The PPA has announced Schizachyrium scoparium and cultivars as the 2022 Perennial Plant of the Year. The wider selection of Schizachyrium scoparium and cultivars allows the perennial expert in any region to select and promote the cultivars that do best in his or her location!
PPA Board members selected top performers in their regions and shared appealing details about each one. Highlights of each selection are below:
Central region – Richard Hawke of the Chicago Botanic Garden selects Schizachyrium scoparium 'Jazz' for the Central region. Richard notes, "The striking silvery blue leaves of Schizachyrium scoparium 'Jazz' are most comparable to 'The Blues’, but at 36 inches tall and 30 inches wide, 'Jazz' is a foot shorter than 'The Blues' and has sturdier stems.
Southern region – Shannon Currey of Hoffman Nursery selects Schizachyrium scoparium 'The Blues' for the Southern region. Shannon comments, "In the South, our humidity, high nighttime temps, and wet springs can slow down some Little Bluestem. ‘The Blues’ is a strong, vigorous grower and has fantastic color. Blues, pinks, purples in the summer followed by reds and oranges in the fall. In the right conditions, it stands out for us."
Canadian region – Tony Post of Brookdale Treeland Nurseries - Valleybrook Farm, choses Schizachyrium scoparium 'Standing Ovation' PP25202 for the Canadian region. Tony says, “This selection adds excellent texture to the summer garden. Burgundy highlights add late season interest. Seed heads are attractive, particularly when backlit."
Western region – For the Western region, Nanci Hollerith Allen of MarkWatch Plants notes that Schizachyrium scoparium can be a tricky plant unless you have reasonably dry, well-drained soil. She shares two recommended cultivars for the Pacific Northwest and the Rocky Mountain region: Schizachyrium scoparium 'The Blues' and Schizachyrium scoparium 'Standing Ovation' PP25202.
Great Lakes region – Patty Steinhauser of Stonehouse Nursery chooses Schizachyrium scoparium 'Carousel' for the Great Lakes region. Patty says that, "This uniquely mounded selection forms a wide clump of blue-green foliage that emerges nearly horizontal and matures into strong, upright stems that remain standing through inclement weather and winter. It takes on pink, copper and orange-red tones in fall topped with tiny seed tufts."
Mid-Atlantic region – Taylor Pilker of Cavano’s Perennials suggests 'The Blues', 'Standing Ovation', and 'Jazz'. He also notes, "I like ‘Blue Heaven’ because it is taller and has good autumn color with a wide range of shades of burgundy and pink."Learn more about the 2022 Perennial Plant of the Year at www.perennialplant.org/page/2022PPOY
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