Fall Perennials E - N

The list of fall perennials continues . . .

Eupatorium coelestinum, hardy ageratum or mistflower, Zones 6-10. One of the best fall perennials native to the Eastern U.S., producing fuzzy flowers of a beautiful blue, and is lovely in combination with other fall-blooming perennials. But just be aware, that unlike the annual ageratum, the hardy ageratum spreads by rhizomes and can infiltrate where it is not wanted.

Eupatorium coelestinumEupatorium coelestinum

Eupatorium purpureum, Joe Pye Weed, Zones 4-8. Another native perennial of Eastern North America, Joe Pye Weed is not for the faint of heart, or the small of garden, growing 5-8' tall. But it is a striking plant for the back of the fall border with large inflorescences of small purple flowers. Performs best in areas with cooler summer temperatures and adequate moisture.

Eupatorium purpureumEupatorium purpureum

Farfugium japonicum 'Giganteum,' giant leopard plant, Zones 7-9. I first saw this at the Atlanta Botanical Garden where they have used it extensively in the new Southern Seasons Garden, and said "What is that!" A type of ligularia, this species has huge, thick, rounded heart-shaped, glossy green leaves forming a huge clump. Tall stalks of yellow daisy-like flowers top it in late October into November.

Farfugium japonicum 'Giganteum'Farfugium japonicum 'Giganteum'

Gentiana andrewsii, bottle gentian, Zones 3-7. This fall-blooming perennial is a native of northeastern and midwestern North America. The curious dark blue flowers are clustered at the top of the stem and swell like bottles, but never open. If you can provide the moist soil, good drainage and cool temperatures it prefers, the blue of the flowers is beautiful. Not a good plant for the south.

Helenium autumnale, sneezeweed, Zones 3-8. Poor sneezeweed, like goldenrod, has the rep for causing hayfever, but the culprit is really ragweed which blooms at the same time. A native of eastern North America, sneezeweed blooms in late summer into autumn. The large domed centers resemble coneflowers, but the yellow array of petals with lobed, toothy tips are distinctive. This plant gets large (3-5') and can be invasive, so dig and divide every couple of years to keep in check.

Helenium autumnaleHelenium autumnale

Helianthus angustifolius, swamp or narrow leaf sunflower, Zones 6-9. At 5-7' tall, with cheery bright golden yellow blooms, this sunflower really creates an impact in the fall garden. This one at Tryon Palace in New Bern, N.C.

Helianthus angustifoliusHelianthus angustifolius

Helianthus giganteus, giant sunflower, Zones 5-9. I've not seen this sunflower in person, but I understand that it can get 7-10'! Unlike the giant annual sunflower (Helianthus annuus) that produces huge flowerheads, this fall-blooming perennial produces a profusion of 2" flowers.

Helianthus salicifolius, willowleaf sunflower, Zones 5-9. Willowleaf sunflower is similar to swamp sunflower, but has narrower leaves and is a bit more hardy. 'Lemon Queen,' here at the Atlanta Botanical Garden, is a good selection. Butterflies love it!

Helianthus salicifoliusHelianthus salicifolius

Hibiscus mutabilis, Confederate rose, 7-10. Not a rose at all, but a mallow, Confederate rose is fascinating for its large, showy rose-like blooms that change color from white to pale pink to deep rose as the day progresses. There are single and double forms, and some, such as "Plenus' (shown below), or 'Rubrum' that do not change color. This late-summer-to-fall-blooming perennial can grow into a large, shrubby plant of up to 15.'

Hibiscus mutabilisHibiscus mutabilis

Reblooming Iris

Irises are so beautiful that it is worth trying a few of the reblooming ones to enjoy them again in late summer or fall. Some varieties are more reliable than others, but the reblooming trait seems to depend on a lot of factors including zone, climate, temperature and culture. Most of the reblooming types are among the tall bearded hybrids, but there are also some remontant types in other bearded irises and Siberian irises. Here are a few tall bearded iris hybrids said to be reliable rebloomers. Consult the Reblooming Iris Society, www.rebloomingiris.com, for more information.

Autumn Circus--blue-violet and white plicata, early season

Autumn Tryst--lavender/white plicata, mid season

Best Bet--light blue standards with dark blue falls, early season

Breakers--blue self, mid to late season

Champagne Elegance--white standards with apricot falls, mid season

Clarence--light blue and white bitone, early season

Harvest of Memories--yellow self, mid season

Immortality--white self, mid season

Jennifer Rebecca--pink, mid season

Mother Earth--light pink standards with darker lilac falls, mid to late season

Pagan Dance--dark violet w/black center on falls, early to mid season

Rosalie Figge--dark violet, late season

Sugar Blues--blue, mid to late season

Lespedeza thunbergii, Thunberg bush clover, Zones 4-7. The shrubby perennial produces long arching stems laden with pea-like rose-pink flowers.

Lespedeza thunbergiiLespedeza thunbergii

Muhlenbergia capillaris, pink muhly grass, Zones 7-9. This lovely grass, neat and quiet all summer, creates quite a show when it blooms in the fall. The airy sprays of pink flowers on wiry stems are stunning and long lasting. Great used en masse.

Muhlenbergia capillarisMuhlenbergia capillaris

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Fall Perennials P - Z

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Plant of the Month

Lycoris squamigera