Underused plants of the South

Cynthia_c(Texas)February 13, 2003

I have been following the overused plants thread, and it got me curious. What are underused plants for the South? I myself would love to incorporate some if feasible here in Texas area :)

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steve_nj(7-a)

Rhapidophyllum hystrix(Needle Palm) and Sabal minor(Dwarf Palmetto) are 2 sp. of shrubby palms hardy to zone 6b if sheltered from wind. These 'hardy subtropicals' should be grown much more.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2003 at 6:01PM
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BarbC(8 coastal SC)

I can tell you the palmetto is definitely on the OVERused list here in SC. LOL

Pussy willow? I've been looking for one for ages and finally had to import it from my cousin farther north.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2003 at 5:25AM
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Cynthia_c(Texas)

Persian sheild is one that is underused, and what gorgeous foliage it has!

    Bookmark   February 15, 2003 at 10:02AM
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safariofthemind(z7b NC)

Anisacanthus wrightii - great firecracker red flowers.

Here is a link that might be useful: Pic of Anisacanthus

    Bookmark   February 15, 2003 at 6:14PM
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esh_ga

Serviceberry - amelanchier spp. Great small tree, early spring flowers and the birds love the berries.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2003 at 8:11PM
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rosie(Deep South, USA 7A/B)

Ginger lilies, for sure! I never saw these absolutely wonderful old-timey plants with the heavenly scent before moving here and now see them shockingly seldom.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2003 at 6:31PM
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safariofthemind(z7b NC)

Dicliptera suberecta, hummer plant

Here is a link that might be useful: Pic

    Bookmark   February 17, 2003 at 1:12AM
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athagan(z9a N/C Fl)

Native plums, either P. angustifolia (Chickasaw plum) or P. umbellata (hog or flatwoods plum). Both make gorgeous blossoms in the early spring.

.....Alan.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2003 at 9:12AM
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Cynthia_c(Texas)

Awesome plants listed! I thought of another one, clerodendrum ungandense, blue butterfly bush. I have more research to do! Thanks for all the responses :)

    Bookmark   February 20, 2003 at 12:25PM
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Pterostyrax(8a)

Here's my list:

1. Viburnums - absolutely one of the great groups of shrubs with something for everyone, many of them four season standouts, but hardly anyone uses them - doublefile viburnums should be in everyones yard
2. Kousa dogwoods - a four season tree with numerous great cultivars - why isn't this used more often as it is a great tree for southern gardens
3. Japanese maples - another great group of shrubs/trees with a gazillion cultivars woefully underutilized in the south - adds a touch of class to any garden
4. Aesculus parviflora and pavia - should find a place somewhere in every garden
5. Clerodendron sp. - done correctly, a great shrub that loves the south
6. Oxydendrum arboreum - talk about underutilized, this could easily become one of the plants MaryNell was talking about when she said that some are utilized in greater numbers than Bradford pears and red tipped photinias, but never seem overused.
7. Halesia - what another great tree and a number of species from which to pick from
8. Stewartia - Dirr waxes poetic about his Stewartia monodelphia
9. Styrax - another great tree that is nowhere to be seen

  1. Michelias - magnolia cousins, hardly anyone grows them, but outstanding shrubs/trees for the southern garden
  2. Clematis - I don't think there is a house/garden anywhere that wouldn't benefit from several different cultivars, but I cannot remember driving down a road anywhere and seeing one in bloom in someone's garden - criminal
  3. Mexican plum - Copperbaron waxed poetic about this tree a while back in the tree forum, and he was correct, an absolutely marvelous tree that produces outstanding plums for eating and making jam - another four season performer that very few folks know about (Dirr has never said word one about this outstanding native tree - shame on him!)

