Sunday, June 24, 2012


A genus of vines that are part of the larger Dogbane family.

Trachelospermum asiaticum ( Asiatic Jasmine )
A very beautiful, evergreen groundcover, reaching up to 1 foot in height, that may also become a vine, reaching up to 33 ( rarely over 20 ) feet high if provided a lattice. When used as groundcover, the stems root as they touch the ground. The Asiatic Jasmine is native from India through southern China and Korea to Japan; south to Thailand.
The elliptical leaves, up to 4 x 3 ( rarely over 3 ) inches in length, are glossy deep green.
The fragrant, creamy-white flowers, up to 0.7 inches wide, appear late spring into early summer.
Hardy zones 7 to 9 in full sun or shade on well drained soil. It is drought tolerant and moderately drought tolerant. In sun, the foliage may scorch then fall during hard winter freezes; do not declare the plant dead as regrowth is often rapid during late spring into summer.

* photos taken on June 23 2013 @ U.S. National Arboretum, DC

* photo taken on Oct 17 2017 in Elkridge, MD

'First Snow'
The foliage emerges pink at first, then turns white before turning mid-green. It is moderate growing reaching a size of only 10" x 3 feet.
Hardy zones 7 to 9

* photo taken on June 23 2013 @ U.S. National Arboretum, DC

* photos taken on Sep 3 2017 @ U.S. National Arboretum, D.C.

* photos taken on Aug 4 2021 @ U.S. National Arboretum, Washington, DC

'Ogon Nishiki'
The foliage is deep orangish-red at first, turning to deep golden-yellow with a deep green margin.
Hardy zones 7 to 9

* photo taken @ U.S. Botanical Garden, Wash., DC on Aug 25 2014

'Red Wing'
The foliage is bright red at first, it is otherwise identical to the species.

'Snow N Summer'
Moderate growing with heavily splashed pink and white new growth.
Hardy zones 7 to 9

* photos taken on Aug 7 2019 in Elkridge, MD

* photo taken on July 5 2021 in Elkridge, MD

Fast growing and dense, with glossy foliage that is edged in creamy-white.

Trachelospermum difforme ( Climbing Dogbane )
Also called Thrysanthella difformis. A twining, high-climbing vine, native to moist woods in the southeastern U.S. ( from eastern Oklahoma to St Louis, Missouri to southern Indiana to southeast Kentucky to central Maryland & Delaware; south to eastern Texas to northern Florida ). The stems can be up to 0.5 inches in diameter at the base.
The paired lance-shaped to obovate leaves are up to 4.8 inches in length. The foliage is glossy mid-green above, whitish beneath. The leaves exude a white milky sap.
The flowers are pale yellow.
They are followed by a reddish-brown, long, very narrow seed pod up to 8 x 0.1 inches in size.
Hardy zones 6 to 9.

Trachelospermum jasminoides ( Chinese Star Jasmine )
A moderate growing, self-clinging vine, reaching a maximum height of 60 feet, though typically much smaller. It can be used as a groundcover to cover large areas. It is native to most of southern China, Korea, Japan and Vietnam.
The oval leaves, up to 4 x 2 inches, are glossy deep green. The foliage is often bronzy-purple at first.
The very fragrant, small, 5-petalled, creamy-white flowers are borne in clusters up to 2.8 inches across during summer.
Hardy zones 8 to 10 in partial shade on light, fertile, acidic, well drained soil.

* photo taken on July 17 2012 in Columbia, MD

* excellent videos found on Youtube

The white-veined foliage turns reddish during the winter.

Hardier, surviving as far north as zone 7.
This vigorous form has leaves that are downy beneath.

* photos taken on June 30 2013 @ U.S. National Arboretum, DC

* photos taken on Aug 27 2017 in Elkridge, MD


* photo taken on June 30 2013 @ U.S. National Arboretum, DC

Attractive foliage that is green with pink and creamy-white variegation.

* photo taken on Oct 21 2016 in Annapolis, MD

The gray-green foliage is edged in creamy-white which turns pink during winter. A similar var wilsonii 'Variegatum' is more somewhat more cold hardy.


Selaginella braunii
A moss-like perennial, reaching up to 20 inches in height, that is native to western China. An ancient plant, it originated about 400 million years ago.
The foliage resembles that of Arborvitae.


Prunella grandiflora ( Self-Heal )
A low, mat-forming perennial, reaching a maximum size of 2 x 4 feet.
It can be used for groundcover.
The leaves are up to 4 x 2 inches.
Hardy zones 4 to 8 in sun or shade on well drained to moist soil.
Tolerates wet conditions.



* photo taken on Aug 2 2011 @ Hyde Park, NY



* photos taken on May 16 2011 in Washington, D.C.


Antirrhinum majus
A short-lived perennial that is often grown as summer bedding annuals. Moderate growing and upright in habit, it can reach a maximum size of 6 x 2 feet though usually much shorter in stature. Hardy zones 6 to 9 ( as a perennial ) in full sun on fertile, well drained soil. Drought tolerant. It prefers cooler summers, in the Deep South can be planted during early autumn and kept in place until the following late spring. Deadheading encourages repeat blooming. It is unfortunately prone to aphids and spider mites. Slugs can also be a problem, however is treatable by sprinkling diomaceous earth around the plant.

* photo taken on May 21 2012 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on July 24 2023 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on Aug 29 2023 in Columbia, MD

'Tahiti Series'
Much smaller growing and resistant to foliar rust.

