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  • Aconitum napellus Monkshood Wolfsbane Z 5-8 POISON

    Midsummer, blue spikes of hooded blooms

    $10.25/bareroot

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    Aconitum napellus  Monkshood, Wolfsbane             Z 5-8    POISON
    Midsummer, blue spikes of hooded blooms.

    Size: 2-3’x 12”
    Care: part shade, cool, moist soil
    Native: Europe
    Awards: Elisabeth Carey Miller Botanical Garden Great Plant Picks

    The name Aconitum is from the mythical hill Aconitus in Pontica where Hercules fought with Cerberus.  The Monkshood reputedly sprang from the jaws of Cerberus, the guard dog of the underworld.  Believed to make a potion that helped witches fly.  Philip Miller in The Gardener’s Dictionary (1768) wrote that the name Aconitum comes from Greek word for dart “because the Barbarians used to daub their darts therewith.” Used by physicians in 1200’s and to poison wolves:  “This Wolf’s bayne of all poisons is the most hastie poison.”  Wm. Turner, 1560’s.  Introduced to the new world by John Winthrop in 1631. Miller wrote “in flower it makes a pretty appearance” so that many people grow it in their gardens.

  • Actaea pachypoda syn. Actaea alba White baneberry Z 3-8

    Short white spike flowers in June, conspicuous white berries in fall with a black dot on showy crimson stems.

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    Actaea pachypoda syn. Actaea alba White baneberry Z 3-8
    Short white spike flowers in June, conspicuous white berries in fall with a black dot on showy crimson stems.

    Size: 36”x 18-24”
    Care: part to full shade in moist well-drained soil
    Native: native to eastern and central No. America; Wisconsin native.
    Wildlife Value: deer resistant
    Awards: England’s Royal Horticultural Society Award of Merit and Great Plant Pick Award from Elizabeth Carey Miller Botanical Garden.

    Actaea is Latin meaning “elder,” the leaves resembling the elder tree. Pachypoda means thick foot referring to the stalk. The common name “baneberry” chosen because the berries are poisonous. The Blackfoot boiled the roots to cure coughs and colds. In the 1800’s, used to cure “reflex uterine headache, rheumatism, congestion in the female especially, debility and gastralgia.” Sent to England before 1768, Philip Miller.

  • Adenophora lilifolia Ladybells Z 3-8

    Fragrant, flared, downfacing bluebells

    $9.75/ea

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    Adenophora lilifolia    Ladybells   Z 3-8
    Fragrant, flared, downfacing bluebells in midsummer, July and August

    Size: 18" x 12" spreader
    Care: full sun to part shade in moist well-drained soil
    Native: central Europe east to Siberia

    Adenophora is Greek from aden meaning “gland” and phore meaning “to bear.” Japanese cultivated this for edible root. “Fragrant blue flowers, freely borne on a loose pyramidal inflorescence.” H.H. Thomas, 1915. “Well suited for the mixed border.” William Robinson, 1899.

  • Adiantum aleuticum Western Maidenhair Fern Z 3-9

    Bright green fronds perch atop black stems like the fingers of an open hand

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    $8.25/pot

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    Bright green fronds perch atop black stems like the fingers of an open hand

    Size: 30” x 30”
    Care: shade in moist, well-drained soil
    Native: East and west of the Cascade Mountains and is also found scattered along the eastern seaboard
    Wildlife Value: Deer resistant
    Awards: Elisabeth C Miller Great Plant Pick, Royal Horticultural Society Award of Garden Merit

    According to folklore if a girl can hold the stem without causing the leaves to tremble, then she was chaste.
    Natives used the stems in basketry designs and made tea from the leaves to use as a hair wash.  Quinault burnt the leaves and rubbed ashes in their hair to make it long, shiny and black.  California Natives used the stems for pierced earrings, inserting them into the ear lobe to keep the hole from closing. They chewed the leaves to remedy internal wounds, chest pain, or stomach trouble and made a cough syrup from it.