"Traditional Herbs for Winter Interest"

Holding on

Meadowsweet
Filipendula hexapetula

A hardy perennial native to the northern temperate regions. The clump in the border of Section A had some leftover fall tints mixed with the bright new foliage, graceful fern-like leaves. Look for flower panicles on tall stems in late spring or summer.

Filipendula hexapetula



Sisyrinchium striatum




Huilmo
Sisyrinchium striatum

A clump-forming native of South America; look for greenish-yellow inflorescences (flowers) in the summer. Hortus notes that it's not hardy at low temperatures, and indeed, the darkened tips of its pale sword-shaped leaves indicate the toll winter takes. I still like it. Something about it says character-under-adversity to me. (Section A)


Middle-Eastern Rue
Ruta chalepensis

Rohde praises the "curious blue-green foliage" of R. graveolens for being "as vivid in mid-winter as in summer." The Garden's related species is not exactly vivid, with some expired foliage here and there, but certainly shows its tenaciousness. There are abundant buds, which will open to yellow flowers when they get their cue. Meanwhile, tear a small leaf portion (carefully--Rue is a skin irritant for some people) and find out if you belong to the camp that finds it "rank smelling" or "aromatic." It's no wonder that sprigs of Rue were once carried to ward off the Plague. (Section B)
Ruta chalepensis

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