White-lavender flowers in May atop wiry stems look like fantastical birds with too many wings, or a four-cornered bishop’s hat. Ornamental heart-shaped leaves and red stems.
Size: 6-12” x 18” slow spreader Care: shade to part shade in well-drained to moist well-drained soil. Once roots established, valuable in dry shade Native: China, Japan & Korea
Its Chinese name is “Yin Yang Ho” meaning “Licentious goat herb, “ because allegedly an aphrodisiac for goats! In China & Japan thought to remedy impotence, liver ailments & all age related maladies. In Western gardens since 1834.
Penstemon hirsutus Downy penstemon Z. 3-9
Lavender-Pink outside and white inside funnels in June
Cluster of crimson, star-shaped florets atop 2’ stems bloom their heads of ALL summer.
Size: 24-36”x 36” Care: Sun in well-drained alkaline soil Native: Mediterranean Wildlife Value: attracts butterflies
Centranthus is from the Greek meaning “spurred flower.” According to Culpepper, an English herbalist from the early 1600’s, this plant comforts the heart and stirs up lust. Parkinson, in 1629 describes it “of a fine red colour, very pleasant to behold.”