Written by Tolly Beck
Tolly Beck is the horticulturist at Lasdon Park and Arboretum in Westchester County. She was formerly a horticulture educator for New York Botanical Gardens in the Bronx and Cornell Cooperative Extension of Rockland, NY.
What’s In Bloom
franklin tree Franklinia alatamaha
common heather Calluna vulgaris
Hydrangea spp. and cvs.
black-eyed-Susan Rudbeckia hirta
bluebeard Caryopteris x clandonensis ‘Blue Mist’
goldenrod Solidago spp.
Japanese anemone Anemone x hybrida
Joe-Pye-weed Eupatorium spp.
monkshood Aconitum napellus
Montauk daisy Nipponanthemum nipponicum
New York aster Novi-belgii
plantain lily Hosta spp. and cvs.
purple coneflower Echinacea purpurea
yellow corydalis Corydalis lutea
In the Spotlight
Perennial beds often look a bit tired at the end of summer. If you are looking for a perennial to brighten up your garden in fall, the Montauk Daisy (Nipponanthemum nipponicum) would be an excellent choice. This outstanding perennial is native to Japan but acquired its common name when it became naturalized after being planted in the area surrounding the town of Montauk on Long Island.
The Montauk Daisy produces lovely, white, 2-3” daisies from early fall often into November. The flowers attract butterflies and bees which is an additional plus in autumn when many perennial flowers often have finished for the year. Deadhead spent flowers to encourage more flowers to bloom. Cut flowers make a beautiful, long-lasting contribution to fall flower arrangements. Montauk Daisies are rabbit and deer resistant so flowers are undisturbed.
Full sun and a well-drained soil are the conditions preferred by Montauk Daisies. The glossy, thick succulent-like leaves of this perennial is an indication that it is drought tolerant. Drought tolerant plants (or xeriscape plants) need to be watered well the first year that they are planted to allow their root systems to become established. By the second season, these plants can usually survive periods of drought and do not need supplemental watering.
Montauk Daisies may become almost shrub-like at 3’x 3’ and may have stems that flop if they are left unpruned. For shorter, fuller plants cut back stems in late June by one-half. When you are visiting Lasdon Park this fall, you can see a mature Montauk Daisy planted in the Ilse Biederman memorial garden located in the Magnolia Grove. Montauk Daisies are also planted at the base of the retaining wall on the right side of the conservatory. The crisp, bright white flowers put on quite a show!