Group Title: Bulletin - University of Florida. Florida Cooperative Extension Service ; 89
Title: Herbaceous perennials for Florida
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF90000117/00001
 Material Information
Title: Herbaceous perennials for Florida
Series Title: Bulletin
Physical Description: 36 p. : ill. ; 23 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Watkins, John V ( John Vertrees )
Publisher: Cooperative extension work in agriculture and home economics
Place of Publication: Gainesville Fla
Publication Date: [1937]
 Subjects
Subject: Perennials -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Flower gardening -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Genre: government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
 Notes
Statement of Responsibility: by J.V. Watkins.
General Note: "May, 1937."
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Bibliographic ID: UF90000117
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 002570879
oclc - 44795503
notis - AMT7193
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HISTORIC NOTE


The publications in this collection do
not reflect current scientific knowledge
or recommendations. These texts
represent the historic publishing
record of the Institute for Food and
Agricultural Sciences and should be
used only to trace the historic work of
the Institute and its staff. Current IFAS
research may be found on the
Electronic Data Information Source
(EDIS)

site maintained by the Florida
Cooperative Extension Service.






Copyright 2005, Board of Trustees, University
of Florida








Bulletin 89





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.9


May, 1937


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BOARD OF CONTROL
GEO. H. BALDWIN, Chairman, Jacksonville
OLIVER J. SEMMES, Pensacola
HARRY C. DUNCAN, Tavares
THOMAS W. BRYANT, Lakeland
R. P. TERRY, Miami
J. T. DIAMOND, Secretary, Tallahassee

STAFF, AGRICULTURAL EXTENSION SERVICE
JOHN J. TIGERT, M.A., LL.D., President of the University
WILMON NEWELL, D.Sc., Director
A. P. SPENCER, M.S., Vice-Director and County Agent Leader
J. FRANCIS COOPER, M.S.A., Editor
JEFFERSON THOMAS, Assistant Editor
CLYDE BEALE, A.B., Assistant Editor
E. F. STANTON, Supervisor, Egg-Laying Contest
RUBY NEWHALL, Administrative Manager
COOPERATIVE AGRICULTURAL DEMONSTRATION WORK
W. T. NETTLES, B.S., District Agent
H. G. CLAYTON, M.S.A., District Agent, Organization and Outlook Specialist
J. LEE SMITH, District Agent and Agronomist
R. S. DENNIS, B.S.A., Assistant District Agent
A. E. DUNSCOMBE, M.S., Assistant District Agent
R. W. BLACKLOCK, A.B., Boys' Club Agent
E. F. DEBUSK, B.S., Citriculturist
A. L. SHEALY, D.V.M., Animal Industrialist2
HAMLIN L. BROWN, B.S., Dairyman
N. R. MEHRHOF, M.AGR., Poultryman2
D. F. SOWELL, M.S., Assistant Poultryman
WALTER J. SHEELY, B.S., Agent in Animal Husbandry
C. V. NOBLE, PH.D., Agricultural Economist2
FRANK W. BRUMLEY, PH.D., Agricultural Economist, Farm Management2
R. H. HOWARD, M.S.A., Asst. Agr. Economist, Farm Management
GRAY MILEY, B.S.A., Asst. Agr. Economist, Farm Management
MYRON M. VARN, B.S.A., Asst. Farm Management Specialist
D. E. TIMMONS, M.S.A., Agricultural Economist, Marketing
A. E. MERCKER, Field Agent, Cooperative Interstate Marketingl
R. V. ALLISON, PH.D., Soil Conservationist2
COOPERATIVE HOME DEMONSTRATION WORK
MARY E. KEOWN, M.S., State Agent
LUCY BELLE SETTLE, M.A., District Agent
RUBY MCDAVID, District Agent
ANNA MAE SIKES, B.S., Nutritionist
VIRGINIA P. MOORE, Home Improvement Agent
ISABELLE S. THURSBY, Economist in Food Conservation
CLARINE BELCHER, M.S., Clothing Specialist
NEGRO EXTENSION WORK
A. A. TURNER, Local District Agent
BEULAH SHUTE, Local District Agent

1 In cooperation with U. S. D. A.
2 Part-time.











HERBACEOUS PERENNIALS FOR Cb4[ ATI9 S

PERENNIALS FOR BLU tW RS

Name Page Nam Page
Angelonia ................................. .. 10 Stokes' aste....... 33
Blue flag ..................................... 14 Strobilanthes ................................ 33
Blue sage ...................................... 16 V erbena ........................................ 36
L iriope ................................... .. 28 V iolet ........................................... 36

PERENNIALS FOR THE SUNNY GARDEN


Adam's needle ..............................
Banana ......................................
Blanket flower .........................
C acti ...................... ... ................
Canna ...........................................
Cardinal's guard .....................
Century plant .........................
Chrysanthemum .........................
False dragonhead ........................
Four-o-clock .............................
Justicia ................................
M orea ........................................


Pampas grass ..............................
Periwinkle ..............................
Sage ....................................
Shasta daisy .......................
Slipper plant ..... --.. ---..............
Spanish bayonet ..........................
Stokes' aster ................................
Strobilanthes .........................
Tall cup flower ...........................
Transvaal daisy .....--....-----.
Verbena ........................................


