy
Container size:
Cephalotaxus harringtonia 'Prostrata'

Chamaecyparis obtusa 'Ivan's Column'
upright Hinoki falsecypress

This cultivar originated as a branch sport off of Chamaecyparis obtusa 'Blue Feather'. Like the plant from which it originated, 'Ivan's Column' has wonderful blue, soft foliage—maintaining this trait even as a mature plant (unlike other falsecypresses). 'Ivan's Column' grows slowly, forming a narrow upright column with time. It is rarely offered by southeastern U.S. nurseries. Hardy to Zone 5. (6"–10" plants).

Container size:

Chamaecyparis pisifera 'Gekko'
Sawara falsecypress

'Gekko', as an unfamiliar cultivar of Sawara falsecypress, grew for many years here at the JCRA, largely unnoticed as it prospered underneath several of the dwarf loblolly pines (Pinus taeda 'Nana'). Deciding that we needed to remove it to make way for other newer conifers, we propagated cuttings from our tree, prior to its removal, and offer it here for you. Similar in appearance to the familiar 'Boulevard' falsecypress for much of the growing season, 'Gekko' also boasts white-tipped (frosted) new growth in spring, showy from late winter through the spring and early summer months. Our plant, after about 15 years, measured 18' tall by 10' wide. Hardy to Zone 4.

  • conifer to 18' tall × 10' wide
  • plant in sun to part shade
  • hardy
Container size:
Chamaecyparis pisifera 'Gekko'

Chamaecyparis pisifera 'Plumosa Cristata'
plume Sawara falsecypress

Nearly adjacent to our specimen of Chamaecyparis pisifera 'Gekko' stood an equally tall tree of 'Plumosa Cristata' in bed E46. Deciding that it, too, needed to be removed to make way for other conifers, we likewise propagated cuttings to make them available to you. 'Plumosa Cristata' Sawara falsecypress forms a tightly pyramidal, upright tree. Foliage is gray-blue-green and soft to the touch (as with all of the "Plumosa" group falsecypresses). At 15 years, our plant measured 20' tall by 8'–10' wide. Hardy to Zone 4.

Container size:

Clethra alnifolia 'Nova Scotia'
summersweet clethra

Suckering, deciduous shrub, maturing at 6' to 10' in height. Likes moist soils in sun or partial shade. Wonderfully fragrant white flowers in summer, followed by bright golden yellow fall color. 'Nova Scotia' represents a cultivar derived from the northernmost portion of this species' native range. Hardy to Zone 5. (3' plants) Pickups only please.

  • hardy
Container size:

Cornus elliptica 'First Choice'
evergreen flowering dogwood

Our selection, from a fine tree growing in shaded conditions behind the Japanese Garden, of evergreen flowering dogwood. This dogwood, originally introduced as Cornus kousa var. angustata, has prospered now for over 11 years at the JCRA. Attractive, silver-backed, evergreen leaves; and highly star-shaped, creamy-white inflorescences in late spring / early summer, followed by pinkish-red, almost strawberry-like fruits in autumn. Tolerant of both shade and sun. A fine evergreen tree for the southern United States. Hardy through Zone 7a, possibly colder. (12"–18" tall plants)

  • hardy
Container size:
Cornus elliptica 'First Choice'

Cotoneaster pannosus
Chinese cotoneaster

Semi-evergreen shrub with arching branches and glossy, sea-green to dark green leaves covered with whitish hairs beneath. Leaves that persist are red-tinged during the winter months. White flowers in spring, followed by red berries in autumn. This plant was collected by Cliff Parks, Ph.D., (Chapel Hill, North Carolina) on one of his plant expeditions to China. Zone 7. (2'–3' plants)

  • to 6'–8'
  • plant in sun to partial shade
Container size:
Cotoneaster pannosus

Cunninghamia unicanaliculata
China-fir

China-fir (Cunninghamia lanceolata) has long been grown in the southern United States as an evergreen tree. In 1996, we were sent this new species by British plantsman Roy Lancaster. Although no longer recognized botanically, Cunninghamia unicanaliculata is distinct from other species mainly for its shrubby form and softer (to the touch) needles than other Cunninghamias. One of our older plants grew to 4' tall by 4' wide, and never appeared to be ready to assert a central leader. Try this unusual conifer out. At the least, enjoy it for its blue-tinged foliage, which blushes purple in the winter months.

  • hardy
Container size:
Cunninghamia unicanaliculata

Deutzia scabra 'White Splash'
variegated rough deutzia

This deciduous, medium-sized shrub (to 6' to 8' tall) has white spots variably splashed on the leaves. Although it will revert occasionally to green shoots, these are readily removed with a once-a-year pruning. White flowers on short racemes are produced abundantly in the spring. A multi-season shrub. (2' plants) Pickups only please.

