In the September/October 2009 issue of Gardening How-To, writer Glen O. Seibert described some robust plants that keep garden color vibrant deep into fall. Here are a few more fall-flowering favorites, as well as choices for beautiful autumn foliage, berries, and seeds.
• Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia fulgida, Zones 4 to 9). Perennial; masses of golden flowers.
• Boltonia (Boltonia asteroides, Zones 4 to 9). Perennial; tall stems of pink to white flowers.
• Goldenrod (Solidago spp., Zones 5 to 9; hardiness varies by cultivar). Perennial; deadhead to prevent self-sowing.
• New York aster (Symphyotrichum novi-belgii, Zones 4 to 8). Perennial; flowers are shades of red, pink, white, violet, and blue.
• Resurrection lily (Lycoris squamigera, Zones 6 to 11) Hardy bulb; spring foliage goes dormant in summer; pink flowers bloom in fall.
• Sneezeweed (Helenium autumnale, Zones 4 to 8). Perennial; yellow, orange, and bronze flowers.
• Toad lily (Tricyrtis hirta, Zones 4 to 9). Perennial; stems lined with purple-spotted flowers.
• Blue star flower (Amsonia hubrechtii, Zones 5 to 9). Perennial; narrow leaves turn bright yellow.
• Bottlebrush buckeye (Aesculus parviflora, Zones 5 to 9). Shrub; yellow fall color.
• Common witch hazel (Hamamelis virginiana, Zones 3 to 8). Shrub; yellow fall foliage and flowers.
• Dwarf fothergilla (Fothergilla gardenii, Zones 5 to 9). Shrub; red, orange, and yellow fall color; white spring flowers.
• Japanese barberry* (Berberis thunbergii, Zones 5 to 8). Shrub; orange and red fall color.
• Redvein enkianthus (Enkianthus campanulatus, Zones 5 to 8). Shrub; orange-yellow to red fall color; bell-shaped flowers in spring.
• Virginia creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia, Zones 3 to 9). Woody vine; red fall color.
• American bittersweet (Celastrus scandens, Zones 3 to 8). Woody vine; needs male and female plant for orange berries.
• Blackberry lily (Belamcanda chinensis, Zones 5 to 9). Perennial; seeds look like blackberries.
• Flowering crabapple (Malus spp., Zones 3 to 8; hardiness varies by cultivar). Tree; white to pink spring flowers; holds fruit for wildlife.
• Purple beautyberry* (Callicarpa dichotoma, Zones 6 to 8). Shrub; bright-purple fruit; pink summer flowers.
• Scarlet firethorn (Pyracantha coccinea, Zones 6 to 9). Shrub; bright orange-red berries.
• Smooth sumac (Rhus glabra, Zones 2 to 8). Shrub; yellow to red fall color; on female plants, clusters of crimson fruit into winter.
• Winterberry (Ilex verticillata, Zones 5 to 8). Shrub; requires male and female plants for bright red fruit.
• Clematis (Clematis cultivars, Zones 3 to 9; hardiness varies by cultivar). Vine; fuzzy seed heads; various colors of flowers in summer.
• Eulalia grass (Miscanthus sinensis, Zones 4 to 9). Perennial grass; graceful seed heads last most of the winter.
• Money plant* (Lunaria annua, Zones 5 to 9). Biennial; paper-white seed pods; purple or white flowers.
• Northern sea oats (Chasmanthium latifolium, Zones 5 to 9). Perennial grass; segmented seed heads age to bronze.
• Plains false indigo (Baptisia australis, Zones 3 to 9). Perennial; black seedpods; indigo-blue summer flowers.
• Sea holly (Eryngium spp., Zones 3 to 10; hardiness varies by cultivar). Perennial; spiky, blue-gray bracts remain after blue summer flowers fade.
*These plants may be invasive in your area. Check with your local county extension service or state Department of Natural Resources.