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Late Bloomers: Sedums, Autumn Sage, Heleniums

Sedums with dark-colored leaves look striking in the fall garden and contrast with the colorful autumn leaves.

Sedum ‘purple emperor’. (Lokal Profil in the Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh/Wikimedia Commons)

Sedums with dark-colored leaves look striking in the fall garden and contrast with the colorful autumn leaves, as well as with the chrysanthemums that bloom late, such as the daisy chrysanthemums like the pink ‘Sheffield’.

I especially like the upright sedum ‘Purple Emperor’. It has rich dark purplish black leaves and large dusty pink flat flower heads. It grows 12 inches high in zones 3-9.

‘Chocolate Ball’ is a low-growing sedum, and its deep bronze chocolate leaves resemble the form of a spruce. It forms a dense low-spreading mound that turns red as temperatures become cooler. It is only 3 to 6 inches tall in zones 4-9.

Another variety with a yummy name is ‘Chocolate Drop’, which has dark chocolate brown to bronze foliage and soft dusty rose foliage from late summer.

The autumn sage ‘Wild Thing’ has cherry red flowers with purple highlights and aromatic foliage from June to October in full sun. It can grow 24 to 30 inches high in zones 6-10.

Helenium ‘Dancing Flames’ has vibrant yellow-orange flowers from mid-summer to fall, and ‘Tiny Dancer’ has bright yellow petals surrounding a brown cone. Both of these native Heleniums bloom late and are 18 to 24 inches tall in zones 4-9.

Moya Andrews

, originally from Queensland, Australia, served as Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Faculties at Indiana University until 2004. In the same year, Moya began hosting Focus on Flowers for WFIU. In addition, Moya does interviews for Profiles, is a member of the Bloomington Hospital Board, and authored Perennials Short and Tall from Indiana University Press.

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