Perennials K-Z

Knautia macedonica: Wine red, pincushion-type flowers repeat from June to September. Survives in the no-water garden in full sun. 2′ tall. Reseeds nearby to make a clump 3′ wide after a few years. Zone 5

Kniphofia ‘Golden Sceptre’ TORCH LILY: Very showy flower with yellow blooms in July. Dramatic accent in midsummer. 3′. Winter hardy here at the nursery for decades. Zone 5.

Kniphofia ‘Golden Sceptre’

Lamium maculatum ‘Pink Pewter’: Silvery foliage covered with light pink flowers. Seems to glow in a shady corner. Good as a groundcover and in a shady rock garden. Zone 4.

Leucanthemum superbum ‘Becky’ SHASTA DAISY: If you love to wander through the garden picking flowers for bouquets, you gotta have daisies! This one is very long blooming, July-September.  Deer resistant.  3′ tall. Zone 5.

Linum lewisii BLUE FLAX: Our native blue flax that blooms in May.  It is a true blue, unlike so many flowers that are called blue yet are purple or lavender.  Drought tolerant.  18” tall. Zone 4.

Lychnis chalcedonica MALTESE CROSS: An heirloom, grown in Thomas Jefferson’s garden, this perennial is topped with clusters of scarlet red flowers that attract hummingbirds and butterflies. Blooms in June and July.  Cut back for a late summer rebloom. Full sun. 30″ tall.  Zone 3.

Lysimachia nummularia ‘Goldilocks’ GOLD MONEYWORT: Great as a groundcover, excellent in hanging baskets. The round, gold leaves look their best in part to full shade. Adaptable from moist to quite dry. Zone 4. 

Melampodium leucanthum BLACK FOOT DAISY:  Small white daisies, long flowering, good for hot, sunny, dry spot in the xeriscape, also great in containers or rock gardens. Lovely with cactus, in a prairie or meadow–great plant.  Colorado native. 8″ tall and wide. Zone 4.

Monarda didyma ‘Jacob Cline’ BEEBALM: A good red with strong resistance to powdery mildew. 3′ tall. Zone 4.


In a trial of 32 different types of catmints at the Chicago Botanic Gardens, Joanna Reed and Walker’s Low were considered the best in terms of months in bloom, dense flower coverage, and hardiness.  Little Trudy wasn’t in the trial, but I believe she would have won top honors, too. All catmints that we sell are very (very) drought tolerant. All are deer resistant. Try them in the spot where nothing else will grow and watch your success–they’re that good.

Nepeta ‘Little Trudy’ CATMINT:  Silvery leaves topped with lavender blue flowers starting in May and blooming all summer and into fall. No need to deadhead, this plant blooms and blooms. 10″ tall. Very low water needs, and basically no maintenance. Zone 4.

Nepeta ‘Joanna Reed’ CATMINT: Long-flowering cultivar, with larger flowers. Midway in height between Walker’s Low and Little Trudy.  Zone 4.

Nepeta x faassenii ‘Walker’s Low’ CATMINT: This catmint has larger lavender-blue flowers than the common catmint. The leaves are smaller. Overall the effect is quite pleasant. One of the nicest. 2′-3′ tall.  Zone 4.

Origanum rotundifolium ‘Kent Beauty’ KENT BEAUTY OREGANO: One of the best of the ornamental oreganos. The hop-like bracts are light green suffused with pink; the tiny tubular flowers are lavender-pink. Very showy. Winter hardy. Zone 5.

Paeonia ‘Kansas’ PEONY: Large carmine-red flowers. An American Peony Society Gold Medal winner.Sun. 34″ tall. For full sun and moderate water. Zone 3.

Paeonia ‘Monsieur Jules Elie’  PEONY: Double light rose-pink, very fragrant . Early bloomer. 36″ tall. For full sun and moderate water. Zone 3.

 Papaver orientale ‘Turkenluis’ ORIENTAL POPPY: Rich red flowers with a black center. The flowers are fringed and exceptionally beautiful. Blooms in late spring at the same time as bearded iris and columbine. 30″ tall.  Zone 3.  (available in #1 gallon pots only.)

Papaver ‘Turkenluis’

New! Papaver orientale ‘Princess Victoria Louise’ ORIENTAL POPPY:  Pink flowers with dark blotches. Blooms in late May and early June. 28″ tall. Zone 3.