  • hardy
Container size:
Deutzia scabra 'White Splash'

Digitalis lutea subsp. australis
southern straw foxglove

A herbaceous perennial foxglove with glossy, dark green leaves, turning purple, in a dense, basal rosette. Flowers are creamy white on a 2' stalk. Plants withstood our heat this summer in the container nursery and have consistently exhibited superior unblemished foliage. Plants were received as Digitalis micrantha, a synonymous name. (8" plants)

  • to 2'
  • plant in sun to part shade
  • hardy
Container size:
Digitalis lutea subsp. australis

Erica ×darleyensis 'Mediterranean Pink'
Darley heath

Although conventional wisdom holds that heaths cannot be grown in the Southern states, Michael Dirr, Ph.D., describes the Erica ×darleyensis cultivars as a "credible starting point" for finding heaths that are adapted to our climate. Among the literally hundreds of cultivars of heaths in existence, only a few can handle our heat and humidity. 'Mediterranean Pink' is a bright pink flowered winter-blooming heath, which for us flowers in profusion from March through early April. Plants are densely branched. Grows only 24" tall, forming a dense mound. Zone 6. Needs well drained soil.

  • hardy
Container size:
Erica ×darleyensis 'Mediterranean Pink'

Euonymus fortunei 'Wolong Ghost'
silvervein wintercreeper euonymus

This great new ground cover, introduced by Hersonwood Nursery (Kingston, Washington) has proven itself to be a winner for part-sun to part-shade garden spots. It is distinct among the wintercreeper euonymus in that its leaves display silver veins, while the rest of the leaf is a lustrous dark green color. Not as vigorous a grower as other euonymus, and will not take over your garden. Our plants have not shown any signs of euonymus scale at the JCRA.

  • evergreen ground cover to 4" by 48"
  • plant in sun to part shade
  • hardy
Container size:
Euonymus fortunei 'Wolong Ghost'

Eupatorium purpureum 'Big Umbrella'
sweet-scented Joe-Pye weed

This native herbaceous perennial is a popular garden plant for moist areas. It has large purple flower heads that attract butterflies. 'Big Umbrella' is a cultivar sold years ago to us by Holbrook Farms Nursery (now defunct) out of Fletcher, North Carolina. 'Big Umbrella' grows to about 5' to 6' in height and will spread. Our mature clump is now 3'–4' across. (3' plants)

  • hardy
Container size:
Eupatorium purpureum 'Big Umbrella'

Fagus sylvatica 'Atropunicea'
purple European beech

This is the classic "purple" beech seen mostly in the North Carolina mountains or in landscapes from the mid-Atlantic to northeastern United States. By all accounts, European beech, valued for its many and diverse cultivars, are difficult to grow in the southeastern United States. In 1998, former NC State University graduate student Keith Cote arranged to have 'Atropunicea' grafted onto our native Fagus grandifolia. This was reputed to be a graft not likely to take. Based on an idea by J. C. Raulston, it was believed that the rootstock of F. grandifolia would allow for better growth and survival of the more desirable F. sylvatica 'Atropunicea' scions. After four years, we have yet to see any signs of graft incompatibility. As such, we are making some of these trees available to you for longer-term evaluation. All beeches are slow growing trees. (4'–5' trees) Pickups only please.

Container size:
Fagus sylvatica 'Atropunicea'

Fagus sylvatica f. laciniata
cutleaf European beech

This is another offering of a European beech cultivar grafted onto Fagus grandifolia (American beech) rootstock (from NC State University student Keith Cote). 'Laciniata' is valued for its attractive, pinnately divided leaves. As such, it is sometimes known as the "fernleaf beech." Although specimens of 'Laciniata' can sometimes be seen in the southeastern United States, we expect that these grafted plants will perform more reliably over the long term in the heat of the South. (4'–5' trees) Pickup only please.

  • hardy
Container size:
Fagus sylvatica f. laciniata

Ficus vaccinioides
Formosan creeping fig

This evergreen ground cover came to us via our friends at Riverbanks Botanical Garden (Columbia, South Carolina), who received their plant from Yucca Do Nursery (Hempstead, Texas). As much as we are impressed by this plant's travels, we are even more impressed with its performance in our Lath House over the last 5 years. Basically, this forms a delicate looking ground cover perfectly suited for shade. Carl Schoenfeld of Yucca Do Nursery reports that plants will winterburn badly if grown in sun; whereas our plants in the Lath House have not shown any signs of winter damage during the last 5 winters. From all observations thus far, Ficus vaccinoides appears to be hardier than the commonly grown Ficus pumila (creeping fig). (6"–8" plants)

  • to 2" by 48"
  • plant in shade
Container size:
Ficus vaccinioides

Hedera colchica (adult form)
Colchis ivy

Colchis or Persian ivy (Hedera colchica) is a less commonly grown, but worthy, ivy in the eastern United States. In its "juvenile" form, it grows as a vining evergreen ground cover, much like Hedera helix, except for its larger, darker-green leaves. At the entrance to our White Garden grew an adult ivy that was long labeled as Hedera helix (adult form). Thanks, however, to our friends at The Ivy Farm (Locustville, Virginia), we now know that this plant is correctly an adult (or shrubby) version of Colchis ivy. As one of the toughest plants around, adult ivies are perfectly suited as evergreen shrubs happy both in sunny and shady conditions. Our plant was readily propagated by semi-hardwood cuttings. Look for the interesting black fruits in autumn. Hardy to Zone 6.

