Every year, professional breeders and growers release new plant varieties to the landscape industry. There are many new plants that merit consideration by landscape professionals. Some of the new introductions for 2017 are as follows:
All-America Selections (AAS), a non-profit trialing organization for plants that demonstrate great garden performance throughout North America, recently presented the AAS Winners for the 2017 season.
Dianthus Interspecific Supra Pink F1
(AAS 2017 Ornamental from Seed Winner / National Winner)
Supra Pink joins its sister, 2006 AAS Winner Supra Purple, to give us two fantastic colors in an easy-to-grow interspecific dianthus for three-season (spring, summer, fall) garden color. This compact, bushy plant blooms prolifically with novel mottled pink flowers sporting frilly petal edges that hold up even in summer heat and drought. No deadheading needed on this winner. One judge attempted to deadhead this entry but it re-bloomed too fast to do so. Supra Pink grows to just under a foot in height but is a vigorous grower and will deliver fancy, clear pink flowers for a long time as observed over and over by the AAS Judges. Supra Pink was tested as an annual and won the award based on first-year performance, but similar to other dianthus, it may overwinter in some regions.
(AAS 2017 Ornamental Vegetative Winner / National Winner)
With an outstanding deep red velvety flower color and great branching habit, Calliope was unmatched in the AAS Trials when compared to other market varieties. Calliope Medium Dark Red geranium is an interspecific hybrid with zonal-type flowers and leaves. This AAS Winner has a mounded, semi-spreading growth habit with strong stems supporting the flower heads that are loaded with deep red blossoms. These plants work great in containers, combination plantings, hanging baskets, as well as in an in-ground landscape. Gardeners will enjoy exceptional landscape performance in normal conditions, as well as in more challenging high heat and drought conditions.
Bred by Syngenta Flowers
Penstemon barbatus Twizzle Purple F1
(AAS 2017 Ornamental from Seed Winner / Regional Winner – Heartland and Southeast)
Vibrant purple blooms present a new and unique color in penstemon. Twizzle Purple was judged as a first-year flowering perennial by judges who were impressed with the upright plant habit and superb flowering performance. This North American native blooms profusely with 1 inch tubular flowers on long slender stalks that grow up to 35 inches high, making this beauty a magnet for pollinators from mid- to late summer. Twizzle Purple can be used to add height to combination planters or in landscapes for high-impact color.
(AAS 2017 Ornamental Vegetative Winner / National Winner)
EnduraScape is described as “tough as nails” because it is the first verbena that can tolerate drought and heat plus survive cooler temperatures down to the low teens. This long-blooming pink bicolor verbena is spectacular in the landscape, edging a walk or border, as well as in large containers and baskets. Vigorous plants are sturdy spreaders that pop with abundant soft pink blossoms that darken in intensity toward the center of the bloom. Pink Bicolor is the newest color in the series and the AAS Judges deemed it “truly spectacular.”
This compact, well-behaved Illicium has golden-yellow foliage and keeps a nice mounded form. Unlike ‘Florida Sunshine’, BananAppeal doesn’t send out long gangly shoots and the leaves don’t bleach out in winter. With anise-scented foliage, it is a perfect accent plant in shade gardens, maintaining its small stature and luminescent yellow-gold foliage. No suckers to date. Deer resistant.
Without a doubt, Diamond Rouge is the reddest H. paniculata on the market. This new variety has abundant, long-lasting flowers on strong stems that start white and progress to pink, raspberry red and finally wine red. Flowers start blooming in July and take on red coloration earlier in the season than other pink paniculatas. Compared to Strawberry Sundae, Diamond Rouge is slightly bigger and has distinct raspberry-red flowers that color earlier in the season. Bred by Jean Renault in France.
Fiber Optics is a distinct improvement over the coarser Cephalanthus occidentalis that grows twice the size of this compact selection. Native from Florida to Mexico and north to Nova Scotia and Ontario, buttonbush is quite happy in moist conditions, tolerating flooding and wet spring soil. As such it is often used in wetland restoration work, along streams and pond banks. It’s also a great plant for low areas in the landscape that don’t dry out until late in the season. Pollinators love the fragrant, creamy-white, ball-shaped flowers and many species of waterfowl eat the seed.
Opening Day is a compact plant that is covered with perfectly round, baseball-size flowers in April. They open with a tinge of green and quickly mature to pure white. Plants are tight in habit with deeply corrugated, dark green foliage that turns beautiful shades of cabernet in the fall.
