Celebrating Winter Interest!

Welcome to the Member Ideas area! This community feature is where our members can post their own ideas. These posts are unedited and not necessarily endorsed by the National Gardening Association.
Posted by @dave on
Pine cones, seed heads, winter bloomers, colorful red berries, and much more! Let's kick off Winter Interest Week with a look at the most popular plants in our database that give some kind of interest to our gardens in the winter. We also introduce a new gallery option in our database for winter interest, with bonus acorns this week!

First, starting today, we now have a new gallery when you post images, called "Winter Interest," and any image submitted into that gallery this week will award you an extra acorn for the image. We are certain to see a lot of new photos in this gallery and I'm looking forward to seeing them (and posting a few of my own!)

And now, the Top 50 Winter Interest plants:

#1: Stonecrop (Hylotelephium spectabile 'Herbstfreude')

@valleylynn says, "I just don't know how any plant can be easier than Sedum Autumn Joy. It is not bothered by deer, rabbits, bugs, or insects, and difficult weather seems to have no effect on it. It is a prolific grower."

@Sharon added, "In September and October, this sedum is usually the only bloom I can always count on. Our recent summers have been hot and dry here in western KY, but that doesn't seem to bother this sedum at all."

#2: Daffodils (Narcissus)

@jmorth says, "Most daffodils are easy to force over winter. Deep pots are best allowing room for root development. Need good drainage. 5 typical sized bulbs do well in a 6" pot. Bulbs may be placed in close proximity to each other but preferably not touching. Press firmly into the medium, more medium used to cover 'shoulders' of bulbs. This too should be firmed in.
Grower can force two ways...1) pots may be placed outdoors, plunged into the earth and covered with a protective layer of insulation (light soil, leached ash, straw, or pine needles) Protective layer must be a substance through which emerging buds (shoots) may grow through unobstructed. Maintain watering (but not too much). Usually 12 weeks is sufficient outside. When brought inside, essential to initially keep them cool. Water more freguently never allowing them to become dry. The higher the humidity the better.
To use in following seasons, flowering stems are removed, weak tomato (high potash) fertilizer may be applied, keep in bright light till warm enough to translocate, then plant bulbs outside. Often bloom following season; sometimes need a season to recover.
2) May be potted up as described above in the fall. Let roots get a good start by watering pot and letting it sit for a week or so before placing into a dedicated refrigerator with temperature maintained around 34 to 40°.Check to water periodically. 12 weeks later (obvious growth noted, pots well rooted) may be removed. I let mine acclimate under fluorescent lights in the basement where winter temps average around 60° for a week or so, When buds about to burst, moved upstairs for display. To enjoy in subsequent seasons, as described above, transplant into garden.
Before having a refrigerator dedicated to forcing I was able to successfully force by utilizing a covered outside stairwell to basement. Bulbs were potted up, placed in big totes and then totes were placed in stairwell and covered with blankets. This method's advantage was less watering (humidity maintained by enclosure)."

#3: Sempervivum (Sempervivum)

@sandnsea2 says, "The old British folkloric common name for the Sempervivum is rather unusual. It is "Welcome home husband though never so drunk"."

@kqcrna added, "Wintersows well. Germination rate very high. Seedlings are slow growing."

#4: Blackberry Lily (Iris domestica)

@mjsponies says, "I've had this growing in one of my "No man's land" beds for years. Always takes care of itself. It has to; no pampering for that bed. Drops seeds and I occasionally get a seedling, so I would say not invasive at all. I might collect some to sow this year and see whether I can spread it around the garden a little."

#5: Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)

@Sharon says, "Since at least the time of the ancients, yarrow has been used to treat cuts, wounds, burns and bruises. It is one of a handful of plants called allheal in the English herbal tradition. It was considered the 'life medicine' by the Navajos.

An infusion of the leaves and flower tops is drunk to reduce fever and as a tonic to stimulate appetite. A poultice made from the whole plant or a powder made up of the dried tops is applied to cuts and wounds. It seems to be accepted by scientific research as acceptable in these uses, particularly as an astringent."