Paronychia kapela serpyllifolia NAILWORT: A great groundcover, and excellent between paving stones. Can take moderate foot traffic. Tough as nails.  We’re actually going to have a lot of this plant this spring.  Zone 4.


This large American genus contains many species that do well in Colorado—and no wonder, many of them are native to Colorado. They’re great for attracting hummingbirds and bees, great for tough, dry spots, and so beautiful, too.  We’re going to have over 10 different varieties this year. You could plant an entire garden with nothing but penstemons and have a very showy, drought tolerant, pollinator-friendly garden.

Penstemon angustifolius: This native grows just down the road from Perennial Favorites. Fantastic blue flowers in May. Xeric. Zone 4.

New! Penstemon barbatus ‘Coral Baby’: A compact form that stays tidy and blooms from May to July. Bright coral pink flowers. Zone 4.

Penstemon barbatus ‘Rondo’ : A mix of coral red, midnight blue, and light pink flowers; blooms June and July. One of the easiest penstemons to establish in gardens. Will reseed, too, so you can soon have a nice colony of them. 18″ tall. Bees love them. Zone 4.

New! Penstemon barbatus ‘Rubycunda‘: Red flowers with a white throat are larger than most penstemon flowers and very showy. Attracts hummingbirds and native bees.  18″ tall. Zone 4.

Penstemon eatonii FIRECRACKER BEARDTONGUE:  Bright red flowers in spring. A native, drought tolerant wildflower that attracts hummingbirds. 24″ tall. Zone 4.

Penstemon glaber: A good blue-purple flowered penstemon that blooms in June and again in late summer. Native to Southern Colorado. Very long-lived. Even though hummingbirds like red flowers, they love almost all the penstemons, including this blue one as you can see in the picture from our garden. 18″-24″tall. Zone 4.

New! Penstemon hallii: An alpine penstemon, native to Colorado.  Perfect for the rock garden. 8″ tall. Zone 3.  Thanks to Bob Nold for the picture.

Penstemon pinifolius PINELEAF PENSTEMON: A good penstemon for rock gardens. Fine foliage looks like a miniature pine tree. Orange-red blooms. 8″ x 10″.  Not sure about the zone for this one. Is anyone growing it at 8000’ or above?

Penstemon pinifolius ‘Aspen Gold’ : Our own selection of the best yellow we’ve seen. Blooms from July to frost. Doesn’t flop over, looks good in bloom or out. 10″ tall. XERIC!

Penstemon strictus ROCKY MTN. PENSTEMON: Tolerates sandy soil. Dark blue flowers form on 18-24 inch stalks from early to midsummer. Evergreen foliage. Zone 4.

New! Penstemon virgatus var. Asa Gray: This one is native to Colorado, and according to Bob Nold, from his book High and Dry, “easily one of the most cold-hardy, drought-tolerant penstemons on the planet.”

Penstemon x mexicali ‘Red Rocks’: Long blooming, rose-red flowers on 15″ tall plant. 1999 Plant Select. Zone 5.

Perovskia atriplicifolia RUSSIAN SAGE: Looks more like a giant lavender than a sage. Gray-green filigreed leaves. Spikes of soft lavender blue. Blooms July through Sept. 4′-5′ tall. Drought enduring and tough. Zone 5.


Native to North America, there are many species to chose from low-growing ground covers to tall stately perennials. Pollinators, especially butterflies and hummingbirds, like tall garden phlox.

Phlox paniculata ‘David’ TALL GARDEN PHLOX: Beautiful bright white tall garden phlox; fragrant; healthy foliage;

Phlox paniculata ‘Lavender David’ TALL GARDEN PHLOX: A very winter hardy phlox, This is great for the cottage garden or at the back of any flower border. Tall, but sturdy. Disease resistant. Lavender blooms in July and August. 3′ tall.

Phlox subulata ‘Purple Beauty’ CREEPING PHLOX: Good for edging a border or a rocky slope. Excellent deep lavender blue, evergreen foliage. 6″ tall.  Zone 4.

Phlox subulata ‘Red Wing’ CREEPING PHLOX: Deepest pink of all the creeping phlox.  Zone 4.