  • hardy
Container size:
Hedera colchica (adult form)

Heteropterys glabra
redwing

This semi-hardy subshrub to vining shrub offers an attractive combination of bright yellow flowers and red tri-winged fruits (the latter appearing sort of like the fruits of maples). Receiving our plant years ago from Riverbanks Botanical Garden (Columbia, South Carolina), we have been highly impressed with its flowers and fruit display throughout the summer and early fall months. Although plants can be frozen back to the ground in cold (Zone 7a-wise) winters, plants will resprout from the roots. An exceptional subtropical / tender perennial plant. Hardy to Zone 8a/7b. (1'–2' plants)

  • vine or subshrub to 5' (15' with support)
  • plant in sun to part shade
  • hardy
  • yellow flowers in summer
Container size:
Heteropterys glabra

Hydrangea lobbii
evergreen hydrangea

This evergreen (yes, evergreen) hydrangea doesn't even look like a hydrangea with its elongated fleshy leaves. It forms an upright shrub, our plant growing happily in the shade of our Lath House, and flowers in winter with lace-cap flowers bearing exceptionally large, white outer florets. Although it appears that this plant is not fully hardy in Zone 7b (our plant has burnt to the ground for the past two winters), this should be an exceptional plant in warmer zones.

  • semi-hardy hardy
Container size:
Hydrangea lobbii

Ilex cassine var. angustifolia
narrow-leaf dahoon holly

Evergreen native tree, reaching 20' high (or more in older specimens) by 8'–15' wide. Produces abundant tiny, red fruits (about 1/4"–1/2" in diameter). The leaves are narrow lanceolate, to 4" long. A very attractive holly, rarely used in landscapes but highly worthy. (12"–18" plants)

  • to 15'–20'
  • plant in sun to part shade
  • hardy
Container size:
Ilex cassine var. angustifolia

Ilex cornuta 'D'Or'
yellow-berry Chinese holly

Although surprisingly poorly known, this cultivar arose as a sport of the indestructible Burford holly (Ilex cornuta 'Burfordii') with yellow berries instead of red. Our plant measured 12' tall in 1996, after which it was cut back to half its height, but now has already reached 15' in height. Grow it as a large evergreen shrub or a small-sized tree. Excellent for cut branches indoors in the winter for its large, showy yellow fruits.

  • hardy
Container size:

Ilex crenata 'Golden Heller'
golden Japanese holly

This sport (originating at Centerton Nursery, New Jersey) of the commonly grown 'Helleri' holly has bright yellow foliage. Just as with 'Helleri', 'Golden Helleri' exists as a low spreading shrub, reaching 3' in height by 5' wide. Reports indicate that full sun and winter wind protection maintain the intensity of the foliage color. Our specimen prospered under part-sun / part-shade conditions, and at 14 years-old was only 5' tall, and slightly wider. We removed it to make way for other shrubs, and are offering you these newly propagated plants for your garden.

  • hardy
Container size:
Ilex crenata 'Golden Heller'

Ilex vomitoria 'Dewerth'
littleleaf yaupon holly

This highly architectural evergreen shrub, an unusual "littleleaf" form of the commonly used yaupon holly, remains overlooked as a garden plant. 'Dewerth' bears tiny, dark green leaves (almost always tinged purple) set against striking white to gray bark. Our specimen is now 8' tall by 4' wide, after seven years in the ground. Grows in sun to light shade. Zone 7.

  • hardy
Container size:
Ilex vomitoria 'Dewerth'

Iris prismatica
slender blue flag

This eastern U.S. native iris is always a sight to see in spring, with its two-toned lavender-purple and white flowers. Our specimen thrives in the shady conditions of our Lath House, such to the point that we decided to chop out half of the plant and make it available to you this year. Iris prismatica resembles Iris versicolor (northern blue flag), but can be told apart by its narrower leaves (usually less than 1/2" wide). Iris prismatica prefers moist soils and is native to eastern United States wetlands. Our form of this variable iris has blue to blue violet flowers with erect, linear leaves to 2' tall. Zone 5 or colder.

Container size:

Lepisorus bicolor
Sichuan ribbon fern

A distinctive, rhizomatous fern with elongated, leathery leaves. We have grown this plant for five years now, and are readily impressed with its vigor and garden presence in our Lath House. In fact, our plant prospered so much that we decided to chop it up into smaller pieces and offer it to you this year. Growing to about 2' tall, Sichuan ribbon fern is listed as cold hardy through Zone 8 in some references. For us, we have observed no winter damage in five years, so perhaps at least Zone 7b is more appropriate. We received our plant originally from Plant Delights Nursery (Raleigh, North Carolina). ( 2' plants)

  • hardy
Container size:

Liriope muscari 'PeeDee Ingot'
golden clumping monkey-grass

The golden leaves on this liriope make it stand out in the garden. 'Pee Dee Ingot' was found and introduced years ago by Ursula Herz (Myrtle Beach, South Carolina). Somehow, it has remained curiously unknown. Beautiful purple flowers held atop the leaves in late summer are a perfect foil for the chartreuse foliage. Foliage color is brightest in the spring. For us, 'Pee Dee Ingot' has performed admirably both in full sun in our Perennial Border and in the shade of our Lath House. Zone 6. (6" plants)

