FORT COLLINS, Colo. — Here are the new and exciting selections for Plant Select this year. Every year Plant Select picks plants from their trial that are proven to withstand our extreme weather conditions. If you are ever interested in purchasing any of the selections, go to plantselect.org and there is a listing of both retail and wholesale growers. Get your requests in early especially with new introductions since supplies may be limited.
HALF PINT® Pineleaf Penstemon Penstemon pinifolius ‘Compactum’ is a plant that will provide green foliage in the winter if you deadhead it in fall. It needs full sun and prefers to be mulched with gravel. It needs well drained loam soil or clay loam. It grows to about ten inches by twelve inches wide. From June through August, this pinifolius will attract butterflies and hummingbirds. It grows in zone 4. It is native to Arizona and New Mexico.
FREEDA® Caterpillar Grass Harpochloa falx ‘Compactum’ This is different that grama grass in that it can grow in sun and partial shade. It also grows in average to well drained soil. It flowers black blossoms from June through fall getting about two feet tall and 20 inches wide. According to Plant Select the flowers form loops atop stems that resemble caterpillars only to unfurl into playful horizontal fuzzy-looking eyebrows! It is native to South Africa.
OLYMPUS™ Gold Leaf Sage Salvia chrysophylla produces large lavender flowers July through August with large upper lips and white lower lips. The foliage is slightly cupped and at each node on the upper part of the stem there will be multiple flowers encircling the stem. It grows to be 20 inches tall and 18 inches wide. Gold Leaf Sage like well drained loam soil or clay loam. It grows in full sun to partial shade and does well in zone 5. It likes gravel mulch and can reseed in the gravel mulch. It does like moderate watering.
WAGGON WHEEL® Bluemat Penstemon Penstemon caespitosus ‘P022S’ is a plant that does not like to be overwatered. So, when we talk about water wise gardening, this is a perfect candidate for that type of garden where it is placed in a group of plants with the same requirements. This plant has spoon-like leaves that sprout on prostrate stems which grow into circular, evergreen mats. It grows to two inches high and 14 inches wide. It blooms with blue to light purple flowers in June through early July. It is a native of the Colorado mountains and does well in zone 4. It likes well drained clay loam soil. The water requires are low to xeric.
WINTER FIRE® Sedum Petrosedum rupestre ‘Rice Creek’ has a green foliage during summer becoming ember-like in the fall until the entire plant is dark burgundy for the coldest months of the winter. If the winter is warm, the foliage will turn to their former green color. It has yellow flowers in July and August. It grows to two inches tall by 18 inches wide. It is great along walkways or around shrubs since it acts as a fire retardant. It is also good in containers. It is very adaptable to growing in clay, loam or sandy soil. It can handle moderate watering to low watering. According to Plant Select, it is native to the mountains of Italy where this plant was discovered by the owner of Gardens of Rice Creek, who named it after their nursery.
Guernsey Green Juniper, WINDWALKER® Series Juniperus horizontalis ‘Guernsey Green’ an evergreen juniper that does well in shade as it does in full sun. It is a semi-desert variety which is highly drought tolerant. Its water requirements are low to xeric. It grows to be three inches tall but can spread between five and ten feet. This evergreen has silver to black berries and hales from the windy prairies of Eastern Wyoming. It grows in clay, sandy or loam soil. This evergreen is not deer resistant and not a good pollinating plant, but it is versatile with light and water and soil requirements, and salt tolerance.
Meadow Blazing Star Liatris ligulistylis is a plant with a great trifecta because it is tolerant of heat, humidity, drought. It is a great pollinator for hummingbirds, native bees and butterflies. It blooms August through September with rosy-purple blossoms. It prefers full sun to part sun and grows three feet tall by one and a half feet wide. It has a water requirement of low to xeric. It grows in zone 3. As a great plus to those of us with alkaline soils it grows in loam, tolerant of rocky, sandy and alkaline soils. It is deer resistant. Prune back the stems in spring.
–Linda Langelo, Golden Plains Extension