August Blooms

Late summer is a wonderful time to visit the Garden. Enjoy some highlights including hibiscus, coneflowers, roses, and many more favorites.

Here are this month’s Bright Spots (PDF) highlighting current blooms and interest.

Rose Mallow

Hibiscus moscheutos is also called rose mallow, swamp rose-mallow, or sometimes Eastern rose mallow. Can you tell these beauties are related to okra and cotton? The blooms look very similar, but are larger, about 4-5 inches across.  You’ll find rose mallow in the Martha and Reed West Island Garden, along Sydnor Lake, and on the Floating Island where they help draw excess nutrients out of the water.

Cardinal Flower

Lobelia cardinalis is a tall plant topped with deep red tubular flowers on spikes. They are so bright they really pop out, even when closely planted with Joe Pye weed and rose mallow. You’ll find cardinal flower on the floating island in Lake Sydnor and in Martha and Reed West Island Garden, where it one of best places to spot hummingbirds at the Garden!

Joe Pye Weed

Eutrochium dubium ‘Little Joe’ sports buds that open to clusters of flat mauve flowers on sturdy stems. Joe Pye weed is an herbaceous perennial native to the East coast with fall flowers that famously attract all sorts of pollinators, especially butterflies. Joe Pye weed likes to keep its feet wet, so it thrives in Martha and Reed West Island Garden. ‘Little Joe’ is a commercially available compact cultivar. Blooms last until early fall and seed heads provide winter interest in the garden.


Like all our roses, Rosa ‘Barbetod’ Bella di TodiTM was chosen for its beauty and its ability to thrive and bloom repeatedly in our climate. The flowers of this hybrid tea rose are large, pale yellow, and fragrant. This bright beauty can be found in the Cochrane Rose Garden.

Japanese Windflower

Anemone hupehensis has long arching stems, flowers with five pink petals around a yellow fuzzy center. It’s as popular with pollinators as it is with our visitors. After it blooms, it holds a white seed puff that strongly resembles a small cloud on a stem.  Take note, the back of the bloom is just as lovely as the front. You’ll find this beauty in the Asian Valley and throughout the Garden.


Gardenia augusta ‘Chinese Single’ has amazing fragrance. Delicate white flowers with yellow center and starfish-like spokes.   Our gardenias just barely survived the cold last winter, but here they are giving us flowers again this summer.  You’ll find them in the Central Garden.

Emmenopterys Henryi

Emmenopterys henryi is a tree made famous by the legendary botanist, Ernest Wilson, who described the tree as “one of the most strikingly beautiful trees of Chinese forests.” The first time this species bloomed in North America was in 1994! Lucky for you, this beauty blooms each August at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden.

Scarlet Rose Mallow

Hibiscus coccineus loves sun and likes moist soil. The show-stopping 5-petal blooms can reach 5 inches in diameter or more. Our specimen is located between the Children’s Garden and Grace Arents Garden near historic Bloemendaal House is over 5 feet tall.

Panicle Hydrangea

Hydrangea paniculata ‘Dvppinky’ Pinky-Winky® is an upright shrub with oval dark green leaves and lime green panicles that turn pink as they age. Flowers at the base of the panicles vary from white to pink.  You’ll find a several of these beauties adjacent to the Children’s Garden along the Cherry Tree Walk near Sydnor Lake.

German garlic

Allium senescens subsp. montanum features purple clusters of flowers atop grassy chive-like foliage. Long-lasting blooms are just one of the reasons we love this plant. You’ll find German garlic in the Children’s Garden just to the left as you enter.


Rosa ‘Flutterbye’ features multi-color blooms on the same plant! It’s one of those really fascinating things best viewed in person, especially since you won’t want to miss the fragrance of these blooms. Like all of the roses in our Cochrane Rose Garden, we’ve chosen this one for its disease resistance, and ability to re-bloom throughout spring, summer and fall.