Guest Author - Connie Krochmal
For 2007, a number of new perennials will be available with some of these
being suitable as cut flowers. Among these are the following.
Black Eyed Susan Prairie Glow
Summer just wouldn’t be complete without black eyed Susan’s. Prairie Glow Rudbeckia is a wonderful new perennial that can be grown from seed. With an upright growth habit, this plant reaches five feet in height. Give it plenty of room for it can grow to be three feet across. It will produce lots of blooms over the summer and fall months. The reddish stems bear fluffy flowers in cheerful shades of gold and burgundy. These grow to 2˝ inches across. Recommended for zones four through seven, this perennial needs full sun.
Campanula Pink Octopus
Campanulas or bellflowers are often used as cut flowers. There has never been anything like Pink Octopus campanula. An excellent plant for cutting gardens, this is noted for its very unusual blossoms. You just have to see them to believe they’re real. It looks as if someone took a scissors and snipped each blossom into numerous, long, flowing strands, hence the name octopus. On the outside, the strands are vivid pink, while the inside is white to pastel pink with intriguing dark pink dots. Pink Octopus blooms for a very long period during the summer. This reliable plant is hardy to zones five through nine.
Coreopsis is grown both as annuals and perennials. This year, there are some really exciting new hardy perennial varieties that make great cut flowers. One of the most unusual is Coreopsis Pinwheel. This variety is noted for its quill-like petals. Soft creamy yellow, the petals surround attractive, rust-colored centers. Reaching about two feet in height, Pinwheel has attractive grayish-blue, finely textured foliage. This is suitable for zones six through nine.
Autumn Blush coreopsis grows to several feet in height, and is a vigorous, fast growing plant. Starting in late spring, it begins to produce blossoms, and continues through the fall. During the cooler months, the blooms will be at their most colorful. When temperatures drop below 60 degrees Fahrenheit, they tend to deepen the blushing dark red seen in the center of the flowers and along the edges of the petals. This is recommended for zones six through nine.
Oriental Poppy Flamenco Dancer
Poppies, both annual and perennial ones, are a spring favorite among floral designers. For 2007, there’s a wonderful new Oriental poppy called Flamenco Dancer. Growing to 2˝ feet in height, this is recommended for zones three through seven. This plant is noted for its fully double, gorgeous double red blossoms.
For 2007, there are a number of excellent Echinacea or purple coneflowers. These make great cut flowers.
Pink Double Delight purple coneflower has fully double petals that are a vivid pink. The centers are pinkish-orange.
Among those that can be grown from seed is Prairie Splendor purple coneflower. Reaching two feet in height, the many-stemmed plants produce a multitude of sturdy flower stems over the summer and fall months. The blossoms are deep rose. These grow to about three inches in diameter. This perennial prefers full sun. It is hardy in zones three through nine.
Toad Lily Imperial Banner
Some floral designers may not be familiar with the fall blooming toad lily plants. It is a pity that these aren’t more popular. The exotic looking blossoms bear a remote resemblance to orchids. For 2007, there is a particularly striking new variety called Imperial Banner toad lily. Growing to 1˝ feet in height, this plant does best in moist, shady sites. Throughout the autumn months, this has white blossoms with six perfectly shaped petals, which are covered with vivid purple dots. This is recommended for zones five through nine.