|Green and gold (Chrysogonum virginianium).|
Photo courtesy of Pleasant Run Nursery.
Like many native species, green and gold (Chrysogonum virginianium) is frequently overlooked in favor of flashier, more aggressive novelties. That’s a shame because green and gold is a shade gardener’s dream: it’s subtle, dependable and fills up bare gaps along wet meadows or woodland understories without taking over.
In late March through May, green and gold adorns itself with small, cheerful yellow star-like flowers. They offer a taste of sunshine for those fed up with winter, and a welcome sip of nectar for hungry pollinators desperate for spring. Once the first flush fails, the plants will bloom off and on throughout the summer at sporadic intervals. Semi-evergreen leaves remain vigorous in all but the coldest winters, but they make unpalatable forage for any wandering deer.
‘Superstar’ kicks it up a notch by boasting dense, mat-forming clumps that are significantly larger than the wild types and brighter, more upright flowers. Plants growing under ideal conditions—moist soil and bright-filtered shade—average 6-8 inches high and 24 inches wide. They spread by expanding the size of the clumps rather than by weedy rhizomes. Its neat and tidy growth habit make it well suited to rock gardens and shady perennial borders, or lining paths and trails through deciduous understory. It doesn’t work for every garden—full sun or dry areas are not its fortes—but nothing in any plant nursery than can beat it on its home turf.
Despite its low profile in the catalogs, green and gold ‘Superstar’ is ready for prime time in your garden. Mix it in with fellow-shade dwellers like Heuchera, irises or Christmas ferns, or bunch it en masse to take over a hillside. Whatever you do, it’s hard to go wrong—and steady, dependable green and gold will be there for you year after year, as polite and charming as ever.
FALL PLANT SALE DETAILS:
Date: Saturday, Sept. 29, 2018
Time: 9 a.m.-noon
Member benefits: Duke Gardens members get 10% off all purchases, plus access to the members-only previews sale from 8-9 a.m., and a full list of plants in advance! Join online or on site beginning at 7:30 a.m.
Pets not permitted. Please see Duke Gardens' pets policy here.
Wagons + boxes: Our supply is limited; please bring your own if possible, and you'll have more time to spend gathering beautiful plants.
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