  • evergreen perennial to 6–8 in
  • plant in sun to shade
  • hardy
  • purple flowers in late summer
Container size:

Lonicera nitida 'Red Tips'
boxleaf honeysuckle

Not your usual honeysuckle. This evergreen shrub has new leaves through emerge a dark purplish-red, aging to dark, glossy green. Makes a great small shrub for the sun or partial shade. Plants can be either prostrate or arching in growth habit with evergreen to partly evergreen foliage. Zone 6. ( 12" plants)

  • hardy
Container size:
Lonicera nitida 'Red Tips'

Magnolia figo 'Port Wine'
banana shrub

The scent of the flowers from this evergreen shrub make it a must have for the garden. Although Michelia figo is somewhat common in Southern gardens as an evergreen, the cultivar 'Port Wine' is rarely seen or offered. Differing from the typical form by its much deeper purple-rimmed flowers (rich maroon-purple on the inside, too), 'Port Wine' is equally sweetly scented. Mature plants form shrubs (or small trees, if limbed up) 15' tall (or more) with a dense habit. Grows in partial shade to part sun. Zone 7b.

  • hardy
Container size:
Magnolia figo 'Port Wine'

Magnolia yuyuanensis
Yunnan wood-lotus

This is simply one of the finest evergreen trees that we grow at the JCRA. Received back in 1988 from Hangzhou Botanical Garden in China, our plant now measures over 18' tall, and displays a tightly pyramidal growth habit. It has survived temperatures as low as -3°F. As a close relative of the magnolias, Yunnan wood-lotus bears single white flowers (4"–5" wide) with showy dark red stamens inside in spring and pinkish-red seed cones in the fall. We are proud to offer these trees grown from seed collected off of our mother plant. (Some authorities now list this plant as Magnolia fordiana.) Zone 7b, possibly colder. (12"–18" plants)

  • hardy
Container size:

Manfreda maculosa (giant form)
spice-lily

The fleshy, gray-green leaves on this Manfreda have spots of maroon. The flower stalk grows about 5' (or more!) making this an interesting plant for the dry garden. The flowers are fragrant, white turning pinkish with age, spidery in appearance due to the stamens which stick out beyond the petals. This "giant form" was given to us by our friends at Doremus Wholesale Nursery (Warren, Texas). In one year, our single plant (growing in a gallon container) filled the pot to bursting and has since yielded (through division) about a dozen plants, each of which is now ready to be divided. Native to Texas and northern Mexico, but happy here in Zone 7b in Raleigh, North Carolina. (8" plants)

Container size:
Manfreda maculosa (giant form)

Morella cerifera var. pumila
dwarf wax myrtle

We have been watching this dwarf, mounding form of wax myrtle for several years now. Received by us from NC State University graduate Hunter Stubbs, this particular clone of dwarf wax myrtle exhibits a nice, tight growth habit and attractive dark green foliage. Other cultivars of Myrica cerifera var. pumila have not proven hardy in Zone 7; whereas this one has performed admirably over the past 7 years, with some winter dieback occurring only after it was transplanted one summer. Certainly, more widespread testing is needed, but as this shrub only gets about 2 1/2 ft high while spreading ti 3 ft wide (via underground stems), what more can you ask? Zone 7. (10"–12" plants)

  • to 24"
  • plant in full sun to part shade
  • hardy
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Morella cerifera var. pumila

Myrica heterophylla 'Robbie Green'
Southern bayberry

This semi-evergreen relative of wax myrtle (Myrica cerifera) was received by us from Rushing Nursery (Semmes, Alabama) in 1999. 'Robbie Green' is a dwarf form of a poorly known native shrub called Southern bayberry. The leaves on this plant are larger and more olive green than other wax myrtles. Our plant, measuring 2.5' tall in 1999, is only about 3.5' now, a testament to the ability of 'Robbie Green' to stay dwarf. Myrica heterophylla is hardy to Zone 6, an entire zone more than the familiar wax myrtle. Grow it in full sun to partial shade. Myrica heterophylla grows wild on the Outer Banks of North Carolina and is very salt tolerant.

  • hardy
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Myrica heterophylla 'Robbie Green'

Ophiopogon clarkei
Himalayan mondo grass

A mondo grass resembling Ophiopogon japonicus in many ways, except for its striking, purple flowers that are held above the foliage. Our specimens have thrived in the shade of our Lath House, producing leaves about 1' long by only 1/8" wide. Better yet, these plants are rhizomatous and will creep to fill in a planting much faster than Ophiopogon japonicus ever has. Our plants had crept to the point that we chopped out about half of the clump in order to make these propagules available to you. Hardiness is not sufficiently tested, but we are certainly comfortable growing this plant in Zone 7b.

