Save an Heirloom Plant

Each club is asked to choose one or more from a list Each club is asked to choose one or more from a list of Heirloom plants that are in danger of fading into the past, register their choices with the Heirloom Preservation Committee and over the course of the  competition, May 1, 2016 – May 1, 2017, plant the chosen plants in their own members and civic gardens. We need to record what, where and when the plants are planted.
Plants already planted in your gardens do not count; only new plantings. The clubs with the most new plantings will win a $50 gift certificate from Weston Nurseries.

The Garden Club of Norfolk has chosen the perennials Blue False Indigo (Baptisia australis) first offered in 1787 and Maltese Cross (Lychnis Chalcedonica) first offered in 1796. We planted seeds for both at our Winter Sowing Workshop so we hope to have many seedlings
available. More mature plants are also available at many online and local nurseries. Will you help by planting one or more? To aid you in your planning, Weston Nurseries
has indicated the following plants will be available, the size, availability and the price for this spring’s quote:

Blue False Indigo (Baptisia Australis)1 gallon @ $ 15.00
Sweet Pepper Bush (Clethra Alnifolia) 3 gallon@ $ 44.99
Gas Plant (Dictamnus Albus) 2 quart@ $ 14.99
Peony ‘Festiva Maxima 3 gallon@ $ 31.50
Snowberry (Symphoricarpos Albus) 2 gallon@ $ 26.99

These plants enrich our lives and our surroundings, but are in danger of fading into the past. Heirloom plants connect us with our family, our national roots and provide lasting continuity between successive generations. These plants are to be appreciated, cherished and preserved for future generations. We ask that you please, “Preserve American Heirloom Plants.”

All plants listed are hardy to this zone and are available onUne at specialized nurseries and at Weston Nurseries especially if ordered in the early spring. In parenthesis is the first year there is primary source documentation that a plant was cultivated on American soil or offered by an American nursery or seed house.

Historic Preservation “Save an Heirloom Plant Contest” Rules

  • Each club is asked to choose one of the heirloom plants listed below.
  • Over the course of the competition, each club should plant their selected Heirloom Plant in their own gardens and in their civic plantings.
  • Participating clubs are asked to register with the Historic Preservation Committee (form below) by May 1, 2016.
  • One year later, clubs will submit another form listing what they planted, where and the date.
  • Three $50 gift certificates from Weston Nurseries will be given to clubs with the most plantings; one for a large club, a medium club & a small club.
  • Contest ends May 1, 2017.


Name of Club: ________________Contact Person:_______________
Phone:______________________ Email______________________

Plant Selection (Choose One)

__ Blue False Indigo          __ Sweet Pepper Bush          __  Gas Plant
__ Maltese Cross                __ Mock Orange                      __ Moss Rose
__ Snowberry                      __ Peony ‘Festive Maximum’

Send to Winnie Fitzpatrick, PO Box 605, West Falmouth MA 02574
Deadline: May 1, 2016.


blue false indigo

BLUE FALSE INDIGOBaptisia Australis – (Bartram, Philadelphia 1787)
Description: A native perennial, it has violet-blue spikes of pea-like flowers, 12-24 in. long. Foliage is attractive after blooming. Fruit is a bluish-black pod 1 in. long with stems that a silvery gray and break off from the roots when seeds mature. Cherokees, other Indian tribes and early colonists used it as a blue dye. Roots were used in medicinal ways.

 Culture: Bloom time is June-July. It needs full sun to light shade and well drained soil. It is tough, grows to 3-4 feet in both height and width. It does not transplant well, so care should be taken in its placement. It is low maintenance and attracts butterflies & bees. Once established, it is drought resistant and seldom has insect or disease problems. Deer ignore it.

sweet [e[[er bisj

SWEET PEPPER BUSHClethora alnifolia – (John Bartram, Philadelphia 1751)
Description: It is a native deciduous shrub with a wonderful fragrance, long lasting flowers, good yellow fall foliage, and winter structure with seed pods lasting all winter. It is very late to leaf out in the spring, and flowers in mid summer for 6 weeks. It’s fragrant flowers attract butterflies and pollinators. It grows 3-10 feet tall.

Culture: It required neutral to mildly acid pH, and is moderately salt tolerant and grows near beaches and in slightly wet areas. It is shade tolerant, preferring dappled shade, but can grow in full sun. It is deer resistant and generally trouble free.




GAS PLANTDictamnus albus – (John Custis, ca. 1741)
Description: A perennial it grows 16-39 in. high x 2-3 ft. wide. Its five-petaled flowers are pale purple to white with long projecting stamens, and form a loose pyramidal spike. It has glossy green lemon-scented leaves. It emits a substance that is flammable.

Culture: It blooms June-July. Plant in a well-drained, heavy soil with organic matter, in full sun or light shade. I t is slow growing, deer resistant and attracts butterflies and birds.


maltese cross


MALTESE CROSS – Lychnis chalcedonica – (Goldwaite & Moore, Philadelphia 1796)
Description: A perennial, it grows 2-3 ft. tall and has dark green leaves, opposite each other on a hairy stem. Its rounded bright orange to red flower head has many florets with five petals in a cross shape in each floret. It was brought to Europe during the Crusades by the Knights of Malta and can be found at Monticello, Thomas Jefferson’s home.

Culture: It grows in full sun to part shade, in loose, rich soil that drains well and is drought tolerant. It needs deadheading for continuous bloom, and is attractive to butterflies, bees and hummingbirds. Staking may be required.


moss rose

MOSS ROSERosa centifolia cristata – (Winter, New York 1844)
Description: This deciduous shrub is also called Chapeau de Napoleon. It has large (2 to 3″ across), globular, fragrant, double flowers in pink with about 100 broad petals curving toward the center and bloom in clusters. It blooms only once. It grows 4 to 5 ft. tall x 3 to 5 ft. wide. Growth is sticky to the touch & gives off a resinous odor like a balsam fir. Grown for use in rose oil & perfume.

Culture: Root stock must be planted deeply to survive. If it dies back to the ground, it will come back in the spring. It needs full sun.



SONY DSCMOCK ORANGEPhiladelphus coronarius – (Prince, New York, 1771)
Description: It is a deciduous shrub, 10-12 feet tall with profuse, sweetly scented white bowl-shaped blossoms with a prominent stamens. It is fast growing with arching fountain-like form, and fits especially well in corners. It blooms in early summer and its leaves are said to taste like cucumber.

Culture: it needs full sun or partial shade, good fringe, regular to moderate watering, and is drought tolerant once it is established. It is adaptable to a wide range of soils and is deer resistant.


PEONY ‘FESTIVE MAXIMUM’Paeonia lactifolia – (Hovey, Boston 1852)

Description: An herbaceous perennial, it is an early flowering double with a pure white fragrant flowers with splashes of crimson stripes in the center. Peonies are referred to as “century plants” as many old varieties have persisted in private gardens and the nursery trade.

Culture: Peonies do best in sun with soil with good drainage. Plant eyes on roots 1-2: below the soil surface and have patience.


SNOWBERRYSymphoricarpos albus – (John Bartram, Philadelphia 1807)
Description: A native shrub, 4 feet tall, its flowers are pink in small clusters that turn to large white marble-like-berries on delicate stem, lasting long after foliage has fallen. It is listed as endangered on the Massachusetts Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program.

Culture: It accepts poor soil and exposed sites and is drought tolerant. It prefers full sun or dry shade and is good for holding hillsides. It self-propagates. Snowberry may easily become a hedge.