 Phlox  ‘Violet Pinwheels’  CREEPING PHLOX: This exciting new phlox is a cross of two species, Phlox bifida an Eastern species, and Phlox kelseyi, a Western species. We tried this plant in 2015 and found it to be easy to grow, long blooming, and tolerant of our alkaline soil. With its evergreen foliage, it’s a fine addition to a rock garden. 4″ tall x 18″ wide. Zone 4.

Platycodon ‘Astra Blue’ BALLOON FLOWER: Only 6″ tall with big blue flowers, it shines in the rock garden. Long blooming. Very showy. Zone 4.

Potentilla tonguei: Apricot-colored petals with wine-red center. Blooms late summer. Trailing. 2” tall by 12” wide. A favorite here at the nursery. Zone 4.

Pulsatilla vulgaris PASQUEFLOWER: Pretty purple flowers, 6-8″ tall. Blooms in spring. Good for naturalizing in a meadow, or rock garden.  Zone 3.

Ratibida columnifera MEXICAN HAT: This native has yellow petals with a prominent, narrow, dark brown cone in the center. Extremely drought tolerant. Blooms from June to August. 18″ tall. Zone 4.


Excellent succulent for the rock garden or troughs.

Rosularia chrysantha: A great succulent for the rock garden or containers. Native to Turkey. Zone 5.

Rosularia platyphylla: Making a low mat with its shiny green leaves, this rosularia is perfect for green roofs, as well as rock gardens.  Spreads quickly to cover 12″ Zone 5.

Rosularia sedoides: One of the smallest of the rosularia, this cute plant is covered with equally cute, but tiny, white flowers in the summer. Usually you don’t grow rosularia for the flowers, but this one could be the exception.  Best in a trough or other container.

Rosularia serpentinica: Dark green leaves, flushed red in summer. Nice color contrast in the garden or in pots.  Zone 5.

RUDBECKIA— Known to many as black-eyed Susan, this plant is a star in the late summer garden. From July to frost, this genus fills the garden with color.

Rudbeckia hirta ‘Autumn Colors’: This cultivar comes in shades of rust, brown, mahogany and gold.  Very striking in the late summer garden.  2′ tall. Attracts butterflies.  Zone 4.

Rudbeckia hirta ‘Denver Daisy’: Rudbeckia hirta is native to Colorado.  Denver Daisy is a particularly nice selection, with large yellow flowers and a dark reddish brown central eye and cone. Looks great planted with tall grasses in a natural setting. 2′ tall.  Full sun to part shade. Attracts butterflies. Zone 4. 2009 PLANT SELECTTM

Rudbeckia triloba BLACK-EYED SUSAN: Masses of small gold daisies with dark centers. Very nice for late summer color. Each plant yields dozens of flower stems for bouquets. 3′-4′ tall. Zone 4.

Sagina subulata IRISH MOSS: This bright green, evergreen mat is a good shade groundcover; Dense foliage looks nice among paving stones. Likes a moist soil. Zone 4.

Sagina subulata aurea SCOTCH MOSS: The golden foliage of this variety makes an excellent contrast with the above variety. Zone 4.


Drought tolerant, deer resistant, attractive to pollinators–what would we do without salvia? There’s a variety to suit any gardener, and most of us want more than one!

Salvia darcyi VERMILLION BLUFFS MEXICAN SAGE: Bright red flowers are a hummingbird beacon. Blooms from June to September. 3′ tall. Hardiness is undetermined. This survives the winter in some gardens, but not all. Worth planting as an annual for the hummingbird action. Plant Select. Zone ?

Salvia greggii ‘Ultra Violet’: Iridescent deep purple flowers from summer to fall. This accidental cross (thought to be a hummingbird initiated cross between blue-flowered Salvia lycioides and rose-pink Salvia greggii) was selected by Lauren Springer and Scott Ogden in their Ft. Collins garden. Winter hardiness is still unknown, but it has survived the last three winters in Ft. Collins. 24″ tall.

Salvia greggii ‘Furman’s Red’: Dark red flowers bloom off and on all summer. Incredible plant to attract hummingbirds–and hummingbird moths! Really, all the red salvias should be planted in a hummingbird garden. Hardiness….questionable. Survives most winters in Pueblo; for those of us at higher elevations, Salvia greggii needs a warm dry spot for the winter. Try planting it near a rock on a south facing site.  2005 Plant Select.  2′ tall.