Well, I could go on and on, but these are just a few of my favorites.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2003 at 4:14PM
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Datawgal(8/9 SC)

Well pterostyrax (and others), don't stop now this is really getting interesting. What a great list so far. As a result of the recent freeze I will probably have a lot of spaces to fill. Lots of good ideas here.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2003 at 4:59PM
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misssherry(Z8/9SE MS)

There are many native plants that are underused! Viburnums, sourwood, swamp dogwood (cornus ammomum), native blueberries, red buckeye, but let me put in a special word for the two types of illicium, floridanum and parviflorum. I live in an area that is heavily browsed by deer, and they've never touched any of my illicium bushes. They must really taste bad!
Sherry

    Bookmark   February 20, 2003 at 5:25PM
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safariofthemind(z7b NC)

Clintonia and Hepatica wildflowers.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2003 at 6:27PM
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jeff_al

other natives that have not yet been mentioned might include:
clethra, itea and fothergilla.
a few years ago, i convinced a friend who works at a nursery to stock some of these plants. it appears that, judging from the remaining plants on the tarp, i might be the only one who bought some.
conversely, put a couple of rows of 'coral bells' azaleas out there and they are gone over the weekend.
i realize that these plants are not as versatile in foundation and formal plantings, but they have their places in the garden.
i don't see many fringe trees (chionanthus virginicus) in yards, either.... guess bradford pears rule that arena.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2003 at 11:33AM
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phdnc(z6NW-No.Car.)

A beautiful MOIST soil lover- Fever tree (Pinckneya bracctea) resembles a pink poinsetta and a native to the southeast coast. Silverbell (Halesia carolina) tuff up little white flowers that pop out in early spring. Beauty berry ( Callicarpa americana ) Good for shade, kind of coarse looking but good in mass, "pank" flowers and the coolest looking bright purple fruit in fall.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2003 at 3:46PM
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phdnc(z6NW-No.Car.)

correction--- Pinkneya bracteata.
phd
hey Pterostyrax dont forget Gordonias

    Bookmark   February 21, 2003 at 3:57PM
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Pterostyrax(8a)

phdNC - Gordonia - great tree. I said I could go on and on, so here goes:

1. Zenobia pulverulenta - great blue-green foliage during the summer and superb fall colors
2. Prunus mume - just an outstanding flowering tree that blooms at early thirty, plus there are a number of outstanding cultivars - highly touted by J.C. Raulston
3. Calycanthus florida - beautiful, fragrant shrub
4. Paeonia suffruticosa - when was the last time you saw a tree peony?, but they can do well in the south given the right conditions - expensive, but what an outstanding plant
5. Rhus copallina - one of the best for fall color, plus red fruit that wildlife love
6. Hydrangea quercifolia - this is starting to pick up steam, but is still underutilized; great cultivars and magnificent fall color
7. Vitex agnes-castus - was once a southern favorite and is starting to make somewhat of a comeback
8. Osmanthus fragrans - great evergreen with unbelievable fragrance
9. Leucothoe - another great evergreen for shade

  1. Sinojackia rehderiana - this one is a comer
  2. Nyssa sylvatica - one of the best for incredible fall color, plus, just a very pretty tree
  3. Sassafras albidum - another great southern native with marvelous fall color
  4. Stewartia malocodendron - another stewartia that is a southern native, but pretty hard to culture; need to really site correctly
  5. Koelruteria paniculata - excellent tree, and did I mention, an excellent tree
  6. Cladastrus luteaus - see 14 above, along with beautiful fall color and fall smell (name another plant that one can say that about)
  7. Cercidiphyllum japonicum - talk about an underutilized tree; go see what Dirr has to say about it
  8. Kalmia latifolia - hard to culture, but what a plant when you can get it to thrive; my own personal opinion, our most beautiful flowering southern shrub
  9. Cephalotaxus sp. - see Dirr; one of the great ones for a woodland setting
  10. Aronia arbutifolia - ever seen this one in a garden? - fall fruit display is spectacular

Well, that's enough. I'll let someone else cover the conifers and hollies.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2003 at 8:02PM
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zil1(z9 LA)

Hostas!

This is a great thread, BTW. I will be printing this one out for future reference. Thanks for the great suggestions!

