The Long Island Gold Medal Plant Program


The Long Island Gold Medal Plant Program began in 1999 and is administered by the Nursery & Landscape Program.  The purpose of the Gold Medal Program is to identify underutilized plant material of exceptional merit that is particularly suited for growing on Long Island.  Increased public education and awareness of sustainable plant selections are the main goals of the program.

Four award-winning plants are selected each year, which may be trees, shrubs, perennials, vines, groundcovers, or grasses.  Gold Medal Plant Winners are identified by the Plant Selection Committee, which is a volunteer group of horticulture professionals.  See below for descriptions of all the award-winning, Gold Medal plants.

Growing a greener Long Island since 1999

Garden talks & lectures about Long Island Gold Medal Plants are now available!
Please contact Vincent Simeone at for further information!
(A donation to the Gold Medal Plant Program is suggested.)



Gold Medal Plant Entries

We would like to hear your suggestions for Gold Medal Plant winners!  If you would like to nominate a plant for an award, please fill out the PLANT ENTRY FORM


Gold Medal Fact Sheet Series

Fact sheets on award-winning plants are available for download here:


Long Island Gold Medal Plants by Year


Camellia japonica April Series and C. x Winter Series – (Spring and Fall/Winter Blooming Hardy Camellias)

These durable, colorful evergreens offer exquisite, glossy, dark green leaves year round and colorful flowers ranging from pure white to deep pink and red. at select times of the year. The April Series offers flowers in April and May while the Winter Series blooms from late October until the onset of cold weather in December. Camellias are best planted in spring and prefer rich, acidic, well-drained soil and partial shade. When siting, avoid planting on a southern exposure.  Camellias are heat, drought and pest resistant and offer great texture and color throughout the year. ‘Winter’s Star’, ‘Winter’s Joy’, ‘Winter’s Darling’, ‘April Kiss’, ‘April Rose’ and ‘April Tryst’ are among some of the best new cultivars available. These new selections are hardy from zones 6-9.

Cornus florida (Flowering Dogwood)

This classic American native displays pure white or pink showy bracts in spring, rich shades of red and maroon foliage in fall as well as glossy red berries and a rough, alligator skin like bark all year round. Although susceptible to diseases such as dogwood anthracnose and powdery mildew, specific siting in the garden will help to alleviate disease problems. Flowering dogwood should be sited in full sun or partial shade on an eastern exposure where there is good air circulation. Avoid aboveground watering in the afternoon or evening hours. Rich, organic, well-drained soil is preferred along with 1-2” of mulch around new plants. Avoid watering your dogwoods in the afternoon or evening hours to reduce wet foliage late in the day. ‘Cherokee Princess’, ‘Cherokee Brave’ and ‘Appalachian Spring’ are excellent cultivars with good vigor and pest resistance.  Hardy from zones 5-9.

Ilex crenata ‘Soft Touch’ (Soft Touch Japanese Holly)

This semi-dwarf Japanese holly has fine, glossy foliage that is softer to the touch than most other cultivars. The dense habit to 2-3’ tall and wide and dark foliage make it a suitable replacement to boxwood as hedges, foundation plantings and low screens. Well-drained soil is preferred and full sun or partial shade is best for growing dense plants. Soft Touch Holly is drought, heat and pest resistant making it a low maintenance and durable alternative to boxwood, Wintercreeper (Euonymus fortunei) and other garden favorites. Hardy from zones 5-8.

Nepeta ‘Blue Wonder’ (Blue Wonder Catmint)

The gray-green, aromatic foliage of Blue Wonder Catmint along with the profusion of lavender-blue flowers in early to mid summer make this a mid season favorite. The low, spreading growth habit to 12” high makes it a good plant for the front of a border, along a walkway or in a foundation planting. Catmint is a great plant for hot, dry locations and prefers sun to partial shade and well-drained soil. After blooming in late summer, plants can be cut back to encourage another flush of flowers in fall. This plant is also deer and rabbit resistant. Hardy from zones 3-8.


Lonicera nitida (Boxleaf Honeysuckle)

A low growing evergreen with small, glossy leaves and a spreading habit to 4-5 ‘ tall and 4-6’ wide. Plants can be pruned to form a dense hedge or low screen. Boxleaf Honeysuckle prefers well, drained, acidic soil and full sun or partial shade. Heat and drought tolerant. It is a good alternative to boxwood. Plants may become semi-evergreen in harsh winters. ‘Baggesen’s Gold’ is an upright variety with bright, golden yellow foliage and ‘Lemon Beauty’ offers fine, yellow variegated foliage and a graceful growth habit. ‘Hardy from zones 7-9.

