Colorado State University and Denver Botanic Gardens this week announced Plant Select choices for the year 2002. Plant Select is a program that finds and distributes the best plants for gardens in Colorado’s high plains and intermountain region. Seven new plants will be added to the list this year.
- Siberian Spirea (Sibiraea laevigata) is a landscape shrub that, as its name hints, is native to Siberia. It’s ideal for areas in full sun or partial shade with sandy or clay loam soil and likes moderate to dry moisture levels. The shrub, which grows 4 to 5 feet high and 6 to 8 feet wide, sports white flowers in June and has gray-green foliage. Suitable in USDA zones 4-8, up to 7,000 feet.
- Smith Buckthorn (Rhamnus smithii) is a southwestern native shrub with sturdy, thornless branches and dark green leaves. It’s a favorite for birds and grows 8 to 10 feet high and wide. This shrub does well in full sun to partial shade and moderate to dry moisture levels and grows well in USDA zones 4-8 with sandy or clay loam soil.
- The Mesa Verde Ice Plant (Delosperma ‘Kelaidis’ PPAF Mesa Verde) is a compact perennial that produces iridescent, salmon-pink flowers. It reaches about 2 inches in height, 1 foot in width and likes full sun to partial shade in areas with garden loam, clay or gravely soil and moderate watering. For USDA zones 5-9.
- Table Mountain Ice Plant (Delosperma ‘John Proffitt’ Table Mountain) is a fast-spreading ground cover from South Africa. It blooms fuchsia flowers for most of the growing season. During the winter the leaves remain turgid and green with purple edges. The plant grows to 2 inches high and about 18 inches wide in sun and partial shade with moderate watering. It likes clay, loam and sandy soils in USDA zones 4-9.
- Alpine Willowherb (Epilobium fleischeri) is a compact perennial from the Alps with delicate pink flowers and gray-green foliage on reddish stems. It reaches 18 inches high to 10 inches wide and performs well in full sun to partial shade with moderate watering. It likes loamy or sandy soils in USDA zones 3-8.
- Sonoran Sunset Hyssop (Agastache cana ‘Sinning’ PPAF Sonoran Sunset) has large flowers that bloom early and long. The perennial is small, reaching about 15 inches in height and 12 to 15 inches in width. It is suitable for full sun or partial shade and moderate to dry water levels. It grows well in USDA zones 5-9 in ordinary, sandy loam or dry clay soil types.
- Apache Plume (Fallugia paradoxa) is a shrub native to the southwest with pale pink and white blossoms from May to September. It sports feathery-pink seed heads in the winter. This shrub grows 4 to 6 feet tall and 4 to 6 feet wide in full sun to partial shade. It likes moderate to dry water levels and sandy soil or clay loam. It grows in USDA zones 4-8.
For more information about Plant Select recommendations, contact the local Colorado State Cooperative Extension office listed in the county government section of the phone book, Denver Botanic Gardens at www.botanicgardens.org, or visit a nursery or garden center and request more information.