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Ophiopogon clarkei

Osmanthus heterophyllus 'Purpureus'
purple-leaf holly tea-olive

A great underused Osmanthus! This evergreen, medium-sized shrub produces wonderfully fragrant flowers in the fall. It is the last of the Osmanthus to flower for us before winter arrives here at the JCRA. The tiny flowers will surprise you in that so much fragrance can come from them. Leaves emerge purplish black when young, maturing to green with a purple tinge. Zone 6. (10"–12" plants)

  • hardy
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Osmanthus heterophyllus 'Purpureus'

Philadelphus 'Avalanche'
Lemoine hybrid mock-orange

Deciduous flowering shrub with oval, bright green leaves and very fragrant flowers, produced on the previous year's wood. Mature (unpruned) shrubs form an arching habit due to their drooping branches. 'Avalanche' has been very impressive when in flower, due to its large flowers, measuring 1"–2" across, and strong fragrance. Michael Dirr rates this as one of the most fragrant of the mock-oranges. Our plant was originally received from Heronswood Nursery (Kingston, Washington). 'Avalanche' belongs to the Lemoinei Group of mock-oranges, referring to those mock-oranges derived from hybridization between Philadelphus coronarius (the old-fashioned mock-orange of U.S. gardens, although native to southern Europe) and Philadelphus microphyllus (a species from the southwestern United States). Zone 5. (2' to 2.5' plants)

  • to 8'
  • plant in sun
  • hardy
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Philadelphus 'Avalanche'

Pieris 'Brouwer's Beauty'
pieris

Spring-flowering evergreen shrub suited to shady areas. Unlike Pieris japonica cultivars, 'Brouwer's Beauty' bears long horizontal panicles that arch downward (versus the pendulous panicles of Pieris japonca). The tiny, urn-shaped flowers are pink in bud, opening white. 'Brouwer's Beauty' is a hybrid between our native mountain andromeda (Pieris floribunda) and Japanese andromeda. Although originally believed to be immune to lace bug damage, recent tests have shown that plants are susceptible to attack when lace bug populations build up significantly. However, in comparison to other Pieris, 'Brouwer's Beauty' offers a more compact plant, with some resistance to lace bug feeding. Our plant (4' tall after five years) survived and flowered profusely each year under the intense competition of several mature Burford hollies. These cuttings are propagated from our original plant that had to be removed for construction of the Perennial Border expansion to the Ruby C. McSwain Education Center rooftop gardens. Zone 6. (6" plants)

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Pieris 'Brouwer's Beauty'

Pieris japonica Amamiana Group
Amami Islands pieris

This Pieris first came to us as Pieris amamiana, a species name no longer recognized. It has now been lumped into the highly variable Japanese andromeda (Pieris japonica), of which there are now many cultivars. What remains important about this plant is its superior performance over many other Pieris in our collection. The Amami Islands are a group of islands that occur to the south of the main islands of Japan. Like the Pieris hailing from Taiwan (formerly Pieris taiwanensis, now called Pieris japonica Taiwanensis Group), the Amami Islands pieris appear to have better resilience and garden performance in the Southern United States climate. Our plants are heavy bloomers, producing flowers in long, pendulous white racemes. New growth is a good red-orange, maturing to a lustrous dark green. Definitely an improvement over typical Japanese andromeda, although not immune to attack from lace bugs. These cuttings are propagated from our original plant that had to be removed for construction of the Perennial Border expansion to the McSwain Center rooftop gardens. Zone 6. (6"–8" plants)

  • evergreen shrub to 4'–7'
  • plant in shade
  • white flowers in spring
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Pieris japonica Amamiana Group

Pieris japonica 'Whitecaps'
Japanese andromeda

This cultivar of Pieris japonica bears very long panicles of white flowers, which distinguish it from other cultivars. Our original plant grew under intense competition with several mature Burford hollies and stayed at 3' tall for nearly a decade. The cuttings offered here are propagated from this original plant that had to be removed for construction of the Perennial Border expansion to the McSwain Center rooftop gardens. Zone 5. (6"–8" plants)

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Pieris japonica 'Whitecaps'

Platanus orientalis f. digitata
cutleaf Oriental planetree

Unusual, cutleaf form of a large-sized, deciduous tree, reaching 100' in the wild (southeastern Europe to Transcaucasia). Our tree grew from 8' tall in 1988 to 39' in 2000, when it unfortunately had to be removed for the construction of the McSwain Center. Platanus orientalis f. digitata bears deeply lobed leaves, much more maple-like than any other planetree/ sycamore, but still displays the typical white flaking bark, especially notable in winter. Zone 6. These plants are derived from rooted cuttings off of our original tree.

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Podocarpus lawrencei
mountain plum-pine

A low, compact, needled evergreen shrub with blue-green, yew-foliage. Formerly known, and still seen in books as, Podocarpus alpinus (thus the common name mountain plum-pine). As a native of the mountains of southeastern New Zealand and Tasmania, we have been most pleasantly surprised by the vigor, and cold and heat hardiness, of this compact evergreen shrub. This plant was obtained by us from Heronswood Nursery (Kingston, WA) and grows happily in our shady Lathhouse; while Podocarpus Iwarencei 'Blue Gem' (obtained from Atlanta Botanical Garden) has also thrived in the sun of our Mixed Border. If you're not familiar with the Southern Hemisphere podocarps, prepare yourself, as this looks nothing like Podocarpus macrophyllus. Zone 7. (4"–6" plants)

  • to 5'
  • plant in sun to shade
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Podocarpus lawrencei

Quercus dentata
Japanese emperor oak

This rarely grown oak hails from Japan, Korea and China, where it forms large trees reaching as high as 80' tall. We value this tree primarily for its spectacular stout shoots and huge broadly lobed leaves, covered in felted pubescence, especially on the new growth. It is a member of the white oak group, easily noted by the rounded (versus pointed) lobes on the margins of the leaves. Leaves can reach dinner plate proportions, up to 20" long by 12" wide. These seedlings are derived as second-generation plants from trees originally donated to us by Taylor's Nursery (Raleigh, North Carolina). The plants donated by Taylor's Nursery were 5" tall in 1995, and grew to 15'–20' tall by 2002, such that we were able to donate about 40 trees both to the City of Raleigh and the NC State University campus. Zone 6.

