Plant Select® 2008
MONGOLIAN BELLS® Clematis (Clematis integrifolia) is a compact version of its cousin, the traditional climbing-vine clematis. This little charmer grows to only 10-14 inches tall and 12-15 inches wide, which makes it a fine addition to the perennial border. Nodding flowers appear from May to September in shades of blue, lavender, pink, and pure white and are followed by delicate seed heads that persist into the fall. This perennial will thrive in a variety of soils, exposures, and is considered more drought tolerant than other clematis.
Seven-Son Flower (Heptacodium miconioides) is a spectacular large shrub or small tree that is, unfortunately, somewhat unknown in retail markets. Although it bears little resemblance to its relatives, Seven-Son Flower is in the honeysuckle family. From August to September, it is covered in fragrant clusters of white flowers which give way to cherry-red sepals as the seeds mature. Attractive peeling bark adds to its ornamental appeal through all four seasons. It will mature to 12-20 feet tall, 10 feet wide and has a vase-shaped growth habit. Seven-Son Flower will tolerate moderately dry conditions but should be provided some supplemental irrigation. Be the first on your block to grow this versatile and adaptable plant.
LITTLE TRUDY® Catnip (Nepeta ‘Psfike’PPAF) was selected at Colorado’s Little Valley Wholesale Nursery for its distinctive, silvery serrated foliage, long-lasting lavender flowers and growth habit. The most compact cultivar of catnip available, LITTLE TRUDY® will grow 8-10 inches tall and spread only 12-16 inches. It would be ideal at the front of a border where its aroma may be enjoyed and makes an excellent non-invasive groundcover. Catnip will thrive in partial shade, but flowers more abundantly in full sun. It is a wise choice for a water-wise garden as it will adapt to drier conditions after established in the landscape.
Red Birds in a Tree (Scrophularia macrantha) is a delight for hummingbirds and gardeners alike. At 36 inches tall and 18 inches wide, this perennial is graced by tiny red bird-like flowers throughout the growing season. These flowers, which reveal the plant’s kinship to penstemon, are a brilliant contrast to its rich green serrated foliage. This native to the mountain slopes of New Mexico demands little water after established and does not require deadheading. However, it does appreciate having other plants or another form of support to entwine around.
NORTHERN LIGHTS™ Pansy (Viola x wittrockiana) is a large-flowered pansy that exhibits a subtle blend of lemon yellow and lilac in varying patterns. It is being marketed in partnership with Sakata Seeds in Japan, signifying a joint venture in promoting this important group of winter flowering annuals. In Colorado, pansies bloom fall through spring, providing a welcome splash of color through milder winters along the Front Range. In the mountains and foothills, cooler temperatures allow pansies to flower through the summer. NORTHERN LIGHTS™ will grow to 5-10 inches tall, 10 inches wide and looks great when combined with solid purple or yellow pansies along a border.
BLUE VELVET® Pansy (Viola x wittrockiana) is the first navy blue pansy with very dark – almost black – top petals. It was developed by Benary Seed Company in Germany. This color looks stunning combined with its sister introduction, NORTHERN LIGHTS™ Pansy, as well as many others including gold, orange, or rose. These annuals prefer a site in full sun or partial shade and are hardy in a wide range of zones, up to 11,000 feet. Plant pansies in well-drained soils amended with peat moss. They will need about one inch of water each week. Check soil moisture every other week in the winter and water on warm, dry days above freezing, if needed.
St. Theresa Seedless Grape (Vitis x ‘St. Theresa Seedless’) is woody vine that produces bountiful clusters of mostly seedless purple slip-skin grapes. Bred by Elmer Swenson of Wisconsin, a renowned breeder of cold hardy grapes, this superb new table grape is well-suited to be grown in the Rocky Mountain region. This versatile vine is healthy, vigorous, and shows little aversion to our challenging alkaline soil conditions. Grow St. Theresa Seedless Grape in full sun or partial shade and provide moderate water. It will gracefully envelop an arbor, providing ornamental appeal in addition to delicious fruit.
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.