Salvia nemerosa ‘Snow Hill’: This salvia is a bright white, but just as hardy as it’s purple cousins. Zone 4.

Salvia nemerosa ‘Caradonna’: Purple stems and blue-purple flowers. Stands out in the garden. 18″ tall. Xeric. Zone 4.

Salvia nemerosa ‘May Night’: Covered with masses of deep purple flowers May-July. Deadhead after the first flush of bloom and it will flower again in the fall. 18” tall. Xeric. Zone 4.

Salvia darcyi x microphylla ‘Windwalker’  Big red flowers bring the hummingbirds to your garden. 3′ tall x 3′ wide. Zone 5? This is supposed to be one of the hardiest red salvias, but it didn’t survive the winter in my garden. I’m trying it again because this plant is gorgeous! Sure to be a winner in Pueblo and lower elevations.

Satureja montana illyrica BLUE WINTER SAVORY: An evergreen mound with blue flowers in late summer. Excellent rock garden plant. Edible herb, too. 6″ tall. Zone 4.

Scabiosa  ‘Butterfly Blue’ PINCUSHION FLOWER: Lavender blue flowers; blooms from June to frost. 15″ tall. Zone 5.


This great group of succulents has a lot going for it–texture, leaf color, flower color, heat and drought tolerance. The only negative that I can see is that deer like them.  In general, here at the nursery, they only eat the taller varities like Sedum ‘Autumn Joy,’ and don’t bother the lower ones like ‘Angelina’ or ‘Voodoo.’

Sedum globosum OLD MAN’S BONES: Fat, round leaves, about 1/4″ long and wide. A shiny green, flushed red in cool weather. Very cute. 2″ tall. Zone 4.

Sedum hybridum OAK LEAF SEDUM:Yellow flowers on low-growing oak leaf-looking green foliage. Makes a tight, care-free mat.  Earliest blooming sedum in April or May. Zone 4.

Sedum makinoi ‘Ogon’: The golden foliage is an excellent accent with other succulents. A low spreading sedum that looks attractive in containers, too. Likes a shady spot as well as a sunny one. Not very winter hardy, but great in pots in the summer. Survives in some protected outdoor spots or a cold frame in Rye. Zone 6?

Sedum pachyclados STONECROP: Tidy rosettes of bluish leaves. Not a rapid spreading groundcover, but a good one for the rock garden. Native to Afghanistan. 4″ tall. Zone 4.

Sedum rupestre ‘Angelina’ STONECROP: The golden yellow foliage provides a nice contrast in the garden or in pots and baskets, but it is the fall and winter color that make this plant so amazing! It turns a brilliant golden orange with cool weather in October. Zone 4.

Sedum sieboldii OCTOBER PLANT: 10″-12″ tall; pink blooms in September. Zone 4.

Sedum spectabile ‘Autumn Fire’ AUTUMN JOY SEDUM: Pink flowers age to rust.  Holds its color longer than Sedum ‘Autumn Joy.’ For sun to part shade. Attracts butterflies.  2′ tall. Zone 3.

Sedum spurium ‘John Creech’: Very low-growing sedum with pink blooms in June. The small, scalloped leaves make this irresistible to the succulent lover. Zone 3.

Sedum spurium ‘Voodoo’: Deepest red yet in this species. Lovely contrast with other colors in the garden. 6″ tall. Zone 3.

Sempervivum HENS & CHICKS: Green ones, red ones, fuzzy cobwebs…we have an amazing assortment of these succulent rock garden standards–all named cultivars, but too many to list separately. Great for troughs, too. Zone 4.

Solidago nana GOLDENROD: This is a small version of the more familiar tall goldenrod. It is native to the foothills of Colorado and during the very dry summer of 2012, it bloomed near Rye!  Definitely a plant to include in your prairie wildflower garden.  8″ tall, maybe taller in a wet year. Zone 4.

Stachys byzantina ‘Silver Carpet’ LAMBS EARS: Soft fuzzy silver leaves make a great groundcover. No flowers to spoil the effect or send seeds everywhere. 12″ tall. Zone 4.

Tanacetum niveum SNOW DAISY: Silver foliage is covered with small white daisies in early summer. Grows in a mound, 12″ x 12″. Easy to grow in almost any garden. Prefers full sun. Drought tolerant. Zone 4.