Liz

    Bookmark   February 24, 2003 at 11:23AM
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lynnb_tomballtx

I like the old-fashioned passalongs and natives. One of my favorite is the winter honeysuckle bush - Lonicera fragrantissima - in full bloom right now. Big bush for full sun, and semi-evergreen.

Also, the native blackhaw viburnum. Awesome color in both spring and fall. Any of the native viburnums do great.

I also love my confederate rose mallow. It gets 10' tall and 15' wide. Is covered in huge peony like blooms in late fall. I think all the mallows are underused, though.

So many homes are stuck on evergreens, and the hardy perennials like mallows, cestrums, and hardy salvias get overlooked. Someone on another forum said they hated crinums because they got mushy in winter. I realize my garden will not always look it's best. That's usually the time I'm not as interested in getting out there (like today in the cold and rain). I go out and keep my enthusiasm going by smelling the narcissus and winter honeysuckle. Or look at the chinese witchhazel in bloom right outside the window. Then, I'll spend this downtime in seed starting, propagation, and dreaming/planning. When we are both rested, spring will be here.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2003 at 4:15PM
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PatNGA(z7 Atlanta area)

For us novices, could you please break down some of these recommendations into sizes that would work for foundation plants and in relatively small yards? My flower beds are smaller than I'd like, too, but I hope to gain a little ground there this year by encroaching onto hubby's lawn a bit.

Thanks,
Pat

    Bookmark   March 30, 2003 at 10:10AM
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Sally44(7b)

I want to second the suggestion of prunus mume. It blooms for me by February 12 (I know because it was an anniversary gift from my husband--what a great gift giver!), or thereabouts in Charlotte, and is so lovely after all the gray of winter. Of course, my neighbors think there is something wrong with it--that cloud of bright pink flowers so early in the season. But it is absolutely gorgeous right when I need a lift!

    Bookmark   April 2, 2003 at 8:47PM
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Leslie32(Ga z8)

I dont know if you would consider them underused but I have had more questions from neighbors about some of my plants that people around here dont seem to grow much. I had celoisa(cockscomb) the kind that gets the weird shaped flower heads and a confederate rose and big pots of portaluca& clematis and you would not belive the people who did not know what they were.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2003 at 6:37AM
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morganred

My all-time favorite is the St. Joseph's lily. Taken for granted for many years (in New Orleans, it is a much-loved passalong plant almost always blooming around St. Joseph's day), this lovely plant is now being sought out. I did find one source for it and since it is considered rare, the only source I could find (Old House Gardens in Ann Arbor, MI) lists it for $30 per bulb. Another of my favorites is the old fashioned magenta phlox that everyone grew and now you never see - it smelled divine, never got mildew and the color was glorious. I would dearly love to get my hands on one but cannot find a source. You really have opened Pandora's box - I have been reminiscing for some time. It has been wonderful. Thanks.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2003 at 3:51PM
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Cynthia_c(Texas)

Morganred, is the phlox's name Phlox drumundii? I am trying to find a picture of it.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2003 at 4:52PM
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TwinOaksFarm

morganred- I found St. Joseph's on ebay of all places. I got a pretty good deal too.

Connie

    Bookmark   April 13, 2003 at 8:56PM
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greenelbows(z9--so LA)

Lots of good suggestions--but nobody mentioned Louisana iris! Used to be great fields of them fifty or so years ago, I'm told, but they've all been drained and built on I guess. The hybridizers have been hard at work and there are many wonderful cultivars, and the native species and natural crosses are great too. I'd also like to put in a plug for a small tree, Chionanthus retusus, the Chinese fringe tree. My mother had a friend with a large native fringe tree she let her cut for my wedding, so I have a great fondness for it and have one in my yard, but the chinese version overshadows it completely and started making a show before the native did even though it was planted about five years later. Wonderful tree all year; looks like a big fat cloud sat down in my yard in the spring, and the bark, the branching pattern, and the leaves are all attractive, plus it makes lots of blue berries the birds love. Our native plant expert feels we are too far south for the native fringe tree to do well here and the Chinese one seems better adapted. Very important to take those variables of heat, humidity, and winter chill--too often overlooked--into consideration. Bradford pear--mentioned frequently in the 'overused' thread--doesn't bloom well here most springs because it doesn't get enough chill hours. You think it's ugly in zone 7, try it here, where it's still over-used and has a little tuft of flowers every few feet the only time of the year it's sort of pretty!
Great suggestions--always looking for something different!

