University of Maryland Extension

Featured Plants

Parsley

Petroselinum crispum What would we do without parsley? Can you imagine an expensive entree without its sprig of parsley? A substitute for parslied potatoes? Undoubtedly, parsley is a necessary culinary herb, but grow your own? You bet! Parsley is a biennial. After its first winter, it flowers and...

Shallots

Allium cepa var. aggregatum Grow your own specialty crop! If you like gourmet ingredients, plant shallots, a dainty member of the onion family prized for mild subtle flavor without a strong onion or garlic taste. Their small bulbs and green grass-like foliage are edible, similar to green onions...

Sweet box

Sarcococca hookerana var. humilis This groundcover shrub is prized for its impeccable good looks and restraint but it also provides a little surprise. In late winter, its small white blooms open. Not showy but they pack a potent honeysuckle-like perfume, hence its name. The thick foliage is a...

Bulb fennel, Florence fennel

Foeniculum vulgare var. azoricum Bulb fennel has been a mainstay vegetable in the Mediterranean for centuries. Eaten raw in salads, roasted until caramelized, steamed, or stir-fried, it adds a slight licorice flavor to dishes. Don’t confuse bulb fennel with annual herb fennel whose seeds are used...

Dragon Lady Holly

Ilex x aquipernyi To anchor the corner of a house with an evergreen that’s not too tall or wide, Dragon Lady holly works superbly. At 15-20’ tall and 4-6’ wide, this female holly dresses in shiny dark green leaves with the traditional holly shape. Its slender pyramid form also provides privacy in a...

Giant pussy willow, Japanese pussy willow

Salix chaenomeloides You have to feel fond of a plant you can pet. The furry catkins on this variety of pussy willow grow so large they resemble little bunnies. Some even sport “toes”. This fun small tree reaches 15-25 feet tall at a fast rate. Its narrow dark green leaves are a lighter tone...

Pothos or Devil’s Ivy ‘Neon’

Scindapsus aureum or Epipremnum aureum ‘Neon’ The leaves of pothos ‘Neon’ make it a first-rate choice to add bright chartreuse green to a dark corner. Often confused with philodendron because they have similar heart shaped leaves, pothos is another easy-to-grow houseplant for folks with a black...

Prickly Pear Cactus

Opuntia humifusa Want a smile on a winter day? Tired of watering? Have a baking hot spot in the yard? Try a winter-hardy prickly pear cactus. The smooth pads of these native cacti have the typical cactus spines as well as glochids, tiny barbed hairs with a deceptively downy appearance. Practical,...

Allegheny pachysandra

Pachysandra procumbens This native pachysandra is earning more fans as Marylanders add native plants to their landscapes. Its serrated leaves of a slightly bluish-green grow atop erect 6–10” stems. As foliage matures, it develops a pleasing two-tone mottled effect. Clumps of white bottle brush...

Baldcypress

Taxodium distichum (fall color) If you have a sunny, damp area, lots of space and want a strong focal point, baldcypress could be the plant for you. This unusual native looks like a lofty needled evergreen in summer, but drops its foliage in the fall, giving it the name “bald”. Foliage is soft and...

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