Top Plant Picks April 2021

Top Plant Picks April 2021

Spring has sprung, and our gardens are in full bloom here at Cheekwood! Cheekwood’s Plant Collections Manager, Shanna Jones, shares her top plant picks for April. Use this as your guide as you explore the grounds!

Pawpaw (Asimina triloba)

Bloom Time: April – May

Sun Requirement: Full sun – part shade

Water Requirement: Medium to wet

Wildlife: Raccoons, squirrels, and possums love the fruit

Tolerates: Wet soil

Native to North America: Yes

Other: Spreads by roots to form tree colonies. Fruit is fully developed by September here and tastes like banana custard!

Zones: 5 – 9

Location: Howe Garden and the Ann and Monroe Carell Jr. Family Sculpture Trail

Katsura Tree (Cercidiphyllum japonica ‘Pendulum’)

Bloom Time: March – April

Sun Requirement: Full sun – part shade

Water Requirement: Medium

Wildlife: Bees

Tolerates: Clay soil

Native to North America: No

Other: Native to Japan & China. Yellow fall color. Pendulous form provides winter interest.

Zones: 4 – 8

Location: Bracken Foundation Children’s Garden

Flowering Dogwood (Cornus florida ‘Plena’)

Bloom Time: April – May

Sun Requirement: Part Shade

Water Requirement: Medium

Wildlife: Bees, birds, and butterflies

Tolerates: Deer, Clay Soil

Native to North America: Yes

Other: Double white flower

Zones: 5 – 9

Location: Carell Dogwood Garden

Flowering Dogwood (Cornus florida Red Beauty®)

Bloom Time: April – May

Sun Requirement: Part Shade

Water Requirement: Medium

Wildlife: Bees, birds, and butterflies

Tolerates: Deer, Clay Soil

Native to North America: Yes

Other: Heavy bloomer with rosey-red color. A hybrid developed through the Rutgers University dogwood breeding program.

Zones: 5 – 9

Location: Carell Dogwood Garden

Barrenwort/Bishops Hat (Epimedium)

Bloom Time: March – May

Sun Requirement: Part shade – full shade

Water Requirement: Dry – medium

Tolerates: Deer & heavy shade

Native to North America: No

Other: Perfect contenders for dry, shady gardens. Flowers appear before the foliage.

Zones: 5 – 9

Location: Carell Dogwood Garden, Robinson Family Water Garden, Howe Garden, and Burr Terrace Garden

Small Anise Tree (Illicium parviflorum)

Bloom Time: April – May

Sun Requirement: Part shade – full shade

Water Requirement: Dry – medium

Wildlife: Bees & butterflies

Tolerates: Heavy shade, wet soil

Native to North America: Yes

Other: Fragrant and evergreen, spreads by root suckers to form colonies.

Zones: 7 – 10

Location: Bracken Foundation Children’s Garden, Howe Garden, and Carell Dogwood Garden

Kerria (Kerria japonica ‘Golden Guinea’)

Bloom Time: April – May

Sun Requirement: Part shade

Water Requirement: Medium

Wildlife: Bees

Tolerates: Deer & heavy shade

Native to North America: No

Other: This cultivar can grow up to 8 feet tall. Serves well as a single specimen or as a mass planting. Best to prune in spring after flowering.

Zones: 4 – 9

Location: Bracken Foundation Children’s Garden

Mountain azalea (Rhododendron canescens)

Bloom Time: April

Sun Requirement: Part shade

Water Requirement: Medium

Wildlife: Butterflies & Hummingbirds

Tolerates: Rabbit

Native to North America: Yes

Other: Loves acidic soils! Flowers are lightly fragrant. Perfect for open, shady woodland areas.

Zones: 5 – 9

Location: Blevins Japanese Garden, Bracken Foundation Children’s Garden, and Carell Dogwood Garden


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