There's so much that changes in the MG landscape throughout the year...we thought a plant trial and garden blog was the best way to start sharing "what's new" and "what's happening with all those new varieties" with you! Visit often for updates on how trial plants are performing in the gardens and to see photos throughout the season as we grow and change!

Welcome to the Midwest Groundcovers Landscape Blog

Welcome to the Midwest Groundcovers Landscape Blog
Astilbe 'Vision in Red' with Hosta 'Patriot' and Carex 'Ice Dance'

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

My Favorite Plant part 2

Hello again. We are here with round two of Midwest Groundcovers employees' favorite plants. Today's guest is Grace Koehler. Grace has been a member of the sales and marketing team since 2000. She works with landscape contractors and architects of the Illinois region. She specializes in the development of our sustainable, green roof and native plant markets as well as our brand programs. Grace graduated from Southern Illinois University, Carbondale and is past president of the Midwest Ecological Landscape Association(MELA). Here she writes about the 2010 plant of the year, Baptisia australis and some of it's relatives.

Baptisias add structure and intrigue to any planting. Think of them as a small shrub that dies down to the ground every year similar to Buddleia. The new Prairieblues™ series of Baptisia from Chicagoland Grows opens the door to all types of new colors and variations in form. My favorites are B. australis, with its round bushy form and vivid violet blue flowers that bloom in May and the native B. leucantha which is stunning as it emerges and reaches straight up for the sky with its fluorescent creamy white flowers. B. leucantha has a more upright habit and takes a few years to establish but is well worth the wait. In the fall the foliage turns black and adds a prehistoric look to the landscape. Drought resistant, (the roots go all the way to Tibet) and disease free you can’t go wrong in using these plants. Allow plenty of room for and be patient the first year or two then stand back and enjoy the show.
Baptisia australis: Bushy plant with blue-green pea-like foliage. Flowers are indigo blue in long terminal erect racemes. Produces fruit in the form of a 2-3" long pod that turns black when mature.
Baptisia leucantha
Tall perennial/shrub with white flowers in early summer. A prairie plant of classic elegance with its small graceful and waxy clusters of lovely legume blossoms. Fixes nitrogen into the soil.

Baptisia Starlite Prairieblues™
Wide mounding Baptisia with arching branches bearing racemes of periwinkle-blue and butter-yellow florets. Chicagoland Grows selection

Baptisia Twilite Prairieblues™
Extremely robust, vigorous bi-color Baptisia. Deep violet- blue flowers up to 32" long are held above the blue-green foliage. Chicagoland Grows selection.

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