|Foliage color is this plant's main asset. Too bad it's lacking in structure and rather shapeless. It would look much better associated with other plants or a background that offers pleasing contrast or complementary color.|
After a few years of growth, this shrub has grown large enough to make a significant visual effect. Zenobia seems to be a rather rare plant in cultivation, and the glaucous form isn't the only one. Some are simply green. I bought two at the Native Plants in the Landscape conference, a well known native plant gathering held annually at Millersville University in Pennsylvania, three or four years ago.
I was uncertain how the plant would fair in my often saturated, wet clay; its natural habitat, which is wet but apparently well drained, very acidic and low in nutrients, is quite different from conditions in my garden. So far my Zenobias appear to be thriving, vigorous, and in pristine condition. Their small, bell-shaped white flowers are borne in profusion in the summer, and the plants are bulking up into admirable specimens.
The lesson, I suppose, is that you can research a plant's origins and native conditions, but you can never successfully predict how well it will adapt to differing conditions in the garden. You just have to make educated guesses, and see what happens. Take a risk. There are serendipitous surprises.