PERENNIALS FOR YELLOW FLOWERS


Blanket flower ...........................
C acti ...................................--........
Canna ..----. ...---..---...----.-- .....---
Chrysanthemum .........................


Day lily ..................................
Four-o-clock .............................
Golden glow ....... .........


PERENNIALS FOR THE SEASHORE GARDEN


Adam's needle ..............................
Banana .................. .............
C acti ......................... ... ..........
Cardinal's guard ........ ........
Century plant .......................
Coontie .............. ...... .......
D ay lily ........................................
Four-o-clock ....................
Japanese snake's beard ..............


Liriope ----------
Periwinkle .....................
Sage ...............................
S a g e ------------------------------------------------
Sansevieria ..... .----- -------
Slipper plant .......................
Spanish bayonet ...................
Strobilanthes .............-- ............--
Violet .......... ...................


PERENNIALS FOR FOLIAGE EFFECTS


Adam's needle ..............................
Aspidistra ...............................
Banana .......................................
Begonia ......................................
Blue flag ....................................
C acti ................ -- .. ............-.
Century plant .............................
C oontie ..... .........................
Cyperus -.......................................
D ay lily ...............-.. .....- .. .... ......
Ferns ............--...............-...-....-..
Ginger ... ...............


Ginger-lily .............................
Japanese snake's beard .........
Liriope .--- -........----......--.........
Morea .-----------.-------
Pampas grass ..............................
Sansevieria ..--...........--............-- .
Selaginella ..........................--.
Slipper plant .. ----..-..-..--.....
Spanish bayonet ....................
Tradescantia ..-......--
Vinca major variegata ..............











PERENNIALS FOR WINDOW BOXES


Name Page
Aspidistra .................................... 11
Begonia .......................................... 12
Beloperone .................................... 12
Coontie ......................................... 21
Ferns ..........-.......- ..........------ ..... 24


Name Page
Japanese snake's beard .............. 27
Liriope .......................................... 28
Selaginella ....-......- ...-...-.........--- 32
V erbena ........................................ 36
Vinca major variegata ................ 30


PERENNIALS FOR THE SHADY GARDEN


A spidistra ...................................... 11
Begonia ........................................ 12
Beloperone .........- .......................... 12
Blue flag ........................................ 14
Coontie ......................................... 21
Ferns ..........-...... -.......................... 24
Ginger ............................................ 25


Ginger-lily ...............---....----
Japanese snake's beard ..............
Liriope --...-- ----
Sansevieria ..........-----.. ---.. .....
Selaginella .....................-------
Tradescantia ........... ------
Violet ........-------.......-- ---------- .


PERENNIALS FOR GROUND COVER


Ferns ............................................. 24
Japanese snake's beard ............. 27
Liriope ....-..--....-............... ............ 28
Selaginella ................................... 32


Verbena ....................--- ---.......------ 36
Vinca major variegata ............... 30
Violet ...................------------------------ 36


PERENNIALS FOR THE WATER GARDEN


Ginger-lily .---....----------
Japanese snake's beard ...--....
Liriope --......--..--...... --------
Selaginella .............------------..


PERENNIALS FOR CUT FLOWERS


Angelonia ............. ......... .......
Blanket flower .............................
Chrysanthemum .........................
Day lily ........................................
False dragonhead -....................
Ginger-lily .................... ..........


Shasta daisy .......................
Stokes' aster ..........-......-..
Transvaal daisy ............--........
Verbena .---- -----------
Violet ..............---..............------


This Bulletin is a revision of Bulletins 57 and 76 on the
same subject by the same author.


Blue flag
Cyperus
Day lily -
Ferns --...
Ginger -


......................... ..............
........................................
---------------- ------------------------
------- I ---------------------------------
....................................









HERBACEOUS PERENNIALS
By JOHN V. WATKINS1
Florida gardens depend largely upon annuals for color, with
the result that herbaceous perennials are often entirely lacking
in the design. This is unfortunate in view of the fact that a
wealth of mid-summer and early fall bloom is available if one
plants well selected herbaceous perennials. It is true that win-
ter color through the use of annuals and exotic flowering shrubs
is most desirable, but cheerful colors during the late summer
and early fall are sorely needed to fill the vacancies left in our
plantings when many of the showiest annuals are through
blooming.
For Florida planting the choice of herbaceous perennials is
quite restricted as compared to the North and the East. Never-
theless, there are some 40 kinds that have been successfully
grown at the horticultural grounds of the College of Agriculture
in Gainesville. Many more perennials, such as common garden
irises, delphiniums, foxgloves, hollyhocks, columbine, hardy
phlox, phlox subulata, perennial pinks, thyme, mallow and lily of
the valley have been tried and have, for one reason or another,
proved unsatisfactory in our tests. In this bulletin we shall
consider only the species that have been successful.

HOW TO USE THEM
Considering our wealth of hardy broadleaved evergreens and
beautiful flowering shrubs, it seems best that herbaceous peren-
nials be used in shrubbery bays subordinate to the woody things
rather than by themselves, excepting in the case of borders in
enclosed formal gardens. Certainly herbaceous perennials alone
should not be depended upon for foundation plantings, but they
do add a completeness, a finishing touch, to any design.
By a judicious choice of materials one may have perennials in
bloom every month in the year.
Herbaceous perennials are most valuable in bold, closely
planted masses for the color effect and are much more pleasing
when grown thus rather than spotted about with a great deal
of distance between individual plants.
All bulbous plants and all vines have been treated in other
bulletins, so the discussion here will refer either to the plants
1Assistant Horticulturist, University of Florida College of Agriculture.







