A collaborative effort between Colorado State University and Denver Botanic Gardens, each spring since 1997 Plant Select has announced a new list of plants to promote for the year, offering a full palette of shrubs, trees, groundcovers, perennials, vines and even annuals. Not only does the list help take some of the guesswork out of successful gardening, but it helps promote lesser known native plants, successful hybrids, and new discoveries made by program coordinators. The average consumer can find Plant Select plants at most Colorado garden centers.
THE 2012 PLANT SELECT LIST Cape-forget-me-not (Anchusa capensis) has trim evergreen rosettes producing a bounty of dazzling cobalt-blue flowers with fetching white eyes throughout the garden season. This perennial will naturalize with moderate self-sowing in many situations, filling blank corners of the border with luminous twilight blue. 8-15 inches tall and 4-8 inches wide, it grows well in a wide range of soils in full sun to partial shade. Hardy to USDA zones 5-10.
Filigree Daisy (Anthemis marschalliana) produces a lacy mat of silvery foliage, which is beautiful through much of the year. In May and June the chrome-yellow daisies glow for weeks on end. Grows 4-10 inches tall (in bloom) and 15-24 inches wide, preferring sandy or clay soils that dry well between waterings. This tough, mat-forming perennial from West Asia will become a centerpiece of a xeriscape or dry border. Hardy to USDA zones 4-10.
Fire Spinner™ ice plant (Delosperma ‘P001S’) is new to horticulture and represents a dramatic color breakthrough for the hardy ice plants. The green-apple foliage makes a glistening, fast spreading carpet that keeps its shiny presence through winter. The two-toned, orange and purple flowers are massed in spring, but reappear periodically through the summer. This unique cultivar traces its ancestry to high mountains near the Eastern Cape of South Africa. Grows 1-2 inches tall and 12-18 inches wide in full sun to partial shade, in moderate to dry conditions. Hardy to USDA zones 5-10.
Weeping white spruce (Picea glauca ‘Pendula’), the first Plant Select conifer recommendation, is a living sculpture for the landscape. It is a very hardy form of the boreal spruce that also thrives in summer heat. The graceful foliage shimmers, and the weeping form adds drama and texture to any setting. With its compact footprint, this distinctive specimen enhances tight landscape and garden settings. A must-have for winter interest! Grows 20-30 feet tall and only 6 feet wide in full sun to partial shade conditions. Tolerates a wide range of soils, and is hardy to USDA zones 3-8.
Ruby Voodoo rose (Rosa ‘Ruby Voodoo’) is new to horticulture and produces spectacular, multi-toned, purple-pink double blossoms in late spring, blooms which are repeated moderately through the summer. Intensely fragrant, its attractive habit and vigor will ensure that this John Starnes hybrid becomes a staple in the new American rose garden. Annual pruning encourages a more compact habit. Grows 5-6 feet tall and 4-6 feet wide in full sun to partial shade, requiring moderate water in sandy, clay or loam soils. Hardy to USDA zones 4-10.
Dalmatian daisy (Tanacetum cinerariifolium) has silvery, ferny foliage that is decorative at all times, but much of the year it is obscured under a dome of shimmering white daisies. It grows 16-20 inches tall by 24-30 inches wide, blooming May to July. Aromatic and pest-free, this is the perfect perennial white daisy for drier gardens and landscapes. Hardy to USDA zones 4-10.
For images of plants and more information, visit plantselect.org. Plant Select Demonstration Gardens can also be found in four locations in the region: San Miguel County Fairgrounds, Norwood; Montrose Botanic Garden; Western Colorado Botanic Gardens, Grand Junction; Anasazi Heritage Center, Dolores; Cliffrose, Your High Desert Gardens, Cortez; and Durango Public Library.
– Plant Select®