You have all heard of the Perennial Plant of the Year™ and most probably have them in your garden. Did you ever wonder how they got selected and by what criteria? The Plant of the Year was started in 1990 to highlight an exceptional perennial.
Each January the results of the section committee are announced.
Members of the Perennial Plant Association nominate perennials for the Plant of the Year based on a predetermined list of criteria from over 400 plants submitted. The Plant of the Year Committee reviews the ballots and narrows it down to 3 or 4 plants to be placed on the final ballot. A high number of members will vote each year and members can submit plants for future consideration as well. You may know some of the members, each state has representatives.
To make the list, plants must meet these qualifications:
- Plants must be suitable for a wide range of climatic conditions and planting zones.
- Keeping with customer demand, plants have to be low maintenance.
- To be a good plant for gardens, they must be pest and disease resistant.
- They must be easily obtainable in the year of promotion and be readily available to retailers.
- They must have ornamental interest over multiple seasons.
- The need to be easily propagated by asexual or seed propagation.
Do you know you can get T-shirts and posters of the Plant of the Year from their website? Do you know the Plant of the Year for 2015?
Geranium xcantabrigiense ‘Biokovo’ is the 2015 Perennial Plant of the Year™. It was found as a naturally occurring hybrid of Geranium dalmaticum and Geranium macrorrhizum in the mountains of Croatia.
Past winners are:
- 1990 Phlox stolonifera
- 1991 Heuchera micrantha ‘Palace Purple’
- 1992 Coreopsis verticillata ‘Moonbeam’
- 1993 Veronica ‘Sunny Border Blue’
- 1994 Astilbe ‘Sprite’
- 1995 Perovskia atriplicifolia
- 1996 Penstemon digitalis ‘Husker Red’
- 1997 Salvia ‘May Night’
- 1998 Echinacea purpurea ‘Magnus’
- 1999 Rudbeckia fulgida ‘Goldsturm’
- 2000 Scabiosa columbaria ‘Butterfly Blue’
- 2001 Calamagrostis x acutiflora’Karl Foerster’
- 2002 Phlox paniculata ‘David’
- 2003 Leucanthemum ‘Becky’
- 2004 Athyrium niponicum ‘Pictum’
- 2005 Helleborus x hybridus
- 2006 Dianthus gratianopolitanus ‘Firewitch’
- 2007 Nepeta ‘Walker’s Low’
- 2008 Geranium ‘Rozanne’
- 2009 Hakonechloa macra ‘Aureola’
- 2010 Baptisia australis
- 2011 Amsonia hubrichtii ‘Blue Arkansas’
- 2012 Brunnera ‘Jack Frost’
- 2013 Polygonatum odoratum ‘Variegatum’
- 2014 Panicum virgatum ‘Northwind’
How many do you have planted in your garden? I have 18 from the list in my garden, but have used all of them in my design work. As advertised, all are great garden plants.