The Plant Select® program of 2005 introduces and recommends the following plants for regional gardens. This year’s selections reflect the program’s standard for outstanding performance in gardens in the Rocky Mountain region and beyond.
Mojave Sage (Salvia pachyphylla) is a shrubby perennial that features intensely aromatic evergreen foliage that is a silvery green color. Persistent mauve bracts surround the pink flowers adding color and interest from summer into the fall. Grow Mojave Sage in full sun, moderately dry soil and enjoy the show through the summer.
Moon Carrot (Sesli gummiferum) is an intriguing plant that is sure to become a conversation piece in your garden. Moon Carrot resembles Queen Anne’s Lace but features a substantial basal rosette of succulent, silvery-blue lacy foliage. This attractive plant is usually biennial in habit, producing the basal rosette in the first year and flowering in the second year as the plant grows to between 24 to 36 inches in height. In some cases it will behave as a short-lived perennial, and will self-sow seedlings. The flowers consist of 5 inch umbels of pale pink flowers that fade to white creating a lovely effect in twilight and evening.
VALLEY LAVENDER® Plains Verbena (Verbena bipinnitifida) is a beautiful groundcover with vibrant lavender flowers that brings color to sunny areas from late spring through frost. The bright blooms are held erect above spreading stems with deeply cut leaves. This is a durable native of the Great Plains that grows well in our region with moderate to dry watering. This is a wonderful plant for attracting butterflies.
Furman’s Red Sage (Salvia greggii ‘Furman’s Red’) is a southwestern sage noted for non-stop flowering through the summer. Crimson to scarlet flower are produced in repeated flushes on wiry stems. The intense color is extremely showy even in our brilliant light.
Wild Thing Sage (Salvia greggii) is a close relative to the above plant and was brought to the attention of Plant SelectT by Tom Peace a respected regional horticulturist. The hot pink flowers are eye catching and continuous through the weeks of summer and early fall. In addition, the foliage is very attractive featuring glossy, dark, semi-evergreen leaves.
SILVERTON® Bluemat Penstemon (Penstemon linarioides var. coloradoensis) offers a great show of lavender-blue flowers in May and June. This native penstemon is prized for its handsome display of silvery, evergreen leaves that persist even through the winter months. If you are interested in adding plants that reflect a regional note, SILVERTON® Bluemat Penstemon will soon become one of your favorite selections.
Rounding out this year’s featured plants is
Mock Bearberry Manzanita (Arctostaphylos x coloradoensis). This is an outstanding plant that scores positive points in any gardener’s grade book. The pluses begin with it being a native shrub from the Uncompahgre Plateau in Western Colorado. The distinctive foliage makes this a wonderful broadleaf evergreen, a handsome plant no matter the season. Waxy white flowers appear in early spring. As Mock Bearberry establishes and matures the flowers will produce small red berries for continuing interest.
Plant Select® introductions and recommendations are available at garden centers and nurseries. Additional information on these plants and other plants in the program is available at the Plant Select® website www.plantselect.org.