Florida Cooperative Extension


that die to the ground each winter but bloom year after year,
or evergreen non-woody herbs.

PROPAGATION
A decided a'ivantage in favor of this group of plants is that
once the garden is laid out, the plants need not be propagated
every year. Furthermore, the foliage of many perennials is
delightful in itself when the plants are out of bloom.
This group is, as a whole, extremely easy to propagate by
divisions, seeds or cuttings. A note regarding the common
method of propagation of each plant will be found under the
discussion of species.
Division: Propagation by division is the easiest, quickest and
best way to increase most herbaceous perennials. Dig the plants,
shake off the dirt and it will be apparent that they will divide
up into units or small plants all having roots, stems, buds or
leaves. These units may be separated and planted. The beds
should be thoroughly prepared beforehand and abundant water
should be added to pack the soil well about the roots. Plants are


rfoJQo -y UL. L)
Fig 1.-Dividing a herbaceous perennial to provide more plants.






Herbaceous Perennials for Florida


best divided after the blooming season, but with care they may
be so increased at any time.
Cuttings: This method also is much used in the propagation of
perennials and it is not at all difficult if a good grade of sharp,
clean sand and plenty of water are used.
Old stems are cut in three or four-inch lengths, just above and
just below convenient nodes or buds. The leaves on the upper
node should be left intact. A sharp knife that will make a clean,
neat cut is the best tool to use in making cuttings.
A flat or box of any convenient size in the bottom of which
several holes have been drilled to allow the free passage of water
is an ideal receptacle for the rooting of cuttings. Cover the
drainage holes with coarse material so that the sand will not
wash through. Fill the box with coarse sand to within an inch
of the top; pack well, insert the cuttings to the upper nodes, and
water to firm the sand about the cuttings. Shade the flat and
keep the sand moist at all times. When the roots are about one
inch long, set the young plants in fertile soil that can be readily
watered, and protect them from the hot sun or cold until they
are well established.
Seeds: The plants discussed herewith vary a great deal in
facility of propagation by seeds. Some set seed readily and are
so much at home that chance seedlings are found scattered about
the parent plant. Others seldom or never set seed and propaga-
tion of these is by division or cuttings.
Under most conditions the seeds should be planted as they
become ripe. They may be planted in open seedbeds protected
from cold or the direct rays of the sun, or, better still, in shallow
boxes. In any case, the soil should be well supplied with humus,
such as very old cow manure or peat moss. A good mixture for
seedbeds or seed boxes is loamy soil and fine peat in equal
amounts. Plant the seeds very thinly and lightly cover with
sifted soil, peat moss or sand to a depth of about four times their
diameter. Very small seeds may be dropped in rows and pressed
into the soil with a board. It is a desirable practice to cover the
seedbeds or seed boxes with sacks until the seeds germinate. A
very fine spray under light pressure is used in watering. It is
important that seedbeds have an adequate water supply at all
times.
The young plants should be potted off or set out before they
crowd, as over-crowding greatly reduces the vigor in young seed-
lings and often encourages damping-off.






Florida Cooperative Extension


CULTURE
For a successful garden of herbaceous perennials, the land
must, in most cases, be especially prepared. The soil of the beds
should be enriched with well rotted cow manure and good woods
soil. Bone meal, tankage, cottonseed meal and peat moss are
often added to advantage. Thorough preparation in advance is
essential, as the plants in a perennial garden will often stand as
long as three or four years without being moved. Side-dressings
of complete commercial fertilizers furnishing nitrogen, phos-
phoric acid and potash during growing seasons are important.
The writer is a firm believer in a heavy mulch for this type of
garden and for the purpose, peat moss, well rotted manure, or
even oak leaves are excellent. The mulch preserves moisture,
keeps the roots cool during the heat of the summer, and discour-
ages weed growth. Each spring the old mulch may be worked
into the soil and new mulch added.
Weeds must be checked when very young and should never be
allowed to gain a foothold. Hoeing is often impossible or danger-
ous where the plants are grown very close together, so hand-
weeding is to be preferred in the perennial garden.
One great disadvantage of this type of garden is that main-
tenance is a 12 months' proposition and the gardener is often
inclined to neglect weeding, mulching, and applying the essential
side-dressings of complete fertilizers during the summer when
this work is most important.

ZONES
Florida may be arbitrarily divided into three general zones for
the purpose of discussing the value of herbaceous perennials for
the winter effect. It will be realized, of course, that the lines
separating the zones cannot be hard and fast. Tender species
may be grown near the coast, near lakes and in protected places
farther north than they can be in exposed places in the interior.
Zone 1 will include all of West Florida and North and East
Florida as far south as St. Augustine and Gainesville. Zone 2
will extend about to Titusville, Orlando and Tampa, while Zone 3
will be the part of the state from there south.
Flowering herbaceous perennials are most valuable for sum-
mer and early fall bloom, and in most cases they are cut to the
ground by early winter frosts in Zone 1 and parts of Zone 2. In
Zone 3, although often unharmed by cold, they are not always
dependable for a winter effect.







