Friday, December 26, 2014

December's 25 Days of Superior Trees, Shrubs, and Perennials

People love lists. I love lists. So when December 1st rolled around, I made a decision to put together a list of trees, shrubs, and perennials for each of the days leading up to Christmas.  So here you go:
  1.  Weeping Norway spruce – living waterfall, yr-round interest, up to 15' tall 
  2.  Miyabe maple – small (up to 40’) tree, dense shade, yellow fall color, fruit produced in fall 
  3. Winterberry holly – deciduous holly, needs male pollinator, up to 15’, bees
  4.  Arrowwood viburnum – durable, adaptable, blue or black fruit, 6 to 15’ tall
  5. Weeping katsura – up to 25’ tall, Asian tree, redbud-like leaves, full sun to part-shade
  6.  ‘Rozanne’ Geranium – cranesbill geranium, makes 18” mound, purple-blue blooms June to frost
  7. Trident maple -- up to 35’ tall, tolerates everything you can throw at it, red/yellow fall color, exfoliating bark
  8. Weeping beech – up to 60’ tall, smooth bark, interesting form, esp winter, 
  9. Buttonbush – native, leggy shrub up to 10-15’ tall, bloom is curious, white and round, attracts pollinators & butterflies 
  10. ‘Fireworks’ goldenrod – clump-forming, non-invasive goldenrod, 3-4’ tall, attracts pollinators 
  11. Persian ironwood – nice, small tree, very attractive bark, yellow/orange/red fall color, red late-winter blooms
  12. Fothergilla – magnificent shrub, early white bloom, cultivars give reliable orange/red/yellow fall color, blue-green leaves, ‘Mt Airy’
  13. Sweet birch – native, 40-55’ tall, best fall color (yellow) of all birches, attractive, dark, shiny, bark, bruised stems emit wintergreen odor 
  14. Blazingstar – there are several and they are native, reliable, summer-blooming perennials that pollinators adore. 
  15. Butterflyweed or swamp milkweed – for the monarchs, these 2 are the showiest and least invasive 
  16. Green Panda Bamboo – not invasive, 6-8’ tall and equal width, protect from pm sun, used as single plant or hedge. 
  17. Kentucky coffeetree – native, KY Heritage Tree, large tree, suckers from root, male selections (no pods), dappled shade. 
  18. Blackgum – native, red fall color, 30-50’ tall, blue-black berries, glossy foliage, v.good honey tree  
  19. Purple Beautyberry – small shrub up to 5’ tall, most graceful of the beautyberries, metallic purple berries, also a white-berried selection. 
  20. Bottlebrush buckeye – part-shade to sun, suckering shrub, excellent foliage and flowers (white spikes), 10’ tall  
  21. Paperbark maple – trifoliate-leaved, cinnamon-brown exfoliating bark, orange-red fall color, 20-30’tall  
  22. Nordman fir – heat-tolerant, well-drained soils, 40-60’ tall, soft needles, conical evergreen, weeping & prostrate forms  
  23. Baptisia – white, purple, and yellow forms, some cultivars, perennial with 4 season appeal, handsome foliage, flowers, seedpods  
  24. Burkwood viburnum -- superior selection ‘Mohawk’, ornamental red flower buds precede fragrant white flowers, 7’tall and wide 
  25. Fringetree – small, native tree 15-20’ tall, white fragrant blooms, unrivaled when in full bloom, blue berries  
These plants were featured on my Twitter feed @hortagentbeth and facebook page.