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Moss' Top Ten Plants of July

Some Like it Hot!

The July top ten perform during the hottest, droughtiest month of the year. A few (chestnut, trumpet lily, peruvian daffodil) have deliciously sweet scents that linger and waft on the sultry evening breeze. Others rely on numerous and dramatic blooms to attract pollinators and people. These lovers of long hot days have a special kinship with me.

As always, tropical, mild winter, and Chicago winter hardy plants comprise the list.  


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jack's chestnut trees in mansfield, ohio

Chinese Chestnut (Castanea mollissima)

Large, deciduous, shade tree. Extremely fragrant in bloom! Smells musky, nutty sweet. Little yellow and black bugs pollinate chestnuts. Nuts ripen in autumn. Thanks to Jack in Mansfield.

Mild to cold winters. Temperate climates

annabelle bush

Annabelle Hydrangea (Hydrangea arborescens)

Deciduous shrub with umbels of small white flowers. Very common plant that is reliable and vigorous.

Mild to cold winters. Temperate climates

dwarf wild indigo flowers

Dwarf Wild Indigo (Amorpha nana)

Deciduous shrub crowded with spikes of purple, fragrant blooms. The tiny flowers have contasting bright orange stamens. This is a tough plant for tough places. Similar to leadplant, A. canescens, but not as gray and more free flowering.

Mild to cold winters. Temperate climates

yucca at spruce hill inn

Adam's Needle (Yucca flaccida)

Large, clump-forming, evergreen perennial with tall spikes containing hundreds of flowers. Succulent, fleshy rooted plant thrives from the desert to the coasts to the northern plains. Symbiotic relationship with Tegeticula moths.

Mild to cold winters. Temperate climates

hyssop in roofdeck barrel

Hyssop (Hyssopus officinalis)

Aromatic subshrub with terminal spikes of small purple flowers. Extremely hardy. Used as culinary flavoring and in potpourris. Helps garden by attracting lots of pollinators to its nectar-rich flowers.

Mild to cold winters. Temperate climates.

yellow african queens

African Queen Lily (Lilium "African Queen")

Large, fragrant, yellow trumpet lily. This easy lily is one of my favorites. It was tough to only choose one lily, but Lilium henryi and Lilium candidum, will have to wait til next year.

Mild to cold winters. Temperate climates.

crinum x powelli

Crinum Lily (Crinum x powelli)

Very large, subtropical bulbous plant with fragrant pink flowers throughout summer. This versatile bulb can be planted in the garden bed, large container, or water garden.

Mild winters. Temperate to subtropical climates.

peruvian daffodil

Peruvian Daffodil (Ismene x festalis)

Large, subtropical bulbous plant with fragrant white flowers throughout summer. There has been a lot of confusion surrounding Ismene, Hymenocallis, and Elisena. Regardless, they are all great summer bulbs.

Mild winters. Subtropical climates.

pineapple lily

Pineapple Lily (Eucomis zambesiaca)

Subtropical bulbous plant with spike of ivory flowers topped with a tuft of leaves like pineapples.

Subtropical climates

rain lily
Rain Lily (Zephyranthes grandiflora)
Small subtropical bulb with a succession of pink flowers throughout summer. Said to put out blooms after every rain. Mild winters. Sub-tropical climate.

wemoss.org 2007, Last Updated July 8, 2007