When we think of fall color, we almost always think about trees and shrubs. However, there are a number of great perennials who strut their stuff in a whole new way when the temperatures drop.
Wild Geranium, also goes by the awful common name of “Bloody Cranesbill” (Geranium sanguineum) which clearly no one thought through the mental imagery when naming this lovely perennial. It’s lovely with just hints of red foliage color during the growing season but it transforms in the Fall with screaming red color– a total knock out!
Amsonia is a rather tepid garden plant providing some demure blue flowers in spring then non-descript summer green foliage. However, the vivid yellow hue of the foliage in fall is a can’t miss event.
Plumbago (Ceratostigma plumbaginoides) is a waterwise groundcover perennial with abundant cobalt blue flowers and foliage which colors up to a vivid burgundy-red in the fall. If you can find the cultivar ‘My Love’ you’ll get vivid yellow foliage from spring until fall AND the trademark cobalt blue flowers.
Sedums can provide interesting color and foliage year-round depending upon the variety. I’m honestly not sure if the sedum below is the cultivar ‘Autumn Joy’ (Sedum ‘Herbstfreude’) or ‘Matrona’ (Sedum ‘Matrona’) but either way, it’s gorgeous!
Our native plants can put on a pretty good show too! One of my favorites is Sulphur Buckwheat (Eriogonum umbellatum) which boasts a burgundy fall color that one-ups the other plants by retaining that burgundy foliage all winter long as an evergreen perennial.
And then there is the very dependable and amazing Sundancer Daisy (Tetraneuris acaulis). This guy didn’t get the memo that Fall is ALMOST gone. Nope. Every year he’ll keep blooming well into November/December. Last year I enjoyed their cheerful yellow daisy selves poking out of a pile of snow!