Plant Select winners for 2016

Plant Select®, the country’s leading source of plants designed to thrive in High Plains and Intermountain regions,  is pleased to announce our new introductions and winning plants for 2016. Look for these and other Plant Select® winners at local, independent garden centers and nurseries all season long.

New Introductions

Alan's Apricot ice plantAlan’s Apricot ice plant (Delosperma ‘Alan’s Apricot’PPAF) With their neat habit and ability to suppress weeds, hardy South African ice plants make ideal small-scale groundcovers. This superior form has larger (2”) showy blooms covering the foliage nearly all summer long. Flower color changes seasonally from a true orangey-apricot to soft orangey-pink and then back again. Brought to Plant Select® by Alan Tower, Spokane WA. The hardiest and longest-blooming of all of our ice plant selections.

  • Other benefits: Good for containers, attracts pollinators, useful in rock gardens and rock walls and for edging.
  • Size: 1-2” tall x12-18” wide
  • Blooms: Apricot to pink blossoms late spring through fall
  • Sun: Full sun to part shade
  • Water: Moderate to xeric
  • Hardiness: USDA Zones 4-9
  • Culture: Clay, loam or sandy soils

RED MOUNTAINRED MOUNTAIN®  Flame ice plant (Delosperma ‘PWWG02S’). This new hybrid selection of South African ice plant is a tough, vigorous cold-hardy form with large, blazing orange-red flowers in late spring and early summer. It was selected from an evaluation plot of seedlings by David Salman, Waterwise Gardening, for its superior flower size, unusual flower color and attractive habit. Like most of the hardy ice plants, the small succulent leaves are evergreen.

  • Other benefits: Attracts pollinators, useful in rock gardens and rock walls and for edging.
  • Size: 12” tall x 12-24” wide
  • Blooms: Red with white center, late spring to summer
  • Sun: Full sun to part shade
  • Water: Moderate to xeric
  • Hardiness: USDA Zones 4-9
  • Culture:  Clay, loam or sandy soils

Autumn Sapphire sageAutumn Sapphire™ sage (Salvia reptans ‘P016S’) Commonly known as West Texas grass sage, the species reptans blooms very late in the season on plants up to 4’ tall in the garden. After years of trials and selections, this superior form was chosen for its compact and consistent growth habit. Glossy green, willowy leaves all season long are topped with clouds of small, sapphire-blue flowers through autumn this is an excellent addition to water-wise gardens. Pollinator-friendly, this late-blooming native provides a rich nectar source when many other flowers have faded.

  • Other benefits: Deer resistant, attracts pollinators and is a Southwestern U.S. native plant selection.
  • Size: 18-24” tall by 18-24” wide
  • Blooms: Autumn
  • Sun: Full sun
  • Water: Dry to xeric
  • Hardiness: USDA Zones 5-10
  • Culture: Well-drained, sandy soils

Winning plants from 2-year perennial and 3-year shrub trials

Standing Ovation little bluestemStanding Ovation little bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium ‘Standing Ovation’PP25,202) This patented selection of native plant deserves a big round of applause. A warm season grass that does well in poor, dry soils, this selection keeps a tight habit throughout the entire growing season. Spikey bluish-green leaves transition to a brilliant display of shades of red changing to deep purple in the autumn. Seed heads remain upright through winter and provide winter interest and food for birds. Brought to Plant Select® by North Creek Nursery.

  • Other benefits: Deer resistant, useful in mass plantings or meadow designs, and is a North American native.
  • Size: 2-3 tall x 12-18” wide
  • Blooms: Late summer to fall
  • Sun: Full sun
  • Water: Dry to xeric
  • Hardiness: USDA Zones 3-8
  • Culture: Well-drained, sandy soils

Mini ManMini Man™ dwarf Manchurian viburnum (Viburnum burejaeticum ‘P017S’) is a compact form of viburnum found in a seedling row of V. burejaeticum at Valley Nursery, Helena MT and introduced by Fort Collins Wholesale Nursery, CO. A charming, easy-to-grow shrub, Mini Man™ has all of the same great features of the species: medium green felty leaves in summer, clusters of white flowers in spring, persistent red to blue-black fruit and red fall color but with a very compact growth habit. Native to Russia and northern China, this is an excellent smaller shrub for cold climates.

