Perennials this Month - November 1996

Dr. Leonard P. Perry, Extension Associate Professor, University of Vermont

Plant of the Month: Astilbe simplicifolia 'Sprite', Sprite False Spirea

height x width: 12-15" x 12"

flowers: tiny, pink arching plumes, midsummer

hardiness: USDA zones 3-8

interest: *1994 Perennial Plant of the Year (Perennial Plant Assn.)
*introduced by Alan Bloom (Blooms of Bressingham, England) in 1978; probably a natural cross between simplicifolia seedlings and A. chinensis 'Pumila'
*deep bronze-green leaves, good for front of beds, mound form, shade-tolerant (full sun tolerant in North with adequate water)

More new or proven perennials!

The following bloomed in our UVM greenhouse after 3 months at 5-7C then 3 weeks at 18/15C. *Lathyrus vernus 'Rose Fairy'-- 3-4" clusters of nodding crimson-magenta pea flowers on 15" erect stems; neat clumps of shiny, pointed leaves; thrives in poor gravelly soils but prefers deep moist soil. Very attractive forced in a pot.
*Corydalis lutea-- 6-12" stems with yellow flowers somewhat resembling bleeding hearts that bloom all season over lacy foliage.
*Pulmonaria saccharata 'Dora Bielefeld'-- new European cultivar; bright pink flowers (fading blue) over silver variegated leaves in early spring; half size in most respects to others in the genus.
(This was my first lungwort to bloom this year, starting before leaves were even up in late April.)

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