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Perennials Perform in Winter, Too

Many perennials stay upright while dormant, providing winter interest and serving as a food source for birds.

Purple coneflower

Purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea) has seed heads, which turn chocolate brown and stand up, even in snow. American goldfinch, juncos, and other birds feed on these seed heads all winter. Cut back to the ground in late winter or early spring.

Purple coneflower in winter

Purple coneflower in winter. Vsanderson | iStock via Getty Images

Japanese anemone

Japanese anemone (Anemone x hybrida) has seed heads that dry and form what look like little balls of cotton on sturdy stems. The little white balls are attractive in winter and stay upright, even in the snow. Cut back to the ground in late winter or early spring.

Japanese anemone in winter.

Japanese anemone stands up to winter weather. Nicola Drennan | iStock via Getty Images


Large flowering upright sedums such as 'Autumn Joy' lose their leaves in fall, but the rusty brown seed heads stay upright to make an attractive scene, even in snow. Cut these plants back to the ground in early spring.

'Autumn Joy' sedum (Hylotelephium spectabile) in winter

'Autumn Joy' sedum (Hylotelephium spectabile) in winter with frozen ice crystals. Oksana_Schmidt | iStock via Getty Images

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