Connoisseur Plants

Connoisseur Plants are rare, new plants, or hard-to-find old favorites. These wonderful plants are being offered to our upper level members, Collector (formlery Sponsor) level and higher..

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.

To submit your selections, please use the form link in the e-mail you received on February 21 from Kathryn Wall. If you need assistance, please e-mail Kathryn at kbwall@ncsu.edu or call (919) 513-7004 Selections should be placed no later than end of day February 27, 2022.

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

2018 Plant Selection

Acer fabri
Faber evergreen maple

We have long enjoyed this most unmaple-like maple with its glossy, unlobed, evergreen (yes, evergreen) leaves. This maple is not only evergreen but has some of the showiest red flowers of any maple species. Flowers are followed by showy red fruits. Young plants tend to grow relatively upright and do not take up much room in the garden. We've grown this plant for well over a decade and we still can't help but be excited when the lovely flowers appear against the backdrop of the glossy foliage in late winter. This offering represents new genetics as these seedlings come from cultivated plants at the Shanghai Botanic Garden collected en route to our 2017 collecting trip in Gansu Province.

  • evergreen tree to 20' tall
  • plant in sun to part shade
  • hardy
  • red flowers in late winter
  • red fruit in spring
Container size: 3" pot
Acer fabri

Acer fabri
Faber evergreen maple

We have long enjoyed this most unmaple-like maple with its glossy, unlobed, evergreen (yes, evergreen) leaves. This maple is not only evergreen but has some of the showiest red flowers of any maple species. Flowers are followed by showy red fruits. Young plants tend to grow relatively upright and do not take up much room in the garden. We've grown this plant for well over a decade and we still can't help but be excited when the lovely flowers appear against the backdrop of the glossy foliage in late winter. This offering represents new genetics as these seedlings come from cultivated plants at the Shanghai Botanic Garden collected en route to our 2017 collecting trip in Gansu Province.

  • evergreen tree to 20' tall
  • plant in sun to part shade
  • hardy
  • red flowers in late winter
  • red fruit in spring
Container size: 3" pot
Acer fabri

Agave gracilipes
slimfoot century plant

This small, usually solitary (non-offsetting) agave is one of the most cold hardy. Native to western Texas, southern New Mexico and Chihuahua, Mexico, it is thought to be a natural hybrid between Agave neomexicana and A. lechuguilla. Expect some variation between seedlings with some forms being more likely to offset than others. Provide it with a sunny location and excellent drainage.

  • rosette of spiny leaves to 1' by 18"
  • plant in sun and well drained soil
  • hardy zone 6
  • butterfly/pollinator friendly
Container size: 3" pot
Agave gracilipes

Agave gracilipes
slimfoot century plant

This small, usually solitary (non-offsetting) agave is one of the most cold hardy. Native to western Texas, southern New Mexico and Chihuahua, Mexico, it is thought to be a natural hybrid between Agave neomexicana and A. lechuguilla. Expect some variation between seedlings with some forms being more likely to offset than others. Provide it with a sunny location and excellent drainage.

  • rosette of spiny leaves to 1' by 18"
  • plant in sun and well drained soil
  • hardy zone 6
  • butterfly/pollinator friendly
Container size: 3" pot
Agave gracilipes

Agave utahensis subsp. kaibabensis
Utah century plant

This rare subspecies of the Utah century plant is from the Kaibab Plateau around the Grand Canyon in northern and western Arizona where it grows larger than the typical species. Narrow, stiff, olive green foliage is armed with tan serrations and a terminal spine. The flower stalks grow to nearly 20' when it flowers after many years in the garden. It must have excellent drainage, especially in winter.

  • rosette of spiny leaves to 2' by 2' (15' in bloom)
  • plant in sun
  • zone 5
  • whitish flowers in summer
  • attracts birds
  • extremely drought tolerant
Container size: 3" pot

Agave utahensis subsp. kaibabensis
Utah century plant

This rare subspecies of the Utah century plant is from the Kaibab Plateau around the Grand Canyon in northern and western Arizona where it grows larger than the typical species. Narrow, stiff, olive green foliage is armed with tan serrations and a terminal spine. The flower stalks grow to nearly 20' when it flowers after many years in the garden. It must have excellent drainage, especially in winter.

  • rosette of spiny leaves to 2' by 2' (15' in bloom)
  • plant in sun
  • zone 5
  • whitish flowers in summer
  • attracts birds
  • extremely drought tolerant
Container size: 3" pot

Asparagus asparagoides
bridal vine

We love the ornamental asparagus species! Most have needle-like foliage but this one resembles a climbing poet's laurel with small ovate leaves (actually phylloclades or fake leaves but the effect is the same) on multiple stems. It will clamber over and around other plants and small white flowers will produce showy red fruits. Expect it to die back to the ground each year but to return with vigor.