    Bookmark   April 14, 2003 at 7:12PM
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MrsAtkinson

I like Hollandia Broom and Florida Flame Azalea.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2003 at 11:39AM
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hana_daisuki(z8 MS)

I agree that clematis is underused...LIVE clematis that is. The trend around here seems to be buying huge ugly swags of silk clematis vines and wrapping them around mailboxes and decorative lightposts--I swear I've seen this in at least ten yards this week. Ugh!

Also, and I can't speak for any other area than mine in this, not enough people use the beautiful, heavenly-smelling moonflower. New Orleans has them all over the place, but no one up here does! (I'm planting several today! ^_^)

    Bookmark   April 26, 2003 at 2:31PM
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Cynthia_c(Texas)

Well, what have you guys incorporated into your gardens from this thread? Here are
some I've had for a few years, and the rest I found because of you all's
recommendation.

Anisacanthus wrightii
Ginger lilies
clerodendron ungandense
Clerodendron quaducalaire (I know this isnt spelled right)
Clematis - have put 4 more cultivars in.
Native mock orange
Paeonia suffruticosa
Hydrangea quercifolia
Vitex agnes-castus
Koelruteria paniculata (this is still in a pot, I got nervous with it as I have heard it
gets a box elder bug here in Texas on it, and with over 100 cultivars of roses in my
yard as well as other plants, I don't need to add a plant that attracts bug :)
Confederate rose mallow
Crinums, Gosh I love them!
St Joseph's lilly
only found a few LA Iris's

Anyone else?

Thanks for all the responses! Please keep them coming! I need a shrub I can use like some use minature yaupon or box woods to surround certain beds.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2003 at 7:54AM
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Pterostyrax(8a)

Found another one that seems too good to be true. Take a look at the flowers and berries of Crataegus reverchonii. It appears to be another outstanding Texas native. When viewing, click on the "berries" and then on the "distant view of the tree" links. I have even found a source and ordered three of them where they are now residing quite nicely in my garden. Talk about something that beats a Bradford pear eight ways to Sunday......

Here is a link that might be useful: Reverchon's Hawthorn

    Bookmark   May 6, 2003 at 12:17PM
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Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

That is so funny about the silk clematis around mailboxes. Hope it doesn't catch on here. I have never seen anyone use silk plants outside here.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2003 at 5:25PM
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KimmyStar

Speaking of Ginger lilies, where in NC Zone 7 might one obtain Ginger lilies...just love 'em, but can't find 'em!

    Bookmark   May 6, 2003 at 7:41PM
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esh_ga

For Ginger lilies, ask around, they seem to be a favorite passalong.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2003 at 10:35PM
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mikeatle(z7 TN)

For gingers and a host of other underused southern plants, try this nursery. You won't be disappointed!

Here is a link that might be useful: Plant Delights Nursery

    Bookmark   July 15, 2003 at 10:59PM
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pheobuscottage(7b VA)

I'm in a former rental house, pulling up the eighteen, yes, eighteen photinias and six variegated euonymous crowded into my urban lot with mature trees (Phoebus area of Hampton, VA). I'm still contemplating keeping the stinky formosa azaleas.

