Woody Ornamentals

Showing 1–4 of 58 results

  • Abeliophyllum distichum White forsythia, Korean Abelea-leaf Z. 5

    Showy white blooms along stems in very early spring, almond fragrance



    Showy white blooms along stems in very early spring, almond fragrance

    Size: 3-5’ x 3-4’
    Care: full sun to part shade in moist to moist well-drained soil. Prune right after flowering, one-third of the oldest branches annually.
    Native: central Korea, where it is nearly extinct. This is the sole species in this genus.

    1st collected by Japanese botanist Takenoshin Nakai (1882-1952) before 1919.  Nakai, professor, author, scholar and official botanist for Korea in 1910 after Japan annexed Korea following the Sino-Japanese and Russo-Japanese wars. There he explored the botanically unknown mountains and forests and introduced its plants to the world through his international contacts and his authorship of Flora Koreana.  Abeliophyllum means leaves like an Abelia, a different shrub. In America’s Arnold Arboretum by 1924.

  • Aesculus pavia

    Spectacular raspberry colored upright panicles in spring



    Aesculus pavia Red buckeye Z 5-8
    Spectacular raspberry colored upright panicles in spring

    Size: 15’ x 10’
    Care: sun to part shade in moist well drained soil- understory tree
    Native: eastern US
    Wildlife Value: attracts butterflies & feeds hummingbirds
    Awards: England’s Royal Horticultural Society Award of Merit; Pennsylvania Horticultural Society Gold Medal Plant Award & Missouri Botanic Garden Award of Merit

    Aesculus is a Latin name for a nut bearing tree. Pavia comes from Peter Pav, a Dutch professor at University of Leyden. This plant collected by John Bartram and sent to England by 1711. Jefferson grew this at Monticello, planted in 1798. Nuts from the tree were used by Native Americans to stupefy fish. Chickasaws pulverized the root, placed it in baskets and violently churned the baskets in the river to poison fish. Cherokee Indians carried the nuts in their pockets for good luck, as well as for curing piles and rheumatism. Pounded nuts also cured swelling, sprains, tumors and infections.

  • Amorpha canescens Lead plant Z 2-9

    Arching violet spikes flower in mid-summer top pinnately compound, grey-green leaves.



    Arching violet spikes flower in mid-summer top pinnately compound, grey-green leaves.  Liberty Hyde Bailey (1933): “Handsome free-flowering shrub of dense habit, well adapted for rockeries and borders …”


    Size: 2-3’ x 2-3’
    Care: sun in well-drained to moist well-drained soil
    Native: Broad swath of central No. America from Canada to TX. Wisconsin native. Common shrub in Great Plains’ tall-grass prairies and seasonally wet soil.
    Wildlife Value: Honeybees and butterflies relish its nectar.
    Awards: Great Plants for Great Plains

    Amorpha means “deformed” in Greek and “becoming grey” in Latin.  Called Lead plant due to old belief that plant grew in soil containing lead. 1st described in published work in 1813.  Used medicinally by numerous Native Americans to kill pinworms, remedy eczema, stomach aches, neuralgia, rheumatism and cuts.  Steeped leaves made tea for Oglala. Oglala mixed its dried leaves with buffalo fat for smoking.

  • Arctostaphylos uva-ursi Bearberry, Bear’s grape, Kinnikinnick Z 2-6

    Dwarf ornamental shrub



    “Dwarf ornamental shrub, ornamental in foliage, flowers and berry.”  Rand 1866.    In spring fragrant, pinkish-white bell-shaped flowers, evergreen, glossy foliage and Marlboro red berries in fall.   Great for cascading over edge of wall or groundcover.

    Size: 4” x 20” forms dense groundcover over time. Stems root to spread.
    Care: sun to part shade in moist well-drained to dry, acidic soil. Needs watering until established. Best grown with protection from wind.
    Native: No. America, Wisconsin native
    Awards: Cary Award Distinctive Plants for New England Kinnikinnick is Algonquin meaning “mixture.” Used as an ingredient in Native American smoke mixtures. For centuries leaves used to make medicinal tea as a tonic and diuretic in many parts of the world. Cheyenne drank the tea to cure back sprains. Some Native Americans used it to cure venereal disease, others to cure pimples and itching, peeling skin. Both Indians and colonists mixed leaves with tobacco for smoking. Collected by Meriwether Lewis on the Expedition.