#6: Spurge (Euphorbia x martinii 'Ascot Rainbow')

@valleylynn says, "Euphorbia x martinii 'Ascot Rainbow' (Euphorbia characias x Euphorbia amygdaloides 'Rubra') was discovered by David Glenn in Australia.

I have found that even the hybrid euphorbias are good at keeping gophers and other plant/bulb-eating critters out of the garden beds. The euphorbia does need to be planted close to the plants/bulbs you want to protect."

#7: Hen and Chicks (Sempervivum 'Oddity')

@valleylynn says, "In the many years I've had Oddity, it has never bloomed. Many times it has produced normal looking, flat-leafed rosettes that seem to grow in a normal fashion for about a year. Then the leaves turn into the tube form of oddity."

@valleylynn added, "Oddity would make a great addition to a miniature garden, by using a single rosette as maybe a shrub? Let your imagination decide how you might use it in your miniature garden."

#8: Daffodil (Narcissus 'Tete-a-Tete')

@valleylynn says, "Early blooming backcross of N. cyclamineus × N. 'Cyclataz' (N. cyclamineus × N. tazetta 'Grand Soleil d'Or').

This Narcissus is a good choice for pot forcing.
It multiplies freely so should be divided every 5 to 10 years to prevent overcrowding of the bulbs.

Jan. 2013. I dug up some of the bulbs to send home with a friend. The bulbs have grown to a very large size and have already produced many offset bulbs, after only one year of planting."

#9: Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea 'Magnus')

@Newyorkrita says, "Leave the seed heads after they flower instead of cutting back to attract Goldfinches. They love to eat the seeds of coneflowers. Magnus is a proven variety I have had in my garden for many, many years."

@Catmint20906 added, "Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea 'Magnus') is a very attractive plant to pollinators and an important source of nectar for many butterfly species. Monarchs, Red Admirals, Sulphurs, Fritillaries, Skippers, Swallowtails, and other butterflies enjoy this plant. In addition, Echinacea purpurea has special value to native bees, particularly bumble and leafcutter bees.

Birds enjoy the seedheads."

#10: Black-Eyed Susan (Rudbeckia fulgida var. sullivantii 'Goldsturm')

@Newyorkrita says, "The most common form of Black Eyed Susan and usually available in any local nursery. Goldfinches will eat the dried seeds from the seedheads if you do not cut them."

@kqcrna added, "Perennial plant of the year in 1999. If you can't grow anything else you can grow this plant. It provides bright sunny flowers for weeks in late summer. Its spread is relatively fast and the clump grows dense flowers within a few years. Divide and share with friends every 2 or 3 years.

Deer and rabbits have never eaten mine in the 5 years or so that I have gown this plant. It is also very drought tolerant. It attracts butterflies and birds enjoy the seeds. Wintersows well. It is a long-lived perennial which loves the heat here in my zone 6 yard.

Compared to rudbeckia hirta, blossoms of Goldsturm are smaller but more profuse and overall height is shorter. It is much longer-lived than the hirtas. Its stems are strong and they stand up well to heavy rain and wind."

#11: Heavenly Bamboo (Nandina domestica)

@SongofJoy says, "Very hardy in my zone but is considered an invasive species here."

@gingin added, "I personally don't care for this plant in spite of the white flowers in spring and red berries in fall. For me it is invasive and very hard to get rid of. Although called Heavenly Bamboo it is actually a member of the barberry family."

#12: Strawberry Begonia (Saxifraga stolonifera)

@plantladylin says, ""Strawberry Begonia" is an ornamental flowering plant native to Asia that has been introduced to many other areas of the world. It's a popular house plant for many, but it's actually not a begonia or geranium. It possibly gets the common names Strawberry Begonia and Strawberry Geranium from the appearance of the foliage.

