US: Top perennials from Colorado State University trials

Colorado State University announced its "Top Performer" perennials from its 2016 Flower Trials. According to Dr. James E. Klett in Fort Collins, Colorado, the plants were installed in 2014 and evaluators met and reviewed photos before making their decision.

"A perennial entry is only considered for the 'Top Performer' award if it has been in the ground for two winters and three growing seasons," says Klett. Among the 2016 perennial stand-outs were our very own Heuchera Carnival Rose Granita and Perovskia CrazyBlue. Below are trial photos courtesy of CO State, as well as judges' comments.

Carnival Rose Granita Heuchera
(Heuchera x hybrid)
"One of the best in the Carnival series, Rose Granita is unique among Heuchera in that the foliage reflects light and even seems to glow at times. Its foliage has a composite of pink, purple and green, combined with a silver overlay that seems to change with the angle of the sun as well as the season for a truly mesmerizing appearance. Beautiful from a distance, this plant only gets more impressive up close as the leaf variation starts to come into focus. Use in mass plantings or as a small specimen in the shade. The plants have a very uniform growth habit and a light pink flower that complements the foliage nicely."

CrazyBlue Russian Sage
(Perovskia atriplicifolia)
"Besides the prolific blue flowers, this entry is noted for a very attractive growth habit that is smaller than the species and is not susceptible to lodging even with overhead irrigation. Growth habit improves with age and with time makes a very attractive compact mound of silver gray foliage. Plants appear dense with good branching and have a very long bloom period. This selection thrives in a dry location and maintains a slightly more compact habit."

For more information:
Darwin Perennials
622 Town Road
West Chicago, Illinois 60185-2698
630 231-3600

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