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Lesser-Used Perennials

Liven up your landscape by including a few of the lesser used perennials.

The blackberry lily (Iris domestica) produces beautiful flowers in summer followed by seedpods that split open to reveal blackberry-like seeds for additional interest in the garden or dried arrangements.

Stokes aster (Stokesia laevis) was a popular plant in the past, but not now as common. Grow this beauty in full sun and well-drained soil for best results. And grow enough to include a few in your cut flower arrangements.

Heleniums, also known as Helens flower or sneezeweed, are adaptable to a variety of growing conditions. Many newer varieties with stronger or shorter stems are being introduced.

The fine airy flowers of Jupiter's beard (Centranthus ruber) make this a great filler in the garden. Be aware it will reseed.

And for hot dry areas consider this Coral Penstemon. It makes a colorful focal point and attracts beneficial insects to the garden.

A bit more information: Make a bold statement in your garden with the lesser-used ornamental rhubarb. The large leaves can be green, variegated, or tinged red or orange. These are topped with white or red flowers. Give this big plant plenty of room or dig, divide and share with a friend when it outgrows its location.

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