Plants of the Week – September 3

Plants of the Week – September 3

Salvia ‘Wendy’s Wish’ is a long-blooming flowering sage. Unlike other salvias which require a long growing season or short days to initiate flower buds, Salvia ‘Wendy’s Wish’ begins producing a profusion of tubular magenta flowers in late spring and continues throughout the season to the first killing frost. Hummingbirds can often be seen feeding on ‘Wendy’s Wish’. The hybrid was first discovered under other sages in the Australian garden of salvia enthusiast Wendy Smith. By introducing the plant into the trade, Ms. Smith asked that a portion of the profit be donated to the Make-A-Wish Foundation, thus the origin of the cultivar name ‘Wendy’s Wish’.  Photo credit: J. Coceano


Viburnum x rhytidophylloides ‘Dart’s Duke’ is a 2012 Pennsylvania Horticultural Society Gold Medal Plant award recipient. The semi-evergreen shrub was selected for the large, leathery, dark green leaves; 6-10” creamy white flower heads that appear in spring often with a rebloom in autumn; and the abundant fall fruit set. Several plants can be seen growing between the Cunningham House and Wister Center. Photo credit: J. Coceano


Self-sowing annuals are invaluable to the garden, adding spontaneity and often creating better plant combinations than those we often plan in advance. Nigella, Euphorbia, and Perilla help fill gaps throughout the Entrance Garden. Amaranthus, with its catkin-like cymes, is another self-sower that comes into its own in the late summer garden. While several species are considered weeds, others are valued as leafy greens, cereal crops, and ornamentals. Due to the morphological diversity within the genus, Amaranthus is considered difficult among systematists. Photo credit: J. Coceano


Chelonopsis yagiharana, Japanese turtlehead, is native to eastern Asia. Tubular flowers somewhat akin to penstemon appear in late summer. The clumping herbaceous perennial, reaching 24” in height, benefits from afternoon shade. While rarely offered in the trade, the plant is worth seeking out for botanical interest to add to the garden.  Photo credit: J. Coceano

Josh Coceano
  • Matthew Quirey
    Posted at 12:47h, 06 September Reply

    ‘Wendy’s Wish’ is one of my favorite salvias and more people need to know its story. Thanks for sharing it again here. I always enjoy the ‘Plants of the Week’ post. Cheers!

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