Abies firma “Momi Fir” An amazingly heat-tolerant fir from China. Has been in southern gardens at least since the 1920s. Patience with its slow growth will reward the gardener with a long-lived heirloom true fir. 15’-25’ Christmas tree shape.
Acer rubescens ‘Silver Cardinal’ Surprisingly heat-tolerant small maple in the “snakebark” group. Green trunks with coral red new growth and winter buds. Leaves emerge in a mixture of green, white, pink. Very showy. Probably a 15-18’ tree.
Calycanthus floridus ‘Michael Lindsey’ Native sweetshrub with strawberry-fragrance, maroon flowers. This is a choice cultivar with glossy leaves and strong flower fragrance.
Camellia sinensis “Tea Plant” We offer a superior clone, a lone survivor from a Lipton Tea experimental plot near our nursery. Very vigorous and a bit more upright than most. C. sinensis. Tea plants are an easy fit in the landscape - working within a formal herb garden, within a naturalistic setting, or as a clipped hedge. Beautiful little white flowers with golden centers in fall-winter.
Chaenomeles speciosa ‘Contorta’ “Contorted Flowering Quince” With its twisted, turned, contorted growth this makes quite a conversation piece. Easy in containers. Pleasant surprise of pretty pink flowers in early Spring.
Cleyera japonica 'Tokyo Sunrise' PPAF The Cleyeras are camellia relatives from Asia as is the ubiquitous "false cleyera", Ternstroemia gymnanthera. The Cleyeras have never found favor in mainstream American gardens (they look like a camelia without the blooms.) This recent selection from Ted Stephens' Nurseries Caroliniana can change minds. Beautiful new growth is a sunrise of color-a mixture of green, white and orange-pink. Sturdy spreading shrub for light shade.
Corylopsis pauciflora x spicata ‘Winterthur’ Presumably a hybrid of two distinct species, ‘Winterthur’ comes from the famed garden in Delaware. Possesses the best qualities of both parents. Flowers, foliage and growth habit more like pauciflora but on a larger framework. Fast becoming a favorite. Very heat-tolerant.
Distylium myricoides 'Carolina Compact' Easily-grown, spreading, compact, evergreen shrub with nice glossy leaves. Small maroon flowers in Winter are interesting. Related to the witch hazels.
Fothergilla species (Baldwin County, AL) Discovered in north Baldwin County by noted naturalist, Fred Nation. Noteworthy as the only population described in the state. Has proven to be a stronger grower than F. gardenii with typical white bottlebrush flowers in Spring and consistent orange to red Fall color. Grows to 24-36”.
Gordonia axillaris Chinese counterpart to our native Gordonia. Great plant for zone 8. Ours have sailed through 10 degrees and have reached 10 feet. Similar in habit and bloom to an upright Camellia sasanqua, to which it is related. Large showy white flowers, with brilliant yellow stamen cluster, are abundant in fall, falling “sunny-side-up” hence the Australian nickname “Fried Egg Tree”
Gordonia lasianthus (Baldwin County, AL strain) The Gordonia is a Southeastern native small tree related to camellias. Evergreen to typically 20 to 30 feet, ours are grown from seed of a strain of 60'plus giants discovered in an untouched forest in Baldwin County,AL. Four inch flowers are similar to Gordonia axillaris but appear in summer rather than fall.
xGordlinia grandiflora 'Sweet Tea' A perfect blend of two wonderful Southeastern native trees, Gordonia lasianthus and Franklinia alatamaha. This small tree seems to have inherited the good traits of both parents while shrugging off the problems associated with Franklinia in the garden. Large white flowers in summer followed by older leaves turning colorful blends in fall. Fast grower to likely 20'-30' A gift from Dr. Tom Ranney's breeding program at North Carolinia State University.
Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Madame Emile Mouilliere’ Very old French cultivar (1909). Quite vigorous with large but graceful inflorescence. Perhaps the best white hortensia. Flowers age to a lime green and are excellent for cutting.
Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Penny Mac’ One of the best re-blooming hydrangeas. Compact growth, blue flowers. Much like ‘Nikko Blue’ in our climate but more restrained growth.
Hydrangea quercifolia (Monroe County, AL Strain) A strain of heat-tolerant seedlings, taken from select parents. Originating only 90 miles from the Gulf Coast. Vigorous and disease resistant with larger leaves. Typically seeing large flowers.