Thujopsis dolabrata ‘Nana’ (Dwarf Hiba Arborvitae)

This compact, arborvitae look-alike is as durable and reliable in the landscape as its relative, but is a more controlled plant of finer texture and richness. It is also pest resistant and does not need any significant pruning to keep it looking good. A slow grower, Dwarf Hiba Arborvitae can eventually reach 3-4’ wide with equal height. It does best in well-drained soil and full sun or partial shade. Hardy from zones 6-8.

Quercus palustris ‘Green Pillar’ (Green Pillar Pin Oak)

This tall shade tree is rather unique with a tight, upright habit eventually reaching 50’ tall and only 12’ wide. The dark green leaves turn shades of deep red to maroon in the autumn. Because this variety does not reach the size of other oak tree species, it is ideal for areas of the landscapes with limited width. Moist soils and full sun or partial shade is best. Hardy from zones 4-8.

Cercis canadensis (Eastern Redbud)

This native flowering tree offers petite, deep, rosy pink flowers in profusion along the stems and branches in spring. Mature specimens can reach 25-30’ tall with a similar width. The heart shaped, dark green leaves provide a bold texture in summer. Redbud requires very well drained soil and prefers partial shade although they will thrive in full sun with adequate watering. ‘Appalachian Red’ is an exceptionally colorful variety with reddish pink flowers, ‘Covey’ is a beautiful weeping form with cascading branches and pink flowers in spring and ‘Forest Pansy’ offers deep burgundy foliage in spring and early summer. Hardy from zones 4-8.


Acer griseum (Paperbark Maple)

Small, Specimen Tree with Unique Bark

Amsonia hubrichtii (Threadleaf Blue Star)

Native, Multi-Season Interest Perennial


Polystichum acrostichoides (Christmas Fern)*

The ability of ferns to soften the edges of shade gardens and impart of feeling of calm serenity cannot be overstated. Among the best is Polystichum acrostichoides, the Long Island native Christmas fern. So named because its thick, leathery evergreen leaves serve well in Yuletide displays this plant slowly clumps to 3’ wide and rises to about 24” tall. Positioned adjacent to bold neighbors such as hosta, heuchera and ligularia the lacy dark green fronds of Christmas fern offer ideal textural contrast so important in shade gardens where foliage must take center stage. Culture is simple as long as the plant is sheltered from direct afternoon sun and provided soil that is rich and moist. Christmas fern is very forgiving, however, and tolerates drier conditions once established. Winter snowfall may mat down the previous season’s fronds and simple removal of these leaves before the new growth flush in mid-spring is advisable for aesthetic considerations.

Chionanthus retusus (Chinese Fringetree)

Small, Pest-Resistant, Flowering Tree


Baptisia australis (Blue Indigo)

Blue, Drought-Tolerant Perennial

Carpinus betulus 'Frans Fontaine' (Frans Fontaine European Hornbeam)

Columnar Hornbeam is an excellent narrow growing shade tree selected for its sleek, narrow growing form.  A mature tree grows to 40-50’ tall and only 20’ wide. This tree does not lose its columnar form with age. It has dark green dense foliage that makes it excellent for use as a accent, specimen or for hedging. Hornbeams are drought tolerant, insect and disease resistant and are extremely hardy. They grow best in full sun and is deer resistant.

Cornus mas 'Golden Glory' (Golden Glory Corneliancherry Dogwood)

A small, multi-stemmed tree or large shrub that grows up to 25’ in height. Golden Glory is a more upright form that flowers abundantly. The small yellow flowers are a true harbinger of spring as they open in early April. Attractive, exfoliating bark and small, red, summer fruits provide year-round interest. It can be grown in full sun or partial shade in any well-drained soil. This tough tree does not succumb to the common problems that plague other dogwoods. Hardy in zones 4-7.

Sedum spurium 'John Creech'

John Creech Two Row Stonecrop is a very low-growing, evergreen ground cover.  Only 2” tall, this sedum will quickly spread to 18” wide or more, rooting at nodes along the ground.  Small succulent leaves are tinged blue-green, and tiny, rosy pink flowers appear in the late summer and early fall.  This creeper is quite versatile and can be used in rock gardens, for green roofs, between stepping stones, and in low-maintenance gardens.  John Creech has been tested and ranks among the best ground covers for its ability to suppress weeds on Long Island.  Grow in full sun in soil with excellent drainage.  Once established, it is heat and drought-tolerant and requires no fertilizer.  Hardy in zones 3-8.