  • herbaceous vine to 10'
  • plant in sun to part shade
  • zone 6 semi-hardy
  • white flowers in early summer
  • red fruit in late summer
Container size: 3" pot

Aspidistra ebianensis 'Flowing Fountains'
cast iron plant

The 20" long evergreen leaves are more horizontal than upright, hence 'Flowing Fountains'. The dense clumps of arching foliage make for a lovely specimen. The deep green leaves are lightly spotted with yellow and quite deer resistant. It has proven to be about as hardy as the far more common Aspidistra elatior.

  • arching evergreen leaves to 2' tall to spreading wider
  • plant in shade
  • zone 7b
  • deer resistant
Container size: 1 qt
Aspidistra ebianensis 'Flowing Fountains'

Aspidistra ebianensis 'Flowing Fountains'
cast iron plant

The 20" long evergreen leaves are more horizontal than upright, hence 'Flowing Fountains'. The dense clumps of arching foliage make for a lovely specimen. The deep green leaves are lightly spotted with yellow and quite deer resistant. It has proven to be about as hardy as the far more common Aspidistra elatior.

  • arching evergreen leaves to 2' tall to spreading wider
  • plant in shade
  • zone 7b
  • deer resistant
Container size: 1 qt
Aspidistra ebianensis 'Flowing Fountains'

Aspidistra ebianensis 'Flowing Fountains'
cast iron plant

The 20" long evergreen leaves are more horizontal than upright, hence 'Flowing Fountains'. The dense clumps of arching foliage make for a lovely specimen. The deep green leaves are lightly spotted with yellow and quite deer resistant. It has proven to be about as hardy as the far more common Aspidistra elatior.

  • arching evergreen leaves to 2' tall to spreading wider
  • plant in shade
  • zone 7b
  • deer resistant
Container size: 1 qt
Aspidistra ebianensis 'Flowing Fountains'

Aucuba japonica 'Pink Champagne'
Japanese aucuba

Aucuba are tough evergreen plants for shady garden spots. This is a solid green leaf form with thick-textured foliage sporting fairly deeply serrate margins. If there is a suitable male aucuba in the vicinity, expect this plant to have a good set of pearly pink fruits in early summer lasting for a long time on the plant.

  • evergreen shrub to 5'
  • plant in shade
  • hardy
  • maroon flowers in late winter
  • pink fruit in winter
Container size: 3" pot

Brugmansia 'Charles Grimaldi'
angel's trumpet

Bring a bit of the tropics to your home with this angel's trumpet. This die-back shrub produces stout stems and large leaves which form the perfect backdrop for the huge, 10" dangling coral-orange highly fragrant flowers in late summer. With regular summer water and fertilizer, expect established plants to grow to 8' or more each year. Mulch young plants well for their first winter or two.

  • upright shrub to 8'
  • plant in sun
  • root hardy (7b)
  • orange flowers in summer up to frost
  • butterfly/pollinator friendly
  • night blooming and fragrant
Container size: 1 qt
Brugmansia 'Charles Grimaldi'

Buddleja cordata
Mexican butterfly bush

In Mexico where this plant hails from, it makes a sizable tree used in tough spots like parking lots and hell strips. In central North Carolina, it just won't form a tree but instead makes a lovely large shrub with gorgeous silvery foliage. Fragrant white flowers in late fall add to the plant's appeal and provide nectar for a variety of pollinators.

  • large evergreen shrub to 12'
  • plant in sun
  • hardy
  • white, fragrant flowers in late fall
  • butterfly/pollinator friendly and deer resistant
Container size: 3" pot
Buddleja cordata

Ceanothus ×delilianus 'Henri Desfossé'
hybrid ceanothus

This beautiful, compact, deciduous shrub has received the Royal Horticulture Society award of Garden Merit. A profusion of small, blue flowers appear on upright panicles beginning in spring, and can last throughout the summer. Ceanothus are drought tolerant and require a well-drained soil. Although few of the blue ceanothus or California lilacs perform well in the hot, humid Southeast, this hybrid grows well for us due to it's white-flowered East Coast parent C. americanus crossed with the blue C. coeruleus.

  • flowering shrub to 3'
  • plant in sun, well-drained soil
  • hardy
  • blue flowers in all summer long
  • butterfly/pollinator friendly
Container size: 3" pot
Ceanothus ×delilianus 'Henri Desfossé'

Ceanothus ×delilianus 'Henri Desfossé'
hybrid ceanothus

  • flowering shrub to 3'
  • plant in sun, well-drained soil
  • hardy
  • blue flowers in all summer long
  • butterfly/pollinator friendly
Container size: 3" pot

Cercis
redbud

In 2017, JCRA director Mark Weathington was searching for plants in Sha'anxi and Gansu provinces in China when he happened upon this redbud in full fruit on Taibaishan in the Red River Valley. The tree was about 20' tall and had quite handsome heart-shaped foliage. It is not yet known what species this one is.

