More Information About Ornamental Seed or Fruit
When designing a perennial border, gardeners should incorporate as many visual treats as possible. So in addition to selecting plants for their attractive flowers and leaves, consider choosing some perennials for their ornamental seed or fruit.
Some fruits and seeds are short-lived...falling away or being gobbled up soon after ripening. Other plants feature ornamental seed or fruit that persist for weeks or sometimes months...a delight for the eye and welcome treat for a hungry critter. Ornamental fruits are usually quite colorful dotting the garden with purple, red, orange, yellow, blue, or white.
Some ornamental fruits are small and are presented in tight clusters, like the white berries of Actaea, the red berries of Amorphophallus or Ilex or the purple berries of Belamcanda or Liriope. Other ornamental fruits are large and stand alone or in small clusters, like Punica (pomegranate), Asparagus, Aucuba, or Podophyllum. At the top of the list are plants that produce sizable clusters of large ornamental fruits like hardy bananas. Other examples of perennials with ornamental fruits are: Astragalus, Crinum, Cycads, Danae, Elephant Ears (like some Colocasia and Remusatia), Ficus, Iris, Paeonia, Hardy-Palms, Polygonatum, Rohdea, and Rivina.
Although not as common, there are also perennials that feature ornamental seeds or seed pods. The best ornamental seeds persist for a long time and are dangled at the end of a long thin stalk. Most of our ornamental grasses fall into this category, chiefly Chasmanthium, Miscanthus, Muhlenbergia and Pennisetum. Also in this group are Carex, sedges (like Cyperus), Amaryllids (like Habranthus and Rhodophiala), Mallows (especially Hibiscus and Gossypium), Lilium (and Woody Lilies like Agave and Yucca). Plants that feature winged or feathery seeds are also very ornamental. These include Asclepias and Clematis. When you are ready to buy plants with ornamental seed or fruit for your garden, check out our online list of plants with ornamental seed or fruit for sale.