I love my new plants, all underused in this region:
1. tiarella cordifolia (foamflower) (From Lowe's, I only bought two, but I wish I'd bought more; the ones at the other nurseries don't have the same leaf color)
2. fragrant native azaleas (r. canecens, flammeum, austrinum, and R.x "My Mary")(unfortunately, the evil black losust tree is so fragrant that it drowns out the azaleas)
3. clethra alnifolia (summersweet, one from Lowe's, one from the Va native plant society sale; the Lowe's one has a million flower spikes, but starts to wilt after one day without water, the other one has just two flower spikes, but it seems much happier)
4. amelanchier serviceberry (not sure of species, sold as "shadblow" at Colonial Williamsburg nursery)
5. itea virginica "little Henry"
6. viburnum dentatum "blue muffin" (arrowood dwarf)
7. hexastylis (asarum) Shuttleworthii
8. chrysogonum virginianum (green and gold)

I can't wait for the fall native plant sale at the Virginia Living Museum, but the front yard is almost full (the viburnum and service berries are in the back yard). I have a butterfly garden in the back, but those are pretty widely-used flowers. I think shrubbery and groundcovers are the areas where native plants have been ignored. I usually buy from the large local nursery (MacDonalds Garden Center), but sometimes Lowe's carries good native selections. I saw some natives at HD, but the shade plants were in the sun, on death's door. Countryside Gardens (tiny neighborhood nursery) has Pachysandra procumbens; I might try it. They have a good selection of native perennials at decent prices, but they are really small.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2003 at 12:13AM
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sbcand(z7NC)

Oh my gosh!!! What a source of info here. I wish I could just have all of you come over to my zone 7 house and just hang out and suggest. I haven't even heard of most of what was mentioned here. I'm such a beginner and if it isn't at Lowe's or another garden center I don't know it exists. I'd love to see all of your gardens.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2003 at 5:23PM
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michelleg(9NOLA)

Australian indigo is my current favorite, except that it is finally loosing it's leaves b/c of the cold weather. It makes gorgeous pink flowers. Michelle in New Orleans

    Bookmark   January 29, 2004 at 4:55PM
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southern(z7 Al.)

native redbud and oakleaf hydrangea.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2004 at 8:55AM
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Pterostyrax(8a)

Can't believe no one has mentioned mountain laurel yet, and there are so many beautiful cultivars. Possibly our most beautiful southern flowering shrub - at least I think so.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2004 at 8:58AM
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prussell(z8 WA)

Things I'm adding to the garden this year that I have rarely if ever seen in regional gardens (all herbaceous perennials):
Corydalis
Centranthus
Penstemon
Coreopsis Early Sunrise
Iberis
Stokesia
Thalictrum
Filependula
Aconitum
Epimediums
Baptisia
Tricyrtis
Sedum kamst.
Rudbeckia Autumn Sun
Veronica Blue Fox
Many, many lily species
Two more clematis =)

These are all chosen based on ability to tolerate heat or poor soil. Some of them I recognize are a bit of a stretch. I'm a bit further north than many of you though.

But really, I see the same dozen perennials in every yard or nursery I go to. There are soooooo many to choose from, but it seems no one uses them. And don't even get me started on annuals! I could die happy without seeing another petunia or pansy again.

Not that I don't have them or those overused perennials. But I like to branch out a bit. =)

    Bookmark   March 3, 2004 at 5:57PM
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Maryl zone 7a

I am familiar with some of these plants, but must say that a lot of them like acidic, moist but well drained soil. My PH is neutral and, even amended, is anything but well drained. For me the Mountain Mint aster (Aster Oblongifolius) is a real winner. Helianthus Angustifolius is also a must in my fall garden. Liatris takes my partially amended clay soil and keeps on growing and glowing. Chrysanthemum, Ryans Pink (and it's sports) also do exceptionally well. Lythrum "Mordens Pink" is a another must have (unless you have a water source nearby). And lest I forget, give daylilies a try. They are highly adaptable.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2004 at 8:42PM
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stewartiajon(z6 CT)

My choice for the most exquisite underused plant would be Stewartia malecodendron,followed by Stewartia ovata grandiflora ( in a mountain situation) in the South.

