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Published: Thursday, August 22, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

Plant Picks

  • The unbrella plant's white summer flowers develop into blue berries.

    Rick Peterson / Great Plant Picks

    The unbrella plant's white summer flowers develop into blue berries.

WHAT: Diphylleia cymosa gets its common name, umbrella tree, from its growth pattern, reaching 3 to 4 feet tall then opening like a green umbrella.
Flowering stems reach just above the foliage with dome-shaped clusters of small white blooms. In late summer the small flowers develop into spectacular blue berries each attached to a bright red stem.
This late season show will last well into fall.
WHY PLANT IT: The bold leaves look great all summer long and the bright blue berries are brilliant in the fall.The umbrella plant also attacts bees.
WHERE: Plant this dramatic perennial in light to dappled shade avoiding locations with hot afternoon sun. It will grow best in rich moist soil, but will tolerate clay.
Provide regular watering during dry weather. This large leaf plant resents drying out in summer. Once the foliage yellows in fall it can be cut to the ground.
SIZE: The unbrella plant will grow to 4 feet high and 5 feet wide.
Story tags » Gardening

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