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Quercus dentata

Quercus macrocarpa
bur oak

This classic, deciduous oak forms a component of our rich oak forests of the eastern United States. Bur oak is, in fact, the American equivalent to Quercus dentata of Japan, with these two species being closely related. Quercus macrocarpa bears deeply lobed leaves covered with grayish pubescence underneath, and produces the largest acorns of any oak native in the United States. It is one of the most drought tolerant and cold hardy of the American oaks. These trees are grown from seeds collected by members of the International Oak Society. Zone 4. (1'–2' trees)

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Quercus macrocarpa

Quercus robur f. fastigiata
columnar English oak

This is one of the first trees J. C. planted at the Arboretum, with the original, large specimen still standing like a beacon in the area of the former parking lot. As is typical for this plant, our specimen exhibits a wonderful columnar habit. These trees are derived from seeds off our of original tree, and all of them exhibit the columnar habit typical of Quercus robur f. fastigiata. However, like all Quercus robur (English oak), these seedlings will likely be susceptible to powdery mildew, which can render plants of this species gray in late August. Zone 5. (3' trees)

  • hardy
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Quercus robur f. fastigiata

Rhododendron catawbiense 'Carolina Spring'
variegated Catawba rhododendron

This small to medium-sized evergreen shrub is perfectly suited for shady sites with good drainage (in the Piedmont, at least). 'Carolina Spring' is a variegated (and not completely stable) version of Catawba rhododendron. Leaves bear several white splotches across the blade, and not all leaves are equally variegated. As is typical for Catawba rhododendron, flower color on 'Carolina Spring' is bright pink. 'Carolina Spring' originated at Thomasson Nursery (Hamptonville, North Carolina). These plants are propagated from cuttings taken from our original plant that had to be moved for construction of the Perennial Border expansion to the McSwain Center rooftop gardens. Zone 5. (4"–6" plants)

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Rhododendron catawbiense 'Carolina Spring'

Rhododendron 'Fuki'
Sonoma Dwarf hybrid azalea

This fascinating dwarf evergreen azalea has an elusive origin, one that was found by JCRA horticulturist Jon Roethling after thorough research. 'Fuki' azalea is derived from breeding work done in the 1960s and 1970s by Mr. Stewart Barber, the original owner of Sonoma Horticultural Nursery (Sebastopol, California). Based on seeds of Satsuki azaleas sent from Japan to Barber, 'Fuki' flowers late, occurring over several weeks in June at the JCRA this year. Besides the large, salmon-pink flowers (3"–4" wide), the leaves are small, narrow, and twisted. Our plant rocketed from a height of 1 foot in 1991 to 20" in 2000. A very cool plant! (3"–6" plants)

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Rhododendron 'Fuki'

Rhododendron 'Pink Pancake'
North Tisbury hybrid azalea

This evergreen azalea derives from breeding work undertaken by Polly Hill of North Tisbury, Massachusetts using Rhododendron nakaharai, a poorly known evergreen azalea native to northern Taiwan. The so-called Nakaharai hybrids are valued for their low, spreading form (sometimes cascading) and late bloom period (usually in June). Promoted as long ago as 1987 by J. C., these plants seem not to have permeated the market as one would have expected. 'Pink Pancake' produces bright pink flowers, set amid small, hairy, evergreen leaves; plant habit is prostrate. In 1991, our plant was 6" tall, and by 1999, it had only reached 12" tall but was >4' across. Hardy to Zone 6. (6"–8" plants)

  • hardy
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Rhododendron 'Pink Pancake'

Sabal etonia
scrub palmetto

This trunkless palm is a native of the sandy scrublands of the central peninsula of Florida. Scrub palmetto, unlike Sabal minor, which it superficially resembles, is at home in high-and-dry settings. With large, palmate leaves that can reach up to 6' high by 3' across, this is an impressive palm, especially when massed. Our plants are grown from seeds collected from Juniper Level Botanical Garden (Raleigh, North Carolina), where this species has been grown for many years with little to no cold injury in winter (despite the species being native in Zone 9). Grow this palm in full sun for the tropical effect in your garden. (Protect these small seedlings for the first two to three winters from bitter cold temperatures.) Hardy to Zone 7b.

  • hardy semi-hardy
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Sabal etonia

Salix alba var. sericea
silver willow

This willow is a naturally-occurring variant of the variable European white willow (Salix alba). Silver willow (Salix alba var. sericea, sometimes seen still listed under the older name Salix alba f. argentea), forms a handsome, medium-sized tree (growing much larger in the western United States than in the East) valued primarily for its intensely silver-backed leaves that shimmer as they flutter in spring and summer breezes. As with other willows, silver willow grows best in moist soils and is quick to establish. These plants are grown from cuttings collected at Juniper Level Botanical Garden (Raleigh, North Carolina). (6' trees) Pickups only please.

