Perennials & Biennials

Showing 73–76 of 539 results

  • Asarum canadense syn. Hexastylis canadense Wild ginger Z 3-7

    brown bells with flared tips hide under this groundcover's lacquered, round leaves



    Asarum canadense syn. Hexastylis canadense Wild ginger    Z 3-7
    Concealed brown bells with flared tips hide under this groundcover’s crinkled, lacquered, round leaves.

    Size: 6" x 6" spreading
    Care: part shade to shade, moist well-drained soil
    Native: Canada to North Carolina, Wisconsin native

    Native Americans used Wild ginger for such diverse purposes as flavoring food, cure heart palpitations, induce menstrual cycles, cure “the bite of the serpent,” mend broken bones and lure catfish. Colonists used the plant to break fever and stimulate the appetite.

  • Asarum europaeum syn. Hexastylis europaeum European snakeroot, Wild ginger Z 4-9

    Glossy, kidney shaped leaves



    Asarum europaeum syn. Hexastylis europaeum European snakeroot, Wild ginger    Z 4-9
    Glossy, leathery, kidney shaped leaves, dark green with lighter veins, with purplish, sepia-toned bell-like flower, hidden by the more ornamental leaves

    Size: 4-6” x 12” slow spreader
    Care: shade to part shade in moist to moist well-drained acidic soil
    Native: Europe
    Awards: Elisabeth Carey Miller Garden Great Plant Pick & England’s Royal Horticultural Society Award of Merit.

    According to Dioscorides in Roman times this plant cured ailments of the eyes, ears, stomach, mind and the head.  Grown in the Eichstatt Garden, the garden of Johann Konrad von Gemmingen, prince bishop of Eichstatt in Bavaria, c. 1600. Gerard (1633) reported that this Wild ginger prevented increase of hard swelling cankers by topical application.  Powdered root mixed with wine cured sciatica, gout, dropsie & ague.  The name Asarum comes from Greek phrase “to adorn”, meaning it needs adornment.

  • Asclepias incarnata Swamp milkweed Z 3-9

    pink umbels, like an upside down ballerina’s skirt



    Asclepias incarnata Swamp milkweed     Z 3-9
    Fragrant medium pink umbels, like an upside down ballerina’s skirt, July – September.

    Size: 3’-4’ x 2-3’
    Care: Sun in moist to moist well-drained soil, deer resistant
    Native: North America – all states (except along the Pacific coast) & eastern half of Canada, Wisconsin native
    Wildlife Value: host for Monarch caterpillars, flowers are source of nectar for several butterflies

    Named after Asclepias, a Greek god of medicine. Native American groups used Swamp milkweed – Chippewa to increase their strength & the stems made into twine; Iroquois to heal navels in babies, to increase or decrease urine and to make a person strong enough to punish witches; Meskwaki to drive out tapeworms; and Menominee used it as an ingredient in food – added to deer soup & cornmeal mush. Listed as growing in England in Miller’s Gardeners’ Dictionary, 1768. Pressed specimen in Emily Dickinson’s herbarium.

  • Asclepias tuberosa Butterfly weed, Pleurisy-root Z 4-9

    striking orange cymes in July-August



    Striking orange cymes in July-August on this American native.

    Size: 2-3' x 12"
    Care: Sun in moist well-drained to dry soil, Drought tolerant & deer resistant
    Native: East and south North America, Wisconsin native
    Wildlife Value: host for Monarch & Gray hairstreak butterfly caterpillars.

    Omaha Indian’s Shell Society took 4 days to dig, prepare and distribute the root to cure bronchial and pulmonary ailments. Most important medicine for the Menomonie. Iroquois smashed the root on runner’s legs to give them strength. Butterfly weed cured flu and remedied coyote bites for the Iroquios. 1st collected for gardens by Rev. John Banister in colonial Virginia in 1678 He died when he bent over to collect a plant and a gunman mistakenly shot him. Jefferson grew this at Monticello.