Flowers for late summer color

Long-lasting beauties deliver blooms late in the season, when gardens need them most

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Aster. A. x frikartii 'Mönch' is on everyone's top 10 list of lavender blue perennials; plants grow to 2 feet. Sunset climate zones 2b-3. New England aster (A. novae-angliae) has mostly blue flowers. 'Alma Potschke', an old favorite, bears salmon pink blooms. Grows to 3 feet tall. Zones 1-24. Flowers of Michaelmas daisy (A. novi-belgii) come mostly in shades of blue; 'Climax' has true blue flowers. Grows 4 to 6 feet tall. Zones 1-24.

Boltonia asteroides. Bears white, pink, or blue flowers on plants 5 to 6 feet tall. Zones 1-3, 10-11.

Chrysanthemum. Florist's chrysanthemum (C. x morifolium) bears flowers in many colors, from rust and wine red to orange and golden yellow. Grows 1 to 6 feet, depending on variety. Zones 2-24. C. x rubellum flowers come in various colors; 'Clara Curtis' is bright, clear pink. Grows 2 feet tall. Zones 1-24.

Coreopsis verticillata. Bears yellow, daisylike blooms; 'Moonbeam' is pale yellow. Grows 1 1/2 to 2 feet tall. Zones 1-3, 10-11.

Daylily (Hemerocallis hybrids). Comes in various colors; look for reblooming or late varieties. Takes partial shade in hottest climates. Standard kinds grow 2 1/2 to 4 feet tall. Zones 1-3, 10-11.

False dragonhead (Physostegia virginiana). Flower spikes are 10 inches tall, densely set with funnel-shaped, bluish pink blooms. Zones 1-3.

Gaillardia x grandiflora. Daisylike flowers come in golden yellows, reds, and bicolors. Grows 2 to 4 feet tall. Zones 1-3, 10-11.

Globe thistle (Echinops). Golf ball-size flowers look like blue pincushions above deeply cut gray blue leaves on plants 2 to 4 feet tall. Zones 1-3, 10-11.

Hummingbird mint (Agastache hybrids). Whorls of apricot, pink, blue, and lavender flowers (favored by hummingbirds) appear in spikelike clusters on plants 1 1/2 to 4 feet tall. Zone 3b.

Japanese anemone (A. x hybrida). Bears white or pink blooms, prefers partial shade. Grows 2 to 4 feet tall. Zones 2b-3, 10-11.

Joe Pye weed (Eupatorium purpureum). Produces big domes of pale purple flowers on 3- to 9-foot-tall plants. 'Gateway' grows to 6 feet tall with mauve flowers. Zones 1-3.

Purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea). Daisylike blooms are lavender pink, with bristly, mounding centers. 'Magnus' grows to 4 feet tall. Zones 1-3, 10-11.

Rudbeckia. R. fulgida 'Goldsturm' bears golden yellow blooms on 3-foot-tall plants. Gloriosa daisy (R. hirta) grows 3 to 4 feet tall. 'Indian Summer' has single to double golden yellow flowers. Zones 1-3, 10-11.

Salvia. S. x superba has violet blue blooms on 3-foot plants. Zones 1-3, 10-11. S. x sylvestris 'May Night' has violet blue blooms on 2-foot plants. Zones 2-3. S. nemerosa 'East Friesland' bears spikes of violet blue flowers on plants 1 1/2 to 3 feet tall. Zones 2-3. S. verticillata 'Purple Rain' has violet blooms on 2 1/2-foot plants. Zones 2-3.

Sneezeweed (Helenium hybrids). Flowers in red orange. 'Moerheim Beauty' is coppery red. Grows 3 to 5 feet tall. Zones 1-3, 10-11.

Wine cups (Callirhoe involucrata). A profusion of purplish red, mallow-type flowers on spreading plants to 6 inches tall. Zones 1-3, 10-11.

Yarrow (Achillea). Flowers come in various colors, including salmon and rusty red. A. filipendulina 'Coronation Gold' and A. 'Moonshine' have yellow blooms. Grows 4 inches to 5 feet tall, depending on species. Zones 1-3, 10-11.


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