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Best Fall Flowers for the Northwest

These eye-catching plants add drama to Northwest gardens as the weather grows colder.

While we don't have the intense blaze of fall color the Northeast is famous for, our mild autumn weather carries on from mid-September through Thanksgiving. Brilliant color, berries, and flowers last for many weeks, with sourwood (Oxydendrum arboretum), Japanese maples (Acer palmatum), and burning bush (Euonymus alatus) blazing orange and scarlet against dark autumn skies.

Helenium autumnale in shades of gold and copper; sky-blue Salvia uliginosa; and willowy Boltonia asteroides 'Snowbank' with its bright white, daisylike flowers keep the garden blooming through October.

For maximum impact, combine these beauties with Japanese bloodgrass (Imperata cylindrical 'Rubra'), orange Chinese lanterns (Physalis alkekengi), and dwarf plumbago (Ceratostigma plumbaginoides), a groundcover with brilliant blue flowers set off by plum-colored leaves.

Try mixing in a few berry plants, such as our native snowberry (Symphoricarpos albus), the pretty little shrub Pernettya mucronata, beautyberry (Callicarpa selections), and blue flax lily (Dianella caerulea), an Australian perennial with stunning purple fruits, and your garden will keep on luring you outside until the first hard frost of winter.

Learn more about:

Japanese maple

Burning bush



Japanese bloodgrass



Blue flax lily


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