The Plant Select® program of 2002 introduces and recommends the following plants for regional gardens. These exceptional plants continue the program’s standard for superior performance in gardens from the high plains to the mountains.
MESA VERDE® Ice Plant (Delosperma ‘Kelaidis’ PP 13,876) features iridescent, salmon-pink flowers on vigorous, low growing succulent foliage. It appeared as a sport among plants of a dwarf, alpine form of Delosperma cooperi at Denver Botanic gardens in 1997. It is a significant color among the popular ice plants and has proven to be vigorous and floriferous.
TABLE MOUNTAIN® Ice Plant (Delosperma ‘John Proffitt’) is yet another introduced ground cover ice plant that blooms for most of the growing season. The lustrous, fuchsia colored flowers add intense color to gardens all summer. During the winter months the leaves remain succulent and green, often tinged with purple.
SONORAN SUNSET® Hyssop (Agastache cana ‘Sinning’ PP 13,673) is a compact, large flowered selections of Agastache cana that blooms earlier and over a longer period than the species. Another improvement is the larger, showier flowers. The foliage features aromatic mint-like fragrance.
Alpine Willowherb (Epilobium fleischeri) is a compact form perennial from the Alps that is underused in gardens in North America. It features delicate pink flowers on reddish stems with gray-green, finely textured foliage. Attractive silvery seed heads add continuing interest after the flowers fade.
Apache Plume (Fallugia paradoxa) is a native shrub that deserves a place in any home garden or landscape. Simple anemone-like white flowers appear from spring to fall on this tough, drought tolerant shrub. Feathery pink seed heads provide additional interest that carries on through the fall and winter.
Smith Buckthorn (Rhamnus smithii) is another Southwestern native shrub that is excellent to plant as specimen plants, or to use as a screen or large hedge. The lovely form has sturdy branches and dark green foliage. The flowers are inconspicuous in the spring but ripen to black fruit that is attractive to birds through the summer months.
Siberian Spirea (Sibiraea laevigata) comes to our gardens from Siberia. This is a dramatic landscape plant with attractive, gray-green foliage and showy white flowers that appear in the summer. This selection has been growing at the Hildreth-Howard Arboretum, at Cheyenne, Wyoming for many decades. Over the years it has thrived with minimal care and irrigation.
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.