  • deciduous flowering tree to 15'–20'
  • plant in sun to shade
  • hardy
  • lavender-pink flowers in spring
Container size: 3" pot

Cestrum 'Orange Peel'
hybrid jessamine

'Orange Peel' is a like a living bouquet of pure yellow-orange blossoms that, in warmer climates, begin with the first mild days in spring and last until the first hard frost. Having no fragrance during the day, the tubular flowers give off a delightful sweet smell as soon as the sun sets. Marble-like, black fruits follow the flowers and can be quite showy. Plants can be cut back hard to control size and keep them about 4'–5' tall.

  • woody deciduous shrub to 8'
  • plant in sun to part shade
  • zone 7
  • orange-yellow flowers in late spring to frost
  • black fruit in late summer to fall
  • butterfly/pollinator friendly and deer resistant
Container size: 3" pot
Cestrum 'Orange Peel'

Chamaecyparis obtusa 'Lynn's Golden'
dwarf Hinoki falsecypress

Also known as 'Lynn's Golden Ceramic Christmas Tree', this dwarf conifer makes a plump, irregular pyramid of fan or coral-like chartreuse foliage in sun. In shade, it will tend towards more green but is still lovely. In winter, it will take on orange tones.

  • pyramidal dwarf conifer to 6'
  • plant in sun to partial shade
  • hardy
  • deer resistant
Container size: 3" pot
Chamaecyparis obtusa 'Lynn's Golden'

Cistus 'McGuire's Gold'
rockrose

Grow this one for its brilliant yellow evergreen leaves even more so than the 2.5" white spring flowers. It has made a tidy, full shrub in sunny dry spots in the Arboretum. Although we struggle to keep most rockrose alive at the JCRA, this one and the variegated 'Mickie' have been long-lived and easy for us. Sun and drainage are a must.

  • mounding evergreen shrub to 24" to 30"
  • plant in sun, well drained soil
  • hardy
  • white flowers in spring
  • brilliant gold foliage
Container size: 3" pot
Cistus 'McGuire's Gold'

Cistus 'McGuire's Gold'
rockrose

  • mounding evergreen shrub to 24" to 30"
  • plant in sun, well drained soil
  • hardy
  • white flowers in spring
  • brilliant gold foliage
Container size: 3" pot

Cistus 'Mickie'
variegated rockrose

Grow this one for its evergreen leaves which are widely bordered with brilliant yellow. Really a show stopper year round. The 2.5" white, spring flowers are almost an afterthought compared to the showy foliage. It has performed superbly in sunny, well drained sites at the JCRA. Although we struggle to keep most rockrose alive at the JCRA, this one and 'McGuire's Gold' have been long-lived and easy for us.

  • mounding evergreen shrub to 24" to 30"
  • plant in sun and well drained soil
  • hardy
  • white flowers in spring
  • gold margined foliage
Container size: 3" pot
Cistus 'Mickie'

Cistus 'Mickie'
variegated rockrose

Grow this one for its evergreen leaves which are widely bordered with brilliant yellow. Really a show stopper year round. The 2.5" white, spring flowers are almost and afterthought compared to the showy foliage. It has performed superbly in sunny, well drained sites at the JCRA. Although we struggle to keep most rockrose alive at the JCRA, this one and 'McGuire's Gold' have been long-lived and easy for us.

  • mounding evergreen shrub to 24" to 30"
  • plant in sun and well drained soil
  • hardy
  • white flowers in spring
  • gold margined foliage
Container size: 3" pot

Coniogramme intermedia 'Yoroi Musha'
intermediate bamboo fern

This selection of bamboo fern has pronounced serrations on its fronds for a most dramatic appearance. It spreads at a moderate rate, in time making a nice mass perfect as an evergreen woodland ground cover. Like all ferns it is quite deer proof.

  • evergreen fern to 24" to 30" tall
  • plant in part shade
  • zone 7
  • deer resistant
Container size: 1 qt
Coniogramme intermedia 'Yoroi Musha'

Coniogramme intermedia 'Yoroi Musha'
intermediate bamboo fern

  • evergreen fern to 24" to 30" tall
  • plant in part shade
  • zone 7
  • deer resistant
Container size: 1 qt

Coprosma propinqua
mingimingi

We haven't had much luck growing many of the fine plants from the southern half of the world but this shrub which we acquired six years ago from Pukerau Nursery in New Zealand has been a notable exception. We planted it in our Lath House in 2015 and it has sailed through the last few winters with no problem. It has not grown quickly and we would guess it will probably max out at the lower end of its size range here in North Carolina. It makes a dense twiggy mass of small gray-green leaves with mostly insignificant flowers which give rise to glossy blue fruit (ours has not fruited). It is native to both wetlands and sandy areas so we anticipate it to be not fussy about moisture but will probably appreciate a loose soil.

