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  • Yucca filamentosa Adam’s Needle, Silk grass Z 5-9

    tall stalks bearing alabaster bells



    Six foot tall stalks bearing alabaster bells tower over clumps of swordlike leaves with margins of curly threads in July and August.

    Size: 30" leaves - 5' flower x 5'
    Care: full sun, moist well-drained to well-drained soil. Drought tolerant
    Native: New Jersey to Florida
    Wildlife Value: It’s only pollinator is the Yucca moth and the Yucca is the only food source for the Yucca moth in a mutually beneficial relationship.
    Awards: England's Royal Horticultural Society Award of Garden Merit; Cary Award Distinctive Plants for New England and Elisabeth Carey Miller Botanical Garden Great Plant Pick.

    In 1596 Gerard named the genus Yucca from the incorrectly identified plant, the Iucca.  Filimentosa is from the Latin filum meaning “thread” because of the threads on the leaf margins.  Colonists cut the leaves of Y. filamentosa to make thread.  Indians used the root as an ingredient in bread, to make suds for cleaning and the leaf fibers to make clothes.  For the Cherokee it cured diabetes and skin sores, induced sleep in people and drugged fish for an easier catch.  Tradescant the Younger collected this in Virginia before 1640. Both Gerard and Parkinson grew Yucca filamentosa in their personal gardens.  Jefferson planted it  in 1794 and called it “beargrass.”

  • Zinnia grandiflora Rocky Mountain Zinnia SUBSHRUB Z. 4-9

    Profuse golden yellow flowers from July through fall, slow to emerge in spring so don't prematurely assume it's gone.



    Profuse golden yellow flowers from July through fall, slow to emerge in spring so don’t prematurely assume it’s gone. Very sweet yellow blooms over long period of time.

    Size: 4-6”x 12-15”
    Care: full sun in well-drained soil
    Native: Colorado & Kansas south to SW U.S.

    The name Zinnia honors German botany professor Johann Gottfried Zinn (1727-1759). This species 1st collected by Edwin James, physician and botanist on the Long Expedition in 1820.

  • Zizia aurea Golden alexanders Z 4-9

    In spring, golden umbels



    Tiny chartreuse-golden flowers, grouped in umbels, spring.  Good cut flower.

    Size: 30"x 24"
    Care: full sun in moist to moist well-drained soil
    Native: from New Brunswick south to Florida - west to Texas, Wisconsin native
    Wildlife Value: Primary host for the Missouri Woodland Swallowtail butterfly.

    Meskwaki used the root to reduce fevers and the flower stalks to ease headaches.  Collected by late 1700’s.  Good cut flower.