Sea Oats

Uniola paniculata ( Sea Oats )
A very attractive, moderate growing, rhizomatous perennial grass, reaching up to 7 feet, that is widely planted along the east coast to stabilize sand dunes which it does with its network of dense roots. It is native to coastal sand dunes in the southeastern U.S. ( Gulf Coast, Florida and east coast north to Virginia )
This grass is rare and protected in much of its native range.
The showy white flower panicles, up to 18 inches in length, appear during summer.
The edible seeds are a tasty treat. Hardy zones 7 to 10 in full sun on sandy, well drained soil. It is very drought tolerant, however requires regular irrigation during the first season. Tolerant of high temperatures, salt spray and wind. It is illegal to dig up or collect seed from wild plants as it is covered under the Endangered Species Act, however plants can be purchased in nurseries or existing plants divided. It is not prone to pests or disease.

Bottlebrush Grass

Hystrix patula ( Bottlebrush Grass )
A perennial ornamental grass, reaching up to 3 feet, that looks great when used in groups. It is native to moist woods in the eastern U.S.
The foliage is green during summer, turning to brown during early autumn.
The flower plumes appear during summer.
Hardy zones 3 to 8, thrives on dry soil in partial to full shade.

Love Grass

A group of perennial grasses that are great for massing, that prefer full sun.

Eragrostis spectabilis ( Purple Love Grass )
A fast growing clumping grass, reaching up to 2 x 2 feet with pink to purplish-red flower plumes during autumn.
Hardy zones 5 to 9 in full sun on well drained soil. It is extremely drought tolerant. It is not prone to pests or disease. Propagation is from seed and it may self sow if seed heads are not removed.

Eragrostis trichoides ( Sand Love Grass )
Reaches up to 5 feet with bronze colored flower inflorescences.
Hardy zones 5 to 9 in full sun.

Tufted Hair Grass

Deschampsia caespitosa ( Tufted Hair Grass )
A fast growing, finely textured grass, forming a semi-evergreen ( evergreen zones 7 to 9 ) foliage clump reaching a maximum size of 3.5 x 5 feet. It is native to North America, from Greenland to Alaska; south to California to North Carolina. It is also native to northern Eurasia. The Tufted Hair Grass is a cool season grass that grows mostly during spring and fall though remaining green during summer.
It is an excellent choice for mass plantings on wet sites.
The deep green leaves are very narrow, up to 0.12 inches wide.
The pale purplish-green flower panicles appear during mid summer, they are followed
by loose, airy, hazy seed panicles, reaching up to 6 feet high.
This grass remains attractive during autumn and winter.
Hardy zones 4 to 9 ( 3 on protected sites ) in sun or shade. Very soil tolerant including wet clays. Cut back ( to 1/3 height - more may damage the crown ) very early during spring before new growth begins. Dividing should also be done very early in spring.

'Bronze Veil'
Also called 'Bronzeschleier'.
Forms a tufted evergreen clump up to 3 x 2.5 feet, topped with bronze-yellow inflorescences up to 4.5 feet during autumn.

'Gold Dust'
Forms a tufted evergreen clump up to 2 x 4 feet, topped with yellow flower inflorescences up to 5 feet during autumn.
Hardy zones 3 to 9

'Gold Veil'
Reaches up to 2 feet with bright yellow inflorescences.

'Golden Pendant'
Reaches up to 3 feet with golden-yellow inflorescences.

'Northern Lights'
Forms a foliage clump up to 14 inches x 2 feet, it does not flower.
The highly attractive foliage is boldly variegated with a white margin that turns to pink during fall and winter.

'Schottland ( Scottish Tufted Hair Grass )
Forms a tufted, deep green, evergreen clump up to 3.5 x 5 feet, topped with giant, bright green, airy inflorescences up to 5.5 feet during autumn.

Reaches up to 3 feet with flower inflorescences borne during late summer.

Deschampsia flexuosa ( Tufted Hair Grass )
Reaches up to 1 x 1 foot.
The golden-yellow flower inflorescences, up to 3.5 feet high are borne during mid to late summer.
An excellent groundcover and looks great planted with heather.
Hardy zones 4 to 9 ( 2 & 3 on very protected sites ) in full sun to partial shade on acidic moist soil though it is tolerant of temporary drought.

Quaking Grass

Briza media ( Quaking Grass )
Forms a moderate growing, clump of deep green foliage up to 1 foot high. It is evergreen in mild climates. The puffy, oat-like, flower plumes reach up to 2.5 feet in height.
Hardy zones 4 to 8 in full sun on well drained soil. Drought tolerant. Can be divided during early spring or autumn.

Buchloe dactyloides ( Buffalo Grass )
A low perennial lawn grass that reaches a maximum height of 6 ( rarely over 4 ) inches uncut, that is native to the Great Plains from Canada to Texas.
The foliage is gray-green from late spring through mid autumn, turning beige for the remainder of the year. It is a warm season grass.
Hardy zones 3 to 9 in full sun, it is tolerant of heat and drought ( overwatering and fertilizeing can actually cause disease and insect problems ).

Oat Grass

Arrhenatherum bulbosum ( Bulbous Oat Grass )
Also called A elatius.

Forms a clump up to 2 feet with white variegated foliage.
Looks great in the landscape when massed.
Hardy zones 4 to 9 in full sun to partial shade.

Arrhenatherum calamagrostis ( Silver Spike Grass )
A stunning perennial grass, reaching up to 3 x 3 feet, that is native to Europe.
The spectaular silvery-green flowers are borne on abundant spikes during the summer.
They turn to tawny-brown during autumn.
Hardy zones 5 to 8 in full sun on well drained soil. Clay tolerant. It thrives in the Rocky Mountains but does not enjoy the hot humid east, especially where nights are warm.