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Western Sword Fern

The Western Sword Fern is a lush spreading perennial that adds a hint of tropical, woodlands or rustic beauty to any landscape or patio area. The glossy, leather-like fronds unfurl from fiddle shaped sprouts and can reach up 3-4 ft. in length. They perform beautifully in full to part shade, but can tolerate some light sun in Zones 5-9. This fern is one of the few that will thrive in the shade of taller trees so works well as an understory plant for bare areas. The Western Sword Fern is considered mildly drought tolerant once established, is very deer resistant and can provide color when other plants have faded or gone dormant. Cut back old, faded fronds when new growth begins in spring because dead fronds will not shrivel or fall off on their own.

Australian Canna Lily

This Canna is a large grower with dark maroon, almost black foliage that blooms in mid to late summer with stunning crimson red flowers. Australian Canna Lilies love hot weather and thrive when planted in full sun to partial shade. They can also be grown in large containers. Canna lilies are great pond-side plants that can tolerate moist ground as well. Growing fast, the lush foliage quickly forms a large-leaved tropical screen that can reach a mature size of 5’ tall by 2-3' wide. Performs best in Zones 7-10, but in colder zones, the rhizomes can be lifted and stored over winter to re-plant when danger of last ground freeze has passed.

Gigantea Farfugium

Commonly known as a Leopard Plant this perennial has large glossy heart-shaped leaves that resemble lily pads. They can reach a mature height of 3-4 feet and spread up to 2-3 feet wide. Beautiful yellow daisy-like flowers rise above the leaves on multi-branched stems from late summer thru fall and even winter in more temperate climates. They grow best in Zones 7-10 when planted in partial to full shade and require moist, but well-drained soil.

Orange Bulbine

Bulbine is an evergreen, clumping perennial with yellow and orange blooms above onion-like foliage. Because they are a native of South Africa, they can tolerate heat and full sun and are considered drought tolerant. Performs well in Zones 9-11 and can achieve a mature growth habit of 12-15” tall by 18” wide. The flower spikes bloom above the foliage at about a 2’ height. They bloom repeatedly from mid-Spring thru Fall with multiple blooms per stalk. Large clumps of this plant can be dug up and divided to space out or to share with fellow gardeners.

Francis Oxalis

Bright purple, triangular-shaped leaves and pale pinkish white blossoms make this Oxalis a stand out for a container garden, en masse for a stunning focal point or an eye-catching border in a shade garden. In warmer zones (7-10), it is often grown as an attractive ground cover. In cooler zones, containers will need to be brought inside and placed in bright, but indirect sunlight. Or left in the ground, they will die back to the bulbs until favorable conditions return, then sprout back. Can attain a mature height and spread of up to 1 foot. Propagate these by division of their rhizomes or just let them spread naturally.