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From 3000m altitude in Kyrgyzstan, Central Asia, there is no doubting the hardiness of this species! Making a short stout species in the wild with usually unbranched inflorescences reaching to 1m high, topped by broad distinctive umbels of white flowers. Foliage is composed of broad segments.
Angelica sylvestris 'Ebony'
A gently self-sowing biennial with dark-purple washed foliage and grey-pink umbels of flower on stems to 75cm in summer. Sun or semi-shade. Easy.
A native of Western and Central Europe, producing a cloud of starry white flowers on branched 80cm stems in summer over grassy foliage. For fertile soil in a sunny position. Very hardy.
Anthriscus nemorosa (new)
A close relative of Cow Parsley from the Caucasus, though in this case firmly perennial, this creates clouds of beautiful white umbels slightly earlier in early summer, to a similar height. Hardy and easy in sun or semi-shade.
A large imposing perennial with layers of horizontally held bold bipinnate, deciduous leaves composed of multiple broad leaflets and white ivy-like flowers followed by black berries in autumn. Height to 1.5m.
A truly sinister and most impressive beast. The huge veiny trifoliolate leaf stands up to 60cm high, and as it unfolds, there emerges the big, hooded, white-striped, purple flower. From the spathe hangs a long thread that reaches the ground, allowing pollination by ground dwelling creepy-crawlies. Open, well drained, humusy soil in light shade.
A Cobra lily from the Far East with superb trifoliolate leaves standing 50cm high with bold, broad, glossy leaflets; each leaflet up to about 30cm long with impressed veins. A white striped green and red flowering spathe in this form, with a bulbous hood like Punch's hat. An easy Arisaema for the garden, growing in any well drained soil in semi-shade.
Artemisia lactiflora NJM 11.010
Our collection from Guizhou, China. White flowers on rather arching stems, to 120cm, in summer. Bright green foliage emerges variably tinged with darker tones. For sun or part shade. Not dry.
Asarum epigynum 'Takasago Saishin' (new)
One of the finest in the genus for foliage effect, this has spear-shaped evergreen foliage in dark green with contrasting silver net-veining. Little pale-rimmed dark-purple flowers, spotted greenish-yellow are seen amongst the foliage Mar-May. Forms a slowly spreading patch to 15cm tall. Shade.
The Wild Spikenard is one of the finest of low ground cover foliage perennials for shade, this makes mats of glossy, kidney shaped, well veined foliage with a wonderfully rounded general look. Odd little hooded dark purple-red flowers in spring. For well drained humusy soil, this reaches about 10cm tall by 30cm across.
Asarum europaeum Pontic form (new)
A collection of Wild Spikenard from NE Turkey with larger leaves. One of the finest of low ground cover foliage perennials for shade, this makes mats of glossy, wonderfully rounded, kidney shaped, well veined foliage with odd little hooded dark purple-red flowers in spring. For well drained humusy soil, this reaches about 10cm tall by 30cm across
Asparagus filicinus NJM 12.024
A particularly handsome and relatively small growing species found in Manipur, NE India, with branched stems 50 to 70cm tall, arching over with the weight of the tiny, narrow, linear foliage. Black fruit in autumn. Untried for hardiness as yet, but probably pretty tough as a deciduous herbaceous, this would in any case make a very attractive pot plant for foliage effect.
Asparagus filicinus PAB 13.457
A particularly handsome and relatively small growing evergreen species found in Nagaland, NE India, with branched stems 50 to 70cm tall, arching over with the weight of the tiny, narrow, linear foliage. Black fruit in autumn. Untried for hardiness as yet, but probably pretty tough as a deciduous herbaceous, this would in any case make a very attractive pot plant for foliage effect.
Asparagus tenuifolius (new)
Very closely related to the commonly cultivated A. officinalis, this Southern European naturally grows in some shade in the wild though would no doubt cope with full sun in the UK. Most probably delicious, but I would grow it for its beautifully dissected, cloud-like foliage alone. A collection from Croatia. Hardy.
A not too large evergreen species from South Africa with very fine textured foliage on arching stems, reaching about 1m, with thousands of tiny cream flowers and little orange fruit. Drought tolerant, for sun and well drained soil. In my cold frost pocket it's been fully perennial, but killed to the ground in very cold winters, sprouting strongly the following spring.
Aster 'Primrose Path'
Tough, drought tolerant, even in dry shade, Sprays of lilac flowers with maroon centres in late summer/autumn. Foliage gains red tints through the season. Height approx 50cm.
From the French garden of the same name comes this fine cultivar, producing masses of light mauve flowers on dark stems for most of September. Height to 1.2m. Sun or part shade.
Aster ageratoides var. scaberulus
We found this on Leigong Shan, Guizhou, SW China where it grew in the shade of trees, forming perennial plants to 80cm tall which had borne mid-sized white flowers in early autumn. Very suitable for dry shade sites
Aster divaricatus (new)
A species aster from N America, with a mass of white flower on contrasting dark purple stems over coarsely toothed heart shaped foliage in late summer/autumn. Extremely hardy, for sun or part shade. 1m.
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