Winter Color to Cheer the Seasonal Chill

Winter Color to Cheer the Seasonal Chill
After cold weather arrives and summer blooms fade, the cure for winter gray is a good dose of color to raise the spirits. Plants with cool-weather color are not as scarce as you may think and offer colors from sunny yellow and cheerful pink to traditional red. You will find plenty of color – from foliage, bark, flowers, and fruit – to incorporate into the landscape to brighten a drab winter garden..


Aloe arborescens
Aloe arborescens – Tree Aloe has large beautiful flowers, attractive foliage, decorative form, and is easy to grow. The large colorful flower spikes from December to February make this a favorite ornamental. Deep orange is the most common color, with colors ranging from vermilion to clear yellow. As with all the aloes, the flowers produce nectar and are attractive to birds that flit from flower to flower in search of a snack.
Heteromeles arbutifolia
Heteromeles arbutifolia – Better known as Toyon or California Holly, this festive California native has stiff evergreen foliage and dense clusters of bright red berries that make it a favorite for holiday wreaths, as well as a winter snack for the local wildlife. It does best in full sun to light shade, with little to no summer water once established. Dense shrub will grow 6-10 feet tall or prune to form a small multi-trunked tree.
Erythrina caffra
Erythrina caffra – A mature Kaffirboom Coral Tree in full flower is a spectacular sight. The tree is valued for its big clusters of scarlet-orange tubular flowers, which appear from the cold winter months up to spring. Its popularity can be ascribed to its ease of cultivation and long flowering period. It is an excellent specimen tree that requires plenty of room for its spread of 40-60 feet and height to 40 feet.
Papaver nudicaule
Papaver nudicaule – Drifts of Iceland Poppy produce a lavish display of large saucer-shaped blooms from winter to early spring. Favored as a colorful border, this short-lived perennial is usually grown as a cool-weather annual. From hairy tufts of linear blue-green foliage rise wiry stems bearing a pendant bud. The petals unfold into a range of springtime colors. Poppies make excellent cut flowers and picking them encourages more blooms.
Camellia japonica 'Debutante'
Camellia japonica 'Debutante' – Keep this beauty in easy view. An abundance of clear, light pink flowers cover this lustrous evergreen shrub from January to March. This classic shade-loving shrub makes an excellent foundation plant that flourishes in northern or eastern exposures, away from the afternoon sun. The long-lasting flowers bloom early and profusely.
Cyclamen persicum
Cyclamen persicum – The aptly named Florist's Cyclamen has large white, pink, purple, or red flowers atop long stems, held upright above heart-shaped dark-green foliage. Florist's cyclamen can be grown in pots as well as outside in rich, porous soil where it blooms from late fall to spring. The plants go dormant in hot weather so they make good companions to summer-blooming plants for a year-round show of color.
Primula obconica
Primula obconica – German Primrose makes an excellent bedding plant in shady areas, with nearly endless blooms in mild regions. The 1 to 2 inch blossoms are grouped in broad clusters on 12" stems in colors of pink, lavender, white, and reddish purple. This evergreen perennial with large, soft leaves is commonly grown as an annual.

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