Lonicera sempervirens (Trumpet Honeysuckle)

Vines allow us to take advantage of vertical space in the garden, but finding restrained selections that will not run rampant and offer multi-season interest can be challenging. Lonicera sempervirens (trumpet honeysuckle) is a Long Island native species that twines around suitable supports to reach a height of 12’-15’ tall with leathery blue-green leaves that shimmer silver underneath. Flowering typically commences by Memorial Day and continues in waves through Halloween. The tubular flowers are held in bunches and colored a brilliant coral on the outside with contrasting yellow-orange throats. Native ruby throated hummingbirds flock to these blooms and songbirds follow to consume red berries late in the season. Trumpet honeysuckle is tolerant of variable light and soil conditions with best performance in sun and rich, moist soil.

Magnolia 'Galaxy' (Galaxy Magnolia)

Late-Flowering Magnolia


Salvia nemorosa 'Caradonna' (Caradonna Sage)

Long-Blooming Perennial

Styrax japonicus 'Emerald Pagoda' (Emerald Pagoda Japanese Snowbell)

An upright, somewhat columnar,  slow growing tree to 10’ tall by 8’ in 10 years, 20-30’ by 20’ wide at maturity. Bell shaped, 1” downward facing, slightly fragrant May flowers are set off by dark green leathery leaves. Grow as a specimen or woodland understory tree. Grows well in sun to part shade in organic, moist yet well drained soils; may need water in a dry summer. Good yellow fall color; hardy zones 6 to 9.


Aesculus parviflora (Bottlebrush Buckeye)

Unique, Large, Flowering Shrub

Carex 'Ice Dance' (Ice Dance Japanese Sedge)

Tough, Ornamental Grass

Parrotia persica (Persian Parrotia)

All-Season, Specimen Tree

Phlox stolonifera (Creeping Phlox)

Low-growing, flowering perennial ground cover for moist shade.  It is native to the Appalachian Mountains where it grows demurely along moist stream banks, and is perfectly at home in the shade garden or as part of an informal woodland planting.  In the spring, lavender-purple flowers delicately stand above the mat of small, oval, green leaves.  Spreading at a slow to moderate pace by way of stolons, Creeping Phlox will eventually reach 12” wide, and will be 3” tall (6 – 12” tall with flowers).  Grow in partial shade in moist, well-drained, acidic soil.  Stems may be cut back after flowering.  Hardy in zones 2-8.


Clematis montana var. rubens (Pink Anemone Clematis)

A vigorous, disease-resistant vine, 20-30’ with many rosy pink 2-2 ½” fragrant flowers from May into July.  Grow in organic soil with roots in shade or mulched with top growth in sun to part shade with good moisture during growth.  Prune after flowering for shape and size.  Use on fences or other sturdy supports. Hardy in zones 4-9.

Geranium x cantabrigiense ‘Biokovo’ (Biokovo Hardy Geranium)

A low-maintenance, attactive ground cover that spreads moderately fast to form a dense ground cover, compact, generally to 6”, occasionally to 12” tall.  Plant on 12” centers, 6” for faster coverage.  It gives better weed control than other geraniums; does not need to be cut down after flowering; glossy green foliage turns reddish in fall.  It is tolerant of some shade but produces more white to light pink flowers in sun and part sun locations.  Grow in well-drained soils with moisture during growth. Hardy in zones 5-9.

Syringa reticulata ‘Ivory Silk’ (Ivory Silk Japanese Tree Lilac)

Versatile, small flowering tree is a delightful small tree that grows 20-25’ tall. It has dark green foliage and large clusters of creamy white flowers which appear in June. A tough tree that tolerates urban conditions, Japanese Tree Lilac should be grown in full sun in any well-drained soil. Japanese Tree Lilac is quite versatile and can be used as a street tree under utility lines, as a small specimen, in a grouping, near buildings, and for property line screening. Hardy in zones 3-7.

Viburnum x burkwoodii ‘Conoy’ (Conoy Burkwood Viburnum)

A terrific pest-resistant, dwarf, evergreen shrub with flat, fragrant, creamy white May flowers; dense, rounded to 4’ tall and 7’ wide.  Grow in sun to part shade locations in well-drained alkaline soil; best fruiting (reddish purple) for birds if planted in groups or as a hedge but is a good specimen or foundation planting. Hardy in zones 5-8.


