Celosia, sometimes called plume flower, comes in vivid hues of red, orange, yellow and pink. They like full sun, hot weather and are not fussy about watering. Courtesy photo
Dahlias are big, fleshy-rooted daisies from Mexico and Central America. There are thousands of hybrids ranging from less than a foot to several feet tall, with flowers from an inch to a foot across. For home gardeners, the more compact types make easier garden plants. Dramatic flowers in bright tropical colors. Force them into dormancy by drying them off in fall, or plant in a well-drained bed and hope for the best. Courtesy photo
There are a number of informal perennials that bloom in late summer and mix nicely with ornamental grasses to make a meadow look, including black-eyed Susan, coneflower, Gaura and the herbaceous salvias. Salvia mystic spires, shown here, has spikes of vivid blue flowers all summer. The plant dies to the ground in winter, but the roots are hardy. Courtesy photo
Verbena is a landscape staple in desert areas, and for good reason: few flowering plants are so tolerant of high temperatures and low humidity. Grown as annuals elsewhere, verbena are mostly perennial here, blooming May through October. Courtesy photo

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