Published on: February 28, 2017

Looking forward to spring and a new season of planting and growing, we asked our horticulture staff to share some of their favorite plants from last year and what made them stand out. Be sure to look for these when you visit the Garden.  Have questions? Email us.

Jenn Smith
Curator of A.R. and Marylouise Tandy Floral Terraces

Canna ‘Orange Punch’

The bright blooms on these cannas are mouth-watering orange!  During foggy mornings, these cannas and the Spring Giant can be seen peeking through the haze in the Children’s Discovery Garden. These Florida orange blooms are the perfect companion against the summer blue sky.   


Kniphofia ‘Toffee Nosed’

The Knipofia collection in the Tandy Floral Terraces is one of my favorites.  This specific cultivar literally stood out from the rest with its towering flower spikes, nearly 4 ft. tall!  Compared to the other flowers,  these unique blooms exceeded in bloom time.  The flower spikes look similar to a chocolate and toffee covered vanilla ice cream bar! Look for this show-stopper in the Rose Terrace.


Yucca flaccida ‘Color Guard’

These bright accent plants are wide awake as the rest of the Tandy Floral Terraces takes its long winter nap.  The striking foliage on this plant can brighten the color palette in any landscape.  These plants look healthy all year round, and don’t require much water! Look for these in the Perennial Terrace. 


Chilopsis linearis ‘Burgundy’

The desert willows in the Tandy Floral Terraces had twice as many blooms this year. These wispy, transparent trees are placed in various locations throughout the terraces.  The masses of hummingbirds feeding on these trees was a gorgeous sight. These specimens are a popular pollinator attractant with their prolific, orchid-like blooms.  

Dustin Stoll
Horticulturist of A.R. and Marylouise Tandy Floral Terraces  

Papaver ‘Fire Ball’

This is my absolute favorite plant in the entire Tandy Floral Terraces. It doesn’t bloom for more than a few weeks out of the year, but that is part of what makes it so special. This poppy flower has some of the best contrast I’ve ever seen on a single plant, with the petals being bright orange/red and the pollen being dark blue. Look for these spring bloomers in the Mediterranean Terrace. 


Eryngium from Florida

Also on the Mediterranean Terrace, this Eryngium is a fairly discreet plant, but adds a bit of texture and height when it blooms. It has been my favorite cut flower to make arrangements with for the visitor center this year.


Verbena bonariensis – tall verbena

A wonderful cottage garden plant. Beautiful long-lasting purple flowers in the early summer, but even when it’s done blooming, it still looks nice to leave alone and allow the other plants to intermingle. Look for these in the Lawn Terrace. 

Lori Fry
Curator of Lakeside Promenade and Entry Gardens


The cosmos in the terraces. Wow! What a show! The cosmos planted on the surrounding plots of the terraces gave the west side of the lake a powerful punch of color that was unmatched on the property. We all were nervous about their slow emergence but once they began to bloom, the wonder and amazement took over.


Anenome xhybrida ‘Honorine Jobert’ 

Anenome xhybrida ‘Honorine Jobert’, also known as windflower or Japanese anemone, bloomed much more significantly than last season. This fall bloomer added delicate detail in an often overlooked space beneath the birch trees. Delicate looking but tough blooms on this cultivar gave this bed detail after the spring and summer show stoppers had ceased for the year.


Passiflora ‘Lady Margaret’ 

Passiflora ‘Lady Margaret’ placed on the west bridge grew on me as strongly but slowly as it did where it was planted. The vibrancy of the color in this selection made up for its lack in size. It is definitely a cultivar that is to be admired from up close.


Talipariti tiliaceum ‘Variegata’ 

Talipariti tiliaceum ‘Variegata’, more commonly known as the sea mahoe, is a species of flowering tree native to the Pacific and Indian ocean regions. Commonly mistaken for a variegated cottonwood tree or redbud because of its heart-shaped leaves, the variegated sea mahoe is great as an indoor plant in winter in Oklahoma and just as tough outdoors in the unrelenting Oklahoma sun. This particular plant came from a cutting from a tree from the big island of Hawaii.

Jenny Mangan
Curator of Children’s Discovery Garden 

Nymphaea ‘Charlene Strawn’ (water lily)

A steady bloomer, the buttery yellow flowers of this water lily were a cheerful sight at the Round Pond in the Children’s Discovery Garden. The flowers are highly fragrant and the striking leaves are dark green mottled with maroon.


Filipendula rubra ‘Venusta’ (queen of the prairie)

The erect, striking pink flowers of this perennial caught the eyes of many of our summer visitors to the Children’s Discovery Garden. The delicate, lacy foliage provides great texture in the landscape. 


Vernonia gigantea ‘Jonesboro Giant’ 

This plant is rightfully named ‘Jonesboro Giant’ ironweed because it can grow between 6 to 8 feet tall! They really stood out in Sensory Walk in the Children’s Discovery Garden for their height alone. They have beautiful purple flowers and dark ebony stems. It is a unique addition to any garden.



Albizia julibrissin ‘Summer Chocolate’ (mimosa tree)

The eye-catching dark burgundy to chocolate foliage of this mimosa tree stood out along the Butterfly Stroll in the Children’s Discovery Garden. The fragrant white and pink flowers are attractive to butterflies and hummingbirds alike.