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Toughest of the Tough Part II: Perennials, Grasses and Deciduous Shrubs

Time for Part II of Toughest of the Tough, a look at plants that have proven a high level of resiliency. Last week we looked at evergreen plants , this week it's perennials, grasses and deciduous shrubs. From extreme heat and drought to record rain and record late snow, these worthy plants have not complained, still look great, and are low maintenance. Let's jump right in. For late summer color you cannot beat asters (I know, they are now in the genus Symphyotrichum). One of our natives, Symphyotrichum subspicatum or Douglas' aster is so prolific, it's almost a problem. It's difficult to kill. Yet despite their tendency to spread by seed I keep them around for the pollinators. Plus, they are just about the first aster to bloom. Pictured is a mix of who knows what, I have so many and there's been a lot of hanky panky out there, but the ones in front are definitely Douglas' aster.

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