Plants That Live in the Cold

Those who live in cold climates are not limited to growing evergreens. While there is not as wide a choice of plants available in the cold zones as there are in the more temperate zones, there are plants that produce beautiful and unusual flowers, as well as colorful leaves.

Bottlebrush Buckeye

Bottlebrush buckeye is native to the eastern part of the United States and is hardy in zones 4 to 8; all but the very coldest and the two hottest zones in the continental United States. It is a deciduous bush that can go in full sun or partial shade. It needs a moist, yet well-drained organic soil, but it can survive a short drought period. The bush will grow to a height of from 6 to 10 feet and a width of from 8 to 15 feet. The plant produces white flowers in the summer and the leaves are a medium to dark green that will turn to yellow or yellow green in the fall. Bottlebrush buckeye is attractive to hummingbirds and is relatively problem free.

Smooth Sumac

Smooth sumac is native to most of the United States and Canada. It is a large shrub or small tree that can grow as tall as 20 feet. The young plant has a trunk that has light brown, smooth bark. The leaves are made up of leaflets that grow opposite each other on the stem and can number from seven to 31, with the odd-numbered leaflet growing on the tip of the stem. The leaves, which are green on top and almost white on the bottom, turn red in the fall. The flowers are small and grow in clusters. When they fall off, they leave behind a cluster of red drupes, which are fleshy fruits that have a stone, or seed, at the center. It grows fast, both from the seeds and from the roots, and can be considered invasive if it is not kept in check.

The Drumstick Primrose

The drumstick primrose can be grown in Alaska. The flowers bloom in the spring, just before the leaves appear. As the stalk grows, more flowers open. When it is done, there is a cluster of small flowers right at the top of the stalk. The flowers can be red, blue, dark purple, pink and white. The plant can grow anywhere from just a few inches to 13 inches in height. The leaves, which are deciduous, start out small, but grow to a length of at least 12 inches. The plant likes a most soil and part shade. Water right away if you notice the leaves start to droop.

Keywords: Bottlebrush Buckeye, Smooth Sumac, Drumstick Primrose

About this Author

Regina Sass is based in the Adirondack Region of New York State. She has been a writer for 10 years writing for publications in the real estate and retail industries. Online experience includes writing,advertising and editing for an educational web site. Sass is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.