Saxifraga grows in a mounded form and spreads by stolons (runners) that take root when they touch the soil. It prefers bright light and cooler temperatures.The leaves have silvery veining on the top side and a pretty burgundy color on the reverse. The plant produces tiny white flowers in the summer months. Strawberry Begonia is a popular house plant and looks great when potted in a hanging basket, allowing the stolons to dangle beneath the basket."

#13: Japanese Sago Palm (Cycas revoluta)

@Gymgirl says, "Careful when reaching in to harvest seeds from a female plant blossom, as some people can (unknowingly) have an allergic reaction to the blossom. Always wear long sleeves and gloves to avoid an itchy, burning, sensation along your arms. It's very similar to what you experience after laying fiberglass insulation!"

#14: Sea Thrift (Armeria maritima)

@Mindy03 says, "Honey bees get nectar and pollen from this plant."

@Bonehead added, "Native in the Pacific Northwest. Blooms profusely in spring, then sporadically throughout summer."

#15: Cheddar Pink (Dianthus gratianopolitanus Firewitch)

@Marilyn says, "'Firewitch' is a great Dianthus to grow, but you need to know what it likes. It likes a lean and well drained soil. I always add all purpose sand that I get at Lowe's (inside store) to the planting hole and top it with small gravel for the mulch. I used to use small pea gravel, which was fine, but now I started using small crushed limestone gravel. I also add some gypsum into the hole to help with the drainage and add a little garden lime, since it's likes an alkaline soil.

Don't use wood mulch and don't make the planting hole rich with organic matter for this plant. Remember, it likes a lean soil.

The scent of the flowers is wonderfully fragrant! The flowers are magenta in color. They're small, but you'll get a lot of flowers. After the first flush of flowers have faded, cut back, but not too short, and you'll get another flush of flowers. You can deadhead each individual flower, which I've done in the past or shear the whole plant.

I love 'Firewitch' and love growing it! This is my favorite Dianthus to grow out of all the Dianthus varieties! Wouldn't be without it. I'm thinking about planting it in a container just to enjoy it more throughout our growing season!

This was the 2006 Plant of the Year."

#16: Sycamore (Platanus occidentalis)

@Marilyn says, "When I was growing up in Centerville, OH (a southern suburb of Dayton, OH), my parents planted an American Sycamore on their quarter-acre lot, as well as other types of trees. My dad planted it within a year of building the house and they had the house for 16 years. As the years went by, that tree shaded the whole house in the summer so well that the AC didn't have to be used.

Then, when they moved to Lebanon, OH, and built another house, they already had American Sycamores growing on their 5-acre property.

I always loved seeing those beautiful trees! To this day, whenever I see an American Sycamore, I remember the wonderful trees growing in the Centerville and the Lebanon yards!

DH and I don't have a large enough yard to grow this wonderful tree, but if we did, we'd grow it!

Love the peelings on the bark and the distinctive white bark color underneath the peelings!"

#17: Adam's Needle (Yucca filamentosa)

@threegardeners says, "Zone 5a

I grow these in full sun.
The bloom spikes are huge and very eye-catching. The blooms last a long time.
They enjoy my sandy soil and don't need any extra watering."

@SongofJoy added, "Adams Needle occurs in much of the eastern third of the US, and when you see it, you know you are in a pretty dry place. A member of the Agave family, it thrives in full sun and dry, very well-drained soil. Adams Needle forms 2&½ ft. evergreen clumps of sword-like, radiating, glaucous leaves that have thread-like fibers along their edges. In mid to late summer, large, showy, cream white flowers appear on 8' tall flower stalks. Not only is it bold and strong in texture, it is also a strong grower. Plant it where you want it because it is tough to kill. It would be very effective as a focal point, in groups, in an island planting, or in a rock garden where it is sunny and dry. It is also very urban tolerant and could be useful in blazing hot parking lot beds."