Abelia grandiflora ‘Rose Creek’ (Rose Creek Glossy Abelia)

A low growing, dense cultivar that has attractive rosy foliage. It has light pink to white flowers starting in July, terrific foliage color from Sept; both lasting until a hard frost. Generally grows to 3’ tall; should be cut to the ground in late winter every 3-5 years. Use in mixed border, a hedge, even an interesting groundcover; plant in sun to part shade in well-drained organic soils with good moisture during growth. Plants are evergreen where protected. Hardy in zones 6-9.


Panicum virgatum ‘Heavy Metal’ (Heavy Metal Switchgrass)

A selection of a native prairie grass with 5’ upright, metallic blue leaves. It is terrific in naturalized gardens and mass planted particularly when sun setting behind. Pink flowers give nice late season color. Leaves turn yellow in fall; for winter interest, leave stand until early spring. Grow this low maintenance, pest resistant grass in full sun in average soils; withstands drought and heat; space new plantings 3’ apart. Hardy in zones 5-9. 

Sciadopitys verticillata (Japanese Umbrella Pine)

A remarkably beautiful dark green pyramidal tree has dense whorls of glossy flat needles. This specimen tree is slow-growing in early years (approx. 6” per year), becomes a valuable mature plant in any landscape, generally to 30’ tall by 20’ wide, occasionally to 60’ or taller. Plant in spring or fall in full sun to light shade in fertile moist soil. Usually pest free and deer resistant; only pruning is of competing leaders; do not remove lower branches. Hardy in zones 5-8.

Skimmia japonica (Japanese Skimmia)

A rounded and dense evergreen shrub to about 3’ X 4’ for foundation and mixed plantings; nice sized for small gardens. Plant in moist, organic acid soils in shade and part shade areas and protect from winter sun and wind. A male must be planted near female plants (up to 6) to produce the persistent bright red fruit in Nov. (lasts until spring). Hardy in zones 6-8.


Hibiscus syriacus ‘Diana’ (Diana Rose-of-Sharon)

This non-fruiting Rose-of-Sharon is vastly superior to the old-fashioned Rose-of-Sharon.  Its 6-7’ height, slightly less wide habit is more refined, has better glossy dark green foliage, a profusion of terrific waxy, ruffled, pure white 4” flowers, from July to October, and most of all, does not produce masses of pesky seed and seedlings.  Plant in spring or fall in decent, well-drained soil in part to full sun locations.  It is highly adaptable to a wide range of less than ideal locations, is pollution resistant, and requires little maintenance beyond selective pruning for shape.  Use as a specimen, hedge, or mass planting, in moon garden, in industrial and mall sites; can also be trained as an elegant tree form. Hardy in zones 5-8.

Ilex pedunculosa (Longstalk Holly)

This is one of the most attractive hollies with thornless, shiny, 1-3” long, dark green leaves and interesting red ¼” fruit that hangs on 1 ½” stems which generally persist from October into November when birds don’t get them.  It has a graceful balance of dense foliage with open structure over its height which can reach 30’ and spread of 15’ but generally is closer to 15’ tall in cultivation.  Plant in spring in decent, fertile, moist soils though is tolerant of less than ideal conditions, best in partial shade to partial sun locations; male needed to pollinate female for fruit production. Hardy in zones 5-7. 

Rosa ‘Radyod’ (The Blushing Knock Out® Rose)

A pale pink addition to the tough and durable Knock Out® rose group.  It has been bred to resist blackspot, mildew, and Japanese beetles yet produce profuse light pink flowers, which change into shell pink 3 to 3 ½” blooms as they age.  Plant container grown specimens into rich, well drained soil in spring where they will receive 5 or more hours of sun; mulch with 2” of organic mulch.  To improve flowering and performance, use slow release fertilizers in a constant feed program; liquid fertilizer in spring when growth resumes.  Use as a specimen, foundation plantings, mixed border or as a colorful hedge. Hardy in zones 4-9.