Herbaceous Perennials for Florida


If low temperatures are anticipated the plants may be covered
with boxes or barrels, straw, or burlap sacking.


Photo by TU S. D. A.
Fig. 2.-A coldframe with a slat shade and water supply nearby is used
in starting young perennial seedlings.

SPECIES AND VARIETIES
In the following pages are listed a number of species and
varieties of herbaceous perennials which can be grown success-
fully in Florida. The common name appears first, with the scien-
tific name of each species immediately following. Often the
country of origin of the species follows in close order.

ADAM'S NEEDLE (Yucca filamentosa).
This yucca is native to Florida, hardy and perfectly at home.
Although the plant when not in bloom is stiff and forbidding,
it is valuable for its subtropical effect, and the tall spikes of
white flowers, produced in summer, are particularly striking in
the garden picture. The thorns at the ends of the leaves may
cause painful wounds and for this reason they should be cut
off as the leaves unfold. Adam's needle usually is propagated






Florida Cooperative Extension


by means of offsets that arise about the old plants. A variegated
form is sometimes used as an urn or pot subject.


Fig. 3.-Native Adam's needle used as a border for a drive.


ANGELONIA (Angelonia grandiflora). S. America.
A graceful perennial of about two feet in height, with lance-
pointed, toothed leaves some three inches long.







Herbaceous Perennials for Florida


The flowers are dark blue, white centered, handsome in long
terminal racemes from May until frost cuts the plants to the
ground. Angelonia quickly recovers, however, in the spring.
If the winter is mild and the plant is not killed, it is advisable
to cut it back for new, fresh wood.
Angelonia is one of the very best perennials, withstanding
adverse conditions, but responding favorably to abundant water
and fertilizer.
This excellent subject is propagated by division or by cuttings.

ASPIDISTRA (Aspidistra lurida). China.
The Aspidistra enjoys well deserved popularity as a pot plant,
window box subject and ground cover for densely shaded situa-
tions. It probably withstands more abuse than any other plant,
as shade seems to be its only requirement.


Fig. 4.-Aspidistra makes a good pot plant.

Stiff, shiny green leaves, 15 to 20 inches long, grow in thick
masses from rhizomes which are just under the surface of the
ground.
It is undoubtedly hardy in Zones 2 and 3 but may winter-kill
in the colder sections of Zone 1, if it is not protected.







Florida Cooperative Extension


BANANA (Musa spp.)
These large herbaceous perennials are quite widely grown in
Florida gardens both for fruit and for their tropical or exotic
effect. Valuable in North Florida as garden subjects when used
behind walls or behind hardy evergreen shrubbery. When
planted thus, their unsightliness, resulting from winter-killing,
is hidden until new growth starts in the spring. Bananas are
usually dependable for a year-round effect in the southern part
of Zone 3.
There are many interesting horticultural varieties.
Propagation is by division of the suckers from the parent plant.

BEGONIA (Begonia spp.)
The begonias are one of the most popular groups of plants for
the house and for the conservatory, but given good conditions
and proper care, their usefulness extends to the out-of-doors in
Florida. They must have a soil rich in humus and plant food,
an abundant water supply at all times and a shady or semi-shady
situation. Protection from frost by covering with boxes, barrels,
straw or gunny sacks is important.
Propagation is by division, cuttings or seeds.

BELOPERONE (Beloperone guttata). Tropical America.
This striking and unusual perennial attracts a great deal of
attention wherever it is seen. The plant is of open habit, attain-
ing a height of two feet, and is prolific in its production of showy
coppery-red flower bracts that are somewhat similar in structure
to Bougainvillea bracts. The Beloperone usually will survive the
winter in Zone 3 and in the warmer parts of Zone 2, but it should
be potted up and carried through the winter indoors in the colder
parts of the state.
Propagation is by seeds or cuttings.

BLANKET FLOWER (Gaillardia aristata). W. North America.
An erect perennial to two feet, bearing showy yellow and red
daisy-like flowers two to three inches across on stiff straight
stems. It is difficult to distinguish this species from the annual
sorts.
The blanket flower requires full sun for optimum development
and seems to be satisfied with almost any soil that is not too wet.
Blooms may be had the first year from seed and during the
second or third year the plants may be divided.







Herbaceous Perennials for Florida


Photo by Harold Mowry


Fig. 5.-The blanket flower is a
good perennial for cut flowers.







Florida Cooperative Extension


BLUE FLAG (Iris spp.) Native.
The common garden irises do not thrive in Florida, excepting
on the clay hills of the western end of the state where a few vari-
eties may be grown. Seven native species of irises that are par-
ticularly graceful and charming may be successfully transplanted
and grown as garden subjects throughout the state. Noteworthy
among these are I. savanarrum, I. hexagona and I. virginica.
They are water-loving herbs, two feet in height, that bear lovely
white, violet or purple flowers in the spring. Large numbers are


P'noto y i. harodi nume
Fig. 6.-Native irises may be collected from low, moist places and trans-
ferred to the home lily pool or garden.






Herbaceous Perennials for Florida 15


Fig. 7.-Blue sage (Salvia farinaceae).