  • evergreen shrub to 6'–12'
  • plant in sun to part shade
  • hardy
  • blue fruit in fall
Container size: 3" pot
Coprosma propinqua

Cordyline australis
New Zealand cabbage tree

Typically, we see this plant either as a houseplant for a tough spot or as a spike of foliage for a container but it is one of the signature trees of New Zealand where the stout trunks hold the strappy, yucca-like leaves in dense clusters. After seeing this in its natural habitat, we think there is potential for some forms to be quite hardy. These seedlings come from plants collected high on Mt. Otago where temperatures are often below 0°F in winter so we have high hopes for them. Probably best to grow this as a houseplant for a year or two before planting outside in the spring.

  • evergreen tree
  • plant in sun to part shade
  • hardiness ? semi-hardy hardy
  • cream flowers in late spring
Container size: 3" pot
Cordyline australis

Cordyline australis
New Zealand cabbage tree

Typically, we see this plant either as a houseplant for a tough spot or as a spike of foliage for a container but it is one of the signature trees of New Zealand where the stout trunks hold the strappy, yucca-like leaves in dense clusters. After seeing this in its natural habitat, we think there is potential for some forms to be quite hardy. These seedlings come from plants collected high on Mt. Otago where temperatures are often below 0°F in winter so we have high hopes for them. Probably best to grow this as a houseplant for a year or two before planting outside in the spring.

  • evergreen tree
  • plant in sun to part shade
  • hardiness ? semi-hardy hardy
  • cream flowers in late spring
Container size: 3" pot
Cordyline australis

Coreopsis linifolia 'Newport'
savannah tickseed

This selection of one of our native tickseeds was found by Tony Avent near Newport, North Carolina growing in a pitcher plant bog. The plant has 30" stems with sparse, thin leaves looking more like a bog rush than a coreopsis. In late summer, a dazzling display of gold flowers top the stems—truly a sight to see. Grow in damp to boggy soils for best results.

  • herbaceous perennial to 30"
  • plant in sun, damp soils
  • hardy
  • gold flowers in late summer
  • attracts birds
Container size: 1 qt

Coreopsis linifolia 'Newport'
savannah tickseed

This selection of one of our native tickseeds was found by Tony Avent near Newport, North Carolina growing in a pitcher plant bog. The plant has 30" stems with sparse, thin leaves looking more like a bog rush than a coreopsis. In late summer, a dazzling display of gold flowers top the stems—truly a sight to see. Grow in damp to boggy soils for best results.

  • herbaceous perennial to 30"
  • plant in sun, damp soils
  • hardy
  • gold flowers in late summer
  • attracts birds
Container size: 1 qt

Crinum 'Peyton's Place'
hybrid crinum-lily

This hybrid crinum makes an impressive statement with vigorous clumps of strappy foliage topped in early July by 4' tall spikes of white, lily-like flowers. Grow in average to moist soils.

  • bulb to 4' in flower
  • plant in sun
  • hardy
  • white flowers in summer
Container size: 1 qt

Cryptomeria japonica 'Butterball'
Japanese cedar

This cultivar is a bit of a mystery. We can't find any information on it. It was received by the JCRA in 2014 and planted in October of 2014 as a one-gallon plant. As of January 2019 it is 3.5' tall and 4.5' wide, of a broadly conical growth habit, and with a yellow cast to the needles.

  • broadly conical evergreen shrub to 6' to 8' in 10 years
  • plant in sun to part shade
  • hardy
  • deer resistant
  • yellow cast to needles
Container size: 3" pot
Cryptomeria japonica 'Butterball'

Emmenopterys henryi
Chinese emmenopterys

This is a deciduous, large tree with showy flowers (long panicles with white bracts) appearing in midsummer over an extended period. The thick textured flowers are intensely fragrant and a tree in full flower will stop even the most jaded plantsman in his or her tracks. The JCRA gets regular requests for seed of this lovely tree from across the globe. It typically takes more than a few years to see the flowers but these cutting grown plants from our tree should come into flower sooner than a seedling would.

  • deciduous tree to 30'–40'
  • plant in sun to partial shade
  • hardy
  • white flowers in summer
  • exceptionally fragrant
Container size: 3" pot
Emmenopterys henryi

Habranthus brachyandrus
rain-lily

Habranthus, along with their cousin genus Zephyranthes are known as rain lilies because they produce a large flush of bloom after a rain shower. This species bears large upward and outward facing pink flowers to nearly 4" long with a darker throat. Bulbs multiply quickly producing an exceptional show.

  • flowering bulb to 10"
  • plant in sun
  • hardy
  • pink flowers in summer, after rain
Container size: cell
Habranthus brachyandrus

Harperocallis flava
Harper's beauty

Harper's Beauty was discovered in 1965 and has been federally listed as endangered since 1979. It occurs in a few locations around Apalachicola, Florida. It makes a low clump of emerald green, grassy foliage topped in spring with 18" stalks bearing cheery yellow stars. Often occurring with pitcher plants, it wants moist soil or even bog conditions. These are nursery, seed grown plants but still may not be shipped to our supporters outside the state of North Carolina due to federal regulations.

