University of Maryland Extension

Featured Plants

Willowleaf Cotoneaster

Ginny Williams
Cotoneaster salicifolius repens Have a slope or hard to mow area? Willowleaf cotoneaster is an easy groundcovering shrub, pest resistant, and fast growing. Grown in full sun, it will reward the grower with bright red berries in the fall and into the winter. With increasing shade there are fewer...

American Beautyberry

Ellen Nibali
Callicarpa americana “Purple ping-pong balls” describes the berry clusters on this flashy native shrub. Violet to magenta berries totally encircle the stem, gaining size as the plant matures. Reaching 3 to 8 feet, the deciduous American beautyberry makes a loose, graceful shrub that works well in a...

Arugula or Rocket Salad

Photo by Bob Orazi
Eruca sativa Arugula has “rocketed” to popularity in recent years. An excellent late-season crop for home gardeners, the spicy, peppery flavor of arugula leaves add a zesty punch when raw in salads or cooked. Maybe that’s why ancient Egyptians and Romans considered arugula seed oil to be an...

Drift Rose 'Pink Drift'

Drift Rose 'Pink Drift'
Rose x ‘Meijocos’ (Pink Drift) Roses once had a rep as so fussy, needy, and high maintenance, gardeners left them out of their landscapes. New roses have come a long way, however--and not just the “Knock-Out” shrub roses. ‘Drift’ and ‘Carpet’ roses also flower repeatedly throughout the growing...

Cotton

Cotton
Gossypium herbaceum This one will stump your gardening friends. The hibiscus-like blooms are available in a variety of pastel colors, and the cultivar ‘Red Leaf’ grows purple foliage to contrast with the white cotton bolls. Seeds can be soil sown when soil temperatures approach 55-60 degrees, but,...

Feather Reed Grass ‘Karl Foerster’

Calamagrostis x acutiflora ‘Karl Foerster’ 2001 Perennial Plant of the Year, ornamental grass ‘Karl Foerster’ provides three generous seasons of interest. Sturdy green blades emerge early from winter dormancy, growing to 4-5’ tall. Inflorescences (flower stalks) shoot up higher in summer, feathery...

Ironweed, New York Ironweed

Ironweed
Vernonia noveboracensis The rich glowing purple of ironweed blooms pop against the warm autumn hues of goldenrod and mums. Depending upon its site, ironweed may reach 4 feet in the back of the perennial bed or soar 7 feet or more. This Maryland native is a butterfly favorite. Plant in full sun to...

Christmas Fern

Polystichum acrostichoides Christmas fern stays glossy and evergreen in winter when most ferns have shriveled and gone dormant. In spring, new fronds grow stiffly upright. Hard frosts and snows push them down, but even then they remain effective in the landscape. With their creeping rhizomes, and...

Wood Spurge

Wood Spurge
Euphorbia amygdaloides var. robbiae Wood spurge makes a low maintenance evergreen perennial groundcover for a wide range of conditions. Dark green, glossy leathery leaves grow in tight rosettes on the stems. In early spring, lime green bracts appear on stalks 12 inches above the foliage and almost...

Rose of Sharon ‘Helene’

Hibiscu s syriacus ‘Helene’ P hoto by Ellen Nibali Rose of Sharon has been beloved for centuries for its prolific bloom during summer doldrums when most flowering shrubs grind to a halt. However, due to nuisance seedlings, it was banished from many gardens. Thanks to the U.S. National Arboretum, we...

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