#18: Harry Lauder's Walking Stick (Corylus avellana 'Contorta')

@goldfinch4 says, "My original plant was only about one foot high. It took quite a while for it to put on any size, but now it's beautiful. I live in an area where we get a lot of snow and when the twisting, contorted branches are covered in snow, this is a gorgeous shrub! In the summer, it really isn't a showy plant. The leaves are nothing special and the catkins are insignificant. Mine does sucker, but the suckers are also contorted. It is susceptible to Eastern Filbert Blight."

#19: Crepe Myrtles (Lagerstroemia)

@plantladylin says, "Crepe Myrtle is a deciduous, long-blooming, and popular landscape and streetscape tree in the south. I've heard a few people say they don't care for Crepe Myrtle because it's so common, but it sure is one of my favorites! Some cities have highways lined with beautiful Crepe Myrtles. There are dwarf varieties that grow only 18" to 24" in height as well as varieties that can reach 40 feet. Crepe Myrtle is one of the longest blooming trees (3-4 months in some areas), and the flowers come in shades ranging from white to pink, lavender, and red. Some people prefer this plant as a bushy, spreading shrub, but if you want your plant to maintain a tree form you must remove any suckers that appear. Whether it's grown as a dwarf container plant, a shrub, or a tall single specimen tree, if you have a spot with full sun, you can't beat the Crepe Myrtle for summer color!"

#20: Confederate Jasmine (Trachelospermum jasminoides)

@lovesblooms says, "I received a very large potted specimen in a trade. I kept it in a pot in the basement in winter, under one of the windows where it would get some natural light on top of the fluorescents that remain on down there. It decided to begin blooming a few weeks before it was warm enough for it to go outside, and the entire basement smelled wonderful! To bad I didn't have space for it upstairs because by the time I could bring it outdoors it was almost done blooming. But the foliage was pretty anyway.

I can also attest that this is definitely a drought- and shade-tolerant plant. I constantly forgot to water it, and it sat in the corner near our front door where its plastic pot got blasted by blazing hot afternoon sun for a few hours every day and was otherwise shaded. Its leathery, glossy leaves never seemed to wilt, so I didn't usually pay it much attention because it didn't look bad. It's in the basement again this winter, and I wonder if we'll have a jasmine-scented basement this spring."

#21: Stonecrop (Hylotelephium spectabile 'Neon')

@mom2goldens says, "The color of this plant is amazing--a real pop of color in the garden during the later part of summer. It's very hardy and easy to propagate by cuttings. It is not fussy about soil conditions. Makes a great cut flower too. Dried flower heads add winter interest to the garden."

#22: Finger Jade (Crassula ovata 'Gollum')

@valleylynn says, "This is a very easy plant and does not require much care.
It won't do well if you over water; it is very drought tolerant.
It is a very compact plant that is considered to be a hybrid of C. x portulacea by some experts. (a supposed cross between Crassula argentea and C. lactea).
Leaves are tubular, trumpet shaped, each of them tipped with a "suction cup" and are glossy green in color with very light spotting usually with bright red leaf margins; the new growth is red.
Blooms are small, star-like, white or pinkish-white, with pink stamens.
Can be bothered by mealy bugs during the winter when it blooms.

I have not had any problems with this plant in any way."

#23: Coral Bells (Heuchera americana 'Green Spice')

@Bonehead says, "I find the blooms on this heuchera to be almost invisible, kind of a tannish white and really tiny. I just snip off the flower stalks as they emerge and end up with a fuller foliage plant."

#24: Crassula (Crassula capitella 'Campfire')

@jojoe says, "This plant seems to grow just to propagate. You can just cut a piece of it off, stick it in some soil, and it roots. I've never had a plant easier to root!!!"

@TLeaves added, "The red color increases with more sun."

#25: Hellebores (Helleborus)

@SongofJoy says, "Once established, most Hellebores are drought-tolerant plants, particularly if given some dappled shade in areas of long, hot and dry summers. Hellebores are almost always sold as shade plants, but in most garden conditions, they will perform their best if given some sun. Many species grow wild in open meadows with little shade."