Hydrangea serrata ‘Blue Bird’ An old Japanese cultivar with strong growth habit. Flowers continuously in summer. A lacecap of blue flowers surrounded by blue florets when grown in acid soil. The sepals literally flip over and are pink on reverse. Coupled with healthy leaves tipped in red for a wonderful overall interest.
Hydrangea serrata ‘Fuji Waterfall’ Cascading delicate white flowers on a compact grower. Glossier foliage. Quite different, quite wonderful.
Ilex opaca ‘Dan Fenton’ Don’t let the masculine name fool you, this American holly is covered in red berries in winter. Upright when young, it develops a pyramidal, bushy habit with perhaps the richest green foliage seen in the species.
Illicium floridanum 'Southern Star' A colorful twist to one of the South's native wonders. The white and green growth of this shade-loving evergreen shrub is highlighted by the new growth streaked with pink. This selection is a vigorous, bushy grower to 6'-8'.
Kalmia latifolia "Mountain Laurel" (Baldwin County, AL strain) Arguably America's most beautiful shrub, folks are surprised to find it thrives along the Gulf Coast, often seen in great numbers along our creeks and streams. More Northern cultivars and strains do not perform well in Zone 8, but our seedlings, grown from local populations are quite happy.
Magnolia hybrid ‘Butterflies’ A truly yellow-flowered American-Asian magnolia. A cross between the native species M. acuminata and K. Sawada’s M. denudata hybrid ‘Sawada’s Cream’ A healthy upright grower. Shy to bloom when young (it is too busy growing), but flowers very well once established. Widely considered the best of the yellow hybrids.
Magnolia hybrid 'Coral Lake' Tulip like flowers are a blending of rose and yellow giving a distinctive coral color effect to the petals. Another remarkable M. acuminate hybrid with good vigor and a rounded form in the landscape.
Magnolia hybrid 'Heaven Scent' We have not seen much printed fanfare over this cultivar but it is becoming a favorite with us. Blooms a week or two later than many magnolias so often can miss the freakish spring freezes we see along the Gulf Coast. Flowers are set off well and sit upright on naked branches. Very upright and symmetrical small tree.
Magnolia macrophylla "Bigleaf Magnolia" A small tree, typically to 25 feet though larger specimens can be found in Alabama's rich deciduous forests. Very large leaves and flowers-in fact the largest of any North American tree. Performs best in a sheltered location in light shade to prevent the leaves from being tatteed and sunburned. The 18" plus white flowers appear in late spring to early summer.
Magnolia pyramidata This rare native Magnolia is an upright grower to 20’. Beautiful creamy-white flowers in Summer are followed by showy magenta red fruit in Fall.
Magnolia (Michelia) figo ssp. crassipes 'Royal Robes' The familiar 'Banana Shrub", heirloom of the Deep South has a crimson-flowered counterpart in this new cultivar introduced by Ted Stephens and Nurseries Caroliniana. We find it to be much slower growing but far from weak. Blooms heavily at a young age, the flowers appearing in early spring and a few scattered in summer-fall. Has some fragrance but not as heavy as Magnolia xskinneriana.
Magnolia (Michelia) laevifolia ‘Snow Angel’ Fabulous shrub very unlike other “Michelias”. Small leaves on a spreading grower that might reach 8’ or so. Metallic bronze buds open to small white flowers with more of a magnolia-lemon scent than banana fragrance. This smaller form will work well in containers or the smaller garden.
Magnolia (Michelia) skinneriana "Banana Shrub" Best described as “new and improved” Magnolia figo. Similar in most respects but more vigorous, more evergreen, more cold-hardy, with a much longer bloom season.
Mahonia gracilipes Fascinating “new” species with a more delicate appearance than the x media hybrids. Leaf backs have a beautiful silver-blue bloom and the flowers are purple and yellow bursting open in a fireworks pattern. 3-4’ growth. Add lime to soil.
Mahonia x media (Seedlings) These are seedlings from some great plants. Very showy, erect, and tall, yellow flower inflorescence in mid-winter, followed by a large crop of blueberry-like fruit. Tall grower for light to rather heavy shade. Seedlings from ‘Arthur Menzies’, ‘Charity’, and ‘Cantab’ .
Neviusia alabamensis "Alabama Snow Wreath" A somewhat rare Alabama native shrub related to the spiraeas. Wispy white flowers are similar to some of the so-called "bridal wreaths". A suckering shrub that will colonize a small area of the garden. Easy culture in light to medium shade.
