Clusters of colorful fruit adorn the branches of this native shrub (Callicarpa americana) every year in early fall, and they are the perfect shade of crayon-box-purple. Not only are they attractive to humans, but several bird species enjoy the ripe fruit. As an added bonus, the foliage has mosquito repelling properties.
Located – Pollinator Demonstration Garden and Va. Native Plant Garden
Blue Mist Flower
This perennial (Conoclinium coelestinum), also known as hardy ageratum, is one of Coastal Virginia’s most prolific wildflowers. Purple-blue flowers open in August and will bloom until mid-fall attracting butterflies, bees, and other pollinators.
Located – Flowering Arboretum, Border Garden and Garden Wide
Among many other admirable attributes, this tree (Cornus florida) is the very first tree to take on fall foliage color. Weeks before other trees even consider changing, flowering dogwood starts to turn shades of red and burgundy. It is a marker of things to come.
Located – Garden Wide
‘Flying Dragon’ Trifoliate Orange
Also known as hardy orange, this large shrub or small tree (Citrus trifoliata) is indeed one of the most cold hardy of citruses, capable of withstanding winters much further north. The orange fruit is about the size of a ping pong ball, it is full of seeds, and is incredibly bitter and sour. Although they are technically edible, you would be better off eating an orange from the grocery store. ‘Flying Dragon’ is a variety noted for its contorted and twisted stems, and its talon-like thorns.
Located – Sensory Garden
Even though this unusual plant (Leonotis leonurus) hails from South Africa and is happier in that climate, it can be hardy in Coastal Virginia if it is sited where it gets some winter protection in extremely well drained soil. In mid-fall it is covered with bizarre, but very attractive, bright orange flowers.
Located – Fragrance Garden
This native grass (Muhlenbergia capillaris) is pretty humble and unassuming much of the year. However, in early fall it becomes one of the most dramatic grasses with its rich misty pink plumes. If pink is not your color, the variety ‘White Cloud’ is just a dramatic blooming in our Conifer Garden.
Located – Baker Perennial Garden and Conifer Garden