Coastal and Tropical South
Native Perennials for the Southeast
We've been waiting for this book, Native Perennials for the Southeast (Cool Springs Press, 2005; $22.99), and Peter Loewer has delivered the goods on the grand palette of native perennials for our region and the rest of the southeastern US. Loewer leaps on the wave that is no longer limited to niche nurseries and friendly gardeners sharing their bounty. Solomon's seal, rattlesnake master, alligator bonnet ... who else is going to tell you about these wonders? Author of The Evening Garden, Peter is a thoughtful, detailed writer whose descriptions are spot on, as is his research into these neglected plants.
Favorite or New Plant
When it comes to native plants with pizzazz, Adam's needle (Yucca filamentosa), or spoonleaf yucca, stands strong in the landscape. This yucca is not brittle nor serrated, so you can transplant it without fear of damaging it or yourself. Because it does not have a trunk like other yuccas, it combines more readily with banana plants, elephant ears, and fatsia. Tolerant of most conditions except wet feet and dense shade, adam's needle deserves more attention from gardeners in our region for its color, form, and fragrance.