    Bookmark   November 26, 2004 at 1:28PM
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ShadyGrove5(z6b TN)

So many good plants! I am busy re-creating a native woodland setting in my landscaping and using as many natives as possible! These varieties are tougher and lower maintenance than all those imported hybrids. Forest Pansy Redbud Trees, Fothergilla (Mt. Airy), Callicarpa(American Beauty Berry), Oakleaf Hydrangea (Quercifolia), Red Twig Dogwood and Itea (Henry's Garnet). I am adding the Carolina Silverbell tree this spring and a Bottlebrush Buckeye as well. My neighbors now just ask all the time "what is that" and then they buy them too. No more Bradford Pears or Foster Hollies in our neighborhood. Now they are planting witchhazel trees and viburnums.
A buddy also gave me Persian Shield this year, it's gorgeous!

    Bookmark   November 30, 2004 at 11:16PM
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Jacquelyn8b(8b)

Thanks to Pterostyrax for identifying my mystery tree ... Reverchon's Hawthorn! There are so many wonderful plants listed here.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2005 at 12:14AM
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brenda_near_eno(Z7a)

I agree with Steve about needle palm and palmetto - but in my case they-re underused becasue I can't find a SOURCE! Anyone know?

My votes for underused go to Prunus mume - Japanese Apricot - blooming and perfuming my garden right this minute

Chinese witch hazels - and native witch hazel too

Chioanthus definitely, but retusa as well as virginicus - Chinese holds golden leaves forever in the fall

callicarpa and halesia

    Bookmark   January 8, 2005 at 5:23AM
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carex(USDA zone 8a)

Columbines and cardinal flowers for the wet spots.
larryd

    Bookmark   January 14, 2005 at 12:10PM
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croakie_SC(SC Zone 8)

I think the deciduous, native azaleas are seriously underused!! Another would be oakleaf hydrangeas. I just don't see why more people don't use them.

    Bookmark   January 17, 2005 at 4:30PM
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tsmith2579(7B)

I agree with Croakie. Native azaleas Alabamense and Piedmont. also oakleaf hydrangeas. I use oakleaf H. as a foundation planting. All of these are beautiful and fragrant.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2005 at 11:25PM
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shari1332(z7NC)

Brenda, Plant Delights sells both needle palm and palmetto. You should make a trip to the spring open house. I agree very definitely underused in NC.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2005 at 6:00PM
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cougar_roberts(z8/9 TX)

Firespike (for hummingbirds and shade)
Murraya Paniculata (shrub for fragrance)
(for hummingbirds)
Mexican Flame Vine (for butterflies)

    Bookmark   February 20, 2005 at 2:38PM
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sewnfool(8 SE coast)

This has been the most wonderful thread to read, dream and plan . I've made lists of plants I need to look up and plan on using here at my house. I've got 2 acres to play with and WOW what choices with which to start on. Thanks to everyone!

    Bookmark   March 25, 2005 at 4:20PM
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DallasCactiLover(7b)

turk's cap and aspidistra (sp?)

    Bookmark   April 1, 2005 at 1:20AM
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wwlittle(z8SC)

Quercus glauca and Ilex glabra just to name a couple. As a landscape designer availability usually is determined by hardiness and the plants suitability to the area. Check local nursuries...they usually have what is easiest to grow and what most people want...despite the fact that what most people want is what EVERYONE else already has. Natives seem to be the most underused. Go to any nursery and ask or save some trouble and call first...only a few actually have any selection worth lookin at. There in lies the native problem...not as showy, not as desirable, and not widely available. This list is impressive and it shows that you all really know your stuff.Happy gardening.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2005 at 10:40PM
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alicia7b(z7b/8aNC)

Possamhaw
Black titi (Cliftonia monophylla)
Swamp cyrilla (Cyrilla racemiflora)
Blueberry (great for fire engine red fall color)
Maple leaf viburnum (also great for fall color, tends toward pink and purple, out of this world)
Phlox carolina
Indian pink
Native ferns

This is a great thread!

    Bookmark   April 4, 2005 at 8:07AM
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alicia7b(z7b/8aNC)

Blue violets! I don't know why these aren't planted more on purpose, they're gorgeous. All of the low growing spring flowers. Some have already been mentioned above like hepatica; also Atamasco lily, Virginia bluebells, spring beauty, toothwort...

