Another White

Another White | A Garden for All by Kathy Diemer

Another white (Photo credit: Kathy Diemer)

Splashes of white light up any garden space and one of my favorites is the Eastern U.S. native Parthenium integrifolium, commonly known as wild quinine. I was introduced to wild quinine about ten years ago and haven’t stopped loving it yet.  This plant produces unusual clusters of white on strong stems that rise up from the base around 3′ in height and are guaranteed to delight you.  An ornamental asset; these flat topped whorls of pearly alabaster flowers last several weeks and continue to put forth showy fresh blooms from early June to August. I do prune the florets when they brown, this may help prolong the display.

Another White | A Garden for All by Kathy Diemer

Another white (Photo credit: Kathy Diemer)

They are a wonderful garden friend to other perennials and will mingle with small shrubs quite nicely as well.  I love the way the erect stems come up through the branches of an adjacent shrub, providing additional interest.  The foliage of Parthenium integrifolium is an added bonus if you like bold leathery leaves, which a few insects do nibble periodically but the neighbor deer, bunnies and woodchucks do not!

Because it is tolerant of most any soil type, it is naturally drought tolerant once established and very low maintenance.  Parthenium integrifolium is hardy for zones 4 to 8 and prefers full sun, but will tolerate a bit of shade.  It gets to be about 2′ in diameter if you allow it, but my tendency is to leave no space unplanted and it seems do well with a little less room to stretch.

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