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The eastern North American native columbine is no stranger to gardeners. The species occurs on well-drained, sometimes rocky, partially shady areas over most parts of Eastern North America, though it can handle full sun.
Native American Indians used to crush the shiny black seed into a powder and blend in hot water to treat fevers. And bachelors would use the seed paste as a perfume!
The normally encountered form grows 45 cm (18"), or even taller. But if shorter is better among growers, 'Little Lantern' will draw a crowd. The dwarf, and compact, selection grows only 25 cm (10") tall and has brilliant red flowers with yellow corolla.
The conspicuous deep-green, deeply-lobed foliage has an almost waxy appearance. The May and June blossoms of 'Little Lanterns' - earlier flowering than most columbines - will light-up containers, rock gardens or the border.
The Italian Bugloss, or Alkanet, native to Mediterranean areas from Portugal and east to the Caucasus has been used medicinally and horticulturally, for hundreds of years. The pigment, found in the roots, has been used as a dye and also in treatment for wounds.
Typically the species might grow 150 cm (60") tall and often requires staking.
'Feltham Pride' is a shorter, more compact version - only reaching 90 cm (36") tall - with very stable characteristics.
The widely branching flowering stems carry innumerable brilliant gentian-blue flowers - up to 2 cm (3/4") - from May to July. Early deadheading after flowering encourages reblooming in September.
This simple maintenance also forces the plant to re-produce the lanceolate leaves and that promotes better long-term durability. Feltham Pride Strain's compact habit qualifies this as a good container perennial and it has demonstrated much better over-wintering than the species.
In the garden, Anchusa requires a deep but well-drained soil in sunny and dry places.
The Clary Sage, also known as Clear eye or Muscatel Sage, is a well-known species that has been grown for economic, culinary and medicinal uses, as well as for its handsome ornamental virtues. Native from Europe to central Asia, it is grown as a farm crop for the cosmetic and fragrance industry for its valuable sclareol resin. In the kitchen, it can be used to flavor omelets and stews. Medicinally, it has been used to freshen the eyes and to treat kidney and stomach ailments. And interestingly, it has alleged value in slowing the aging process.
It's unusual ornamental virtues are its great distinction. The widely branched flowering panicles - to 75 cm (30") - hold flowering buds shaped like hops that eventually develop into brilliant white bracts. The flowers open from June to July but the flowering effect with its colorful bracts extend the season from May through September.
There is not much to dislike about 'Vatican White'. The whole plant is strongly aromatic and the large, grey-green, leathery leaves are attractive from spring through late fall. Salvia sclarea is short-lived and likes a place in full sun where it readily self-sows.
Jelitto is very pleased to introduce 'Snow Cushion', the first reliable dwarf Candytuft seed strain. Small, neat mounds of tiny, oblong, evergreen leaves and densely crowded corymbs of snow-white flowers completely obscure the foliage in spring. Growing only 15 cm (6") tall, it will soon be the preferred choice for container production in smaller (9 cm/ 3 1/2") pots. It is one-half the size of the typical candytuft. It could be easily used in mixed container plantings or in the rock garden, and it will be a great choice as a dwarf edging plant.
Candytufts have always been popular perennial seed items. Simple to grow-on in containers, easily recognized in garden centers, and hardy performers in the garden. Is there is a more versatile perennial? We're hard-pressed to imagine what it could be. It has always been a standard bread and butter item and yet, a species that even the most zealous plantsman can find a spot for in the garden. Growers will soon find room for 'Snow Cushion' in their plant inventory and who knows, maybe even a spot in the garden!
The species is native over a wide part of the Northern temperate regions all around the world and everyone wants to claim it as their own.
Depending on your allegiance you might hear it referred to as Bluebells of Scotland or American Harebell. When Bluebells dance merrily in the summer breeze, it's easy to grow fond of something so graceful and charming. Mindful of a perennial so beloved, Jelitto set its sights on breeding a reliable white flowering strain. Not only are the flowers white but the seeds, too. The result is 'White Gem'!
