My Favorite

Trusted Landscape Architects Discuss Their Favorite…


Seven Son FlowersHugh J. Collins Jr.
H.J. Collins & Associates
South Hamilton, MA
(978) 468-1942

Seven-Son Flower (Heptacodium miconiodes) This lesser known tree first caught my attention one September day while it displayed, what appeared to be, bright pink flower clusters. Actually, these were not flowers at all, but calyces (outer flower coverings). I learned that this outstanding characteristic followed the late summer display of fragrant white flower panicles, giving it nearly two-months of impressive visual interest. Although, I would classify the structure of this small tree to be somewhat ragged and unrefined, the August through September show is extraordinary. The exfoliating tan bark is an added plus! I now include this tree in many of my landscape designs.


Blackhaw Viburnum Jack Pizzo, RLA, ASLA, ICN
The Pizzo Companies
Leland, IL
(815) 495-2300 x104

Blackhaw Viburnum (Viburnum prunifolium) As an Ecologist and Landscape Architect responsible for ecologically sound landscapes and restoring natural areas, it is logical I pick a native shrub. Blackhaw Viburnum (Viburnum prunifolium) is a large stately shrub that can get 12-15′ tall and 10-12′ wide. Spring brings prolific white flowers that the bees love. Summer bring glossy green foliage. Fall brings purplish blue fruit and amazing red foliage. The fall color is second to none. In the winter it has dense stiff branches covered in light grey bark. As a native plant our native animals have evolved with it. It feeds over 104 species of moths and butterflies. It is used for nesting by Cardinals Robins and Brown Thrashers. In winter it is a refuge from winds / predators and will easily form a dense hedge for screening. It will grow in the light shade of our native trees such as Oaks, Hickories and Beeches.


Heartleaf FoamflowerBarbara Z. Restaino, RLA, LEED AP BD+C
Restaino Design Landscape Architecture, PC
Grahamsville, NY

Heartleaf Foamflower (Tiarella cordifolia) When designing a landscape, I consider native plants very important plant palette choices. A favorite groundcover is Tiarella cordifolia or Heartleaf Foamflower, a beautiful native found in woodlands in the eastern U.S. As its name suggests, Heartleaf Foamflower has attractive lobed leaves and frothy racemes of white to pinkish flowers in spring. It prefers shade to partial shade and moist humus rich soil. Foamflower spreads by stolons or underground roots forming an excellent groundcover that allows other woodland companion plants like Cimicifuga (Fairy Candles) or Mertensia (Virginia Bluebells) to be planted among it. Well developed drifts of Heartleaf Foamflower can be spectacular inthe shade garden.

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