#26: Chastetree (Vitex agnus-castus)

@Skiekitty says, "My plant is a volunteer. I bought a red butterfly bush and this grew out of the base! Beautiful silvery-blue flowers, not woody at all like a butterfly bush. Dies to the ground every year in my zone 5 with no protection, comes back every spring. Butterflies love it!"

#27: Grape Hyacinth (Muscari armeniacum)

@sandnsea2 says, "Muscari armeniacum is a wonderful, early-spring-blooming bulb. It is planted in fall along with the Tulips and Daffodils. I love this plant because it naturalizes nicely when it is in a happy situation. It complements any other plants near it.
I also appreciate the way this bulb produces its leaves in the fall.
The species name denotes its country of origin, Armenia."

#28: Coral Bells (Heuchera 'Georgia Peach')

@Njiris says, "Aside from the attractive foliage, both in terms of color gradations and patterns, another interesting aspect of Heucheras is the actual overall appearance of the plant in different seasons. Just as the chameleon will change color based on background, so too the Heuchera will change (often much more than just color) based on the season.
Sometimes this can make it difficult to identify a specific plant. Just look at all of the wonderful photos posted on this page by ATP members. And they are all of the same plant growing under different conditions and photographed in different seasons."

#29: Candletree (Senna alata)

@flaflwrgrl says, "Native to Southeast Asia, Africa, the Pacific islands, Central and South America, and the Caribbean.
Senna alata reseeds prolifically, and seedlings will sprout up all around the mother plant. Water can also carry the seeds away and plant them elsewhere.
This is an evergreen in its natural range, but it will grow as far north as zone 7. Generally, in zones 7 - 9, it is deciduous and dies back upon first frost. In these cases, it is a small tree of 6 - 10 feet or a shrub. It begins to bloom in its second year. After bloom time, it can take on a quite shabby appearance.
Pinching it when young will promote much more branching and more blooms.
If you live in Florida, it is not recommended to plant this as it has the potential to become invasive, so unless you are diligent about weeding the seedlings that sprout, you might want to consider leaving this out of your garden.

This plant contains chrysophanic acid, which is used in medicines that treat skin conditions, including ringworm; hence the common name of Ringworm Tree."

#30: Buttonbush (Cephalanthus occidentalis)

@Mindy03 says, "Honey bees get nectar from this plant which produces a light amber honey."

@gardengus added, "Successfully grown from seed using the winter sown method.
Produced white ''buttons'' 2nd year and is 4 ft tall and covered in blooms this (3rd) year"

#31: Stonecrop (Sedum SunSparkler® Dazzleberry)

@goldfinch4 says, "This plant has beautiful bright purple stems. Very attractive plant. It's somewhat "leggy" in a container."

@Catmint20906 added, "Stonecrop (Sedum SunSparkler®) 'Dazzleberry' is one of my all-time favorite sedums. Its foliage is a gray-blue color with hints of lavender. In early August, thick clusters of flowers begin blooming, a brilliant raspberry color that completely covers the foliage. It is truly gorgeous, and continues blooming into the early fall. It spreads slowly in the garden, making an excellent and beautiful groundcover."

#32: Snowdrop (Galanthus nivalis)

@Mindy03 says, "Valuable source of nectar and pollen for honey bees"

@Marilyn added, "I love these precious and beautiful little gems! They're wonderful to see in the late winter - early spring when not much else is blooming! They always put a smile on my face and in my heart when I see them blooming in my garden every year!"

#33: Wintergreen (Gaultheria procumbens)

@SongofJoy says, "Found in dry or moist acidic woods of eastern North America and south to cooler elevations in Tennessee, Alabama, and Georgia, Wintergreen is a common evergreen ground-cover well-known for its fresh wintergreen smell when the leaves are crushed.

Growing only 6 inches tall, this creeper has dark, broadly-oval 1 inch leathery leaves that turn reddish in cold weather. It has solitary, nodding, white urn-shaped summer flowers that are followed by bright red 1/2 inch berries that may remain on the plant from late summer through the following spring.

