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As I walk friends gardens, I am always looking for new plants (to me) or those I think would be interesting to other gardeners. I knew the Asian mayapple and have always like them, but the other two plants were new to me and I hope you. Enjoy!

Lychnis coronato ‘Orange Sherbet’ is a new perennial to me.

A friend was given this plant last year and sent me a picture asking what it was.

It looked to me like an orange dianthus on phlox foliage. I could not find a match, so I went to look at it and still no idea. This spring, she asked me again, and I looked and couldn’t come up with anything close. Then a few weeks ago, I was going through a catalog (Plant’s Delight) and I saw the plant!

Then last week, I found it growing in John’s garden in Bryant! Of course, Ann W. knew it right off. I should have asked her last year! Most of know Rose campion or Lychnis coronaria,

with the silvery gray foliage and fuchsia or white flowers. It is an old-fashioned pass-along plant. I also know Lychnis chalcedonica or the Maltese cross

with beautiful scarlet/orange flowers. But I had never heard of, nor seen, the orange catchfly – Lychnis coronato. If you look at pictures of the common orange catchfly, it still looks nothing like Orange Sherbet with the dianthus like blooms. This perennial grows in full sun to partial shade and is native to Asia. The standard Orange catchfly can grow up to 13 feet tall!, but Orange Sherbet is much more compact, growing only 12-14 inches tall and wide. Now I know!

Podophyllum ‘Spotty Dotty’ or Asian mayapple

is a stunning perennial for the shade. Large variegated foliage hides the beautiful blooms below,

but you are growing it for the foliage and not the flowers. This herbaceous member of the barberry family has plenty of new varieties to try. The two most popular hybrid Asian mayapples on the market are Spotty Dotty and Kaleidoscope,but there are others.

Unlike the native mayapple

which disappears with summer heat, this one will grace your garden until a heavy frost in the fall. It thrives in a humous-rich soil in the shade garden.

Variegated Pyracantha was another new plant for me.

When I was walking John’s garden last week, I asked him what the plant that looked like variegated pyracantha was, and he said variegated pyracantha. He did not know the species. The plant has some thorns, but very few compared to most pyracantha plants. I did not ask him if they bloomed well or not. I came home and looked online and came up with Pyracantha harlequin and Pyracantha koidzumii as two genus for variegated pyracantha. Both are more compact pyracantha growing only up to 5 feet by 5 feet. A standard pyracantha can get much larger and was traditionally used espaliered on the side of a brick home.

Ann guessed Silver Lining as the variety—I will have to ask him if his turns the brilliant pink in the fall that I saw online when I looked it up. I think I need one. Since it is highly variegated, it will grow slower than a green form. Pyracantha grows best in full sun, but is quite drought tolerant once established.

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