Tanacetum vulgare ‘Crispum’ TANSY, FERN LEAF: This curly-leafed tansy is slow to spread. The foliage is very interesting and if and when it flowers (not often in Rye) the gold buttons are also attractive. Drought tolerant. Zone 4.

Tanacetum vulgare ‘Isla Gold’ TANSY: Golden, fern-like foliage with yellow button flowers in August. Very unusual and great contrast in the garden or for larger containers. The flowers dry well for use in flower crafting. 24″ tall. Zone 4.

Teucrium chamaedrys GERMANDER: Dwarf evergreen shrubs, excellent for edging an herb garden or in a rock garden for all-season interest. Tiny, shiny, dark green leaves on this upright plant. Pink flowers in summer. Excellent for topiary, too. 12″ tall.

Teucrium cossonii (aroanium) MAJORCA GERMANDER: This has been my favorite teucrium for a long time  The leaves are silvery-green and sweetly scented. The lavender flowers are produced over a long period from mid to late summer. Rock garden gem.  Very drought tolerant, too. 6″ tall. Zone 5.

Thermopsis montana GOLDEN BANNER: This native can survive many a severe drought, but it won’t bloom if it doesn’t have moisture in April and early May. Planted in a watered garden, it has a tendency to spread and spread. That can be good or bad, depending. 2′ tall. Zone 4.


One of our favorite ground covers, the texture and color make the garden much more interesting. Nature abhors a vacuum, so don’t leave bare ground for weeds to take over. Cover it with thyme!

Thymus banaticus ‘Rapunzel’: Fine leaves look good trailing over rocks, a very pretty thyme from Robert Brown. Zone 5.

Thymus ‘Juniper’: Gray green leaves and mauve pink flowers; low water needs; 1″-2″ tall, 12″ wide. Zone 4.

Thymus necceffi THYME:This thyme belongs in the rock garden; deep pink flowers and dark green leaves are very attractive. An inch or less tall, spreading to 10″ wide.

Thymus praecox ‘Coccineus’ CREEPING RED THYME: Very low growing variety with reddish purple flowers. Zone 5.

Thymus praecox ‘Pink Chintz’: Dark green leaves, pretty light pink flowers. Good between pavers.

Thymus pseudolanginosus WOOLY THYME:Fuzzy-leafed grayish-colored thyme. Great contrast in the garden. Likes a gravely, rocky site. Zone 5.

Thymus ‘Soft Landing’ SOFT LANDING THYME: Another thyme from Robert Brown, this one spreads quickly to tumble over rocks and cliffs. Too large to fit between paving stones, it’s a great plant for stone walls and slope gardens. Zone 4.

Thymus x citriodorus ‘Doone Valley’ DOONE VALLEY THYME: Beautiful ground cover, the small shiny green leaves are splashed with gold. Very fragrant lemon scent when stepped on. This can be used as a culinary herb, too. We were so impressed with this thyme when it survived above Rye in a garden that is only watered one month out of the year! Zone 4.

Trifolium purpureum PURPLE CLOVER: Purple leaves edged in green. Great groundcover. Zone 4.


Another genus we like to collect, there are so many fine ones. The creeping veronicas are some of the most drought tolerant groundcover you can find. Excellent in the xeriscape.

Veronica liwanensis TURKISH VERONICA:Tiny, shiny, round leaves. Intense blue flowers. Creeper. Blooms May-June.  Zone 4.

Veronica ‘Mars: A cross between Veronica tauricola and Veronica pectinata, the foliage is gray and the flowers are royal blue with a white eye. Very nice low mounding form, long blooming and even repeats in the fall. Destined for greatness in the xeriscape. Zone 4.

Veronica ‘Tidal Pool’: A cross between Veronica armena and Veronica pectinata, this is a drought tolerant spreading ground cover. Blue flowers in mid spring to early summer. Evergreen.  Zone 4.

Vinca minor PERIWINKLE:Low-growing evergreen ground cover smothered with blue flowers in spring. Shade. Zone 4.

Vinca minor ‘Atropurpurea’: A periwinkle with unusual deep wine-red flowers. Perhaps not as vigorous at the common blue-flowered periwinkle, but very pretty.  Zone 4.


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