Colorful Foliage

Floral Artistry/John Ingram
Sat, 29 May 2004 13:49:47 PDT
Here are my top choices as a designer for most
colorful foliage:

Canna (duh, but Australia as mentioned before is the
best, combine with a bright foliage such as anything
chartreuse, i.e. Coleus, Ipomoea 'Marguerite, etc.
Toss in some hot pink or burgundy flowers for added
interest. These could be Verbena, some Lantana,
petunias, etc.)

Sinningias, Tsuh Yang said it best

Variegated Clivias - wow. The Chinese ones I have are
absolutely perfect in clarity and form.

Achimenes as Uli said are great
So are Smithianas.

Dianella (not sure of how much of a tuberous root
system there is there but the color is great to add
in. The 'Yellow Stripe' can brighten any dark corner
and has brilliant cobalt blue flowers with purple
berrries that follow.

Crinum procerum forms, Nigra, Black Beauty, Nancy,
etc. are incredible statement pieces in the garden or
in containers. They can be softened with silver
foliage of Artemesias, dusty millers, coleus,
plectranthus, etc. 

Alliums. There are many twisted silver foliage forms
of them that are great front of the border textures. 

All the colorful Elephant ears as Tsuh Yang said.

Pancratium, there are many forms but those with the
almost pure silver leaves are graet counterparts to
any annual or perennial with blue or lavender flowers.

Begonias, almost all work for color. I was at the
Huntington and noticed that there are a lot of areas
cleared in the Subtropical and Tropical Garden that
have large collections of Begonias. From inches tall
to several feet, there is a wide variety of material
here to choose from even if they aren't all tuberous. 

Oxalis, well, there are quite a few that work here.

Helleborus, are these considered geophytes? I'll lump
them here. THere are variegated and spotted and
chartereuse forms that are great in sun or shade areas
with enough water. 

Dicentra spectablis 'Gold Heart' Beautiful blender. It
combines two unusual colors, yellow and pink. 

Eucomis 'Oakhurst' & 'Sparkling Burgundy'. Same
reasons as Crinums listed above.

Violas, there are many colorful foliage forms.

Agapanthus, 'Tinkerbell', africanus 'Variegatus',
'Summer Gold', and more. Some people say they look
just like spider plants but we know that they lok

Yucca, a geophyte but not in the strict sense but
included here as there are many forms with incredible
winter and summer colors, 'Bright Edge', 'Colorgaurd',
and 'Gold Ribbons' are those most common and marketed 
by Terra Nova so there is wide distribution.

These are the closest ones to bulbs/geophytes that I
use most often. If you allowed me, I can list 1000's
of other plants that give a lot of bang for the buck
for colorful foliage, Phormiums, Astelia, bamboos,
Hebe, artemisia, and the list goes on, and on, and on,
and on, and.........

John Ingram in L.A., CA. 
Soon to become check it out soon

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