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Written by Linda Langelo, Golden Plains Area Extension   

Plant Select® new petite perennials

Plant Select® has moved into a new line of perennials called petites. For this growing season there are three wonderful choices: Scott’s Clematis, Clematis scotti, Sandia Coralbells, Heuchera pulchella and Oxlip Primula elatior. Out of the three new introductions, only Sandia Coralbells and Oxlip will do well in our area.

Sandia Coralbells grow in full sun to partial shade and tolerate dry shade. It can also take moderate, regular watering. It needs a loamy or sandy soil and is hardy to zone four. You will see spikes of petite rose-pink bells emerge in late spring up to eight inches tall, while the foliage stays low. As an added attraction, these blooms will attract hummingbirds and bees.

Oxlip Primrose grows in partial shade and tolerates moderate to dry watering requirements. Its soil requirements have a wide range because it takes any soil and is clay-tolerant. Oxlip has a hardiness zone of four. The clusters of soft, yellow, fragrant flowers will bloom in April through May. Oxlip grows 10-15 inches tall by 12-15 inches wide. This plant will attract bees. For those gardeners interested in collecting plants, this plant is a true wild form rarely found in the trade.

Other new Plant Select® introductions for 2013 are Turquoise Tails Blue Sedum, Sedum sediforme, Narbonne Blue Flax, Linum narbonense, Tennessee Purple Coneflower, Echinacea tennesseensis, Chieftain Manzanita, Arctostaphylos x coloradensis “Chieftain” and Curly Leaf Sea Kale, Crambe maritime.

Turquoise Tails Blue Sedum grows in full sun with dry to xeric water requirements. Its soil requirements are varied from sandy, loam or clay. This sedum may not be hardy here unless it is situated in a micro-climate since it is hardy to zone 5a.

It blooms in mid-summer or June through July with creamy-yellow flowers that rise above succulent blue mounds. This sedum grows 4-6 inches tall and 6-12 inches wide. This is a plant with no care. If you were thinking about creating a green roof, this plant is perfect. The climate is warmer on the rooftop.

Narbonne Blue Flax grows in full sun to partial shade with moderate to xeric water requirements. Its soil requirements can be sandy or loam. It is hardy to zone five. During May through July, it blooms with deep sky blue flowers on top of a dense mound of evergreen foliage. This plant grows 15-18 inches tall and 15-18 inches wide. This flax is longer-lived than the western native species. Great for informal plantings and wildflower gardens.

Tennessee Purple Coneflower grows in full sun to partial shade with moderate to dry water requirements. It has a wide range of soils from sandy to loam or clay that it will grow successfully. During June through August, you will enjoy purple-pink flowers always facing east, so be sure to site this properly. This coneflower grows 18-24 inches tall and 15-18 inches wide. It is hardy in zone five. This plant was once endangered in the wild.

Chieftain manzanita grows in full to partial sun with a moderate to xeric water requirement once established. It has a soil requirement of well-drained loam or sandy soils. The white flowers appear in April and are tinged with pink. Red berries will appear in fall.

The leaves have an added attraction as they first emerge with a reddish tint, changing to a bold, dark green. The leaves tend to persist through the winter. This can be classified as an evergreen groundcover. This plant grows 18-36 inches tall and 5-8 feet wide. It is hardy to zone five.

Curly Leaf Sea Kale grows in full sun with a moderate to dry water requirement. It has a soil requirement ranging from sandy or clay or loam. It has a hardiness zone of 4. In May through June the white blossoms appear in clusters. This plant grows 24 inches tall and 24-30 inches wide. Once established this plant offers summer-long interest for dry gardens.

Remember Plant Select® plants are selected and tested for the following reasons:

—Thrive in a broad range of garden situations in the Rocky Mountain region.

—Be resilient to the region’s challenging climate.

—Exemplify the unique.

—Demonstrate disease and insect resistance.

—Flourish in low water conditions.

—Display a long season of beauty in the garden.

—Ensure noninvasiveness.

If you are interested in adding more xeric plants to your garden, maybe 2013 is the perfect year for Plant Select® plants. Adding these plants to your garden will save on water, fertilizer and other insect control measures.

For more information visit www.ext.colostate.edu.

Holyoke Enterprise April 18, 2013