Stachys ‘Helene Von Stein’ (Helene Von Stein Lamb’s Ears)

A beautiful plant with 6” X 2” silvery leaves.  It grows to about 8” tall, rarely flowers though an occasional flower spike will appear; remove or retain if it’s to your taste.  It’s generally considered a clump forming plant but will continue to spread and create a dramatic groundcover over years.  It is a wonderful specimen plant, edger for borders or walkways, useful in seashore, herb and moon gardens.  Plant from containers in fall or spring in sunny, well-drained lean soil.  This low-maintenance plant is also deer and pest resistant. Hardy in zones 4-10.



Hydrangea quercifolia (Oakleaf Hydrangea)

A dramatic, summer-flowering shrub with creamy white cone-shaped flowers up to 1 long that age to purplish-pink. Deep-green oak-leaf shaped leaves turn shades of red, orange and purple in fall. Use as a specimen, in the shrub or mixed border, or on a woodland edge. Mature size is about 8 tall and 10 wide, though it could be kept smaller with pruning. Will grow in part-shade but full sun produces the most flowers and best fall color; on older plants, peeling cinnamon bark adds winter interest. It does well in moist, well-drained fertile soil; mulch to keep root zone cool. Its loose growing habit is well suited to naturalistic gardens. Hardy in zones 4-8.


Picea orientalis (Oriental Spruce)

Dense, graceful, narrow, pyramidal spruce with pendulous branches, and short, ¼ - ½' needles that are a very dark green and shiny. It is an elegant evergreen tree for Long Island landscapes that grows 50' to 60' tall and 20' to 25' wide after about 60 years, to 120' ultimately with enough space. It is adaptable to poor soils (water well until established, however) and has few disease or insect problems. This is an attractive specimen tree for any location and is superior to both Norway and White Spruce. Hardy in zones 4-8.

Prunus ‘Hally Jolivette’ (Hally Jolivette Cherry)

A beautiful, small, flowering cherry tree. This cherry grows fast and flowers profusely even when young. The pink buds of the semi-double flowers start to open in late April through early May. Flowers are light pink or white with a deep red or purple center, and appear before the leaves, providing continually opening blossoms over a 10-20 day period. Hally Jolivette Cherry is densely branched, yet finely textured. It may also be grown as a multi-stemmed shrub, although this form is rarely available. It is very cold-hardy and stress-tolerant for a cherry. Hardy in zones 5-8.


Waldsteinia ternata (Siberian Barren-strawberry)

A tough, vigorous, mat forming semi-evergreen ground cover. This low growing plant reaches only 4-5” tall and has shiny foliage that resembles a strawberry plant. ½” wide, saucer-shaped, bright yellow flowers appear in late spring through early summer. This plant thrives in humus-rich, acidic soil in partial or full shade. It effectively competes with weeds once established. Works well as a lawn alternative or ground cover in a natural garden and is deer resistant. Hardy in zones 4-7. 


Hypericum frondosum 'Sunburst' (Sunburst Golden St. Johnswort)

An upright, 30” x 30” deciduous shrub with a profusion of bright yellow flowers in June into July and attractive blue-green foliage. It has decorative reddish-brown fruit capsules (nice in floral arrangements) and exfoliating bark in winter. This dependable performer, even in dry conditions, is pest & disease resistant and low maintenance; rejuvenate in five or six years by cutting back near ground (stooling) in early spring. It works well massed, in border or foundation plantings, or even as single accent plant. Hardy in zones 5-8.

Leucanthemum ×superbum 'Becky' (Chrysanthemum 'Becky')

Becky Shasta Daisy is a showy, long flowering (June to August with deadheading) perennial with white daisy-like blooms and dark green shiny evergreen foliage. Avoid overhead watering for best appearance.  It is pest-resistant & requires little maintenance; divide in spring or after flowering. It’s good for cutting and especially useful in sunny borders, mixed plantings, or in large masses in moist, neutral soil. Hardy in zones 5-10.

Sarcococca hookeriana var. humilis (Dwarf Sweetbox)

Attractive, dark evergreen foliage that hides the highly fragrant white flowers which bloom February-March. This woodland ground cover grows to about 24” in height and width, and spreads slowly to form nice drifts. Plant in moist, acidic soils in shaded or partially shaded areas.  Dwarf Sweetbox works well with rhododendrons and other acid-loving plants. It is best to mulch new plantings. It is highly pest resistant. Hardy in zones 6-8. 

