A garden oasis and cultural center overlooking the Hudson River

Plant of the Week: Spigelia marilandica (Indian Pink)

Charles Day is Wave Hill’s Ruth Rea Howell Horticultural Interpreter.  The Indian pink (Spigelia marilandica) is not exactly pink. Bright red flowers with dazzling yellow is closer to the mark, and it is a magnet for hummingbirds. Although native to…

Plant of the Week: Disporum cantoniense ‘Night Heron’ (Canton Fairy Bells cultivar)

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Charles Day is Wave Hill’s Ruth Rea Howell Horticultural Interpreter.  The Shade Border in May is filled with masses of brightly colored blooms, all set against the green backdrop of fresh spring foliage. Look more closely, though, and you might…

Plant of the Week: Magnolia ×soulangeana ‘Lennei’ (Saucer Magnolia cultivar)

Charles Day is Wave Hill’s Ruth Rea Howell Horticultural Interpreter.  The severe cold spell in March—which followed an extraordinarily warm February—damaged the swelling buds of many of our spring-flowering magnolias. The result has been a rather scattershot display this month….

Plant of the Week: Lindera obtusiloba (Japanese Spicebush)

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Charles Day is Wave Hill’s Ruth Rea Howell Horticultural Interpreter.  The Japanese spicebush (Lindera obtusiloba) is a lovely, small tree for a shady garden area. Blooming early in spring, with beautiful summer foliage and great fall color, it is attractive…

Plant of the Week: Helleborus foetidus (Stinking Hellebore)

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Charles Day is Wave Hill’s Ruth Rea Howell Horticultural Interpreter.  Stinking hellebore, despite its unfortunate name, is a very welcome sight in the early spring. Its light-green flowers and their Chartreuse bracts—leaf-like structures that surround them—contrast nicely with the finely…

Plant of the Week: Adonis amurensis (Adonis/Pheasant’s-eye)

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Charles Day is Wave Hill’s Ruth Rea Howell Horticultural Interpreter.  One of the very first perennials to bloom at the start of the growing season is the cheerful, yellow-flowered Adonis amurensis. It usually flowers right after the winter snows have…

Plant of the Week: Hakonechloa macra (Japanese Forest Grass)

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Charles Day is Wave Hill’s Ruth Rea Howell Horticultural Interpreter. Japanese forest grass (Hakonechloa macra), as it slowly fades from its summer green to pale straw, is one of the loveliest sights in the garden this time of year. It…

Plant of the Week: Isodon longitubus (syn. Rabdosia longituba)

Charles Day is Wave Hill’s Ruth Rea Howell Horticultural Interpreter. Isodon longitubus is an unusual and enigmatic perennial. Through the summer, when it looks like any slightly rangy-looking green plant, it is easily overlooked but, late in the fall, it…

Plant of the Week: Hosta clausa (Hosta Species)

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Charles Day is Wave Hill’s Ruth Rea Howell Horticultural Interpreter. This Korean species of hosta is very strange. The flowers resolutely refuse to open—explaining the clausa (closed) part of the botanical name. It is an odd mutation because insects and…

Plant of the Week: Ligularia ‘Britt-Marie Crawford’ (Leopard Plant Cultivar)

Charles Day is Wave Hill’s Ruth Rea Howell Horticultural Interpreter. Ligularia ‘Britt-Marie Crawford’ (leopard plant cultivar) is one of the most handsome plants of the Shade Border, a tree-lined walk in a quiet corner of the garden. Its dark-maroon foliage…