Pawpaw

    Bookmark   April 4, 2005 at 8:27AM
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TNcrystal_stoner(6)

Dura-Heat Birch... I LOVE this tree, it takes the heat without losing leaves, the leaves stay a nice dark green all summer. It also is a super fast grower, nice shape and of course, interesting bark in the winter.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2005 at 5:25PM
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sugarhill(7)

I happen to like aspidistra (mentioned in one of the other posts), but you must read this description from a Texas nursery's web site. Too funny.

"Too ugly to live, too ornery to die. That pretty well describes the cast iron plant, Aspidistra elatior. Known to northerners as a nearly indestructible house plant that tolerates gloomy corners, it has another life in the South as a wretched-looking groundcover for shade. Under less than ideal conditions (i.e. real life), specimens take on a browning, scabrous appearance that's sure to detract from any garden. Aspidistra is hardy to zone 8 or a bit cooler. Highly recommended for anyone who wants to show off their black thumb."

    Bookmark   April 11, 2005 at 6:02PM
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loveli

Re: Silk clematis used outside
My step-mom once "planted" silk plants outside just to irritate an aunt of mine. The aunt is a plant snob and know-it-all (not that there is anything wrong with that!), but she doesn't have a lot of tact; she would exclaim to SM herself that SM's tastes were " so common". The worst was when SM planted two neat rows of marigolds in front of the main porch; Aunt about died. To get back at Aunt for the abuse and put downs, SM decided to push her buttons, hence, the silk plants in the yard.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2005 at 12:20AM
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beth1(LA - Zone 8)

How about pomegranate & 4 o'clocks... wonderful old standbye's that you don't see that much of anymore.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2005 at 12:12PM
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ConnieinMaryland(z7a Md.)

I used to live in Orange County, California. That's where I got my first Mandevilla x Alice DuPont. It bloomed 362 days a year, absolutley gorgeous clear pink trumpets that my neighbor thought were silk because they never stopped. It grew all over my front veranda. Here in Maryland they are not hardy. It's the frost.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2005 at 10:12PM
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outsideplaying_gw(7)

Persimmon trees. When we bought our property it was rough and heavily wooded. But we found a fairly large old persimmon tree near our barn/workshop that is actually a nice tree. The bark is a pretty, rough dark grey/brown. It's messy of course this time of year, but I actually picked up some ripe ones yesterday and ate them. So sweet and delicious. It would be a good tree away from a house or driveway.
I can't believe this thread has bubbled up to the top after 3 years! Interesting suggestions for underused plants.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2005 at 4:00PM
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freak65candy(Z8SC)

Please give japanese styrax a place in your garden!!I also love Euonymus americanus"hearts-a-burstig".It can't be beat this time of the year along with toad lillies,red buckeye seeds bursting from their pods.Now is the time of year also for Illicium Parviflorum to be loaded with seed pods!!Awesome!!Also give Giant Dogwood a place(Cornus Controversa).Water in dry times.
If you can obtain Pseudocydonia chinensis(Chinese Quince) give it a try.This is NOT Chaenomeles speciosa(Flowering Quince).Also give the little guys like Asarum and Hexastylis a chance in your shade area,with a little extra water.Don't be scared to plant Sugar maples either!!They do well if planted in a good hole and watered for the first couple of years.
If you have a source for Baptisia perfoliata,plant it!It is a sandhills endemic where I live and it is bulletproof!!Interesting perfoliate leaves clasping the stem and yellow flowers in the leaf axils.Foliage looks like eucalyptus and some people call it that.Drives me nuts!!Learn to ID your plants and you'll be much better off.I'll go for now and give someone else some"airtime".P.S. Red Buckeye seeds and Euonymus americanus seeds available now!!!!

    Bookmark   October 12, 2005 at 10:44AM
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teresa_g(8A)

I'm a bit late for this thread, years late :)

One plant that I love and that I think is underused here is Russian sage, Perovskia.

Here is a link that might be useful: Russian Sage

    Bookmark   April 13, 2009 at 3:57PM
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