(Autumn Adonis, Pheasant's Eye)
Small, scarlet buttercups are the glory of the annual pheasant's eye. A wildflower of field and meadow, natural populations exist on calcareous soils across much of Europe, the Mediterranean, North Africa and western Asia. Each bloom has very dark anthers giving the appearance of a bird's or pheasant's eye. Flowering occurs from late spring to midsummer.
Seeds germinate in late winter or spring, and plants have very finely dissected ferny foliage that's pale or bright green. Small red flowers...
A Eurasian native that resembles garden parsley but possesses powerful toxins, this annual or biennial has naturalized in parts of the eastern United States.
The ferny, much-divided, chervil-like leaves of fool's parsley are borne on well-branched, calf- to thigh-high stems. The dark shiny leaves release an unpleasant odor when bruised. In spring or summer, plants bear flat, spoked, long-stemmed umbels of small white flowers. The umbels typically have several conspicuous, drooping, needle-shaped...
(Flossflower, Tycoon Ageratum)
The branching, dwarf flossflowers in the Tycoon Series are compact plants that tend to reflower readily from secondary branches in a range of white, violet-pink or lavender-blue. These tender perennials are widely planted as bedding annuals and will bloom all season long.
These bushy plants have lush, deep green leaves. When temperatures are warm and growing conditions good, they produce airy clusters of button-like flowers with spidery petals that attract bees and butterflies. Deadheading will...
The delicate scalloped pink flowers of common corn cockle bloom bloom from early to late summer above slender stems lined with fine, pale green leaves. This southeastern European native self-sows prodigiously and has become naturalized across most of North America in all but a few western states and provinces. Here it is most commonly found growing on roadsides, cultivated fields and other disturbed sites.
The fuzzy stems of this summer annual are lined with slender, opposite leaves with bulbous...
Gerald L. Klingaman
(Mexican Grain Amaranthus, Prince's Feather, Purple Amaranthus)
Nothing beats this tough, heat-loving annual for big, bold summer bedding displays. This Central American native has been grown since ancient times for its grain and greens, as have two other amaranths: Amaranthus hypochondriacus and A. caudatus. Purple amaranth was central to the Aztec culture, playing an important role in many of its religious rituals. Most contemporary gardeners cultivate it purely for its showy flower spikes, though it is increasingly grown...
James H. Schutte
(Prince's Feather, Prince-of-Wales-Feather)
This large, colorful annual is probably a naturally occurring hybrid originating in Central Amercica. It has been grown since ancient times for its grain and greens, as have two other amaranths: Amaranthus cruentus and A. caudatus. This amaranth was widely cultivated and revered by the Aztecs, playing a central role in their diet and in many of their religious rituals. Most contemporary gardeners cultivate it purely for its showy flower spikes, although it is increasingly...
James H. Schutte
Grown in flower gardens for its dazzling plumage, this large annual is an important leaf vegetable in tropical Asia, where it is native.
This fast-growing, heat-loving plant bears large, elliptic or oval leaves that are often brilliantly hued when young, forming colorful ruffs atop tall, erect stems. The new leaves may be yellow, red, purple, bronze, ivory, or combinations thereof. The leaves gradually age to medium or dark green. In tropical Asia, where this plant is grown for the flavor rather...
Creamy yellow new leaves form showy ruffs atop the relatively compact stems of this cultivar of Joseph's coat. A large annual grown in flower gardens for its brilliant plumage, Joseph's coat originated in tropical Asia, where it is widely cultivated as a leaf vegetable.
This fast-growing, heat-loving plant bears large, elliptic or oval leaves on erect stems. The leaves are creamy yellow when young, aging to mint green. Insignificant clusters of green or reddish flowers appear at the stem tips...