Of the 2014 plants of year, is there one for you? – The News Journal
Lots of organizations designate special plants of the year to highlight plants with great features and help gardeners choose plants to add to their landscape.
Here are some of the choices for 2014.
• The Delaware Nursery and Landscape Association (DNLA) chooses both a woody plant (tree or shrub) and an herbaceous plant (one that dies back to the ground each year) yearly to promote to Delaware gardeners. They must grow well in our region, have few pest and disease problems, provide an interesting or showy element and be somewhat underused in the Delaware landscape. This year they are paperbark maple and Christmas fern.
The paperbark maple (Acer griseum) is a small tree that grows in moist, well-drained soil in full sun to partial shade. It has an oval to oval-rounded habit and is known for its peeling, cinnamon to reddish brown bark. Trifoliate leaves are dark green but turn red in the fall.
The Christmas fern (Polystichum acrostichoides) is best grown in dry to medium moisture, well-drained soils in part shade to full shade. It typically grows in a fountain-like clump to 2 feet tall and features evergreen fronds. Another benefit is that it is deer resistant.
• The Society of Municipal Arborists has named Persian ironwood (Parrotia persica ‘Vanessa’) as its 2014 street tree winner. Parrotia was chosen for its resistance to drought and pests, upright habit, hardiness, slow-growing smaller size, fall color and interesting bark.
• The Perennial Plant Association chose Northwind switchgrass (Panicum virgatum ‘Northwind’). It is guaranteed not to flop. Olive-green to blue-green foliage turns tan in the fall.
• The National Garden Bureau picks a flower, vegetable and perennial each year to showcase, and the 2014 choices are petunia, cucumber and Echinacea (coneflower).
Delaware Gardener is written by specialists from the Delaware Cooperative Extension Service at the University of Delaware. This week’s writer is Susan Barton, associate professor. Email questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. You also may mail questions to the Delaware Gardener, University of Delaware, New Castle County Extension, 461 Wyoming Road, Newark, DE 19716. Personal replies are not possible.
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