Florida Cooperative Extension


most satisfactory as there are few flowers to each plant and the
effect will be weak unless many are seen together. The native
irises will thrive in or near the lily pool and with a little extra
attention to watering
they may be grown in
any good garden soil that
is well supplied with hu-
mus.
BLUE SAGE (Salvia
spp.). United States.
There are two forms
of blue flowering sages,
S. azurea and S. farina-
Sceae. These are depend-
able and quite charming
both for cutting and for
the garden in summer
and early autumn.
There is a white flow-
ered form.
The Salvias are prop-
agated by division, cut-
tings, or seeds.
CACTI (Opuntia, Echin-
ocactus, Mammillaria,
Echinocereus, etc.).
Southern U. S.
As a result of the pres-
ent day seeking of the
unusual, the cacti have
become quite fashionable.
The kinds of cacti avail-
able from collectors and
nurserymen are endless
and they can be grown
Photo by arod Mowry quite easily if given full
Photo by Harold Mowry
Fig. 8.-The ever-popular canna. sun and poor soil well
drained.
On account of their stiff, grotesque habit they do not blend
with other plants, so it seems best to establish a separate cactus
garden.







Herbaceous Perennials for Florida


CANNA (Canna, many species).
Recent years have witnessed remarkable development in the
garden canna. Today one may have flowers of red, yellow, white,
buff or pink and foliage of green or bronze. Varieties vary in
height from 18 inches to seven or eight feet.
Cannas are quite happy anywhere in the sun if there be an
abundant supply of water and plant food.
A pyrethrum spray frequently applied controls the canna leaf
roller, Geslina cannalis, an insect that causes unsightly injury to
the leaves.


Fig. 9.-The cardinal's guard can be used to add a splash of crimson color
to the border.







Florida Cooperative Extension


The rootstocks should be divided every two or three years to
prevent undue crowding. This is best done when the plants are
killed to the ground by cold.
CARDINAL'S GUARD (Jacobinia coccinea). Brazil.
Herbs to five feet with large, remarkably shiny green opposite


Photo by Dr. A. S. Rhoads
Fig. 10.-A variety of century plant (in the foreground).







Herbaceous Perennials for Florida


leaves, that bear through the summer numerous showy spikes of
crimson tubular flowers. The plant offers very bright color in
the garden and is best grown in bold clumps.
Of easiest culture, cardinal's guard requires little or no atten-
tion, but responds favorably to abundant water and plant food.
Propagated by cuttings or division.
There is an orange flowered variety, but it is probably not so
useful as is the crimson type.
CENTURY PLANT (Agave spp.).
The century plant is so easy of cultivation that there is little


Photo by David G. A. Kelbert


Fig. 11.-These small-flowered Chrysanthemums were grown in Florida.






Florida Cooperative Extension


wonder it is found in so many varieties, growing almost every-
where in Florida. It is probably not hardy in the northern part
of Zone 1.
Century plants are valuable when used sparingly to lend an
exotic effect.
Propagation is by suckers arising from the old plants.

CHRYSANTHEMUM (Chrysanthemum hortorum).
Thanks to the plant hybridizer, we find Chrysanthemum flow-
ers in multitudinous forms ranging from single daisy-like blooms
through the pom-poms, anemones and spidery Japanese sorts to
the huge globular flowers so popular at football games.
Many varieties, from all of the groups listed above, have been
quite successfully grown out of doors in Florida.
Divide the plants when growth starts in the spring, or better
still, take green wood cuttings from sound, disease-free sprouts
in May. They will root in about two weeks and should give good
sturdy plants if properly handled.
As the plants grow, they should be tied every 6 or 8 inches to
strong stakes as the stems may be broken by the load of water-
filled blossoms, or by the wind.
"Mums" prefer full sun and as they are gross feeders, they
demand abundant plant food and water.


Fig. 12.-Native Coontie, which is ideal for shady situations.






Herbaceous Perennials for Florida


Aphids on Chrysanthemums may be controlled by the use of
nicotine sprays (Blackleaf 40), and leaf spot is checked by copper
sprays such as bordeaux mixture.
COONTIE (Zamia floridana). Native.
This is a hardy Florida perennial with long pinnate leaves,
valuable in the subtropical scheme, and as a winter-box subject.
Apparently content under most conditions. It is often seen in
great patches in the pine woods.
Propagated by seeds, division or offsets.
CYPERUS (Cyperus spp.).
These graceful sedges are useful subjects for striking foliage
effects when used in or near water plantings. They grow well
when planted in water a few inches deep.




















Fig. 13.-Potted umbrella plant, Cyperus alternifolius. This plant is
admirably adapted to use near the lily pool.

Although low temperatures usually cut the stems to the ground
they quickly rally in warm weather. They are probably ever-
green in most of Zone 3.
There are two important species as follows:
The Egyptian paper plant (C. papyrus) is probably the more
desirable species, although more tender. Stout three angled
stems to a height of eight feet bear attractive clusters of small,
wiry leaves, about five inches long at their tips.






Florida Cooperative Extension


The umbrella plant (C. alternifolius) is the more widely
grown species, probably because it is more robust. However,
it is not so striking in appearance as is the Egyptian paper
plant. A water loving perennial to four or five feet that grows
in thick clumps.
Variety gracilis Hort. is smaller and more slender. Variety
variegatum Hort. is striped with white.
Propagation of both species is by division or seeds.
DAY LILY (Hemerocallis in several species).
Florida gardeners are at last discovering the charming day
lilies. They comprise one of the hardiest and best groups of
herbaceous perennials and should, by all means, be widely planted
in Florida as they are in the East. (Fig. 14.)


