summer dormant perennials

First Flowers of Flat Iris

Late December marks our first flowering of Iris planifolia. This odd native to Southern Europe and Northern Africa has a similar distribution to the better-known Iris unguicularis, but this Iris belongs to the group, known as Juno or bulbous iris. These deciduous iris are extremely sensitive to summer moisture, which is why this resides in

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Bifid Rhodophiala

The genus rhodophiala is in a state of flux. Some taxonomists believe the genus actually doesn’t exist and should be merged with rain lilies, while others consider it a perfectly valid genus with 27 species. Oh, the joys of taxonomy. To most gardeners, the genus rhodophiala are simply dwarf hippeastrum (horticultural amaryllis), the most commonly

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From Siberia to Raleigh

There aren’t a huge number of Siberian native plants that thrive in our heat and humidity, but one that has been outstanding for us is Angelica dahurica. For those, who have traveled the world, the specific epithet “dahurica” means, from Davuria (Dahuria), a region of south-east Siberia and north-east Mongolia. Angelica dahurica is a widely-cultivated,

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Where corydalis fear to tread

We live in a climate of heat and humidity where most of the really cool perennial corydalis fear to tread. One outstanding selection that has thrived here for the last quarter century is a discovery from our friend, Dan Hinkley, that he named and introduced as Corydalis leucanthema ‘Silver Spectre’. Part of the secret to

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