  • Other benefits: Deer resistant, drought tolerant, useful in mixed borders and foundation plantings.
  • Size: 4-6’ tall x 4-6’ wide
  • Blooms: White, late spring to early summer
  • Sun: Full sun to part shade
  • Water: Moderate to dry
  • Hardiness: USDA Zones 4-9
  • Culture: Loamy soils

DOG TUFFA fabulous xeric alternative lawn grass for high traffic areas, dog tuff grass (Cynodon  ‘PWIN04S’) is named for its exceptional durability in yards with dogs. A sterile hybrid African form that spreads via runners, this grass similar to American buffalo grass but more resilient to wear and tear. Once established, it is highly weed- resistant, deep rooted and provides a soft, cushioned feel for bare feet. A warm-season grass, Dog Tuff™ turns green in late spring and goes dormant in mid-Autumn. Detailed instructions for planting and establishing are online on the Plant Select website.

  • Other benefits: drought tolerant, resistant to dog urine, and useful for erosion control.
  • Size: 2 ½”  – 4” tall x 2’+ wide
  • Sun: full sun
  • Water: xeric
  • Hardiness: USDA Zones 5-10
  • Culture: clay, loam or sandy soils

Plant Select petites

Yellow stardust drabaYellow stardust draba (Draba rigida) To appreciate this treasure with its tiny green leaves and bright yellow flowers locate yellow stardust draba in an easily observable site – close to the edge of a rock or in a container garden.  Its slow growth will reward you with tight green cushions and bright yellow starry flowers in the spring. This true miniature will thrive if given a few rocks to nestle up to. Try to isolate it from more vigorous growing plants so that its diminutive, mounding habit can perform its best.

  • Other benefits: Attracts bees in early spring, good for rock gardens, fairy gardens and permanent containers
  • Size: 2-3” tall x 6-10” wide
  • Blooms: Tiny but numerous yellow blossoms in spring
  • Sun: Full sun to part shade
  • Water: Moderate to xeric
  • Hardiness: USDA Zones 4-8
  • Culture: Well-drained or sandy soils

Blue Jazz pinyon pineBlue Jazz pinyon pine (Pinus monophylla ‘Blue Jazz’) is the most ornamental of all the dwarf pinyon pines collected by Jerry Morris (a noted Denver plantsman) from naturally-occurring witches’ brooms and introduced into cultivation. A dwarf globe shape, true blue needle color, and xeric nature make this conifer a real winner for water-wise gardens. This slow-growing dwarf conifer is the perfect addition to any garden that needs a permanent small evergreen presence for herbaceous plants to revolve around and play off.

  • Other benefits: Useful in rock and fairy gardens, large containers, and offers winter interest.
  • Size: Grows 1-3” per year
  • Sun: Full sun to part shade
  • Water: Xeric once established
  • Hardiness: USDA Zones 4-7
  • Culture: Well-drained or sandy soils

Moroccan pincushion flowerMoroccan pincushion flower (Pterocephalus depressus) This high-altitude native of the Moroccan Atlas Mountains possesses many ornamental characteristics: low mat-like growth with textured evergreen greyish leaves, short-stemmed pincushion-like dusty-rose-colored flowers, and attractive silvery seed heads. It is truly a four season stunner.

  • Other benefits: Excellent for rock gardens, raised beds and large containers.
  • Size: 3” x 12” wide
  • Blooms: Summer
  • Sun: Full sun to very partial shade
  • Water: Moderate to xeric
  • Hardiness: USDA Zones 4-8
  • Culture: well-drained or sandy soils

About Plant Select

Plant Select is the country’s leading brand of plants designed to thrive in high plains and intermountain regions, offering plants that provide more beauty with less work so gardeners of all levels can achieve smart, stunning and successful gardens using fewer resources and with a positive environmental impact.

 Plants in the program are:

  • Beautiful
  • Adaptable
  • Durable
  • Water-wise
  • Easy care
  • Wildlife habitat-friendly

Plant Select is a nonprofit collaboration of Colorado State University, Denver Botanic Gardens and professional horticulturists. Their mission is to seek out and distribute the very best plants for landscapes and gardens from the intermountain region to the high plains and beyond. For more information on Plant Select, visit