Give Wintergreen good, organic, well-drained, acidic soil and shade. The better the soil, the more quickly it will spread."

#34: English Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)

@okus says, "In the summer this bushy plant is covered in blossom and each flower stalk has multiple bees and butterflies.

If you love butterflies and honey then plant English lavender! It is easy to grow, drought tolerant and not picky about its soils. My soil is very light and stony and retains virtually no moisture but my lavender is abundant."

#35: Bugleweed (Ajuga reptans Chocolate Chip)

@ssgardener says, "This has smaller leaves and spreads less aggressively than a regular ajuga.

I had a large patch in a clay area with poor drainage, and they didn't survive a very mild winter in zone 7. I think voles might have been in that area, but I was surprised they didn't survive at all.

They need very little water but do spread and grow better with regular water and good soil."

#36: Persimmon (Diospyros virginiana)

@flaflwrgrl says, "The tree prefers light, sandy, well-drained soil, but will grow in rich, southern, bottom lands. It can be grown in northern Ohio only with the greatest of care, and in southern Ohio its fruit is never edible until after frost.
The tree is greatly inclined to vary in the character and quality of its fruit, in size this varies from that of a small cherry to a small apple. Some trees in the south produce fruit that is delicious without the action of the frost, while adjoining trees produce fruit that never becomes edible.
The fruit is high in vitamin C. The unripe fruit is extremely astringent. The ripe fruit may be eaten raw, cooked or dried. Molasses can be made from the fruit pulp. A tea can be made from the leaves and the roasted seed is used as a coffee substitute. Other popular uses include desserts such as persimmon pie, persimmon pudding, or persimmon candy.
The fruit is also fermented with hops, cornmeal or wheat bran into a sort of beer or made into brandy. The wood is heavy, strong and very close-grained and used in woodturning.
Fruit: A juicy berry containing one to eight seeds, crowned with the remnants of the style and seated in the enlarged calyx; depressed-globular, pale orange color, often red-cheeked; with slight bloom, turning yellowish brown after freezing. Flesh astringent while green, sweet and luscious when ripe.
Be careful not to plant a persimmon tree where the fruit will fall on a walkway, patio or driveway as they can make a sticky mess!"

#37: Yaupon Holly (Ilex vomitoria)

@plantladylin says, "Yaupon Holly is native to the coastal plains of the Southeastern USA. A popular residential landscape tree, this holly is an evergreen shrub to small tree that can attain heights to 25'. It has stiff, dense branches and small, glossy green elliptical shaped leaves. This shrub bears small white flowers during the spring months and the beautiful red berries appear from fall and throughout the winter. The leaves contain caffeine and although I've never tried it the young leaves can be steeped/brewed to make Yaupon tea, which is said to be quite delicious.

Birds enjoy the berries of the Yaupon Holly but these fruits are toxic to mammals. The berries contain Saponins which can cause nausea, vomiting and diarrhea."

#38: Texas Muhly Grass (Muhlenbergia capillaris)

@flaflwrgrl says, "Beware: At least where I grew it, in zone 10, it reseeded EVERYWHERE! When the seeds ripen, they blow in the breeze and can make a mess of themselves sticking in corners and along any rough surfaces and screens. Although this plant is beautiful and excellent for drought situations, I would never plant it again."

#40: River Birch (Betula nigra)

@Sharon says, "I've had this tree for about 30 years, I grew it from a seedling. It's one of my favorite trees, mostly because of it unusual and attractive bark. While its native habitat is wet ground, it will grow on higher land, and its bark is quite distinctive, making it a favored ornamental tree for landscape use. It is not planted in wet ground here in my yard, in fact there have been a few summers when we were in drought conditions, but it is a survivor and no worse for the wear. It isn't a very large tree, compared to an oak or a maple, but it is a good shade tree for smaller yards.