Native to the Pacific Northwest. Three seasons of excitement; plum-red spring foliage, brilliant autumn color, and twisting bare winter branches. Superb small tree, shrub, or espalier. Up to 15 ft. tall, 8 ft. wide. Deciduous. Zone: 6 – 9
Discovered by a Monrovia craftsman at our Dayton, Oregon nursery. Distinctive curved limbs and fern-like foliage along with improved pyramidal form makes this excellent in large planters or as an entryway accent. Up to 8 ft. tall and 4 ft. wide Evergreen. Zone: 4 – 8
Flowering from the ground up, this hardy, compact, dark pink re-blooming variety is ideal for large containers, in front of leggier clematis, or on short pillars. Up to 6 ft. tall. Deciduous. Zone: 4 – 9
Exceptionally dark red compact re-bloomer flowers from both leaf axils and stems, resulting in flowers from the ground up. Use in large containers or short pillars. Up to 6 ft. tall. Deciduous. Zone: 4 – 9
Improved icy, cool-blue color and dense habit make this a standout choice in front of shrub borders, as an accent, or a large-scale, rugged groundcover. 2 ft. high, up to 8 ft. wide. Evergreen. Zone: 3 – 8
Prolific, compact, small-leaved variety with vibrant, deep-purple flowers. Notably heat and drought tolerant. Use in borders and cutting gardens. Herbaceous perennial. 2 ft. tall and wide. Zone: 7 – 11
From lustrous foliage to creamy-white spring flowers followed by summer-to-fall clusters of blue- black fall berries, this is one for a showy hedge or tall border. Up to 15 ft. tall and wide. Deciduous. Zone 5 – 9
Perhaps the brightest weigela yet. Contrasting yellow foliage and dark maroon blooms creates drama when backing a flower border or fronting larger shrubs. Up to 6 ft. tall and wide. Deciduous. Zone: 4 – 9
Agastache ‘Kudos Coral’ is a free-flowering, easy-to-grow perennial that produces long-lasting spikes of coral-colored plumes. This warm, glowing flower features a sweet honey-mint scent, tolerance for drought, and is also deer resistant. The enticing fragrance of this variety attracts butterflies and hummingbirds, and its compact, upright, mounding habit and red color make it stand out in a summer garden or mixed container.
Plant Description: Brunnera ‘Alexander’s Great’ has very large, silver and white-veiled leaves and produces sky-blue flowers in spring. Compared to Brunnera ‘Jack Frost’, it has much larger leaves and a bigger plant size, filling containers much faster. This famous variety is deer-resistant, shade loving, and was one of Colorado State University’s 2016 “Top Performer” Perennials.
Heuchera ‘Red Lightning’ has electrifying and long-lasting dark red veins that spark over huge gold leaves. This eye-catching plant attracts butterflies and hummingbirds; is heat and humidity tolerant; thrives in shade to part shade; and is known for being “villosa–strong.” ‘Red Lightning’ works well in borders, mixed containers or mass plantings and will draw your attention from across the garden.
Heucherella ‘Autumn Cascade’ is a very appealing, trailing heucherella with reddish-tan, lobed leaves and excellent vigor. It grows great in hanging baskets, mixed containers and even ground covers. This lovely heucherella thrives in well-drained, hummus-rich soils and shade to part shade unless in Oregon, where it prefers full sun. ‘Autumn Cascade’ has a foliage height of 4 inches, foliage spread of 36 inches, and it has 14-inch spikes of white flowers that complement the attractive, fall-colored leaves.
The newest addition to the free-flowering Storm series of agapanthus from Tesselaar Plants, this compact, easy-care and drought-tolerant plant produces an abundance of flower stems. In fact, Thunder Storm flowers on average up to 10 weeks per season (up to two to three weeks longer than most other varieties).
The distinct variegated leaves have a strong creamy yellow edge and soft green centers, topped with spheres of striking blue flowers. Growing to about 30 inches wide by 20 inches high, this free-flower agapanthus is Hardy in USDA Zones 8-11.
Tesselaar’s new Daphne Perfume Princess var. DapJur01 was awarded the prestigious honor of Plant of the Year at the 2016 Australian Nursery and Garden Industry Association’s National Conference, held in Adelaide, South Australia. Bred by renowned New Zealand plant breeder Mark Jury, Perfume Princess combines the sturdy growth habit of Daphne bhuloa types with the heady fragrance and flowering performance of Daphne odora varieties. One of the earliest and longest flowering of all Daphnes, it offers a profusion of sweetly scented blooms all along the stems. Plant trials have shown that unlike most Daphnes, Perfume Princess is adaptable to difficult conditions, tolerating a broader range of temperatures — both hot and cold; it also bounces back quickly from a hard cut back and establishes itself in new surroundings with a minimum of work. Masses of large flowers open blush pink and fade to white. Upright with a slightly spreading habit, growing 4 feet high by 3 feet wide. Hardy to USDA Zone 7. Available in limited quantities in 2017 with greater distribution in 2018.