Note to Editors: High resolution (300 dpi) color photographs of each plant are available at http://agnews.colostate.edu/index.asp?page=news_item_display&news_item_id=1047415414. Once at that link, right-click on each photo and select "save target as" and follow the prompts to download the photo as a high resolution tif file.
Colorado State University and Denver Botanic Gardens announced Plant Select choices for the year 2003. Plant Select is a program that finds and distributes the best plants for gardens in Colorado’s high plains and intermountain region. Although Colorado is faced with very dry conditions as a result of the drought, the seven new plants added to the list this year require only moderate or very little watering.
Waxflower (Jamesia americana) is a Western native shrub that has intensely fragrant clusters of waxy white flowers that appear in late spring. Its heavy-textured, green foliage transforms to brilliant orange and pink tones in autumn. It’s ideal for dry, partial shade conditions in loam or gravelly soil, with moderate to dry moisture levels. The shrub, which grows 3 to 6 feet high and 4 to 6 feet wide, is suitable in USDA zones 3-8, up to 10,000 feet.
Snow Angel Coral Bells (Heuchera sanguinea ‘Snow Angel’) is a plant that is low-growing with mounds of light green, broadly-lobed leaves, marbled with a light cream coloring. From late spring into summer it blooms with pinkish-red bells which add a complimentary note. It is an excellent plant for shade, but can survive with partial sun. Average loam to gravelly soil and moderate watering is ideal. Snow Angel is 6 inches high in foliage and can grow up to 12 to 15 inches when flowering and is 10 inches wide. It’s grows well in USDA zones 3-9.
CRYSTAL RIVER Veronica (Veronica ‘Reavis’ CRYSTAL RIVER) is an evergreen groundcover that is fast growing and vigorous. It’s a hybrid between Veronica liwanensis and Veronica pectinata. The tiny blue flowers appear in a solid mass in the spring months of April to June, with scattered blooms throughout the season. Full sun to partial shade, in clay, loam or sandy soils and moderate to dry watering is ideal. It grows up to 3 inches high and 20 to 30 inches wide and is suitable for USDA zones 3-9.
TANAGER Gazania (Gazania krebsiana TANAGER) has fluorescent orange daisies that bloom from earliest spring to late autumn. The glossy, dark green leaves develop a deep purple tinge in the winter months. It can grow up to 4 inches high and 10 inches wide and likes full sun to partial shade. It does best in USDA zones 6-10 and reseeds moderately in zone 5. Moderate to dry watering in loam, sandy or clay soils is ideal.
Mountain Lover (Paxistima canbyi) is a prostrate, broadleaf evergreen shrub. It is a rare native to the Allegheny Mountains, but is a durable and adaptable plant for edging or small-scale groundcover in the home garden. It can grow 8 to 12 inches in height and 15 to 20 inches in width. The lustrous, dark-green leaves deepen with purple in the winter months and it blooms inconspicuous flowers in April. Partial shade to shade, moderate watering and loamy soils are best. USDA zones 4-9, up to 7,000 feet are ideal growing areas.
Corsican Violet (Viola corsica) is a wild violet from the Mediterranean, with large one-inch, bright purple flowers produced from early spring to late fall. This perennial can take considerable drought and is very heat tolerant. Full sun to partial shade is ideal with moderate watering. It can grow in USDA zones 3-8, up to 9,000 feet. It does well in rich loam to clay or gravelly soil and is excellent for rock gardens.
LA VETA LACE Geranium (Geranium magniflorum LA VETA LACE) is an alpine geranium from the Drakensberg Mountains of South Africa. It is adaptable and long-lived in USDA zones 4-8. This plant forms compact, evergreen mounds of foliage, resembling finely textured parsley that takes on hints of purple and scarlet in winter. The vivid purple flowers continue from late spring into the midsummer. It can grow 6 to 10 inches tall and 20 inches in width with proper care. Loam to gravelly soils, full sun to partial shade and moderate watering are best.
For more information about Plant Select recommendations, visit the Plant Select Web site at www.plantselect.org,Denver Botanic Gardens at www.botanicgardens.org, or visit a nursery or garden center and request more information.