Plant Evaluation Notes

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The Chicago Botanic Garden Plant Evaluation Notes (PE Notes) are reviews of recommended plants for gardens in the Upper Midwest, as determined through scientific evaluation over a period of time -- four years for perennials, six years for shrubs and vines, and seven to ten years for trees. The program studies and recommends plants that are readily available in area nurseries.

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Website
http://www.chicagobotanic.org/downloads/planteval_notes/
Description
The Chicago Botanic Garden Plant Evaluation Notes (PE Notes) are reviews of recommended plants for gardens in the Upper Midwest, as determined through scientific evaluation over a period of time -- four years for perennials, six years for shrubs and vines, and seven to ten years for trees. The program studies and recommends plants that are readily available in area nurseries.
Language
last modified
2014-03-19 19:13
last episode published
2014-03-19 19:05
publication frequency
38.48 days
Contributors
Chicago Botanic Garden owner   author  
Explicit
false
Number of Episodes
37
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Categories
Science & Medicine Sports & Recreation Games & Hobbies Natural Sciences Hobbies Outdoor

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Episodes

Date Thumb Title & Description Contributors
19.03.2014

A Comparative Study of Joe-Pye Weeds and Their Relatives

Over a 12-year period, the Chicago Botanic Garden evaluated 26 taxa of Eutrochium species and related genera with the goal of identifying outstanding Joe-Pye weeds for Upper Midwestern gardens.
Chicago Botanic Garden author
21.02.2013

A Comparative Study of Cultivated Asters

Over our 6-year trial, seven asters received five-star excellent ratings for their overall performance. Top-rated asters displayed consistently strong habits, superior flower production, excellent disease resistance, and full winter hardiness throughou...
Chicago Botanic Garden author
13.10.2011

A Comparative Study of Phlox paniculata Cultivars

From 2001 through 2009, the Chicago Botanic Garden (USDA Hardiness Zone 5b, AHS Plant Heat Zone 5) evaluated 78 Phlox taxa in full-sun trials. Download the results in this PDF.
Chicago Botanic Garden author
9.12.2010

A Comparative Study of Tradescantia Cultivars

Spiderworts may be pegged as common garden plants, but their unique flowers and strong habits mark them as uncommonly good garden plants. A kaleidoscopic palette of colors marks the ephemeral blossoms of Tradescantia cultivars. Just over half of the sp...
Chicago Botanic Garden author
7.06.2010

Comparative Studies of Veronica and Veronicastrum

Throughout spring and summer the spiky flowers of Veronica rise like sentinels in the sunny garden. Speedwells can be long-lived provided that garden soils drain freely, which is especially important during winter months. A midsummer shearing after the...
Chicago Botanic Garden author
7.06.2010

A Comparative Study of Platycodon grandiflorus Cultivars

Balloonflower is a bushy, clump-forming perennial, up to 3 feet tall, with winsome buds and exuberant blossoms in midsummer. In the border or cottage garden, balloonflowers are good companions to other summer-blooming perennials and are long-lived unde...
Chicago Botanic Garden author
7.06.2010

A Performance Appraisal of Hardy Bellflowers

The distinctive blossoms of bellflower (Campanula) come in hues of blue and violet, from the deepest purple to softest gray blue. Grown in full sun or light shade, bellflowers are generally easy to grow and trouble free in well-drained, alkaline soils.
Chicago Botanic Garden author
7.06.2010

A Report on Leucanthemum xsuperbum and Related Daisies

Many new cultivars have renewed excitement in the Shasta daisy, including cultivars with frilly double flowers or thin curly petals. Plant in rich, well-drained soil: Shasta daisy is often considered a shortlived perennial, especially when grown in hea...
Chicago Botanic Garden author
7.06.2010

A Comparative Study of Cultivated Catmints

Equally wonderful as accents or massed in large groups, catmints are well-suited to perennial borders, herb gardens and rockeries, and can be used as ground covers, edging plants or for spilling over rock walls. True catnip, Nepeta cataria, is particul...
Chicago Botanic Garden author
7.06.2010

