Friday, May 27, 2011

Perennials for Sun

Zauschneria latifolia July 2010

Paeonia veitchii May 2010

Kniphofia nelsonii June 2009

Lilium 'White Henryi' July 2010

 Sedum 'Matrona' August 2008

Here is a list of sun-loving perennials for gardens in Seattle, the Pacific Northwest & USDA Zone 8.  It includes xeric perennials (those that like dry conditions) & perennials for moist sites.  Most of these plants are fairly common in the temperate gardens of North America & Europe. None are difficult to grow.  A perennial is any plant, not woody, that lives for at least a few years, although some are short-lived.  Perennials include bulbs & grasses.  Perennial groundcovers are listed in Groundcovers for Sun.  Some genera have species that are both annuals & perennials, or both perennials & shrubs.  Some perennials blur the line between perennials & shrubs, & are often called sub-shrubs.  Some can be weedy, spreading widely by seeds.  Others spread by stolons, which are horizontal above-ground shoots.  Those are noted, although the worst of them are not listed here.  A single common name is noted when the plant has a common name.  While some have several common names, others have none at all.  An excellent reference book for perennials is Perennials: The Definite Reference With Over 2,500 Photographs by Roger Phillips & Martyn Rix.

Perennials for Sun
Acanthus hungaricus, Acanthus mollis, Acanthus spinosus (Bear's Breeches): & other species
Achillea (Yarrow): many species
Agapanthus campanulatus (Lily of the Nile): often sold as Headbourne Hybrids
Alcea rosea (Hollyhock): many cultivars
Allium (Ornamental Onion): many species
Anthemis tinctoria (Marguerite Daisy): xeric
Armeria maritima (Thrift): xeric
Aster (Michaelmas Daisy): many species & cultivars
Astrantia major (Masterwort): some cultivars
Baptisia australis (False Indigo): sun, tolerates some dryness.
Campanula (Bellflower): many species
Centranthus ruber (Valerian): xeric
Cheiranthus cheiri (Wallflower)
Coreopsis (Tickseed): xeric
Crocosmia (Flaming Iris): taller cultivars need support
Crocus: many species & cultivars
Cynara cardunculus (Cardoon): tall & dramatic
Delphinium (Larkspur): many cultivars, needs staking
Dianthus (Carnations & Pinks): many cultivars
Digitalis (Foxglove): short-lived but will return from seed
Echinops ritro (Globe Thistle): xeric
Echinacea paradoxa (Yellow Coneflower) Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower): & other species & many cultivars
Erigeron glaucus (Beach Aster) Erigeron karvinskianus (Santa Barbara Daisy) Erigeron speciosus (Showy Fleabane): & other species
Eriophyllum lanatum (Oregon Sunshine): xeric
Eryngium amethystinum, Eryngium bourgatii, Eryngium planum, Eryngium variifolium  (Sea Holly): & other species, E planum needs support
Eucomis comosa (Pineapple Lily): many cultivars
Eupatorium purpureum (Joe Pye Weed): & other species, needs moisture, may need staking
Festuca ovina ‘Elijah Blue’ (Blue Fescue): short-lived with some seeding
Fritillaria imperialis (Crown Imperial) Fritillaria meleagris (Chequered Lily): & other species
Galtonia candicans (Summer Hyacinth)
Gaura lindheimeri (Gaura): xeric, spreads widely by seed
Geranium cantabrigiense, Geranium 'Johnson's Blue', Geranium sanguineum (Cranesbill): many species & cultivars, not to be confused with Pelargonium (Geranium)
Geum (Avens): many species & cultivars
Gladiolus (Gladiolus, often Gladiola): many species & cultivars, some need staking
Helianthemum nummularium (Sunrose): several cultivars, xeric
Helenium autumnale (Sneezeweed): & other species, does not cause sneezing
Hemerocallis (Daylily): very many cultivars
Hyacinthus orientalis (Hyacinth): many cultivars, not to be confused with Muscari (Grape Hyacinth)
Kniphofia (Torch Lily): many species & cultivars
Lathyrus vernus (Perennial Vetch): short-lived with some seeding
Liatris spicata (Gayfeather)
Lilium (Lily): many species & cultivars
Linaria (Toadflax)
Lobelia cardinalis (Cardinal Flower): needs moisture, Lobelia tupa (Tupa): xeric, & other species
Lupinus (Lupine): many species & cultivars, some are shrubs
Lychnis coronaria (Rose Campion): xeric
Mimulus (Monkey Flower): many species, needs moisture or wetness
Monarda didyma (Bee Balm): several cultivars
Narcissus pseudonarcissus (Daffodil) Narcissus jonquilla (Jonquil): many species & cultivars
Nectaroscordum siculum (Mediterranean Bells)
Oenothera (Evening Primrose): spreads widely by seed
Ornithogalum umbellatum (Star of Bethlehem): xeric
Paeonia (Peony): many species & cultivars, some are shrubs, very long-lived
Panicum virgatum (Switchgrass): xeric
Papaver orientale (Oriental Poppy): & other species
Pennisetum setaceum (Fountain Grass) 
Penstemon (Beardtongue): many species & cultivars, some shrubby, short-lived
Perovskia atriplicifolia (Russian Sage): xeric
Persicaria affinis, Persicaria amplexicaulis, Persicaria bistorta, Persicaria virginiana (Knotweed): needs moisture, can be invasive
Phlomis russeliana (Jerusalem Sage): xeric
Phlox (Phlox): many cultivars
Pulsatilla vulgaris (Pasque Flower): several cultivars
Ratibida columnifera (Mexican Hat): xeric
Romneya coulteri (Matilija Poppy): xeric, spreads widely by stolons
Salvia (Sage): many species, short-lived
Scilla peruviana (Giant Squill): xeric, from Spain, not Peru
Solidago (Goldenrod): many species
Tradescantia virginiana (Spiderwort): some cultivars
Scrophularia macrantha: xeric
Sedum 'Autumn Joy', Sedum 'Matrona', Sedum 'Vera Jameson' (Stonecrop): & other cultivars, xeric
Stachys byzantina (Lamb’s Ears) Stachys monieri 'Hummelo' (Betony): & other species
Veronica spicata (Speedwell): & other species & cultivars
Zauschneria californica (California Fuchsia) Zauschneria latifolia: & other species, spreads widely by stolons


scottweberpdx said...

Excellent reference list...I might add Agastache...even though they don't always seem to overwinter successfully (at least some of the newer selections I've tried). Maybe persicaria...although I guess they do appreciate some afternoon shade.

Jordan Jackson said...

Agastache hasn't made it through the winter for me. I seldom see it in Seattle gardens. I don't think it tolerates wetness. Persicaria is a good suggestion. I'll add it to the list. I was in PDX last weekend & saw a lot of Persicaria virginiana 'Painter's Palette'. I've heard it can get out of control, however.