  • herbaceous perennial to 8"
  • plant in sun to part shade, needs moist soil
  • hardy
  • 2' tall stalks support yellow flowers in spring
  • an endangered species
Container size: cell

Ilex integra 'Ogon'
golden Nepal holly

The Nepal holly is one of Mark Weathington's favorite hollies with its spineless evergreen foliage and bright red berries. This gold foliaged female form from Japan is especially nice with glossy, vivid yellow spring foliage on an upright plant. Color is best in full sun, but plants will tolerate some shade. Perfect as a bright focus in the garden or lightening a mixed hedge. This holly will tolerate shearing if needed, but will naturally grow as a dense upright evergreen.

  • evergreen shrub to 12'
  • plant in sun to part shade
  • hardy
  • white flowers in spring
  • red fruit in summer to fall
  • attracts birds
  • pollinator friendly
Container size: 3" pot
Ilex integra 'Ogon'

Ilex integra 'Ogon'
golden Nepal holly

  • evergreen shrub to 12'
  • plant in sun to part shade
  • hardy
  • white flowers in spring
  • red fruit in summer to fall
  • attracts birds
  • pollinator friendly
Container size: 3" pot

Ilex micrococca
thin-leaf holly

This large deciduous holly is native to a wide area in China as well as Vietnam and Japan. With such a wide distribution, hardiness can vary but these are from our plant which has been growing happily outdoors for six years. Expect a single-trunked, deciduous tree with thin, papery un-holly-like foliage. Female plants will produce small, glossy red fruit but these are unsexed seedlings so no guarantees on fruit. The white spring flowers are loved by pollinators.

  • deciduous tree to 25'–35' (60' in the wild)
  • plant in sun to part shade
  • hardy
  • white flowers in spring
  • red fruit in winter
  • attracts birds
  • pollinator friendly
Container size: 3" pot
Ilex micrococca

Jasminum
jasmine

Mark was quite taken with this as-yet unidentified jasmine (MWZ17093) he collected in 2017 in Gansu, China. His notes say, "Shrubby to slightly vining plant growing atop steep banks. Leaves glossy, odd pinnate to 3", leaflets .75"–1", fruit glossy black 3/8" diameter." We have very high hopes for this as an outstanding garden plant for the mid-south.

  • evergreen(?) scandent shrub to 4'
  • plant in sun to part shade
  • zone 7 (at least)
  • yellow flowers in spring
  • black fruit in fall
Container size: 3" pot

Kadsura longipedunculata
Chinese kadsura

This twining evergreen vine from China is wonderful for growing up into large trees, along fences or best of all over open pergalas where the creamy white flowers and brilliant, glossy red fruit will dangle beneath the foliage on long stalks or peduncles as the scientific name implies. The flowers are somewhat reminiscent of its shrubby cousin the anise tree or Illicium.

  • evergreen vine to 15'+
  • plant in sun to part shade
  • hardy
  • yellow flowers in summer
  • red fruit in fall
Container size: 1 qt
Kadsura longipedunculata

Lavandula stoechas
Javelin Forte Deep Purple Spanish lavender

Spanish lavender succeeds in the humid Piedmont region of the southeast United States where most other lavender fail. This selection dramatically amplifies the ornamental display for it is a very vivid violet color, lacking all subtlety yet never vulgar. Like many aromatic herbs, expect this to be quite deer resistant.

  • evergreen sub-shrub to 3' by 5'
  • plant in sun and well drained soil
  • hardy
  • brilliant violet flowers in spring and summer
  • butterfly/pollinator friendly and deer resistant
  • drought tolerant
Container size: 3" pot

Lemmaphyllum microphyllum
green penny fern

  • prostrate to 1" tall, spreading
  • plant in shade
  • semi-hardy
Container size: 3" pot

Liriope gigantea 'Lynn Lowrey'
giant lilyturf

Liriope gets an undeserved bad rap as a nuisance plant due to one vigorously spreading black sheep of the family. This species is a clumping form which will never run making a dense, large plant to 3' tall or more. In late summer, even taller spikes of lavender-purple flowers rise above the foliage putting on quite a show.

  • ground cover to 3'
  • plant in sun to shade
  • hardy
  • lavender flowers in summer
Container size: 1 qt

Liriope gigantea 'Lynn Lowrey'
giant lilyturf

Liriope gets an undeserved bad rap as a nuisance plant due to one vigorously spreading black sheep of the family. This species is a clumping form which will never run making a dense, large plant to 3' tall or more. In late summer, even taller spikes of lavender-purple flowers rise above the foliage putting on quite a show.