An Evaluation Report of Meadow Rues

The wealth of meadow rues available to gardeners ensures a profusion of pretty blooms from spring into fall. These easy-to-grow plants generally prefer moist, organic soils in partial shade to full sun. Plants that become ragged after flowering can be ...
Chicago Botanic Garden author
7.06.2010

A Comparative Study of Cultivated Stachys

Stachys' silvery leaves are perfect foils for plants with hot- or cool-colored blossoms. Conversely, betonies bring a casual formality to the border, herb garden, cottage garden or meadow. While lamb’s ears tends to decline during flowering, deadheadin...
Chicago Botanic Garden author
7.06.2010

A Garden Study of Sundrops and Evening Primroses

Heavy-flowering Oenothera are healthy plants with winter hardiness, giving many of these taxa five-star excellent ratings. Sundrops and evening primroses thrive in full sun but tolerate light shade. Oenothera speciosa may spread rapidly to become weedy...
Chicago Botanic Garden author
7.06.2010

Fall-blooming Anemones

One of the most attractive aspects of fall-blooming anemones is their extended bloom period. It is not uncommon for these plants to bloom continuously for more than two months. A great fill plant for larger landscapes, anemones can out-compete smaller ...
Chicago Botanic Garden author
7.06.2010

An Evaluation Study of Alchemilla

With few exceptions, Alchemilla prove to be good garden plants. The similarity of the cultivated species -- minor differences in leaves, flowers and habits -- allows gardeners to interchange them depending on availability.
Chicago Botanic Garden author
7.06.2010

A Comparative Study of Ground Cover Lamium

Uneven moisture regimes can make the placement of plants in the shady garden an all-or-nothing experiment. In these circumstances, a variety of dead nettles come to the rescue. From green, silver, yellow and variegated leaves to ground covers and uprig...
Chicago Botanic Garden author
7.06.2010

Hardy Geraniums for Northern Gardens

Hardy geranium is a general term that is used to distinguish Geranium from its tender cousin Pelargonium, the colorful floral or bedding geranium. Many species, especially those with trailing habits, can be used on slopes, retaining walls and in contai...
Chicago Botanic Garden author
7.06.2010

An Evaluation Study of Coral Bells

Few perennials have exploded onto the scene quite like coral bells, or Heuchera. Breeding has brought a variety of foliage shape and color and improved flower production to market. Look for coral bells with lime-green or amber-gold leaves, and abundant...
Chicago Botanic Garden author
7.06.2010

An Evaluation Report on Barrenworts for the Shade Garden

Barrenworts are tough, long-lived perennials that are an invaluable garden plant for the challenging environment of the Midwest -- their toughness and ability to compete with tree roots make them a must-have in any shade garden, and Epimedium provides ...
Chicago Botanic Garden author
7.06.2010

Garden-Worthy Artemisias

While many artemesias in the study proved unsuitable for northern climes, planting artemisias in lighter soils with sharp drainage may reduce the potential for winter injury or loss of these plants, and allow you to add some texture and beauty to your ...
Chicago Botanic Garden author
7.06.2010

An Evaluation Study of Hardy Amsonia

Bluestars prove to be hardy, low-maintenance perennials, giving three seasons of interest in the garden. Clusters of pale blue flowers top the upright stems in May and June before new stem growth covers the remaining flowers. For exceptional floral dis...
Chicago Botanic Garden author
7.06.2010

An Appraisal of Pulmonaria for the Garden

WIth neither serious nor consistent pest problems and a host of shade applications, Lungwort can brighten an area of your yard with a variety of foliage variations and flower colors.
Chicago Botanic Garden author
7.06.2010

An Evaluation Study of Tricyrtis

Some of the new cultivars of Tricyrtis have become available only in the last few years from specialty nurseries in Japan and the United States. For a toad lily that really shines, try Tricyrtis formosana and T. hirta ‘Miyazaki’ because of their superi...
Chicago Botanic Garden author
7.06.2010

An Evaluation Report of Goldenrods for the Garden

This 5-year study compared ornamental traits, disease and pest resistance, and cultural adaptability of 25 species and garden hybrids of solidago, to determine the best goldenrods for Midwest gardens.
Chicago Botanic Garden author
7.06.2010

