Favorite Foliage

We asked local landscape professionals their favorite plant, flower or tree in their own yard.

By Melissa Mauzy


For our October design issue, we asked local landscapers their favorite plant, flower or tree in their own yard. Check out what St. Louis professionals pick to beautify their gardens.

Solomon’s Seal
“The variegated Solomon's Seal, Polygonatum is an elegant beauty for the woodland or shade garden, or as a tough groundcover. Its lovely arching stems with large, colorful leaves support dangling sweetly scented white flowers. Solomon's Seal's variegated foliage looks fantastic all season, even in drought years! It thrives in the toughest spot of all, dry shade. The stems are fantastic in fresh arrangements. It was named the 2013 Perennial Plant of the Year for its outstanding qualities.” Ann Lapides, Sugar Creek Gardens.

Japanese Maple
“One of my favorite all-time plants is the Bloodgood Japanese Maple Acer Palmatum. This tree can be planted in groups for a dramatic effect, or singularly to be a focal point for a garden. The maroon foliage really stands out and provides tons of visual and textural contrast. The tree has an amazing trunk/branch structure that lends extremely well to uplighting. These specimen trees each have their own character and shape that, when managed/pruned appropriately, provide a very long-lasting anchor to any garden/landscape.” Eric Ringhofer, Green Guys.

Persian Parrotia
“The Persian Parrotia would have to be my favorite tree at my house. It has a stately presence along my front walk that would be hard to replace. It’s a low-maintenance ornamental tree that performs well in dry weather. The branching structure is ornate and during the fall the foliage comes to life with a muddling of yellows, oranges and reds that eventually give way to the unique branching structure and exfoliating cream, green and gray bark in winter.“ Daniel Mee, Frisella Nursery.

Crape Myrtle
"Crape Myrtles are one of my favorite trees for several reasons.  They give great summer color for the landscape. I also enjoy the multi-stem nature of many Crape Myrtle varieties. As the plant matures, the bark has an exfoliating nature ,which adds unique texture and winter interest." Jim Graeler, Chesterfield Valley Nursery.

Heavenly Bamboo or Nandina
“Heavenly Bamboo or Nandina is a family of colorful plants.  They bloom in the spring, have red berries in the fall and winter and have red-leaf color in the winter. Some varieties do not bloom or have berries but have colorful foliage.  Nandina are extremely drought tolerant and thrived in last summer's heat and drought.” Jim Meiners, Prestige Landscape.