Old-fashioned perennials are steeped in history. Some long-time preferred flowers have even been around for hundreds or thousands of years. Typically, the aboveground part of the plant dies back every winter as well as the roots sprout a new plant in the spring. If you plant perennials from seed, expect most of them to begin producing flowers in the next year.
Towering Flowers Stalks
Hollyhocks (Alcea rosea) Scatter towering flower stalks and a few varieties develop 59 to 70 inches tall, including “Black Beauty” using its blackish-purple blossoms that feature yellow eyes. These striking perennials are indeed old, hollyhock remnants were discovered in a 50,000-year-old grave of a Neanderthal man. In the U.S., hollyhocks were one of the first plants brought by the colonists, who gave seeds into the Cherokee Indians. Hollyhocks make amazing borders, come in many different sizes and colours, and are hardy at U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 2 through 9. They attract butterflies and hummingbirds.
Charming, Bright White Blossoms
The magical, upward facing, bright white blossoms of “Becky” Shasta daisy (Leucanthemum “Becky”) includes contrasting eyes at yellow. It’s said that Ida Mae of Georgia, a successful florist and nursery proprietor, was the first to market this cultivar of their quintessential daisy in the 1960’s. It caught her eye in her neighbor’s garden and she asked for a clump so that she could develop them herself. This vintage blossom has a very long bloom season, attracts butterflies to your yard, reaches 40 inches tall and is hardy in USDA zones 4 through 9. It’s excellent for containers and naturalistic landscape designs.
A Vintage Fragrant Evergreen
The history of lavender (Lavandula) dates back to ancient Egypt, where it had been an ingredient to scent cologne and incense. Dioscorides, a Greek naturalist, extolled its value as a medicinal plant in the first century A.D.. It was also regarded as an aphrodisiac in the Middle Ages. English lavender (L. angustifolia) is the most commonly cultivated species of the perennial and grows in USDA hardiness zones 5b through 8. It bananas stalks 12 to 36 inches tall which bear a whorl of lavender blooms. Add lavender to a own herb garden as a standalone specimen or plant it en masse.
Grows as a Shrub
Confederate rose (Hibiscus mutabilis), also known as tree lotus, has a shrub-like growth habit. In cooler climates, it grows 6 to 8 feet tall and shouted back each year. In warmer climates, it grows a woody trunk and grows 12 to 15 feet tall. Despite its title, this old-fashioned perennial is neither native to the former Confederacy nor a rose. It’s really native to China and a member of the hibiscus family. Confederate rose was brought to Europe before 1632 and grows in USDA hardiness zones 8 through 10.