A Performance Appraisal of Hardy Sages

Fifteen easy to grow and pest-resistant perennial Salvia taxa were grown and evaluated at the Chicago Botanic Garden from the 1993 to 1998, to compare ornamental characteristics and to determine the best hardy sages for the Midwest. Find out which of t...
Chicago Botanic Garden author
7.06.2010

An Evaluation Report of Selected Phlox Species and Hybrids

This 3-year comparative study of Phlox find that there are garden phlox that are beautiful in flower and form AND resistant to powdery mildew. By choosing the right phlox, you will be rewarded with a handsome plant and a long season of bloom.
Chicago Botanic Garden author
7.06.2010

Monarda and Powdery Mildew Resistance

Beebalms and bergamots are great perennials for meadows and wild gardens, along streams and ponds, in woodlands and also in the garden border. The long season of color attracts bees, butterflies and hummingbirds in July and August, and will capture you...
Chicago Botanic Garden author
7.06.2010

An Evaluation Report of Shrub Roses

Modern shrub roses hold the promise of being better plants for today’s landscapes. But which shrub roses are best suited for the gardens of the northern Midwest? This six year evaluation found three English shrub roses and seven Canadian shrub roses to...
Chicago Botanic Garden author
7.06.2010

Clematis for Northern Landscapes

Of the 64 original clematis observed in this study, 33 are recommended for Northern landscapes, with nine taxa rated as superior for heavy flower production, high quality blossoms, exceptional ornamental characteristics, vigorous habits, winter hardine...
Chicago Botanic Garden author
7.06.2010

A Performance Report of Cultivated Blazing Stars

While many blazing stars can be successfully grown locally, not all species are suitable for growing in the Chicago area. This report details which of the 16 taxa grown will work best in your yard.
Chicago Botanic Garden author
4.06.2010

Rudbeckia for Cultivated Landscapes

With a diverse range of species that are easy to grow and well-adapted to a variety of cultural situations, coneflowers endure and provide flowering enjoyment during the two hottest months of summer.
Richard Hawke author
4.06.2010

Report on Summer Flowering Annuals

Fifty-five herbaceous summer flowering annuals tested this year (1994) included 16 All American Selections (AAS). All selections are rated on a scale of 1-4 for the sum of the following qualities: flowers, plant size, peak bloom (and length of bloom),...
Richard Hawke author
4.06.2010

Boxwoods for Northern Midwest Landscapes

Of 30 species of Buxus cultivated in the Midwest, few boxwood varieties are hardy in colder, northern sites. Ten boxwoods were evaluated in this study, with seven showing successful and appealing cultivation characteristics.
Richard Hawke author
4.06.2010

A Performance Report of Cultivated Yarrows (Achillea)

While some Achillea in this study did not prove winter-hardy, a wide variety of hybrids had outstanding performance, including 10 cultivars in colors from gold to peach to pink and lilac.
Richard Hawke author
3.06.2010

Hibiscus moscheutos Cultivars and Horticultural Hybrids

Given minimal cultural care, rose mallow cultivars thrived in this evaluation. The range of flower colors, flower sizes, foliage types and habits make this a plant worthy of a variety of landscape uses.
Richard Hawke author
3.06.2010

A Bamboo Performance Report

Bamboo can be grown successfully in the Chicago region and the Midwest, although size and coloration of bamboo canes isn't reliable in colder climates. Five species are recommended in this report.
Richard Hawke author
3.06.2010

The Evaluation and Introduction of a Unique Dwarf River Birch

Fox Valley(TM) River Birch, Betula nigra 'Little King', proves a promising as a specimen plant, hedge, or in a shrub border. It's exfoliating bark and dense branching habit are outstanding features in the winter landscape.
Richard Hawke author
3.06.2010

Performance Appraisal of Selected Small-leaved Rhododendrons

Rhododendrons can be grown with success in the Midwest. The top five performers of this five year study of small-leaved evergreen rhododendrons include 'Milestone', 'Weston's Pink Diamond', Molly Fordham', 'Laurie', and 'Pink Clusters'.
Richard Hawke author