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Jenny Andrews sneaks a peek at the new plants featured at the Ohio Florists Association show

Landscape designer Stephen Suzman likes the groundcover species Senecio mandraliscae for its fast growth and distinctive chalky-blue fleshy foliage. A native of South Africa, it grows 12 to 18 inches tall with masses of 3- to 4-inch pencillike leaves. greatgardenplants.com

A vibrant groundcover for the shade garden, Lamium maculatum ‘Anne Greenaway’ forms a 6- to 8-inch-tall mass of scallop-edged variegated leaves that glitter with chartreuse, silver and mint green. Clusters of small lilac-mauve flowers add to the display in late spring, but the foliage can last all year in mild-winter regions. Perennial.
One of the most-striking and long-lasting cut flowers isn’t even a flower. The foliage of ‘Crane Red’ ornamental kale forms a tight cluster, rose veined with a rosy-purple center, at the end of a long, sturdy stem, looking like an oversize rose blossom. The Crane Series (which comes in several colors, including bicolor and white) was bred specifically for cutting, taking the popular cool-season annual kale to new heights, up to 2 feet tall, with heads up to 7 inches wide.

Often called pork and beans or jellybean plant, Sedum x rubrotinctum is a 6- to 8-inch low-mounding groundcover with fat little leaves that go from bright green to red. Suzman calls it “very easy and reliable.” The glowing hues of Sedum rupestre ‘Angelina’ have made it a must-have for containers and perennial borders, with needlelike chartreuse to bright-gold leaves usually tipped with orange. greatgardenplants.com

Solenostemon 'Chocolate Mint' is a rich new coleus with mahogany velvet leaves edged in chartreuse.
With commentary by Oehme, van Sweden principal Eric Groft.

A cultivar of a native switchgrass that is perfect for wet conditions and full sun, Panicum virgatum ‘Warrior’ has airy heads of reddish flowers in late summer and is relatively short for switchgrass — less than 4 feet tall. It makes an ideal see-through plant for screening without blocking the view.

Related Topics: Ideas | Red | Grasses | I Love This Plant | Plant guide | plants
With commentary by Oehme, van Sweden principal Eric Groft. 

With its ample sprays of small, fragrant white blossoms and lustrous dark-green foliage, Clematis terniflora (also called virgin’s bower) is “a beautiful cascading vine that grows fast and blooms in August when all the Hamptonites are in their gardens.” If it gets out of bounds, it can take a hard pruning and will easily rebound.

Making its common name particularly apropos, this snake plant has long, narrow, cylindrical leaves arranged in dramatic Mohawk fans. A collector’s form of an old-fashioned plant and a must-have for chic interior-scapes. This grouping, planted in a row of tall, stylish concrete planters, creates a simple yet dramatic accent to a contemporary home, though they also fit well in less modern settings. bobsmoleys.com, stokestropicals.com
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