Since the spring of 1997, regional gardeners have embraced the Plant Select® program. Each year, the program introduces gardeners to plants suitable for Colorado, and makes specific recommendations for their use. Plant Select®, in the year 2000, features five exceptional plants that continue the program’s standard of excellence for superior performance in gardens from the high plains to the mountains.
SPANISH GOLD® Broom (Cytisus purgans), a subalpine shrub, native to the mountains of Spain, forms a dense mound of bright, green stems and an eye-catching display of golden-colored pea blooms for much of the spring. This plant’s adaptability to regional climate and soils is its hallmark.
Princess Kay Plum (Prunus nigra ‘Princess Kay’) is a small, flowering tree that offers attractive foliage, bright, white blossoms and smooth, brown bark. Spectacular red fall color and winter form rounds out the four-season appeal of this selection.
Penstemons are terrific plants that perform exceptionally well in our region.PRAIRIE JEWEL® Penstemon (Penstemon grandiflorus) features giant flowers in colors ranging from pure white through lavender and rose-pink to a deep purple-violet.
CORAL CANYON® Twinspur (Penstemon grandiflorus) comes from the East Cape Drakensberg Range of South Africa. It will grace a garden with clouds of soft-pink flowers from late spring to autumn frost. This is a tough performer, notable for its wide tolerance of soil, exposure and ease of growth.
A native shrub from the high plains, PAWNEE BUTTES® Sand Cherry (Prunus besseyi), is a graceful ground cover with lustrous, green leaves that turn bright red and purple in the fall. Fragrant, white flowers in April produce Crops of black cherries in summer that are attractive to wildlife.
Plant Select® introductions and recommendations are available at garden centers and nurseries. Additional information on the cultural needs of these and other plants in the program is available at the Plant Select® website, www.plantselect.org.