Plants of the Week: July 22

Perovskia atriplicifolia, Russian sage, is easy to remember since its genus is named after a diplomat with a very Russian-sounding last name. However, Russian sage is not in the same genus as Salvia, which are often called “sage.” This herbaceous perennial hosts silvery-gray square stems and finely-textured aromatic leaves that smell of sage when crushed. Its lavender flower spires gracefully cascade over the Wister Center staircase and will be on display for up to 3 months. I walk by this plant at least twenty times a day brushing the flower spires and foliage releasing its intense fragrance. Perovskia atriplicifolia prefer full sun and are very vigorous, hardy, and resistant to heat, drought, and pests.

Photo Credit: Aaron D’Addio

Garden Location: Wister Center, Sharples Dining Hall


In its’ native Mediterranean habitat, Punica granatum produces the pomegranates we find in our grocery stores. Here at the Scott Arboretum, this plant does not usually produce pomegranates, or if it does they are very small. For us, it still creates beautiful, red-orange, showy flowers that resemble bunched up tissue paper. Pomegranate is a deciduous shrub or small tree that showcases new flowers that start off bright orange and then darken to cherry red over time.

Photo Credit: Aaron D’Addio

Garden Location: Worth Hall, Old Tarble


It is easy to determine why this Rudbeckia is named Rudbeckia maxima, giant coneflower, and giant black-eyed Susan, because of its tall, maximum height of 8 feet! This clump-forming plant features huge, paddle-shaped, bluish-green basal foliage, which is why it is also called dumbo’s ears and cabbage leaf coneflower. Rudbeckia maxima produces flowers with yellow rays of downward-pointing petals with a raised cone on top which changes from light green to black as it matures. The resulting seedheads are a goldfinch favorite.

Photo Credit: Aaron D’Addio

Garden Location: Biostream, Pollinator Garden


Helianthus x multiflorus ‘Sunshine Daydream’ is a type of double-flowering false sunflower that closely resembles a dahlia flower. ‘Sunshine Daydream’ is a new introduction from North Creek Nurseries presenting show-stopping, golden-yellow, fully double flowers on sturdy stems with dark green foliage. The leaves do not get powdery mildew or brown out even during the hottest and driest summer days. Helianthus x multiflorus ‘Sunshine Daydream’ is a butterfly magnet as well as an excellent cut flower. It is a great way to bring some of the sunshine indoors.

Photo Credit: Aaron D’Addio

Garden Location: Biostream

Categorized as Plant of the Week

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