Fanflower is a sprawling, tender perennial grown as an annual in New Jersey. Bluish-purple, fan-shaped flowers with yellow “throats” bloom on trailing stems non-stop throughout the spring and summer. Fanflower thrives in the heat of summer. This plant tolerates dry, sandy soils and salt spray, making it a good choice for seashore gardens. Use Fanflower in beds, containers, and hanging baskets, or as an annual groundcover.
Madagascar Periwinkle is a tender perennial grown as an annual in New Jersey. It has attractive, glossy leaves and rose-pink, phlox-like flowers, which bloom from June to frost. Cultivars offer additional color choices, including red, purple, and white. This plant thrives in summer heat, and is drought-tolerant once established. It grows best in well-drained soil. Minimize overhead watering to avoid root rot. Use Madagascar Periwinkle in beds and borders, as an edging plant, or as an annual groundcover. It can also be used in containers.
Egyptian Starcluster is a flowering tropical plant grown as an annual in New Jersey. It has lush, green foliage and large, rounded clusters of star-shaped flowers, which are available in a variety of colors (pink, lavender, red, and white). This plant flowers prolifically from summer to frost. The nectar attracts butterflies and hummingbirds. Egyptian Starcluster grows best in organically rich soils. Plant it in beds, borders, and containers, or use it indoors as a houseplant. If desired, outdoor plants can be moved indoors for overwintering.
Wild Bergamot is a highly adaptable, wildlife-friendly perennial. Its showy, tubular, white, pink, or purple flowers form round, wispy clusters atop tall stems, July through September. The foliage is fragrant, offering additional interest in the garden. Wild Bergamot is valued by hummingbirds, butterflies, and bees, which benefit from the nectar. The genus Monarda is prone to powdery mildew, but this species, Monarda fistulosa, offers some resistance. Use Wild Bergamot in borders, meadows, and naturalized areas in your yard.
American Beachgrass is an evergreen grass, ubiquitous to the northeastern seaside landscape. Yellow, inconspicuous flowers bloom on spikes, May-September. It is commonly used as a dune stabilizer along the east coast. Rhizomes (underground stems) travel vertically and horizontally for up to 20 feet, creating a “net,” which holds the sand in place. As sand builds up around the plant, the vertical stems grow higher; this continuous process builds the dune. American Beachgrass is best planted during its dormancy period, October-March.
Summer Grape is a woody deciduous vine. Its flowers are fragrant, but not showy; they bloom May-June, and attract pollinating bees. Summer Grape is primarily grown for its edible, blue-purple fruit, but its foliage is also attractive in summer, and the shaggy bark of the woody vine provides ornamental interest in winter. The fruit provides a food source for birds and wildlife, September-October. Plant Summer Grape strategically to grow on a trellis, fence, or other structure in your yard. The flexible vines can be used to make decorative wreaths.
Blackhaw is a wildlife-friendly deciduous shrub featuring white flowers, which bloom April-May. The nectar is attractive to native bees and butterflies. The fruit is pinkish-rose and matures to bluish-black; it provides a good food source for birds and wildlife. The edible fruit is used for preserves and jellies. Blackhaw can be planted as a shrub border or as a small specimen tree in your yard.
Possumhaw is a deciduous shrub featuring white, fragrant flower clusters, which bloom June-July. The nectar provides a food source for bees and butterflies. Its berries are very ornamental, changing from green to salmon-pink, to lavender, to blue, to black, and all colors may be present in the fruit cluster at one time. The fruit attracts birds and wildlife. Fall foliage is red to reddish-purple. Plant Possumhaw as a shrub border or in natural areas of your yard. It is very similar to Viburnum nudum var. cassinoides.
Arrowwood is a wildlife-friendly deciduous shrub featuring white flowers with yellow stamens, which bloom May-July. The flowers provide a nectar source for native bees and butterflies. Blue-black berries follow the flowers, and offer a valued food source for birds and wildlife. Fall foliage can be yellow, glossy red, or reddish-purple. Arrowwood is a host plant for Spring Azure (Celastrina ladon) butterfly larvae. Use this durable plant in massed plantings, shrub borders, and in shrub hedges.
Withe-rod, or Witherod Viburnum, features white flowers with yellow stamens, which bloom June-July. The fruit is very ornamental, changing from green, to pink, to red, to blue, finally to black, and all colors may be present in the fruit cluster at one time. The berries persist after the leaves drop, and provide a good food source for birds and wildlife. Fall foliage is orange-red, crimson, and purple. Witherod Viburnum is a good choice for naturalizing, mass plantings, and as a shrub border around your yard. It is very similar to Viburnum nudum.