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Herbaceous plants

Toad lilies
Photo: Jardin botanique de Montréal (Gilles Murray)
Species or cultivar Fall and winter interest
Actea simplex (syn. Cimicifuga) Late blooming, in long white spikes.
Anemone blanda Early blooming and spreading bulb with small, delicate flowers resembling blue or white daisies.
Anemone japonica Gracious and delicate late blooming perennial.
Aster spp. Late bloomer in shades of mauve.
Bergenia spp. Large leathery, glossy, persistent leaves, reddish in winter.
Calamagrostis Grass with silky silver inflorescences that glisten in the fall and winter sun.
Chelone glabra Late bloomer. Flowers resemble little turtle heads.
Chrysanthemum spp. Late bloomer. Plenty of choice.
Colchicum automnale Autumn crocus is a late-blooming bulb with mauve flowers. Sure to stand out at this time of year.
Crocus spp. Early-blooming bulb.
Echinacea spp. Well-known perennial with large mauve daisy-like flowers, which can be attractive as dried flowers.
Eupatorium spp. Large, late-blooming perennial.
Galanthus spp. Very early blooming bulb, in late winter. It’s not called snowdrop for nothing!
Helianthus spp. Similar to sunflowers. Late yellow blooms.
Helleborus spp. Persistent leaves and very early bloomer. Also known as Christmas rose. A fashionable plant these days.
Macleaya cordata A very tall, late-blooming perennial with large leaves.
Oenothera spp. Its foliage takes on a lovely reddish tinge in the fall.
Physostegia virginiana Late blooms, pink.
Tricyrtis spp. Late blooms, an unusual three-part flower.
Rudbeckia fulgida 'Goldstrum' A well-known perennial with large yellow daisy-like flowers, which can be attractive as dried flowers.
Verbesina virginica A rare American perennial (zone 5, USDA), never before tried in our climate. The first frost produces “ice flowers” at the base of the stems for a few weeks, when the sap rises from the roots, which are still active, and freezes. The result is wavy, candy-like ribbons of ice. If you find it, let us know!


Based on an article by Robert Mineau in Quatre-Temps magazine, Vol. 26, No.4.

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