Photo by H. Harold Hume
Fig. 14.-Day lilies are perennials that succeed very well, and are quite
dependable for summer flowers.







Herbaceous Perennials for Florida


Many striking hybrids are now offered by nurserymen and by
carefully selecting varieties, one may have day lilies in bloom for


Fig. 15.-False dragon-head, a native of eastern North America that
should be more widely grown.






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May, June and July. Even after the lemon or orange lily-like
blossoms have disappeared, the clumps of narrow grass-like
foliage are attractive in the garden scheme.
Propagation is by division. The heavy clumps should be broken
up every three or four years to prevent undue crowding.
Apparently no insects or diseases attack the Hemerocallis.

FALSE DRAGON-HEAD (Physostegia virginiana). Eastern
North America.
A vigorous, hardy herb about three feet in height that has the
characteristic square stems and toothed leaves of the mint family.
The white, pink or lilac flowers are borne in a striking four-
sided spike and are useful by virtue of the fact that they come
in the autumn.
It is not particular as to soil, but responds well to good culture.
It is best adapted to Zone 1 and the northern part of Zone 2.
Propagation is by division.

FERNS are ever valuable for moist, shady locations. Splendid
kinds such as the cinnamon fern, Osmunda cinnamomea, and the
different maidenhair ferns (Adiantum spp.) may be collected
in the woods. Scores of horticultural varieties of ferns are happy
outdoors in Florida, although they should be protected from ex-
tremely low temperatures.
Thoroughly enriched beds or borders containing peat or muck
on the north side of walls are ideal situations for ferns.
Soil moisture, of course, is of prime importance in fern
growing. Propagation is by division.

FOUR-O'CLOCK (Miriabilis jalapa). Tropical America.
An erect bushy herb that is easily grown from the large black
seeds. The fragrant funnel-shaped flowers in shades of red,
yellow, white or striped, borne in late summer and early fall,
open in cloudy weather or late afternoon and close in the
morning.
Four-o'clocks are killed to the ground by even light frosts,
but they will quickly recover in spring.
Propagation is by seeds which are produced in large quantities.
Chance seedlings that are usually found about the parent plants
are easily transplanted.







Herbaceous Perennials for Florida


Fig. 16.-An artistic grouping of ferns and other tender herbaceous plants.

GINGER (Zingiber officinale). Orient.
The gingers are large striking perennial herbs, growing from
rhizomes which are widely used in cooking and in medicine. In
Florida, however, the gingers find their greatest use in the orna-
mental field. They thrive in shady, moist locations, and are im-
portant factors in the exotic effect so much in demand today.
Usually winter-killed to the ground in Zone 1 but dependable the
year round in Zone 3.
Propagation is by division of the rhizomes.
GINGER-LILY (Hedychium coronarium). Tropical Asia.
The ginger-lily is an herb with canna-like leaves, about three
inches across, that grows to a height of four to six feet. A water-
loving plant admirably adapted to use in the lily pond planting.
The leaves are killed by a temperature of about 250 F. so the foli-
age effect is usually dependable the year round only in Zone 3.
The long-tubed, white flowers which appear in September and
October are extremely fragrant, and seem to be much admired.






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Fig. 17.-The golden glow is valuable for North Florida flower gardens.
GOLDEN GLOW (Rudbeckia laciniata). North America.
A hardy herb whose flower stalks in the late fall rise to a
height of four or five feet and bear large, full, double, lemon
yellow flowers in great profusion that are excellent both for
garden decoration and for cutting.
Golden glow seems to prefer north and west Florida (Zone 1)
to the southern part of the state.







Herbaceous Perennials for Florida


A half day's sun with shade in the heat of the afternoon suits
the plant very well. When used in bold clumps, on the east side
of a north-south hedge or wall, the effect is very striking.
An abundance of plant food and water is required.
Propagation by division should be repeated every year or two.
Mildew may be checked by dusting with sulphur.
JAPANESE SNAKE'S BEARD (Ophiopogon japonicus).
Orient.
Perennial stemless herbs of about a foot in height growing
from rhizomes and creeping by means of stolons. The white or
violet flowers are inconspicuous.
Like its close relative, the Liriope, this grass-like plant is very
useful as a ground cover, a window-box subject, or edging plant.
It seems to be quite content under the most trying conditions
of shade, heat or cold, drought or humidity. Shade is its one re-
quirement.
The snake's beard is an evergreen that should be used more
extensively. There is a variegated variety, and a larger species
known as 0. juraban.
Propagation is by division.
JUSTICIA (Justicia spp.). Tropical America.
These are large, coarse herbs, attaining a height of four to


Fig. 18.-Japanese snake's beard (lower foreground) used as an edging.







Florida Cooperative Extension


eight feet that bear, during spring and summer, loose terminal
spikes of red, pink or orange tubular flowers. They are most
useful as a back-
ground in the
herbaceous bor-
der. Propagation
is by cuttings.
There are many
horticultural
forms that are
very interesting.

