Plants for 2021

* indicates plants native to eastern North America

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*Packera aurea. Golden ragwort. The first yellow composite to bloom in the spring. Beloved by bees and butterflies, this spring native will seed around but can be deadheaded easily. Sun or shade, dry or wet, this one is easy anywhere. 1-2’


*Pachysandra procumbens. Allegheny spurge. In the same genus as the Japanese spurge but native and with beautifully mottled leaves and pure white spikes of flowers in spring. Will spread slowly in part or full shade and dry woodsy conditions. Evergreen. 10” Dig and separate the stems in fall.

*Penstemon digitalis ‘Husker Red’. Beardtongue. Burgundy foliage and white flowers in May and June. A good cut flower. 2-3’ Dry soil and full sun. Seed.


*Phlox carolina ‘Rose Bouquet’  PP  #30,221. This pink May and June blooming selection of a native southern phlox has no mildew, unlike the border phlox. Blooming over a long period, it attracts butterflies. 14-18” Propagation by divisions of the stem and roots. Sun and medium moist soil. For more information see


*Phlox divaricata. Wild blue phlox. From late April through May this splendid plant carpets the woodland garden with a sheet of blue. Rarely, white and pink forms are also found. 6-12’, spreads from seed (which is hard to collect) and divisions of plants all during the spring and summer.

*Phlox stolonifera. Creeping phlox. In forms pink, blue, white and purple this woodland groundcover spreads slowly. Blooming at each node, the flowers are 6-8” tall. April and May. Root the stolons at each node.


*Phlox subulata. Moss phlox. An evergreen groundcover for full sun, moss phlox comes in dozens of shades of pink and white. Sandy, dry soil suits it.4-6” in bloom. Root stem cuttings in August.

*Phlox paniculata. Border phlox. The genus phlox is the greatest gift to horticulture from North America.. More than 600 named cultivars of this single species have been named, many in England. Yet this wild plant can be found blooming along the bike trail in September. Sun or shade, this plant wants a moist soil and has been called the mainstay of the summer border. Keep it moist to avoid mildew and deadhead to avoid unwanted seedlings which revert back to magenta.


Philadelphus coronarius. Mock orange. Sweet smelling of citrus, mock orange grows to 8’ and spreads as far as it can. A dense deciduous shrub, it enjoys full sun or part shade and moist but well-drained soil. Grow from root cuttings in fall.


*Physostegia virginiana ‘Vivid’. Obedient plant. Selected for the vibrant pink flowers, “Vivid” blooms at 2’ in late summer. Give it moist soil and full sun. Divide the shoots in the spring. Easy from seed.

*Podophylum peltatum. Mayapple. One of our three native fruits (the others are pawpaw and persimmon) Mayapples lurk underground before shouldering their way into the spring woodland. Spreading from underground rhizomes, the green umbrellas spread their leaves in May and then disappear for another year.12” Turtles eat the fruits and spread the seeds.

*Polemonium reptans. Jacob’s ladder. Clusters of blue flowers in April and May top this spreading groundcover with ferny, pinnate leaves. Blooming at 12”, it spreads by seed and rhizomes.


*Polygonatum canaliculatum. Solomon’s Seal. This tall native sports small white flowers in clusters hanging from the arched stems. It has real presence in the shady or part sunny garden. The smaller P. biflorum offers the same structure. Spreads by underground roots.

Polygonatum falcatum. Fragrant variegated Solomon’s Seal. White margins edge the leaves of this east Asian perennial, which also features the hanging bells. Enjoy the fragrance.Blooms in April on 2’ arching stems. Division by roots.



Pulmonaria saccharata. Lungwort. Spotted leaves appear early in March, followed by blue borage-type flowers in April. The leaves make a fine groundcover on the 10” plants. Easy from seed or divisions in fall.

*Pycnanthemum muticum. Mountain mint. Silver leaves and small pink flowers attracted more pollinators on this plant than any other in the Penn State Pollinator Trials. The leaves make a delicious tea. The plants grow to 4’ and spread, as do all mints. Blooms all summer.