New And Unusual Plants Debut At The Morton Arboretum Plant Sale
New Cultivars of Columbine, New Coneflower Hybrids, Highlight the Offerings
LISLE, IL (March 30, 2006) – Perhaps there’s nothing new under the sun, but there’ll be plenty new under the tent at The Morton Arboretum’s eleventh annual plant sale. Buyers can get cutting-edge plants, including many that won’t be available at the local garden center for months – plants that are perfect for the Chicago area climate. The tent sale with 250 varieties of trees, shrubs, vines and perennials is open to Arboretum members April 28-29 and to the general public April 30. Plants are available in limited quantities.
Among the new offerings are Harvest Moon™ coneflower with golden overlapping petals and an orange central cone. Razzmatazz purple coneflower is unique with fully double pom-pom heads of purple-pink petals. Sunrise coneflower has lemon yellow petals and a green-gold cone. As a complement, Sunset coneflower brings your garden wide bright orange petals and a brownish cone. Twilight coneflower has vibrant rose-red petals and a deep red cone.
Each of these coneflower varieties grows in average, well-drained soil in full sun, and is quite drought-tolerant once it is established. The lightly-fragrant flowers will attract butterflies and birds.
New cultivars of columbine, with its late spring to early summer flowers, include Black Barlow columbine, with upward facing, double purple-black flowers that resemble small dahlias. There’s also Clementine Dark Purple columbine, or Clementine Red columbine – each with upward-facing dark purple or fuchsia-red flowers respectively.
Two trees developed from The Morton Arboretum collection will be on sale. Marmo Freeman’s maple is a tough but good-looking shade tree that mimics the branch structure and outstanding fall color of a red maple, and has the adaptability and urban tolerance of a silver maple. It grows to 70 feet with a spread of 35 feet.
Also, buyers can purchase the AccoladeTM elm, featuring a graceful vase shape with deep green, glossy leaves. “The Accolade is highly disease- drought- and pest-tolerant tree,” said George Ware, Ph.D., dendrologist emeritus at The Morton Arboretum.
The popular Karl Foerster feather reed grass has become a staple of mixed perennial beds lending structure and movement. Eldorado feather reed grass is a new and rare form of this ornamental grass with golden-yellow markings.
Finally, the sale features the robust The King ostrich fern that grows in a shuttlecock shape to a height of 3 feet. The unusually large fronds add a fine textured presence to the shade garden. This fern can be used as an accent plant or as a groundcover beneath large trees. The fronds are prized for dried flower arrangements or may be left in the landscape for winter interest.
Anyone who is or becomes an Arboretum member can take advantage of the online advance plant sale, which ends April 10. Only a select group of plants are available online, and each plant is available only in limited quantities.
The Morton Arboretum is an internationally recognized 1,700-acre outdoor museum with collections of more than 3,700 kinds of trees, shrubs, and other plants from around the world. The Arboretum's beautiful natural landscapes, gardens, research and education programs, and year-round family activities support its mission – the planting and conservation of trees and other plants for a greener, healthier, and more beautiful world. Conveniently located at I-88 and Rte. 53 in Lisle, Illinois, the Arboretum is open 7 days a week, 365 days a year, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. (CDT) and 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. (CST). The Children's Garden is open from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. (CDT) and 9:30 to 4 p.m. (CST). Visit www.mortonarb.org or call 630/968-0074 to learn more.
Media Contact: Gina Tedesco, 630-725-2103,