Osmanthus fragrans “Sweet Olive” Long associated with the old south, “the perfume of winter”. Best grown as a tree. Beautiful ancient specimens still seen at old plantations in the Deep South. The tiny creamy flowers appear almost constantly from October through March between freezes. Well used in concert with camellias to achieve the last degree of perfection - fragrance.
Osmanthus fragrans var. aurantiacus 'Beni-Kin-Mokuesei' A "new" selection of the "tea olive"
brought to the States from Japan by plantsman, Ted Stephens. This cultivar is distinguished from others for the orange-red flowers, a deeper color than the typical cantaloupe-orange fall bloomers.
Osmanthus fragrans ‘Fodzinghu’ A more compact form of O. fragrans, with (can you believe?) even more flowers and an even longer season! In fact, we have seen this plant bloom nearly continuously from late September through March. Will fit well into smaller gardens where the species is often forced in with a shoe horn and pruned so heavily it ceases to bloom.
Pieris ryokuensis ‘Temple Bells’ A more heat-tolerant form of Japanese Pieris from the Ryoku Islands and Taiwan. Has performed very well on the Gulf Coast. Flowers are very showy white bells in late Winter, followed by striking coppery red new growth. Slow grower for light to medium shade. Reaches 3-4’. This is the true strain.
Prunus campanulata “Taiwan Cherry” Brought from Japan to the Arnold Arboretum by E. H. Wilson in 1915. It has proven to be the most successful flowering cherry for the deep south. Mobile’s Kiyono and Overlook Nursery both offered it. It is the most tolerant of our Gulf Coast conditions, much more graceful an appearance than ‘Okame’. Breathtaking in its late winter bloom, we have found the magenta buds and flowers unspoiled by 26 degree freezes.
Prunus subhirtella ‘Autumnalis Rosea’ x campanulata Three visits to Athens, Georgia in October, December, and January all found this tree in bloom. It has performed equally well in Mobile, Alabama. Fast growing upright, open form to 15-20’ with double magenta-pink flowers. Tends to bloom off and on, during winter. Practically unknown but worthy of more use.
Rhododendron austrinum 'Sulfur Butterflies' "Florida Flame Azalea", as Rh. austrinum is often known, often has brilliant gold to orange-yellow flowers. This cultivar has soft yellow flowers that combine very well with the many pink flowers of spring.
Rhododendron canescens ‘Varnadoe’s Phlox Pink’ Years ago, we were fortunate to obtain our first plants of this native azalea from Mr. Varnadoe’s fascinating nursery. It remains a favorite with its early, pre-leaves bloom (the flowers appear to be suspended in air). Very vigorous with the best dark pink color we have seen in the species.
Rhododendron minus var. minus “Red Hills Strain” Heat-tolerant native Rhododendron from one of the most southerly populations of the species. Seedling-grown from specimens with darker lavender flowers.
Rhododendron minus var. minus 'Southern Cerise' A heat tolerant native Rhododendron discovered along Gantt Lake in southeast, Alabama by Dr. Ron Miller, Clarence Towe, and Dr. Tom Ranney. Nice foliage and a bit more compact habit than the species. The flowers are a bright rose-pink-nearly the color of 'Pride Of Mobile' azalea.
Rhododendron minus var. minus 'Mockingbird Hill' This is one we grow from cuttings of a seed selection of the heat-tolerant Rhododendron minus. Flowers are the same lavender-pink but the growth habit is more upright and mounding rather than the typical sprawling nature of Rh. minus.
Schima superba A nice evergreen, small camellia-relative tree for zones 7-9. Fast grower will likely reach 20 feet. The new growth is a pleasing copper color giving way to glossy green large leaves. The small white flowers appear in great profusion in summer-similar to the Gordonias.
Schizophragma integrifolium var. faurei “Taiwan Climbing Hydrangea”Received this from Heronswood Nursery and it has thrived in our warm climate. Definitely more heat-tolerant than S. hydrangeoides. This is a large climbing vine with enormous heads of creamy white flowers surrounded by large bracts. Suitable trellis would be a pine tree.
Trachelospermum jasminoides ‘Pink Showers’ Similar to the wonderful old heirloom “Confederate Jasmine” but with pink flowers and a bit more easily kept to a respectable habit.
Viburnum plicatum 'Popcorn' Here is the "Snowball Viburnum" the Deep South has been looking for. Excellent grower in sun or light shade and is covered in 3"-4" "popcorn ball" inflorescences in early spring. So easy.