Veronicastrum virginicum 'Fascination' (Culver's Root)
Why you should plant it
This is a new cultivar of a magnificent native plant and one of the best butterfly attractors around. It blooms from now until October or first frost. Keep it going with rigorous deadheading. It will form a clump of one by 1.2 metres, so it needs to be well sited. The mauvey-pink is delicious and will work well with almost any tone of foliage (purple and yellow especially).
Where to plant it
This Zone 3 plant needs rich, moist but well-drained soil and grows fairly well in shade, although it stands upright much better in a sunny spot. It's an undemanding plant and you want it where it will make a statement. It divides easily in spring.
What it offers
The blooms look a wee bit like a veronica and it mixes well with ornamental grasses, which would make a handsome solution for a difficult corner. It also looks great with Joe-Pye Weed ( Eupatorium spp) and smaller cultivars about the same size, which together will create a gorgeous drift of colour lively with the hum of bees and the movement of butterflies. You can't lose with this plant.
Source and cost
Find it for about $10 at specialty nurseries like Mason House Gardens in Uxbridge, Ont.
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