  • ground cover to 3'
  • plant in sun to shade
  • hardy
  • lavender flowers in summer
Container size: 1 qt

Moraea collina
Cape tulip

This iris relative hails from the southwestern Cape region of South Africa where it grows as a yellow to coral-salmon colored flowering bulb. It tolerates cold but may not withstand a deep freeze so bulbs can be lifted in fall and stored indoors or mulched well to keep the soil around them from freezing solid.

  • bulb with grassy foliage to 1'
  • plant in sun
  • semi-hardy
  • apricot or yellow flowers in summer
Container size: 3" pot
Moraea collina

Neolepisorus fortunei
Fortune's ribbon fern

Fortune's ribbon fern is a striking, non-frilly fern with long, narrow fronds 18" long but only 1.5" across. It is marginally hardy for us in Raleigh and is best sited where it receives some winter protection. It makes a slowly, slowly creeping clump to a few feet wide after many years.

  • evergreen fern to 18"
  • plant in shade
  • hary zone 8a/7b
  • deer resistant
Container size: 1 qt

Neolepisorus fortunei
Fortune's ribbon fern

Fortune's ribbon fern is a striking, non-frilly fern with long, narrow fronds 18" long but only 1.5" across. It is marginally hardy for us in Raleigh and is best sited where it receives some winter protection. It makes a slowly, slowly creeping clump to a few feet wide after many years.

  • evergreen fern to 18"
  • plant in shade
  • hary zone 8a/7b
  • deer resistant
Container size: 1 qt

Neolepisorus fortunei
Fortune's ribbon fern

Fortune's ribbon fern is a striking, non-frilly fern with long, narrow fronds 18" long but only 1.5" across. It is marginally hardy for us in Raleigh and is best sited where it receives some winter protection. It makes a slowly, slowly creeping clump to a few feet wide after many years.

  • evergreen fern to 18"
  • plant in shade
  • hary zone 8a/7b
  • deer resistant
Container size: 1 qt

Photinia ×fraseri 'Cassini'
Pink Marble variegated Frasier photinia

The foliage of this photinia is initially reddish with pink leaf margins, changing to green and retaining the pink margins. Eventually the margins mature to near white with silver splashes over the green areas of the leaves. Although photinia is often grown as a shrub, it makes an outstanding small tree if limbed up. To keep it smaller, prune every few years.

  • evergreen shrub or tree to 10'–20'
  • plant in sun to light shade
  • hardy
  • white flowers in spring
  • butterfly/pollinator friendly
  • variegated foliage
Container size: 3" pot
Photinia ×fraseri 'Cassini'

Piper auritum
root beer plant

This large-leafed perennial is related to the culinary pepper plant. The foliage, which is used for its spicy aromatic scent and flavor, some liken to root beer, others to anise-clove, can become quite large and heart-shaped for a distinctly tropical look. Once established, it will grow to 4'+ each year and bear thin spikes of white flowers. Expect happy plants to spread politely to create lush patches in the shade.

  • semi-woody perennial to 4'–6'
  • plant in shade
  • root hardy
  • white flowers in midsummer to fall
  • foliage smells like root beer
Container size: 1 qt
Piper auritum

Piper auritum
root beer plant

This large-leafed perennial is related to the culinary pepper plant. The foliage, which is used for its spicy aromatic scent and flavor, some liken to root beer, others to anise-clove, can become quite large and heart-shaped for a distinctly tropical look. Once established, it will grow to 4'+ each year and bear thin spikes of white flowers. Expect happy plants to spread politely to create lush patches in the shade.

  • semi-woody perennial to 4'–6'
  • plant in shade
  • root hardy
  • white flowers in midsummer to fall
  • foliage smells like root beer
Container size: 1 qt
Piper auritum

Piper auritum
root beer plant

This large-leafed perennial is related to the culinary pepper plant. The foliage, which is used for its spicy aromatic scent and flavor, some liken to root beer, others to anise-clove, can become quite large and heart-shaped for a distinctly tropical look. Once established, it will grow to 4'+ each year and bear thin spikes of white flowers. Expect happy plants to spread politely to create lush patches in the shade.

  • semi-woody perennial to 4'–6'
  • plant in shade
  • root hardy
  • white flowers in midsummer to fall
  • foliage smells like root beer
Container size: 1 qt
Piper auritum

Prunus incisa 'Shikizaki'
weeping Fuji cherry

"Weeping" is perhaps generous as this really makes a small trees with somewhat horizontal to arching branches creating more of a shrub than a weeping tree. Perhaps if pruned to a single stem? Unlike other Fuji cherries, this one starts to bloom in late fall and continues for months. Flowers are the palest pink blushed white. The Fuji cherries as a group are under appreciated for their delicate beauty especially when compared to some of the gaudier Japanese cherries.

