|Cherry Dazzle crape myrtle|
Extreme heat, erratic rainfall, and prolific pests turn southern landscapes into Olympic arenas each summer, where the goal for plants from all over the world is simply to survive. Any plant that can make it through to August still looking decent is definitely tough. Those that look great undeniably deserve a gold medal. If late summer finds your yard looking a little worse for the wear, add some of these landscape champions and expect years of stellar performances.
Plants that thrive on heat and humidity, waiting until the dog days of summer to put their best foot forward, definitely go above and beyond the call of duty. Among well known landscape plants crape myrtles certainly fall into this category, but if all you picture are trees when you think crape myrtle, get ready to expand your mind. The new Cherry Dazzle crape myrtle is a true shrub, forming tight mounds that grow 3’-4’ tall and wide and are covered in intense red flowers throughout July and August.
Other late summer winners include 'Orange Peel' Cestrum, coastal Joe Pye weed, 'Herbstonne' Rudbeckia, and wax mallow. Learn more about these plants and others by reading the rest of the article posted on the Pender Extension website: http://pender.ces.ncsu.edu/2012/08/landscape-gold-medal-winners/
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