Waterwise plants

Plants for low-water landscape

Early fall color

Coreopsis tinctoria, 'Mahogany'

Thomas J. Story

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Aster. A. x frikartii 'Mönch', a perennial, bears lavender-blue flowers early summer to fall on 2-foot plants. Sunset climate zones 2b-24.

Coreopsis. Perennial. C. verticillata has yellow, daisylike blooms; 'Moonbeam' has pale yellow blooms, grows 2 to 3 feet tall. Zones 1-24. C. tinctoria (pictured below right) is an annual to 3 feet tall.

Gaillardia x grandiflora. Daisylike flowers in golden yellows, reds, and bicolors. Grows 2 to 4 feet tall. Zones 1-24, H1, H2.

Garden penstemon. (P. x gloxinioides). Many kinds and colors bloom most heavily in spring. Firecracker red, deep purple, or pale pink flower spikes, depending on variety. Plants grow 2 to 4 feet tall. Perennial in zones 6-9, 14-24; annual elsewhere.

Purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea). Lavender-pink, daisylike blooms with bristly, mounding centers. 'Magnus' grows 4 feet tall. Zones 1-3, 10-13.

Rudbeckia. R. fulgida 'Goldsturm' bears golden yellow blooms on 3-foot-tall plants. R. hirta (winter annual in zones 12-13) grows 3 to 4 feet tall; yellow blooms. Zones 1-24.

Sneezeweed (Helenium hybrids). Red and orange flowers. 'Moerheim Beauty' is coppery red. Grows 3 to 5 feet tall. Zones 1-24.

Sunrose (Helianthemum nummularium). Flowers in a range of colors, from flame red, orange, and yellow to peach, pink, and white. Let plants tumble over rocks or spill from niches in dry rock walls. Needs good drainage. Grows 6 to 8 inches tall, spreads to 3 feet. Zones 2b-9, 14-24.

Verbena. Tapien hybrids grow 4 inches tall, spread 1 to 1 1/2 feet wide; colors range from deep purple and pale blue to pink; late spring to fall. Perennial in zones 4-9, 12-24, H1-H2. V. lilacina 'De La Mina' forms a 3-foot mound, with deep purple flowers spring to fall. Perennial in zones 12-24.


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