Middle South

May, 2007
Regional Report

Favorite or New Plant

Persian Shield
Persian shield (Strobilanthes dyerianus) is one of those plants that you have to see to believe. It's grown for its foliage -- and what foliage it is! The oblong leaves are streaked with metallic purple and silver and appear almost iridescent. Persian Shield prefers light shade but can tolerate full sun if soil is kept moist. It's perfect for adding height to container plantings and looks outstanding when combined with orange, pink, or white flowers. Although it can reach 3 feet or more, it can be kept smaller with occasional pruning.

Native to the tropics, the plant is grown as an annual in most places. It's been chosen by Athens Select as a plant that will thrive in heat and humidity. Athens Select is a collection of heat- and humidity-tolerant plants that have been tested in trial gardens at the University of Georgia.

Shows & Events

Plant Name Pronunciation
If you've ever embarrassed yourself by asking nursery staff for a "cotton-Easter" (cotoneaster) like I have, you'll appreciate the Ohio State University Plant Facts Web site. Click on a category, choose a plant, then click "Hear the scientific name." By the way, cotoneaster is pronounced "kuh-TOE-nee-ass-ter."

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