In last week’s column, we looked at four new spring and early summer perennials introduced this year by Proven Winners. There are also seven new midsummer- to fall-blooming perennials worth a closer look.
1. “Cloudburst” tall cushion phlox. According to Proven Winners, tall cushion phlox is growing in popularity because it is exceptionally disease resistant and offers a long period of bloom. “Cloudburst” is taller than creeping phlox but shorter than tall garden phlox, reaching 28 inches tall. Brilliant pinkish-purple flowers cover the dark green foliage. It requires full sun and thrives in average soil.
2. Lakota “Santa Fe” coneflower. Large, copper cones are surrounded by flowers blooming in red, hot pink and orange. It grows between 12 to 16 inches high, making it perfect for front-of-the-border display, small gardens and containers. Although it does well in average soil, the site needs to have good drainage. It is drought-tolerant when established and can handle light shade, although it blooms better in full sun.
3. “Rainbow Rhythm Orange Smoothie” daylily. The blooms are a fresh orange-mango color with a light rose band, ruffled and fragrant. Scapes are well-branched and abundant with buds that open and bloom in midsummer. Described as a reliable rebloomer, this daylily reaches 24 inches tall and thrives in average soil in full to part sun.
4. “Midnight Masquerade” penstemon (beardtongue). Hummers and bees collect nectar and pollen from the lavender purple flowers. Throats are white. The vibrant blooms are held on strong stems above deep burgundy foliage and bloom through midsummer. This perennial reaches 36 to 40 inches high and prefers average to dry soil.
5. “Tuscan Gold” heliopsis (false sunflower). A glowing, sunny yellow perennial, “Tuscan Gold” is a showy, upright plant with daisy-like blooms radiating from a golden yellow and green center. It is heat tolerant, thrives in average to and will tolerant somewhat dry soil once established.
6 & 7. “Rock ‘n Grow Popstar” and “Superstar” stonecrop (sedum). These low-mounding sedums are new to the “Rock ‘n’ Grow” collection from Proven Winners, and both hug the ground. “Popstar” blooms with bright salmon pink flowers, while it “Superstar” offers hot pink flowers. Colorful seed heads extend their interest into the fall.