University of Maryland Extension

Featured Plants

Featured Plants - Escarole

escarole
Cichorium endivia Looking for a vegetable with the tenderness to enhance a fresh salad and the toughness to withstand 20 minutes cooking in a soup? Try escarole. This leafy green member of the chickory family has a slight bitter flavor. For salad, use the inner lighter-colored leaves. The more...

Featured Plants - Inkberry

Inkberry, Ilex glabra, Expert Plant Picks, native plants
Inkberry, Ilex glabra This holly has moved to center stage as a native alternative for Japanese holly, but its attraction does not stop there. Disease and insect problems are almost nonexistent. Consider, too, its dark evergreen foliage, glossy black berries, and the ability to grow in a reasonably...

Featured Plants - Lichen

Lichen spp. All right, technically lichen is not a plant. It is algae cells enclosed in fungal cells, working together in a symbiotic relationship. Lichen (the word is singular and plural) draws water and nutrients out of air. That’s how it can live on inhospitable surfaces such as a rock or fence...

Featured Plants - Camellia

Camellia Japonica ‘Lady Clare’ Flowers in the snow? Yes! Camellias add an element of surprise to the winter garden with colorful blossoms in hues ranging from light pink to crimson and white. These large, attractive shrubs have lustrous, dark, evergreen leaves and a pyramid shape. Camellias are...

Featured Plants - Tulip Poplar

Tulip poplar ( Liriodenddron tulipifera ) is not a tree to plant under a power line. Up to 200 foot specimens of this magnificent native have been recorded, with an average height of about 100 feet and spread of about fifty. However, for a rapidly-growing tree that provides abundant not-too-dense...

Featured Plants - Christmas Fern

January 2013 Christmas Fern Polystichum acrostichoides Christmas ferns stay glossy and evergreen when most ferns have shriveled and gone dormant. The new spring fronds grow stiffly upright until hard frost or heavy snow pushes them over, and even then remain effective in the landscape. With their...

Featured Plants - Lamb's Ears

Lamb's Ears
Lamb’s Ears ‘Helene von Stein’ Stachys byzantine ‘Helene von Stein’ Don’t let the tender fuzzy leaves of Lamb’s ears fool you. This silvery groundcover, grown primarily for its foliage, stays attractive in both summer and winter. The soft velvet-like texture begs to be petted, making it perfect for...

Featured Plants - Ironwood

Ironwood
January 2013 Ironwood, Musclewood Carpinus caroliniana This is a native to cherish if you have one and nurture if you can get one. A small tree, it’s the bark that makes it stand out in a forest understory. Smooth and fluted, the bark suggests a lanky flexed bicep. In winter, ironwood’s one inch...

Featured Plants - Skimmia

Skimmia
Skimmia japonica This shade-loving evergreen shrub gives year-round delight beginning with deliciously fragrant white flowers in spring, then bright red berries that appear in fall and last through the winter. Leaves have a shiny, rich green color year round. Because most skimmia plants are...

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