Best garden plants for kids

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Best garden plants for kids to grow

Plant lessons for kids

Give kids the opportunity to learn about the world around them while growing their own gardens.

Photos: Paola de la Fuente

1. Papyrus

Papyrus is the common name of several grass-like, free-floating aquatic plants in the family Cyperaceae. Its name in Greek translates as 'paper' and so it was also called ‘paper reed’. According to the International Institute for Tropical Agriculture, they are “pachymorphs”, meaning that they have woody stems and may only grow about half an inch high.

3. Brugmansia

Brugmansia is a genus of flowering plants in the family Solanaceae, native to southern Mexico, the Caribbean, Central and South America. They include the infamous “angel's trumpets”, tropical nightshades of the northern hemisphere that have long been cultivated in gardens for their striking, trumpet-shaped white or lavender-pink flowers. Photo credit: The PDD

4. English ivy

English ivy (Hedera helix) is an evergreen climbing vine that grows into a robust, bushy shape in trees and on fences. English ivy can be invasive in some areas, so use it with caution. English ivy contains many powerful natural toxins, and excessive, repeated exposure can cause intense dermatitis and welts (up to 18 per plant). Photo credit: Kenneth Caley

5. Jack-in-the-pulpit

Jack-in-the-pulpit (Arisaema triphyllum) is an American plant native to the woodlands of the eastern United States. This 3 to 4 foot tall plant may grow in a clump, typically in moist places such as streams, ponds, ditches, and old bogs. Its deep, tubular purple-blue flowers are sweetly scented, and its large, fleshy leaves with compound leaves are easy to spot from a distance.

7. Rudbeckia

Rudbeckia is a genus of flowering plants in the sunflower family Asteraceae, native to eastern North America, southwestern Canada, and the northern and central United States, with one species in southern Ontario and Quebec in Canada.

There are over 70 species of Rudbeckia in North America. The flowers are radially symmetrical (i.e., flowers are on petals that radiate from the center of a flat flower head), or axillary (i.e., flowers on the stem). They are usually bright yellow or orange. The petals may be modified into a tube or spatula. Species vary in the size of their petals, giving some of the species small flowers and others large ones. The petals are modified into four to many lobes. Flower color ranges from yellow or orange to red or purple.

Rudbeckia flowers usually develop from the end of the flowering stalk, or peduncle. The ray flowers are always located at the tip of the stem. There are four kinds of flowers, B-, C-, D- and E-flowers. The disk flowers are in a single row along the base of the stem. The disk flowers may be yellow, orange, red or purple. The ray flowers range in color from yellow, orange, red, purple or white. There are many different cultivars (varieties) available.

8. Bunchberry

Bunchberry (Actaea pachypoda) is a perennial herbaceous plant of North America. Bunchberries have small white flowers in terminal heads, sometimes arranged in clusters.

9. Crown vetch

Crown vetch (Lathyrus coronarius) is a plant in the pea family, Fabaceae, native to Eurasia. It is an herbaceous perennial, commonly growing to about 30 cm high. The flowers are attractive white, pink or purple, appearing in dense, terminal spikes on slender stems, the seeds are bright scarlet. It can be grown in shady conditions with some frost tolerance. Photo credit: Kekstolov

10. Ruschka

Ruschka (Aconitum ciliare) is a perennial, northern hemisphere herbaceous plant with creeping rootstock, belonging to the family Ranunculaceae. It is an herbaceous perennial.It has 1 or 2 thin and fleshy leaves, 2-5 cm long. The flowers are small, usually white or pink, 1.5-3.5 cm diameter, appearing in dense spikes. The plant is used in medicine. Photo credit: Robert Tarr

11. Garden phlox

Garden phlox (Phlox paniculata) is a perennial plant of the division Crassulaceae, native to parts of western North America and Europe. It is an herbaceous plant that is perennially short-lived and is widely grown as a garden plant in temperate regions. The flowers are larger than many other phloxes. It has the largest number of species of the genus, but those listed here are among the most common. The various species, with some cultivated forms included, come in a range of colors from pink to red and white. A flowering season is from early summer to late autumn. The plant blooms and bears fruit in early summer and is best propagated by stem cuttings.

12. Fiddlewood

Fiddlewood (Berberis, subgenus Scholarberberis) is a genus of shrubs and trees in the barberry family, Berberidaceae, native to temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere. About 170 species are accepted today. They are sometimes called 'Japanese barberries' because of their showy and sweet white to rose-colored flowers. They have compound leaves with the leaf blade in opposite pairs. The leaves are in five-lobed rosettes, and the stems are typically prickly.

13. Cosmos

Cosmos is a genus of flowering plants in the daisy family, Asteraceae. The plants are cultivated as annual or perennial herbs. The genus


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