Sorbus alnifolia (Korean Mountain Ash)

An extremely decorative, deciduous tree with few problems (unlike other Mountain Ashes). With a moderate growth rate, it will reach a height of 40' to 50' and a width of 50' Outstanding characteristics include white flowers in May and a brilliant show of color from September to November. This includes two months of pink to red fruit that are attached by persistent red pedicels and yellow, orange or reddish fall foliage with year round silvery gray bark of the trunk and main branches. Sorbus performs well in moist, neutral to alkaline soil and part to full sun location. Hardy in zones 4-7.


Clethra alnifolia 'Compacta' (Compact Summersweet)

A small growing, dense multi-stemmed shrub that grows to 4'-5' tall with a spread of 6'. A profusion of fragrant white flowers appear in July. Rich dark green foliage turns an attractive yellow color in fall. It does best in partial shade in soils with adequate moisture but is tolerant of a wide range of conditions. Its useful in a shade garden, seashore plantings, foundation plantings, can be massed or used as a compliment to perennials in a mixed border. Hardy in zones 3-9.

Daphne × transatlantica 'Jim's Pride' (formerly Daphne caucasica) (Jim's Pride Daphne)

A wonderfully scented small shrub, growing to about 4’ by 4’. Fragrant white May or June flowers cover the attractive somewhat grey green leaves which generally remain throughout the year. Flowers continue until frost and may sporadically appear during any warm days of winter. It grows best in partial shade with excellent drainage. Purchase healthy looking plants with many white feeder roots. Hardy in zones 5-9.

Heuchera villosa ‘Autumn Bride’ (Autumn Bride Alumroot)

Hard-working native of a mostly evergreen perennial for difficult dry shade locations. It will tolerate sun and appreciate more moisture. The attractive white-green fuzzy leaves form a 15” tall by 24” wide mound in decent conditions that is covered with wands of white flowers in September. Utilize as a ground cover, edging or specimen plant and in woodland garden or massed. Hardy in zones 3-8.

Thuja plicata (Western Arborvitae)

Dark green graceful pyramidal conifer which provides good year round color. Its stature makes it an adaptable specimen plant or for use in a large hedge, for mass planting and screening and can be used to replace hemlocks that have been decimated by wooly adelgid. For best results plant in sun or partial shade in moist acidic soil, though it is tolerant of dense shade and alkaline soils. It grows at a moderate pace to reach 50 to 70’. Hardy in zones 5-7.


Ceratostigma plumbaginoides (Plumbago or Blue Leadwort)

A durable, deciduous ground cover that can be used for edging or at the front of the border. Bright green foliage emerges late and can prevent weed growth. Deep gentian blue flowers appear in August or September. Foliage turns brilliant reddish bronze in late September and persists through November. Cut it back hard at the end of the season. Grow in full or partial sun locations in well-drained soil that is high in organic matter. Because it emerges late, interplant with early-flowering bulbs for best results. It grows 8-12” tall with a 12-18” spread. Hardy in zones 5-10. 

Hydrangea anomala subsp. petiolaris (Climbing Hydrangea)

An attractive, clinging vine. Train it to cover a rock wall or sturdy arbor, as a ground cover or up a tree. Although slow to start, this Hydrangea becomes vigorous once established. Four-season interest with 4-6” diameter white flower clusters lasting over four weeks, beginning late June, long-season foliage, structural and multi-colored exfoliating bark. Well worth the time needed to establish. Hardy in zones 4-8. 

Malus Sugar Tyme® (syn.'Sutyzam' P.P.#7062)

Sugar Tyme® Crabapple is a highly disease-resistant crabapple. This small tree reaches 18’ tall with a spread of 15’ at maturity. It has profuse and slightly fragrant pink flowers, attractive foliage, persistent red fruit, and interesting, smooth bark which adds appeal throughout the wintertime. This multi-season specimen tree has consistently good flowering and performs best in sun. Sugar Tyme® Crabapple is tolerant of a wide range of soil conditions, although it performs best in rich, welldrained soil. Hardy in zones 5-8.

Viburnum dilatatum ‘Erie’ (Erie Linden Viburnum)

An adaptable, medium-sized, 8’ high, 8’ spread at maturity, broad, rounded shrub. Use as specimen, in shrub borders, mass plantings, even as hedge. Creamy-white late May or early June 4-5” flowers, in flat clusters, give way to red fall fruit (turns coral after frost) as dark green glistening foliage turns yellow-orange to rust. Flowers best in full sun but adapts to light shade, in moist soils. Hardy in zones 5-7. 


