Rhapidophyllum hystrix: Needle Palm
One of the heartiest palms in the world, taking temperatures as low as 0 F. The common name refers to the sharp black needles that protect the plant’s crown and seeds. It is slow growing accent or understory plant.
Carex oshimensis ‘Everest’ Sedge
A grass-like plant that forms a low cascading clump of gracefully arching foliage and a choice plant for edging or in a rock garden. Deer resistant and will tolerate dry shade with occasional watering.
Camellia sasanqua ‘Shishi Gashira’
Aloe saponaria – Soap Aloe
A fleshy succulent that will thrive in hot, dry, sunny beds. It contrasts well with ornamental grasses and green leafy shrubs. The flower stalks are topped by tight green heads of coral red blossoms. It will tolerate shade but doesn’t bloom as well. This rugged plant is showy and easy to grow and not fussy about soil.
Hydrangea quercifloria – Oakleaf hydrangea
Oakleaf hydrangea is a medium to large deciduous shurb. If oak leaf hydrangea never bloomed, it would still be a winner for its handsome foliage. In spring it sports clusters of white flowers that turn purplish-pink as they age. Deer resistant.
Lonicera sempervirens – Trumpet honeysuckle; Carolina woodbine
A well-behaved slender climbing vine that is not as aggressive as the bush-type honeysuckles. Red tubular flowers are magnets for hummingbirds, and bright red berries later in the season are attractive to birds. Easily shaped and contained by occasional pruning.
Pteris cretica – Silver lace fern
An evergreen fern that is the next best thing to artificial flowers for durability. It will thrive in a wide variety of conditions from dry shade to moist soil. An excellent filler for windowboxes or containers and will provide a bright spot in a shady area of the garden. Deer resistant.
Drimiopsis maculata: African hosta
Neither a hosta or in the hosta family, it should be considered as a hosta replacement in our climate. Drought and heat tolerant once established, its thick glossy leaves tend to repel slugs and snails. Plant the bulbs deep enough to cover them completely to protect from frost and severe weather.
Mascagnia macroptera: Butterfly vine
A vine of Mexican origin, it blooms during the hottest time of the year. A vigorous grower, it will die back in the winter and regenerate in the spring. In addition to its profuse blooms, it produces green butterfly shaped seed pods through late fall. It is easily trained to grow on a trellis or other support, but may be pruned into a small bush or left to trail to form a groundcover. A true spring to front bloomer that attracts butterflies and bees.
Erythrinia herbacea: Coral bean
A native to the hardwood hammocks of the southeastern US. Its brilliant red tubular flowers make it attractive to both hummingbirds and butterflies and draw the eye in a garden. Coral bean requires little fertilizer or care once established, and its loose casual form combines well with other plants. Red seed pods, beautiful but toxic, follow the flowers in the fall.
Chionanthus virginicus: White Fringetree
This hardy, deciduous native tree is glorious when fragrant, deeply lobed white flowers are in full bloom with panicles up to 10 in. in diameter. Thrives in full sun with some protection and in deep, fertile soil. It does best when grown from seed and will grow as high as 20 ft.
Heliotropium amplexicaule: Clasping Heliotrope
A herbaceous perennial in zones 7 – 10, it produces mildly fragrant, five-petaled lavender flowers in the spring. Prefers well-drained soil and is happy in dry, sandy places. Can reach more than 2 ft in height and spread up to 3 ft, mounding slightly. Pinch growth back to maintain a tighter habitat and it will become more abundant, attracting bees, butterflies and other important pollinators. Works well in containers and mixed beds and tolerates full sun well.
Panicum virgatum: Northwind Switchgrass
Very tough North American native prairie grass that produces in late summer with narrow plumes that turn pinkish and are held erect atop wide, thick blue-green leaf-blades. In the fall the foliage turns a lovely golden yellow. Tolerates all manners of soils in full sun and dry conditions, in saturated soils for short periods, and along the coast. It will grow to 5 ft with a 2 ft spread with its flowers rising another 2 ft. Versatile and suitable for mass planting, along banks for erosion control or accents and transitionals.
Pennisetum ‘Princess Molly’: Dwarf Red Fountaingrass
An ornamental fountaingrass that bears thin, deep burgundy leaves and grows only to around 24″ tall. This improved cultivar has excellent resistance to leaf spot and other diseases that often affect grasses in a hot, humid climate. They are prized for their beautiful foliage and will not go to seed except in totally frost-free climates. Once established they are fairly drought tolerant and deer resistant.
Itea virginica: Little Henry
A useful native plant with lots of potential in the home landscape. A deciduous woody ornamental shrub that prefers moist soil and will tolerate most wet conditions. Will grow in full sun to full shade and become drought tolerant while requiring little pruning. It’s lightly fragrant white flowers will attract summer butterflies. Stands at less than 3 ft tall and its a mounding plant. Deer resistant and best if pruned immediately after blooming.