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Rodger's flower

Rodgersia_ spp.

Rodger's flowers are among the boldest of plants. They have huge, interestingly shaped leaves that are green or bronzy, heavily veined, and often turn red or gold in fall. The large astilbe-like plumes of tiny flowers are an added bonus. Excellent in rain gardens and damp areas near streams and ponds, Rodger's flowers also thrive in beds and borders in humus-rich soil.

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Part Sun, Sun



3 to 8 feet


2.5-3 feet wide, depending on variety

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Astilbe brings a graceful, feathering note to moist, shady landscapes. In cooler climates in the northern third or so of the country, it can tolerate full sun provided it has a constant supply of moisture. In drier sites, however, the leaves will scorch in full sun.Feathery plumes of white, pink, lavender, or red flowers rise above the finely divided foliage from early to late summer depending on the variety. It will spread slowly over time where well-situated. Most commercially available types are complex hybrids.
Named for the Greek goddess of the rainbow, iris indeed comes in a rainbow of colors and in many heights. All have the classic, impossibly intricate flowers. The flowers are constructed with three upright "standard" petals and three drooping "fall" petals, which are often different colors. The falls may be "bearded" or not. Some cultivars bloom a second time in late summer. Some species prefer alkaline soil while others prefer acidic soil.Shown above: Immortality iris
Meadow rue
Like a scrim on a theatre stage, the elegant stems and fuzzy flowers of meadow rues create a delicate screen through which to view the rest of the garden. These often-towering plants are grown for their delicate leaves as well as their flower. They lack petals but have delicate and conspicuous stamens and, sometimes, persistent colored sepals that are attractive. Tall species are excellent in the back of a border or midborder in front of shorter but bolder plants, in wild gardens, or among shrubs. Put small species in rock gardens or troughs. Meadow rues prefer lightly shaded spots where soil is humus-rich.
These vigorous growers are beautiful additions to the garden. They vary from tall, stately plants suitable for borders to others that can be planted as creeping groundcovers. Flowers, too, vary from tight spikes of 1/2 inch to 1-inch cups carried alone or in whorls. Humus-rich, moisture-retentive soil is recommended; some varieties enjoy wet soil and ample water. Several sorts may become invasive and need to be corralled.Note: These are not the invasive purple loosestrife, which has been banned in many parts of the United States.
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