Coming attraction at The Crosby Arboretum: Late summer perennials

Published 1:55 pm Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Over the past week at the Crosby Arboretum, we have noticed the signs of a glorious show about to take place in our Savanna Exhibit: The arrival of the late summer perennials. Grounds manager Terry Johnson just announced the sighting of the very first Pine Lily in the north savanna. These exotic red lilies quickly come and go in the late summer, but while they are here, what a show they put on! You will find them blazing in our pitcher plant bog, as well as in other areas in the moist pine savannas.

A high-performing perennial, Liatris, has begun to show color, and will soon coming into its glory in the south savanna. This is the area that many of you know as our “pitcher plant bog”. At the north end of the boardwalk is an expanse of this native herbaceous perennial. You will not want to miss the show over the coming weeks as the tall candle-like spires burst into bloom, attracting a wide variety of butterflies, including monarchs, buckeyes and swallowtails. 

While Pine Lilies are delicate plants, and difficult to grow or transplant, Liatris is a tough, drought-tolerant native perennial that is found in much of eastern North America, that has become a favorite in perennial gardens. Also known as Gayfeather or Blazing Star, this plant is a great performer, whether grown in a wildflower garden or cutting bed. It is not only beautiful, but useful for attracting butterflies and birds.  The floral industry makes good use of the long-lasting blooms, and a number of cultivars have been developed, such as white or pink blooming plants, or those with a more petite growth habit.

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These Mississippi wildflowers are just two examples of the plants that say “late summer” to the staff at the Crosby Arboretum, signaling the beginning of the glorious fall color that will soon be unfolding. You are officially invited to come and enjoy the show!  

The Crosby Arboretum is open Wednesday through Sunday, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, call (601) 799-2311, or learn more about the upcoming programs and events by visiting the website.