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.
Platycodon grandiflorus albus Balloon flower Z 4-9
Balloon shaped buds opening to white bells in mid to late summer
Size: 24" x 12" Care: Full sun to part shade in moist well-drained to well-drained soil. Native: Eastern Asia Awards: England's Royal Horticultural Society Award of Garden Merit.
Platycodon is Greek from platys meaning “broad” and kodon meaning “bell”, referring to the shape of the flower. Planthunter Robert Fortune found the white form in a nursery near Shanghai and sent it to England in 1845.
Penstemon hirsutus Downy penstemon Z. 3-9
Lavender-Pink outside and white inside funnels in June
An erect, clump-forming plant that is primarily grown for its blue spring flowers, feathery green summer foliage and golden fall color. Powdery blue, 1/2″ star-like flowers appear in late spring atop stems rising to 3′ tall.
Size: 2-3’ x 2-3’ Care: full sun to part shade in well-drained soil Native: Ouachita Mountains in central Arkansas.
First recorded in the 1770s as A. angustifolia, but later named Hubricht’s Amsonia, after Leslie Hubricht, an American biologist who re-discovered it in the 1940s.