What's In Bloom

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Sources for "What's in Bloom: Bloom Highlights" listings include the Chicago Botanic Garden's staff and database, as well as the publications and records of other botanic gardens, institutions, and the scientific community.

Gartenmeister Bonstedt Honeysuckle Fuchsia

Honeysuckle fuchsia (Fuchsia triphylla 'Gartenmeister Bonstedt') is still going strong, more than 100 years after the creation of this hybrid. Its coral-red tubular flowers are produced in clusters near the ends of the branches and are complemented by deep-green foliage tinged bronze on the undersides of the leaves. Its species name (triphylla) references the production of three leaves at each node, in contrast to other Fuchsia species that produce two leaves per node. This nonhardy shrub prefers partially shaded conditions and humus-rich, moist soils. It is insect and disease resistant in the Chicago area as long as the soils are kept moist throughout the growing season.

Japanese Beautyberry

Callicarpa japonica, or Japanese beautyberry, is one of the stars of the fall garden, with its rounded clusters of metallic-purple berries produced at almost every node along its arching stems. This root-hardy shrub can be planted in partially shaded to full sun locations that provide constant moisture. During most winters in the Chicago area, the stems will sustain freeze damage and should be cut to within a few inches of the soil surface in late winter.

Midnight Fire Ornamental Pepper

Midnight Fire Ornamental Pepper

The dark-black foliage makes the perfect backdrop for the shiny purple pods that mature to red at the end of the season. A wonderful companion plant for other late-summer and fall container and flower bed displays. Thrives during the heat of summer when grown in full sun and well-drained soils. The fruits are ornamental, not for consumption. The flowers attract a number of pollinating insects.

2020 – Ball Horticultural featured plants @ Chicago Botanic Garden

Pumpkin Pie Orange Decorative Mum

Pumpkin Pie Orange Decorative Mum

Mounded plants are covered with pumpkin-orange, decorative-class chrysanthemum flowers starting in August and extending well into September, or perhaps later. This cultivar tolerates cool to cold fall temperatures better than most mums. Flowers attract late-season pollinators. Best grown in full sun, moderately fertile, well-drained soils.

2020 – Ball Horticultural featured plants @ Chicago Botanic Garden

Sage

MYSTIC SPIRES IMPROVED™ Sage

Dark blue-purple flowers are featured on this self-cleaning sage with remarkable heat tolerance. This non-hardy perennial is a pollinator magnet with special importance to migrating hummingbirds and butterflies in the fall. Full sun in well-drained soils that dry between waterings are ideal conditions for this plant. This improved selection is shorter than the original cultivar and produces more flowers.

2020 – Ball Horticultural featured plants @ Chicago Botanic Garden