We sell a wide variety of ornamental plants at Surfing Hydrangea. The vast majority of these are descendants of plants that were collected from Asia or other parts of the world. Although exotic plants are beautiful and often do very well here, they are not part of the ecosystem that has developed here since the Laurentide glacier began to retreat twenty thousand years ago. Many of our native fauna depend on the plants they evolved with as a food source and shelter. By planting more native plants we are supporting the animals that have been living here long before humans set foot on the island.
Culvers root, Veronicastrum virginicum, is a beautiful plant, native to moist meadows, stream banks and bright woodlands in the North East, that makes a stunning garden plant as well. This plant is particularly attractive to bees, helping to attract more pollinators to the garden. The lance-like leaves of this stately perennial are arranged in whorls, radiating around the stems at regular intervals. In early to mid-summer, spiky white, candle abrum-shaped flowers appear on the top of the 4-6′ tall stems. Veronicastrum thrives in full sun in moist to wet fertile soils, but tolerates some shade and average soil is just fine. In shady sites, they may require some staking, and don’t them dry out; they will drop their leaves quickly if they dry out even once.
Veronicastrum look equally beautiful in cottage gardens as a “see through plant” or in great swaths in naturalistic plantings in the style of Piet Oudolf. There are several cultivars available in addition to the white-flowered species in varying shades of lavender and pink. Try ‘Fascination’ or ‘Adoration’ for lilac/pink or ‘Apollo’ for a pastel lavender.