  • small flowering tree/shrub to 8' × 14'
  • plant in sun
  • zone 5 hardy
  • pinkish-white flowers in late fall into winter
Container size: 3" pot
Prunus incisa 'Shikizaki'

Punica granatum (fruiting cultivars)
pomegranate

We have a large number of cultivars of fruiting pomegranates but not enough of any one cultivar to list, so we will select one for you. Expect an upright, shrubby plant bearing showy orange flowers followed by orange fruits on these ornamental edible landscape plants.

  • large deciduous shrub to 10'
  • plant in sun
  • hardy
  • orange flowers in late spring
  • pomegranate fruit in ripen in fall
Container size:

Punica granatum (ornamental cultivars)
pomegranate

JCRA has many cultivars of ornamental pomegranates but not enough of any one cultivar to list them individually. All of them have very double, carnation-like flowers. Flower color will vary according to cultivar; orange, red, white, pink, or multicolored.

  • large deciduous shrub to 10'
  • plant in sun
  • hardy
  • white, pink, red, or orange flowers in late spring - summer
Container size:

Rhodophiala araucana
Chilean oxblood lily

We received this as seed and cannot guarantee this often muddled species. Unlike the somewhat more common R. bifida, this species is summer growing and produces its variably colored flowers in late spring. Because of its mid-altitude Chilean habitat, it may not be fully winter hardy here but also may not like our intensely hot summers. It is well worth trialing along with us to see how it actually performs. This distribution is a four-pack of seedlings so you can try them in different areas of your garden.

  • bulb to 14"
  • plant in sun to light shade
  • semi-hardy
  • pale pink to orange-red flowers in spring
Container size: cell

Rohdea japonica 'Kin Cho Ju'
sacred lily

This diminutive sacred lily makes an offsetting clump of strappy, leathery leaves with mottled white banding especially noticeable on new growth. It is ideal for growing in tough, dry shade areas as it is quite drought tolerant once established.

  • evergreen perennial to 10"
  • plant in shade
  • hardy to zone 7(6) hardy
  • red fruit in winter
  • deer resistant
Container size: 1 qt

Rohdea japonica 'Kin Cho Ju'
sacred lily

This diminutive sacred lily makes an offsetting clump of strappy, leathery leaves with mottled white banding especially noticeable on new growth. It is ideal for growing in tough, dry shade areas as it is quite drought tolerant once established.

  • evergreen perennial to 10"
  • plant in shade
  • hardy to zone 7(6) hardy
  • red fruit in winter
  • deer resistant
Container size: 1 qt

Salvia 'Alegria'
sage

We received this hybrid sage from the late Richard Dufresne who regaled us with tales of how wonderful this plant is. As someone who never met a sage he didn't like, we had to see for ourselves. Over the past several years, our plant has made a nice semi-woody plant about 30" tall and wide with small aromatic leaves and spikes of cheery bright pink-red flowers over a long period of summer. Grow it in a sunny, well-drained location.

  • subshrub to 30"
  • plant in sun, well drained soil
  • hardy
  • reddish pink flowers in summer
  • butterfly/pollinator friendly and deer resistant
Container size: 3" pot
Salvia 'Alegria'

Sinningia eumorpha
sinningia

  • tuberous rooted herbaceous perennial to 6"'
  • plant in part sun to shade
  • semi-hardy
  • white flowers in most of the year
Container size: 1 pt
Sinningia eumorpha

Sophora aff. davidii
Father David's sophora

This shrubby member of the pea family typically has white flowers blushed with blue. The feathery, pinnate foliage gives a fine appearance to the plant throughout the summer. It is quite drought tolerant once established. These were grown from seed collected by Mark Weathington in central China in 2017.

  • upright deciduous shrub to 6'–8'
  • plant in sun
  • hardy to zone 6
  • white and blue flowers in spring
Container size: 3" pot

Syringa
lilac

We collected this unknown lilac (JMW-17060) in the fall of 2017 on Taiping Mountain in Sha'anxi where it was growing happily with paperbark maples on a path leading to the top of a gorgeous waterfall. The foliage was smaller than the common lilac, growing only 2"–3" long and two-thirds as wide. We haven't seen it flower yet to determine the species.

  • flowering shrub to 8'
  • plant in sun
  • hardy
Container size: 3" pot

Torreya fargesii
Farges nutmeg tree

Glossy dark-green, broad needles are very much like their close cousins the plum yews (Cephalotaxus). Farges nutmeg tree is considered vulnerable in its native habitat where it is valued for its high quality wood and the large seeds are pressed for oil.