  • tree to 25'–50' (or cut back and grow as a shrub)
  • plant in sun; moist soil
  • hardy
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Salix alba var. sericea

Sarcococca saligna
willow-leaf sweet box

This is perhaps the most handsome of all the Sarcococcas. As an evergreen shrub, Sarcococca saligna grows to 4' tall with an upright, but arching form (not stiffly upright like other Sarcococcas). The leaves are elongated, narrow, glossy, and bright green in color. Plants are more vigorous than other sweet boxes, and do not have the weakened constitution sometimes seen in Sarcococca confusa plants when they are improperly sited. At the JCRA, our plant has prospered with some protection from winter winds in the shaded Lath House. Native to the Himalayas, and hardy to Zone 7b. (8"–10" plants)

  • evergreen shrub to 4'–5'
  • plant in full to part shade
  • hardy
  • creamy white flowers in early winter
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Sedum confusum
Mexican stonecrop

This sedum, growing in front of the Lath House since 1998, sports stems rising to 12" with succulent, glossy, bright green leaves. Our plant behaves like a succulent ground cover, due to its stems that trail along the soil surface. In summer, plants produce masses of small yellow flowers. Well drained soils and sunny conditions are essential. Has been hardy at the JCRA since 1998; Zone 7b. (8"–10" spreading plants)

  • herbaceous perennial to 12"
  • plant in sun
  • yellow flowers in summer
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Sedum confusum

Spiraea betulifolia 'Tor'
birchleaf spirea

This deciduous spirea grows as a dense shrub 3–4 feet tall. It is a lovely shrub with red-brown shoots and broadly ovate leaves, iridescent blue-green above, gray-green beneath. Flowers are white and are produced in round-topped inflorescences (corymbs) in mid-spring. 'Tor' is a selection made in Scandinavia of Spiraea betulifolia var. aemiliana. This plant is receiving rave reviews as one of the best fall coloring shrubs, for its bright red fall color. Here in Raleigh, we have seen yellow to oranges thus far. Zone 5.

  • hardy
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Thuja occidentalis 'George Washington'
golden American arborvitae

An evergreen, pyramidal, coniferous tree, valued primarily for its bright, gold-variegated foliage on new growth, fading to bright green in the heat of the southeastern United States. Dating back to a 1948 introduction out of Sherwood Nursery (Gresham, Oregon), 'George Washington' is one of several gold-variegated selections of American arborvitae. In spring, as the new growth is emerging, the combination of gold new shoots, set against the dark green older shoots, offers a particularly stunning scene, when viewed up close on the plants. Grown from cuttings taken from a 12+ year-old tree that was 15' tall. Zone 3.

  • to 20'
  • plant in sun
  • hardy
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Thuja occidentalis 'George Washington'

Thuja occidentalis 'Sherwood Moss'
dwarf American arborvitae

This dense, dwarf evergreen conifer, forms a low, cone-shaped tree/shrub eventually rising to 4'–6' tall. It produces only the needle-like, yet soft, bright green juvenile foliage, which in winter turns bronze to purple. Juvenile foliage is maintained even in old age in this cultivar. 'Sherwood Moss' arose at Sherwood Nursery (Gresham, Oregon) in 1968. 6" tall plants in the JCRA in 1996 were only 3' tall by 2000. Zone 3.

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Thuja occidentalis 'Sherwood Moss'

Thuja plicata 'Hogan'
western redcedar

This handsome conifer was long touted, and deservedly so, as a great replacement for Leylands, or to be used generally as a screening plant. Thuja plicata 'Hogan' forms a dense and pyramidal tree with medium to bright green foliage in the summer. Growth rate is rapid on young plants (often approaching 3' per year). 'Hogan' originated as a seed propagated cultivar from trees growing along Hogan Road in Gresham, Oregon, where this cultivar has been common for decades. Unlike other native stands of Thuja plicata, the Hogan Road trees are densely compact, with a columnar habit. These plants are grown from cuttings obtained off of the tree formerly growing in the White Garden at the JCRA. This specimen had nearly doubled in size (from 14' tall to 27' tall) in a four-year period of time (from 1988 to 1992), a testament to the cultivar's vigor, despite the tough summer climate of the North Carolina Piedmont. Zone 5. (12"–14" plants)

  • hardy
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Thuja plicata 'Hogan'

Thuja plicata 'Winter Pink'
western redcedar

This cultivar was introduced by J. C. in 1995 from the United Kingdom. Originating at Kenwith Castle Nursery (Bideford, Devon, England), Thuja plicata 'Winter Pink' was named by renowned conifer expert Gordon Haddow. For us, this plant has prospered, growing rapidly from a 12" liner in 1995 to a 8' tall by 4' wide tree in 2002. The summer foliage color is quite distinct, a combination of blue-green, suffused with yellow; while in the winter purplish-pink tones come in. Michael Dirr's statement of this cultivar being a "compact-mounded form" does not agree with our observations. Zone 5.