The bark peels as the tree grows and occasionally I use those pieces that come off the tree in table centerpieces or various other craft projects.

Native Americans used the boiled sap as a sweetener similar to maple syrup, and the inner bark as a survival food. It is usually too contorted and knotty to be of value as a timber tree."

#41: Adam's Needle (Yucca filamentosa 'Color Guard')

@clintbrown says, "This plant is perfect for all-year interest. It always looks good. It is perfect for containers too."

#42: Stinking Hellebore (Helleborus foetidus)

@Mindy03 says, "Honey bees get nectar and pollen from this plant"

@SongofJoy added, "RHS: "Helleborus foetidus and H. viridis are both British natives occurring on the chalk-hills of southern England in woods and scrub, often forming quite large colonies.

The true wild hellebore species are not commonly grown in gardens as hellebores hybridise very easily and the hybrids are excellent garden plants with improved form, flowering and flower colour.""

#43: Red Hot Poker (Kniphofia uvaria)

@SongofJoy says, "Prolific, great for planting a row run. Choose planting location carefully as groundhogs relish them."

@Mindy03 added, "Valuable source of nectar and pollen for honey bees."

#44: Paperbark Maple (Acer griseum)

@Mindy03 says, "Honey bees get nectar and light yellow pollen from this plant."

#45: Norway Spruce (Picea abies)

@SongofJoy says, "Extremely hardy and wind-resistant. Tolerates heat and humidity better than most spruces. Grows best in the Upper South."

@SongofJoy added, "The goldfinches have been very busy devouring the seeds from this tree this winter. It is a habitat and shelter for all kinds of birds, and the cardinals and others may be feasting on the seeds as well."

#46: Painted Echeveria (Echeveria nodulosa)

@valleylynn says, "This Echeveria will produce rosettes up to 5 inches across. The rosettes are borne on naked, branching stems.
The plants will grow as large as the container allows. Where plants are hardy enough to overwinter, they can grow 1-2 feet tall.
The plant prefers cool sun or light shade.
Drought tolerant and needs a fast draining soil.

Per San Marcos Gardens: This plant comes from a wide range within central Mexico (Oaxaca to Puebla) where is typically grows on dry limestone hills. The genus Echeveria was named to honor Mexican botanical artist Atanasio Echeverría y Godoy in 1828 by the French botanist Augustin Pyramus de Candolle (DeCandolle) who was very impressed with Echeverría's drawings. Echeverría had accompanied the the Sessé and Mociño expedition (led by Martin de Sessé y Lacasta and Mariano Mociño Suárez de Figueroa) while exploring Mexico and northern Central America and had produced thousands of botanical illustrations."

#47: Golden Rain Tree (Koelreuteria paniculata)

@Sharon says, "This is a young tree, started from seed in '06. It's a bit of a slow grower here in zone 7, but this year it reached a height of about 10 feet, bloomed and also produced the golden seed pods that give it its name. It's a gorgeous little tree, and though the pods stayed lime green until mid September, they are now a rich coppery red color and still clinging to the tree this first weekend of October."

#48: Winter Aconite (Eranthis hyemalis)

@Mindy03 says, "Valuable source of nectar and pollen if warm enough for honey bees to be out while in bloom"

@Henryr10 added, "These have naturalized at the CNC and some drifts are 40' across."

#49: American Holly (Ilex opaca)

@SongofJoy says, "This is a slow growing evergreen here. Both male and female plants are needed to produce the red fruits that are eaten by numerous songbirds."

@robertduval14 added, "Delaware's state tree."

#50: Sweet Pepperbush (Clethra alnifolia 'Ruby Spice')

@SongofJoy says, "A sport of 'Pink Spires', 'Ruby Spice' is considered perhaps the finest truly pink Summersweet. It has 4 to 5 inch spikes of good, bright rose-pink fragrant flowers for a month or more in mid-summer. It has a dense suckering habit growing to 8 feet by 6 feet and prefers sun or part shade and moisture. (Sunlight Gardens)"

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