  • evergreen tree to 60'
  • plant in sun to part shade
  • hardy
  • deer resistant
Container size: 1 qt
Torreya fargesii

Trachelospermum asiaticum 'Kiifu Chirimen'
dwarf golden Asiatic jessamine

  • evergreen climbing vine or ground cover to 12"
  • plant in sun to part shade
  • hardy
  • white fragrant flowers in summer
  • deer resistant
  • tiny bright yellow-gold leaves
Container size: 3" pot

Trachelospermum asiaticum 'Nagaba'
variegated Asian jessamine

  • evergreen climbing vine or ground cover to 12'+
  • plant in sun to partial shade
  • hardy zone 7
  • white fragrant flowers in summer
  • deer resistant
Container size: 3" pot
Trachelospermum asiaticum 'Nagaba'

Trachelospermum asiaticum 'Nagaba'
variegated Asian jessamine

  • evergreen climbing vine or ground cover to 12'+
  • plant in sun to partial shade
  • hardy zone 7
  • white fragrant flowers in summer
  • deer resistant
Container size: 3" pot

Trachelospermum asiaticum (variegated)
variegated Asian jessamine

  • evergreen vine or ground cover to 10"
  • plant in sun or shade
  • hardy zone 7
  • white flowers in summer
  • deer resistant
Container size: 3" pot

Trachelospermum jasminoides 'Angustifolia'
narrow-leafed Asiatic jessamine

This cultivar of Asiatic jessamine is distinguished by its very narrow leaves, making for a very attractive textural contrast to other plants. The leaves are green with silvery veins. Grow it as a vigorous ground cover or as a great evergreen vine.

  • evergreen twining vine or ground cover to 12"
  • plant in sun to part shade
  • zone 7
  • white fragrant flowers in summer
  • deer resistant
Container size: 3" pot
Trachelospermum jasminoides 'Angustifolia'

Trachelospermum jasminoides 'Angustifolia'
narrow-leafed Asiatic jessamine

  • evergreen twining vine or ground cover to 12"
  • plant in sun to part shade
  • zone 7
  • white fragrant flowers in summer
  • deer resistant
Container size: 3" pot

Tricyrtis formosana 'Autumn Glow'
variegated toad lily

  • herbaceous perennial to 2'
  • plant in shade
  • hardy
  • blue violet flowers in mid-summer to fall
  • bright gold leaf margin, quick spreader
Container size: 3" pot

Trochodendron aralioides
wheel tree

This handsome evergreen tree is also interesting, like Gingko, in that not only is it the only species in its genus but also the only one in its family. Whorls of foliage radiate from glossy green stems like the spokes on a wheel. The flowers are more interesting than showy and the plant makes a lovely large tree in its native habitat but tends to stay relatively small in cultivation.

  • evergreen tree to 20'–40'
  • plant in sun to part shade
  • hardy zone 6
  • green flowers in summer
Container size: 3" pot
Trochodendron aralioides

Woodwardia orientalis
Oriental Chain Fern

This large evergreen to semi-evergreen, clumping-forming fern is valued for its oversized fronds, reaching proportions up to 6' in length and often bowing down and touching the ground. These lustrous, dark green fronds, when mature, will bear small plantlets directly on the fronds, from which they can be propagated. New growth in spring is often burgundy-red to pink-red in color and can be quite stunning. These plants are grown from plantlets produced by our plant which has grown happily outside the Ruby C. McSwain Education Center for over a decade.

  • herbaceous perennial to 4' tall by 6'wide
  • plant in shade
  • semi-hardy
  • deer resistant
Container size: 3" pot
Woodwardia orientalis

Woodwardia orientalis
Oriental Chain Fern

This large evergreen to semi-evergreen, clumping-forming fern is valued for its oversized fronds, reaching proportions up to 6' in length and often bowing down and touching the ground. These lustrous, dark green fronds, when mature, will bear small plantlets directly on the fronds, from which they can be propagated. New growth in spring is often burgundy-red to pink-red in color and can be quite stunning. These plants are grown from plantlets produced by our plant which has grown happily outside the Ruby C. McSwain Education Center for over a decade.

  • herbaceous perennial to 4' tall by 6'wide
  • plant in shade
  • semi-hardy
  • deer resistant
Container size: 3" pot
Woodwardia orientalis

Woodwardia orientalis
Oriental Chain Fern

  • herbaceous perennial to 4' tall by 6'wide
  • plant in shade
  • semi-hardy
  • deer resistant
Container size: 3" pot

Woodwardia orientalis
Oriental Chain Fern

This large evergreen to semi-evergreen, clumping-forming fern is valued for its oversized fronds, reaching proportions up to 6' in length and often bowing down and touching the ground. These lustrous, dark green fronds, when mature, will bear small plantlets directly on the fronds, from which they can be propagated. New growth in spring is often burgundy-red to pink-red in color and can be quite stunning. These plants are grown from plantlets produced by our plant which has grown happily outside the Ruby C. McSwain Education Center for over a decade.

  • herbaceous perennial to 4' tall by 6'wide
  • plant in shade
  • semi-hardy
  • deer resistant
Container size: 3" pot
Woodwardia orientalis