Cephalotaxus harringtonia 'Duke Gardens' (Duke Gardens Plum Yew)

A small deer-resistant conifer gracefully spreading conifer. Its desirable, almost-black green needles and elegant shape make it useable as a small growing, 2-3' height, 3 to 4' width, accent plant or in a regal mass planting. It's best placed in a wind protected, light shade area (will withstand heavy shade) in well-drained soil and is drought tolerant once, established. This slow-growing refined and deer-resistant plant will be a welcome and elegant replacement for the Common Yew (Taxus) which are being destroyed by the voracious eaters. 

Epimedium x perralchicum 'Frohnleiten' (Frohnleiten Barrenwort)

A sturdy, quick establishing, low maintenance ground cover for the shade. It performs best in moist, organic soils, but will grow admirably in difficult, dry shade locations. For fast coverage, plant 3" pot-sized plants 6-8" apart. Plants spaced 12" apart will fill in more slowly as the plants produce runners. Cut back in the spring. Bright yellow flowers appear soon after, then the fresh green foliage with a red edge resumes growth and remains evergreen throughout the year. Hardy in zones 5-9.

Rudbeckia nitida 'Autumn Sun' (syn. 'Herbstsonne')

Autumn Sun Coneflower produces a dramatic show in the late August and September garden with many 3 to 411 yellow-rayed, green eyed flowers on 5' to 6' upright growing stems holding large shiny, gray-green leaves. Remove spent flowers to prolong bloom. Grow it in full sun to prevent flopping. Leave plants and seed heads to provide structure and texture in the winter garden. 

Stephanandra incisa 'Crispa' (Cutleaf Stephanandra)

A small to 3' tall plant with deeply incised, triangular glossy green leaves producing a nice, textural shrub. It spreads reasonably over time by self-rooting branches and makes a good erosion control plant on hills and slopes or can be shaped into a nice, dwarf hedge. The attractive foliage, plus the graceful arching habit, makes it a pleasant specimen plant as well as being suitable for a shrub border. Use this tough, disease-free plant in part shade to sun, and average soil. The fall color is a nice apricot to maroon-purple.


Corylopsis pauciflora (Buttercup Winterhazel)

An attractive delicate-looking, deciduous shrub with soft yellow April flowers. Attractive dark green foliage turns yellow in October. Grow in part shade in moist, acid soil. Plants spread slowly by easily controlled suckers to 6' wide and reach 4' in height. Wonderful for use in woodland situations and mixed with other ericaceous plants. Little maintenance needed for this pest free and attractive shrub. Hardy in zones 6-8.

Fothergilla gardenii (Dwarf Fothergilla)

A fragrant shrub native to the southeastern United States. It grows in sunny, wet habitats and attains a height of two to three feet, which can easily be accommodated in small gardens. In late April to early May, it produces beautiful white, fragrant bottlebrush inflorescence. It will survive in the shade although a plant that receives at least a half-day of sun will produce more flowers and will grow in a rounder, more compact habit. The outstanding fall color is a brilliant yellow to orange or scarlet. This relatively pest and disease free plant should be utilized in a woodland situation, a mixed border, in a mass planting or as a part of a foundation planting. Plant in moist, well-drained sites. Hardy in zones 5-8.

Microbiota decussata (Russian Arborvitae)

Evergreen ground cover that makes a unique replacement for junipers. The pleasing green color changes in fall to bronzy-purple. It will perform nicely in moist, well-drained soils or dry conditions, in part shade to full sun locations. The prostrate growth will attain a height of about 12-16" and will grow horizontally (8-12" annually) to reach a spread of 12'. Also works nicely in a raised planter where it can weep over the sides. No known pests or diseases bother Russian Arborvitae, unlike other coniferous ground covers which can be plagued by tip blights. Hardy in zones 3-8.

Stewartia pseudocamellia (Japanese Stewartia)

A multi-season very attractive flowering tree. Although slow to establish, this tree reaches 20-40’ tall at maturity. The multi-stemmed habit showcases its ornamental exfoliating bark, which displays dark brown to red hues. At the end of June through early July, numerous 3” diameter, white flowers appear with striking yellow stamens. Japanese Stewartia grows best in light shade in soils that are moist, organically rich, and acidic. Truly a multi-season interest tree, Japanese Stewartia also has terrific fall foliage that ranges from orange to scarlet. Japanese Stewartia is also a pest-resistant, prized performer that needs little pruning. Hardy in zones 5-7.

*Photo Source: James H. Miller, USDA Forest Service,