The 30 cm (12") tall flowering panicles are adorned with innumerable pure white, bell-shaped flowers from June to October. 'White Gem' is widely adaptable in cooler summer climates on light to heavy soils in either sun or partial shade.
Perfectly suited for containers or in the rock garden for blooms all summer long. It is absolutely winter hardy and easy to grow from seed.
The red flowering, pincushion plant, Knautia macedonica has had steady growth in popularity over the past few years. There were several redeeming qualities that finally caught on.
It is a modest plant with a most unusual flower color and needs - actually likes - lean soils and is extremely robust. The pincushion plant flowers tirelessly and abundantly and gently self-sows but not to worry, it never becomes a problem.
Jelitto's breeding program brings something new to the table with 'Mars Midget'. It is shorter, and more compact, than the species - only reaching 40 cm (16") - and therefore is sturdier, also. The widely branching flowering stems are topped with dozens of floating, 5 cm (2") wide brilliant ruby-red gems that appear from June until frost.
'Mars Midget' is a valuable, long flowering perennial gem that attracts butterflies to feed and rest. Besides its enhanced appeal for the border, or containers - in sun to partially shady places - 'Mars Midget' could also be considered for cut-flowers.
The Stiff Beard-Tongue, or Wand Bloom, usually has a variable range of colors from white, lavender to blue and grows from 20 to 60 cm (8 - 34") tall. Numerous Penstemon species are notoriously difficult to grow outside of their natural habitat. But this is not the case for Penstemon virgatus.
'Blue Buckle' is a rich-flowering select strain with large blue-purple flowers arranged in dense clusters on rigid, upright stems. Hummingbirds love them.
The sturdy 30 cm (12") tall flowering stems with narrow, glossy dark-green foliage always seem to be standing at attention.
Drifts of the flowering 'Blue Buckle' look like a well-drilled military regiment from July - September.
It can withstand heat and drought without falling out of rank and is cold hardy and tough-natured, too. These characteristics qualify 'Blue Buckle' as an ideal selection for the sunny and well-drained border.
Foxgloves are easily recognized perennials that are steeped in plant lore. Some are even blessed with valuable medicinal properties. The shape of the rosy-mauve colored blossoms of the ordinary species, Digitalis purpurea, helped contribute to the botanic name - derived from digitus - that means finger. Others have described the flowers as looking like little thimbles. The extract, digitalin, from this species is used to treat victims of heart disease. This popular genus includes many interesting species and seed strains.
Jelitto breeding has brought us 'Snow Thimble'. This represents the first pure, snow-white flowering seed strain among foxgloves. It is completely unblemished by any lavender to purple spots that are so common among other seed strains. True to its name, the 5 - 7 cm (2 - 3") pendulous flowers on tall, regal, one-sided racemes in May - July are as "pure as the wind-driven snow".
'Snow Thimble', like most foxgloves, is easy-to-germinate anytime of year and is easy to finish-off in containers. In large containers, or in the garden, it is exciting to imagine bright accented drifts of six ore more plants.
Jesuit priest, and legendary French plant collector, Jean David Delavay introduced over 1,000 Chinese species into cultivation in the late 19th century. The exotic Hardy Gloxinia was named in his honor.
Typically, the species displays corymbs of exceptionally large blossoms in June and July. Five to twelve dark pink, horizontally arranged, trumpet-shaped, blossoms are carried on stout flowering stems to 50 cm (20").
Previously, Jelitto introduced the lovely white flowering seed strain to the trade and now we're very pleased to offer 'Bees Pink' with its softer-pink blossoms, each with a yellow throat. The dark green, fern-like, leaves accentuate the commanding flowers.
The decorative 'Bees Pink' grows magnificently in the rock garden, or perennial border, and performs well in any rich garden soil in full sun or partial shade.