Society Garlic

This aromatic clumping perennial smells and tastes like garlic--even its edible flowers!

This aromatic, clumping perennial smells and tastes like garlic — even its edible flowers!

Tulbaghia violacea

 

  • Plant Form: Perennial Flower
  • Water Use: Low – Moderate
  • Mature Size: 1 foot tall (with 2-foot flower stalks), 2 feet wide
  • Exposure: Full Sun
  • Bloom Time: April – November
  • Native to: South Africa
  • Hardiness: Cold Hardy to 20° F

 

Society Garlic is a fast-growing, clumping perennial with many narrow, blue-green leaves from a central point. Clusters of star-shaped, rosy lavender flowers rise above clumps on 1-2 foot long stems, with peak flowering in spring and summer. May be frost damaged at 20° F, but quickly recovers. The whole plant has a garlic odor, making it bad for bouquets but good for seasoning. Besides its value as a decorative, heat-loving ornamental, the leaves can be used like garlic chives and its bulbs like garlic. Its name is said to come from a notion that you don’t get bad breath from eating it. Its sweet-scented, edible flowers are beautiful in salads. Survives extended droughts, and needs well-drained soil. Tolerates shade, but with little flowering. Ideal plant to dress up an herb garden or rock garden, as well as along borders or in containers.

This cherry, aromatic perennial releases a new batch of cocoa scent each morning.

This cherry, aromatic perennial releases a new batch of cocoa scent each morning.

Chocolate Flower

Berlandiera lyrata

 

  • Plant Form: Perennial Flower
  • Water Use: Low – Moderate
  • Mature Size: 18 inches tall, 2 feet wide
  • Exposure: Full Sun – Part Shade
  • Bloom Time: April – November
  • Native to: Arizona, Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Texas, and Mexico
  • Hardiness: Cold Hardy to 5°F

 

Chocolate Flower smells good enough to eat, but it’s also a cheery, flowering perennial with sprays of yellow, daisy-like flowers (with colorful maroon stripes under each petal) from late spring to fall. This mounding herb blooms at night and early morning, making a new supply of cocoa scent overnight before the petals droop by afternoon. Can be used in a wildflower meadow or as an accent, and likes full sun, but tolerates filtered sun and any soil type with good drainage. Collect seed in summer to propagate more plants, and cut back in winter for fuller plants next spring. The rich scent of the flowers carries quite a distance downwind, and the fragrance of cut bouquets as a nosegay can be appreciated all day. Install near patios or breakfast nook for early morning delight. A must for any chocoholic gardener.

This cheerful mounded daisy shows flowers from pink to white as they age.

This cheerful mounded daisy shows flowers from pink to white as they age.

Santa Barbara Daisy

Erigeron karvinskianus

 

  • Plant Form: Perennial Flower
  • Water Use: Low
  • Mature Size: 1-2’ tall, 3’ wide
  • Exposure: Full Sun – Part Shade
  • Bloom Time: April – October
  • Native to: Mexico
  • Hardiness: Cold Hardy to 15°F

 

Santa Barbara Daisy is a graceful, trailing groundcover especially beautiful when cascading over walls or pots. Dainty white flower heads turn to pink, then to mauve as they age, resulting in several colors at once on this spreading plant. Summer heat can shut down flowering, but cool fall weather stimulates flowers again until frost. Cut to ground in winter to renew plant. Prefers full sun, but can tolerate partial shade, and is very drought tolerant. Santa Barbara Daisy can be a bit invasive with moderate water. Great addition to a butterfly garden. Use this versatile perennial as a groundcover, in containers and rock gardens, hanging baskets, window boxes, and even tucked into the crevices of rock walls.

 

 

Purple Robe, Nierembergia scoparia

Purple Robe, aka Cup Flower, Nierembergia scoparia

Purple Robe, Cup Flower

Nierembergia scoparia

 

  • Plant Form: Perennial Flower
  • Water Use: Low – Moderate
  • Mature Size: 6-10 inches tall, 12 inches wide
  • Exposure: Full Sun – Part Shade
  • Bloom Time: May – October (or first frost)
  • Native to: South America
  • Hardiness: Cold Hardy to 25° F

 

Purple Robe forms a much-branched, spreading mound with inch-long, purple, bell-shaped flowers that literally cover the whole plant all summer. Even in heat, Purple Robe flowers hold their deep, rich color. The foliage on this long-blooming, easy-care perennial has a fern-like appearance. Trim the whole plant back after flowering to lengthen life. Plant in fall or winter for flowers in summer. Mulch in summer to retain moisture and help keep soils cool. Purple Robe is an excellent plant for rock gardens, as well as for borders, bedding, baskets, window boxes or containers. While this tender perennial normally survives our mild winters, it can be grown as an annual in areas with freezing winters.

Silver Bush Morning Glory dazzles in all seasons with both showy flowers and silvery foliage.

Silver Bush Morning Glory dazzles in all seasons with both showy flowers and silvery foliage.

Silver Bush Morning Glory

Convolvulus cneorum

 

  • Plant Form: Evergreen Shrub
  • Water Use: Low
  • Mature Size: 1-2 feet tall, 3 feet wide
  • Exposure: Full Sun
  • Bloom Time: April – September
  • Native to: Southern Europe
  • Hardiness: Cold Hardy to 10° F

 

Silver Bush Morning Glory is prized not just for its glorious flowers, but also for its soft, silvery foliage that it displays all year. Masses of white funnel-shaped flowers with yellow throats open from pink buds on this compact perennial. This very distant relative of the morning glory vine looks stunning as a dramatic silver accent next to anything purple, red, or dark green, or in a moonlight garden. Thrives in dry, sandy, well-drained alkaline soil, and stays compact and fully flowered if grown in full sun. As with most silver foliage plants (having leaves covered with fine, microscopic hairs), this tough plant is drought-tolerant, and stands up to heat, cold, and wind. If you have rabbits in your yard, you’ll need to protect these tasty plants with chicken wire.

Sundrops,

Fendler’s Sundrops

Calylophus hartwegii fendleri

 

Sundrops provide mounds of bright color from spring into fall.

  • Plant Form: Perennial Groundcover
  • Water Use: Low
  • Mature Size: 1’ tall, 2’ wide
  • Exposure: Full Sun, Part Shade
  • Bloom Time: Mar – Oct
  • Native to: Arizona, Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas
  • Hardiness: Cold Hardy to 5°

 

Sundrops cheer up drab spots in your garden, and quickly spread by underground rhizomes into rounded, flower-filled mounds. Masses of yellow 1-2 inch flowers appear over a long season above narrow, bright green leaves. Flowers open in the afternoon and remain open until the next morning, providing nectar to night-flying moths. Each flower lasts 24 hours, and then fades to orange-pink, creating a nice sunset color palette. Cut back the stems of this evening primrose look-alike when it goes dormant in winter to reshape and prepare for new spring growth. This tough plant takes heat and drought, and is attractive between boulders, massed in clusters, or in containers. Plant in well-drained soil, and even though they don’t like to be overwatered, they appreciate a little extra water in summer.