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A Few Heritage (Heirloom) Flowers for the Garden

Add a bit of history and fun in your landscape with heritage plants. Also called heirloom plants, they have maintained their traits over time as they were passed along from one generation to the next.

You’ll impress young gardeners with the Marshmallow Plant (Althaea officinalis). A relative of the hollyhock this plant was used as a medicinal candy. The French then took the plant’s root, added sugar, egg and a binding agent to create a fluffy white candy. 

The delicate whitish-pink flowers appear along the top of the stems of this three- to four-feet-tall plant. Grow it in full sun with moist well-drained soil.

Add a bit of flavor and fragrance to the shade with the native wintergreen. Grow it in moist, slightly acidic soil. The glossy green leaves and edible fruit have a smell and flavor of wintergreen. The bell-shaped flowers, red berries and evergreen leaves provide yearround beauty.

A bit more information:  Some gardeners and organizations use dates to signify a plant as an heirloom. Some consider plants introduced and grown since or before the 1940’s or 50’s as heirloom. Seed Savers Exchange takes a different approach. They verify and document the preservation and exchange of seeds from one generation to the next and tie to specific groups of people. They call seeds introduced in the U.S. trade before 1950, historic.

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