by Chris Manning and Patrick Williams
BEST DROUGHT-TOLERANT ANNUAL
Senecio Angel Wings (Floricultura Novazel S.A.), D.S. Cole Growers
This is a tough question now that we have an extensive line of succulents and cactus. Obviously, these are all great for dry areas. In addition, Senecio Angel Wings can withstand dry spells and still have great foliage. As to flowering plants, a couple of the Australian natives are great. Brachycome and Scaevola are two that stand out.
BEST POLLINATOR-FRIENDLY ANNUAL
Sallyfun Blue Emotion (Danziger) and Salvia Skyscraper (Selecta One), D.S. Cole Growers We love watching the bees on the Salvia. All the farinacea types such as Sallyfun Blue Emotion are great. In addition, Selecta One has brought the Skyscraper series of Salvia to the market with three bold colors including Pink, Orange and Dark Purple.
BEST POLLINATOR-FRIENDLY PERENNIAL
Victoria series (Danish Aster Club) and Henry series (Syngenta Flowers) of fall-blooming Asters, D.S. Cole Growers
Although these are not new, fall-blooming Asters are great pollinator plants. Before pollinator plants were in vogue, garden centers would cringe at the sight of all the bees hovering over the blooming Asters just waiting for someone to get stung. Luckily the bees are too busy to bother customers. We see great bee activity around both.
BEST OVERALL PERFORMANCE: ANNUAL
Chameleon Calibrachoa series (Westhoff and Dümmen Orange) and Calibrachoa MiniFamous Uno Double Pinktastic (Selecta One), D.S. Cole Growers
For ease of growth without PGRs, good all-around shape and constant blooming, we have a tie between Westhoff’s Chameleon Calibrachoa series and Selecta One’s Calibrachoa MiniFamous Uno Double Pinktastic.