LIRIOPE (Liri-
ope spp.).
A member of the
lily family with
graceful g r a s s-
like foliage a foot
high, the liriope
is exceptionally
fine as a ground
cover, a window-
box subject, or an
edging plant. The
liriope is not par-
ticular as to its
soil but seems to
Photo by H. Harold Hume thrive best in the
Fig. 19.-The more may take the place of the iris
in high, dry situations. shade. It bears
its spikes of tiny
blue flowers in the summer. It is apparently free from pests
and tolerant of heat and cold.
Propagation is by division.
L. muscari, the wide-leaved liriope, attains a height of 15
inches and is an excellent species for its flowers in June and
July. There is a variegated form of this species.
MOREA (Morea spp.). South Africa.
A beautiful iris-like plant whose leaves grow in fan-shaped
basal rosettes. M. iridioides, the species illustrated, is the best
known of the several score of species. This genus should be







Herbaceous Perennials for Florida


more widely tried in Florida gardens. Apparently hardy, vigor-
ous and easy of
culture, although
it is not yet wide-
ly grown in Flor-
ida gardens. The
clumps should be
divided every two
or three years.
Propagation is
by division o r
seeds.

PAMPAS
GRASS (Cor-
taderia argen-
tea).
Pampas grass
is popular in
Florida, where it
usually is found
as a lawn speci-
men. It grows in
Iar ge graceful
clumps to 10 feet
in height, bear-
ing, in the fall,
striking plumes
which rise to a
height of some
12 feet. A gross
feeder that re-
quires full sun
for best develop-
ment. Photo by Harold Mowry
Valuable as a Fig. 20.-The common but ever-useful periwinkle.
screen or when used in connection with clumps of bamboo. Often
the leaves are browned by low temperatures, but this does not
impair the screening value of Pampas grass. New growth
quickly starts in warm weather.
The variety Rio des Roses has rose colored panicles.
Propagation is by division.







Florida Cooperative Extension


PERIWINKLE (Vinca rosea). Tropics.
A robust, erect, everblooming perennial to two feet that is
seen everywhere in Florida. Of easiest culture, it has escaped
cultivation and may be seen in old fields and about abandoned
houses.
In spite of the fact that it is so common, the periwinkle
deserves a place in most gardens because it is sure to give a
cheerful mass of color, even without attention. Very useful and
satisfactory in borders. Usually an annual in Zone 1.
Propagation is by seeds or cuttings. Chance seedlings abound
year after year.
V. major variegata is a reclining or creeping perennial that
is much used in window-boxes and hanging baskets and is quite
easily handled in Florida if it is grown in the shade. (Fig. 21.)
SANSEVIERIA (Sansevieria spp.).
Various kinds of Sansevieria are popular at present as pot
plants, urn subjects and in patio plantings. Although they are
not sufficiently hardy to withstand the winters in Zones 1 and 2,
in the warmer parts of the state they are used extensively out
of doors.
Tolerant of heat, sunshine, shade, and drought, the Sanse-
vierias will thrive with very little attention. Some 50 species
have been described.


Fig. 21.-The variegated Vinca used as a window box subject.






Herbaceous Perennials for Florida


The erect, thick, succulent leaves that arise from underground
rootstocks usually are mottled, sometimes variegated, and are
much sought after for their tropical character.
Propagation is by division or by cutting the leaves into pieces
2 or 3 inches long and inserting them in sand.
SCARLET SAGE (Salvia splendens). Brazil.
This is undoubtedly the most widely cultivated salvia in Flor-
ida. A vigorous perennial that furnishes bright scarlet spikes






P


Photo by Dr. A. F. Camp
Fig. 22.-The scarlet sage, a vigorous perennial through
most of Florida.







Florida Cooperative Extension


throughout the summer until cut down by frost. In Zone 1 it
is usually treated as an annual, unless it is protected from cold.
Almost 20 horticultural varieties have been recognized.
Propagation is by cuttings or seeds.
SELAGINELLA (Selaginella spp.).
A large family of fern-like plants containing many species
that succeed outdoors in Florida. They are much prized in plant
collections for their delicate, feathery effect. Closely allied to
the ferns, they enjoy practically the same culture.
Most of the more desirable Selaginellas require shade, an even
supply of soil moisture, and a humid atmosphere for their opti-
mum development.
Propagation is by division of old plants.
SHASTA DAISY (Chrysanthemum maximum).
The Shasta daisy is a perennial that is truly at home in Zone
1 and parts of Zone 2, although growers find difficulty in carry-
ing the plants through the summer in Zone 3.
Large, pure white, yellow centered daisies borne on stiff leafy
stems a foot and one-half in height, are produced in profusion in
the spring. These daisies prefer full sun in the morning with,
perhaps, partial shade in the afternoon. The plants stand a
temperature as low as 250 F. without apparent injury. Propa-
gation is by division in the fall.
There are interesting horticultural forms with quilled petals.
SLIPPER PLANT (Pedilanthus spp.). Tropical America.
Tender, succulent herbs to six feet which exude a milky juice
when bruised or crushed. Although members of this group are
very tender, they stand adverse cultural conditions and are val-
uable in South Florida gardens when a bizarre effect is wanted.
There are variegated varieties.
Propagation is by cuttings.
SPANISH BAYONET (Yucca aloifolia). Gulf States.
This familiar subject warrants no special discussion. Valuable
when massed for the subtropical effect, especially where it is too
dry for many perennial plants to thrive. The many branched
spikes of fragrant white blooms are very striking.
Hardy throughout all of Florida.
Propagation is by offsets from old plants.
The thorns on the tips of the leaves should be removed by
pruning shears to prevent injury to gardeners and visitors.