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Tigridia pavonia
Mexican shellflower

This bulbous/cormous iris relative is native across a vast range of Central and South America, where it is used as a food source by various local peoples. In North America, Tigridia pavonia is valued as an outstanding flowering bulb. The palm-like foliage is stiff, gray-green, growing to 2'–3' tall. The flowers, occurring in midsummer, are outstanding, coral-orange and blotched red in the center, up to 4"–5" across, but only persist for a day. These plants are seed grown from Mexican germplasm (introduced by Yucca Do Nursery, Hempstead, Texas), vastly superior to the commonly offered bulbs (from the mass-market bulb dealers) derived from Andean provenance. Watch and see—the Mexican bulbs will be perennial here; whereas the Andean plants rarely last more than one year. Give this plant as much sun as you can. (10"–12" plants)

  • hardy semi-hardy
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Tigridia pavonia

Trachelospermum jasminoides 'Mandianum'
yellow Confederate jessamine

This twining evergreen vine for shade to part sun has been hardy here at the JCRA for years. Originally obtained from Woodlanders Nursery (Aiken, South Carolina) as Trachelospermum mandianum (which was later corrupted to Trachelospermum maudianum), we are unable to locate any other information about this plant anywhere. Basically, the flowers on this cultivar start out a darker yellow color than on other clones of Confederate jessamine. As for the species, flowers are exceedingly fragrant, tubular, and quite showy. Zone 7b.

  • hardy
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Trachelospermum jasminoides 'Mandianum'

Viburnum bracteatum 'Emerald Luster'
limerock arrow-wood

We received this viburnum from Michael Dirr of University of Georgia, as his selection of the Georgia native, Viburnum bracteatum. Compared with the commonly touted Viburnum dentatum, 'Emerald Luster' has larger, glossier leaves. This deciduous shrub produces clusters of white flowers in late spring followed by bluish-black fruit in late summer to early fall. An uncommon native species of the southeastern United States. Zone 5. (12" plants)

  • to 8’–10’ tall
  • plant in sun to partial shade
  • hardy
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Viburnum bracteatum 'Emerald Luster'

Viburnum erubescens
blushing viburnum

We received this evergreen viburnum from Heronswood Nursery (Kingston, Washington). With the JCRA long having an interest in evergreen viburnums (e.g., Viburnum awabuki 'Chindo' being a good example), this species begged for attention. Viburnum erubescens is listed in British plant manuals as a half-hardy shrub. Our plant, acquired in 2000, has remained evergreen for two winters (albeit mild ones) with no defoliation, and currently has formed a nice, rounded shrub. Flowers are reported to be white, tinged pink, and fragrant. Fruits are red turning to black. We are excited as to the potential use of this plant in southeastern U.S. landscapes.

  • hardy
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Viburnum setigerum
tea viburnum

This deciduous viburnum has an upright multi-stemmed habit, all on a tall frame. In mid-spring, plants produce flat-topped inflorescences (cymes) containing dozens of white flowers. However, and unlike many other viburnums, this species is best grown for its profusion of bright red, showy, egg-shaped fruits in the fall. Plants can reach 12' in height, but can be pruned hard if they get out-of-hand. An undeservedly hard-to-find shrub. Hardy to Zone 5. (6"–8" plants)"

  • hardy
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Viburnum setigerum

Vitex agnus-castus 'Salinas Pink'
pink chaste tree

This deciduous, medium sized shrub to small tree is valued for its lovely pale pink flowers in late spring through early summer. 'Salinas Pink' is a selection from Texas plantsman Greg Grant. In an effort to collect as many cultivars of Vitex agnus-castus as possible, we ran across this one at Juniper Level Botanical Garden (Raleigh, North Carolina), from where we were able to procure several cuttings. 'Salinas Pink' is a profuse bloomer, and offers an improvement over other so-called "pink" flowered cultivars of chaste tree. Grows best in sun, although some shade can be tolerated. 8'–10' tall. Zones 6–8.

  • hardy
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Vitex agnus-castus 'Salinas Pink'

Wisteria 'Swartley Purple'
purple wisteria

This vigorous growing deciduous vine has been in the collection of the JCRA for many years. All we know about it is that it was selected for its dark purple flowers in late spring. Although originally labeled as a cultivar of Wisteria frutescens, the foliage matches that of the Asian (and not the American) species of Wisteria. Hardy to Zone 5. (1'–2' vines)

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Wisteria 'Swartley Purple'

Yucca rostrata
Mexican blue yucca

This excellent woody lily offers some of the most striking powder-blue foliage you can find in any hardy garden plant. With slender leaves, often spirally twisted, reaching 2' long by 1/2" wide, and all growing in a symmetrical rosette, few other plants can match the beauty of this plant in foliage. A trunk-forming yucca, this species blooms terminal panicles bearing drooping, white, lily-like flowers (appearing as if they are carved out of wax). Yucca rostrata has survived in the JCRA Southwestern Garden for many years, and it is an indispensable plant for its textural and color interest. These plants are grown from seed collected and supplied by the Peckerwood Garden Foundation (Hempstead, Texas) from the lovely and wonderful garden there. Zone 7. (4"–6" plants)

  • hardy
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Yucca rostrata