February days can have you feeling dull and grey. Luckily, there are a number of great native plants that can offer you a splash of colour to help cure your winter blahs. Here are a few of our favourites:
- Carex platyphylla – Blue Sedge
Keep your shade garden green all year with this fun little sedge. It forms low mounds of bluish green leaves that over-winter, followed by a flush of tiny yellow florets, and bright turquois new leaves in the early spring. Best in dry-medium shade/part shade
- Ilex verticillata – Winterberry Holly
Holly will liven up your winter garden, feeding birds, and adding a burst of red while the berries last. A mature holly can be selectively pruned to provide berry branches to make your own festive decorations!
- Platanus occidentalis – American Sycamore
American Sycamore is a cousin of the exotic hybrid London Plane Tree, and shares its characteristic plated, pale bard, peeling off in multi-colored sections, resembling a puzzle or topographical map.
- Lespedeza capitata – Round-Headed Bushclover
During the summer, this native legume is working hard, fixing soil nitrogen, and feeding solitary bees. In the winter the soft, fuzzy seed heads sway in the wind, on top-heavy stems like something out of a Dr. Seuss book, flinging their seeds one by one. If nothing else, they will make your winter garden a more bizzare and amusing place
- Rhus typhina – Staghorn Sumac
Sumacs need space to realize their true potential. Their widely spreading and colonizing habit make appear architecturally designed, especially in winter when the branches are bare. Sumac berries are a staple mid-winter food for many large birds and small mammals.
6. Juniperus virginiana – Red Cedar
This slender evergreen tree will take some of the harshest upland growing conditions. Red Cedar tolerates drying winter winds, and summer drought. In early winter, its berries are a favorite of Cedar Waxwings, and other songbirds. Planting in staggered rows can provide an ideal wind-break and snow-fence.