Herbaceous Perennials for Florida


rnoto y ur. A. b. hoaRG
Fig. 23.-Spanish bayonet lending a tropical effect in a wall planting.

There is a variegated form that is valuable in patio planting
and as an urn subject.
STOKES' ASTER (Stokesia laevis). United States.
Without question one of the best native American perennials
that succeeds in Florida. The plants are about a foot high,
growing in strong clumps and bearing blue aster-like flowers
three inches across on stout stems throughout the summer.
Although Stokes' aster prefers high, well-drained, rich sandy
loam, it will persist in poor, light sand, blooming year after year.
Extremely valuable for garden decoration and for cutting.
There are pink, white and yellow forms, but they are not, how-
ever, as dependable as the blue type.
Propagation is by division, which should be practiced every
three years.
STROBILANTHES (Strobilanthes spp.). Tropical Asia.
A coarse, erect herb to three feet that has attractive light blue
funnel-shaped flowers from May until frost. When grown in
large clumps the effect is very striking from sunrise until noon.
Unfortunately, the flowers fade in the sun.
Prolific and cosmopolitan, Strobilanthes will endure almost
any hardship and seems to succeed anywhere in the state.






Florida Cooperative Extension


Propagation is easy by division, cuttings or seeds. Volunteer
seedlings are found in numbers about the parent plant.
S. isophyllus is larger, coarser, more hardy than S. anisophyl-
lus, which finds its greatest use in southern Florida.
TALL CUP FLOWER (Nierembergia frutescens). Chile.
A graceful shrubby perennial herb to three feet high. Hand-
some cup-like white flowers tinted with blue are borne in pro-
fusion in early summer. They are easily bruised by heavy rains.
Apparently the cup flowers are little used, but they undoubt-
edly warrant more extensive planting.
Propagation is by cuttings, seeds, or division of the old plants.
TRANSVAAL DAISY (Gerbera jamesoni).
Within recent years Florida has discovered this superb peren-
nial. The plants, which grow in large clumps, about six to eight
inches in height, are vigorous, deep-rooted and quite resistant
to most diseases, insects and drought.


Fig. 24.-Stokes' aster can be used for beautiful blue cut flowers during
most of the summer.






Herbaceous Perennials for Florida


Fig. 25.-The Transvaal daisy is rapidly increasing in popularity
throughout Florida.
The large but delicate daisy-like flowers ranging in color from
white or cream to rose red, are borne on stiff stems a foot or
more in length. The flowers are produced continually if not cut
down by frost and have excellent keeping quality.
Propagation is by seeds or division. The latter method seems
best as there has been difficulty in germinating seeds, unless they
are absolutely fresh.
Divide at least every three years into well enriched soil.
TRADESCANTIA (Tradescantia spp.). Tropical America.
T. discolor is a stiff, upright, tender foliage plant whose long
lance-pointed, strap-shaped leaves, purple below, grow horizon-
tally or nearly so.
Unusual in appearance and consequently prized as a conserva-
tory plant. However, it succeeds in a moist, shady outdoor loca-
tion in Florida, but should be protected from the cold. In Zone
1 it is advisable to lift the plants in the fall and carry them
through the winter in pots indoors.
The inconspicuous flowers are borne in clusters protected by






Florida Cooperative Extension


purplish, leaf-like bracts in the form of tiny boats which grow
very close to the upright stem.
Propagated by separating young offsets from the parent plant,
or by seeds.
T. reflexa, a native perennial that attains a height of three
feet, with its typically blue and occasionally white blossoms,
is worth growing in the perennial border or near the lily pool.
The various forms of Wandering Jew (Tradescantia spp.) are
valuable as ground covers for moist, shady places or as window
box material.
VERBENA (Verbena hybrida).
The present-day garden verbena in many charming colors is
a result of the hybridization of four species.
Usually perennials in Florida, verbenas are low, creeping
herbs, of the simplest culture, that are dependable for strong
color notes in the garden. Attacks of red spider can be forestalled
by dusting the plants with sulphur or syringing them with heavy
pressure from the water hose. Valuable for ground cover in a
sunny place, edgings, rock gardens and for window box work.
Propagation of choice kinds should be by cuttings, but if no
special color is desired, the seeds may be planted.
Moss verbena (V. erinoides) is proving valuable as a self-
seeding subject for bold masses of lilac color. Similar to the
above, but not so highly developed as to flower size.
VIOLET (Viola odorata). Europe.
Everyone loves the violets and everyone can have them out of
doors in Southern gardens. An acid soil abounding in humus and
plant food, moisture and shade are all that the violet requires.
The deliciously perfumed flowers are numerous from December
until May, unless extremely low temperatures are experienced.
Divide the old plants each year or two, in August or Sep-
tember, after they are through blooming.
The variety Princess of Wales is probably the one grown
most widely in Florida.
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
The author is indebted to Major W. L. Floyd, Assistant Dean
of the College of Agriculture, for criticisms; to H. Harold Hume
and Harold Mowry for criticisms and photographs; and to Dr.
A. F. Camp, Dr. A. S. Rhoads, and Dr. G. F. Weber for photo-
graphs.
Dr. L. H. Bailey's nomenclature has been used.


S26850 I




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