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This is one spider you'll love to get close to! Spider lily is named for the long, leglike petals radiating from its central blossom. Blooming in spring, summer, or early fall, it is sweetly fragrant and accompanied by dark green, straplike leaves. Many varieties thrive in moist soil, such as at the edge of a pond or stream or a slow-draining garden spot. Its bold green foliage and exotic flowers give spider lily a tropical vibe. Pair it with canna, rush, and other plants that thrive in moist soil. Like other tender bulbs, gardeners in cold-winter climates can dig up spider lily bulbs and store them in a frost-free place for winter.
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Cannas bring tropical splendor to gardens in all regions. These bold plants feature clustered, flaglike blooms in a brilliant color array on tall stems. Recent flower breeding has created canna foliage that is even showier than the petals, with variegated leaf combinations of orange, yellow, and greens that glow in the summer sun. Dwarf cannas are also available for container gardening and other small spaces. Cannas are usually grown from tuberous roots but some newer varieties can also be raised from seed, with flowering guaranteed for the first year.Cannas provide architectural interest in summer borders and they also flourish along the damp margins of a pond. If you garden in a climate colder than Zone 9 (7 for the hardier types of cannas), you'll need to dig canna plants up and store them bareroot for the next season or overwinter potted specimens indoors. A destructive mottling virus has threatened canna stock in nurseries across the U.S., so be sure to buy your plants from a reputable source.
The curious corkscrew rush loves wet or boggy conditions. It makes a fascinating architectural accent in planters, beds, and moist borders. It's technically leafless, with green cylindrical stems that are pointed at the tip. Plant rush alongside streams and ponds, though it will tolerate dryer conditions elsewhere. It's excellent in container gardens.
This broad-leafed water plant thrives at the edges of a pond, and produces an abundance of lavender-blue flower spikes through the summer. Blue pickerel is a vigorous grower that sends its glossy leaves as much as 3 feet above the waterline.