Five plants that will do well in Colorado landscapes have been named to the 2000 Plant Select® list. Plant Select® highlights shrubs and flowers that show potential for Colorado mountains and plains regions. Such plants have undergone years of trial at Colorado State University by the university, Colorado State University Cooperative Extension and the Denver Botanic Gardens. Some of these plants are natives; others come from various parts of the world, but are adaptable to Colorado soils, climate and moisture availability.
The following plants will be available this year in Garden centers and nurseries throughout the region. On the Plant Select list for this year are:
- SPANISH GOLDTM Broom (Cytisus purgans SPANISH GOLDTM), a subalpine shrub from the mountains of Spain is much hardier in our climate than other large brooms. Adaptable to a wide range of soil and moisture conditions, SPANISH GOLDTM Broom features vivid, golden pea blossoms in the spring and evergreen stems throughout the year.
- CORAL CANYONTM Twinspur (Diascia integerrima CORAL CANYONTM) blooms with clouds of soft pink, oval flowers from late spring to autumn frost. This heat-tolerant introduction from South Africa will thrive in full sun to partial shade with moderate watering. The long bloom time and adaptability to different soils and exposures make this a most useful plant for regional Gardens.
- PRAIRIE JEWELTM Penstemon (Penstemon grandiflorus PRAIRIE JEWELTM) is a select strain of the showiest of the northern Great Plains’ penstemons. Giant flowers that range from pure white, through lavender, rose-pink and deep purple-violet create excitement in the early summer. The foliage is a silvery, blue-green and is attractive all year. This jewel from the plains is an excellent choice for water-smart Gardens.
- PAWNEE BUTTESTM Sand Cherry (Prunus besseyi PAWNEE BUTTESTM) is a graceful, ground covering form of our native sand cherry. Lustrous, green leaves turn bright red and purple in fall. The fragrant, white flowers in April produce black cherries in summer that are attractive to wildlife. Native to the eastern plains this durable shrub is very drought tolerant and useful for a variety of landscape settings.
- Princess Kay Plum (Prunus nigra ‘Princess Kay’) is a recommended small-to medium-sized ornamental tree. Bright white, double blossoms are showy in the spring, set off by the smooth dark brown bark. Attractive foliage follows the flowers and in the fall turns a spectacular red color. This tree with four-season appeal and graceful size is perfect for a wide range of Garden situations.
- REMEMBRANCE® Columbine (Aquilegia ‘Colorado Violet & White’ REMEMBRANCE®) is a hybrid columbine derived from the Colorado state flower with a rich, shining, violet-blue color. This beautiful plant is endorsed by the Plant Select® program. The name honors the memory of the students and teacher of Columbine High School who shall never be forgotten. The plant serves as a living memorial and proceeds will benefit organizations that promote diversity and tolerance in schools.
Plant Select® is a cooperative program administered by Denver Botanic Gardens, Colorado State University, and Colorado State Cooperative Extension together with landscape and nursery professionals throughout the Rocky Mountain region and beyond. Key features of this year’s recommendations are ease of growth and drought tolerance.