Cynthia Druckenbrod. , the Director of Horticulture at the Cleveland Botanical Gardens, presented an informative and thorough lecture about perennials, shrubs, trees, and annuals that are natives to our region. They are not only hardy, they are colorful and each adds positive assets to the landscape. Her accompanying pictures showed the following plants growing at the Cleveland Botanical Gardens and at her home. The following is a summary of her presentation.
1. `Colchicum autumnale, or autumn crocus, is very hardy and has flowers that are larger than spring crocus. They are a source of colchicine, a medicinal compound used to treat gout.
2. Lycoris radiata is the bright red spider lily that is generally grown in Zone 7. However, it does exist in the Cleveland Gardens because of the proximity of Lake Erie and its moderating effects. Lycoris squamigera is lighter pink and more likely to survive in our area.
3. Tricyrtis formosana “Dark Beauty”, or toad lily is a complex plant and the latest blooming perennial. Tricytris hirta “Lightening Strike” has blooms along every node and are quite lovely. They like partial shade.