Plant Select is a cooperative of regional growers, CSU and Denver Botanic Gardens. They have announced their recommendations and introductions for 2011. The Plant Select 2011 perennials include:
Colorado desertblue star (Amsonia jonesii) grows about a foot tall and wide. It grows in full sun and tolerates moderate to dry conditions. It will grow at elevations up to 8,000 feet. The mounding plant is covered with blue spring flowers.
Golden storksbill (Erodium chrysanthum) has silver, ferny evergreen foliage. Pale yellow flowers pop up on the mounding plant. It grows best in moderate to dry water conditions. Golden storksbill needs loose, gravely soil to perform its best.
Avalanche white sun daisy (osteospermum `Avalanche’) blooms all summer long. It grows in full sun to partial shade. It likes moderate to dry conditions and tolerates a wide soil range. Avalanche grows as a spreading evergreen mat with long lasting white summer flowers. It will grow in mountain gardens at 9,000 feet.
Grand Mesa beardtongue (Penstemon mensarum) is a foot wide plant with two foot tall flower spikes. The spring blossoms are cobalt blue. A garden color that is hard to find. Grand Mesa grows in sun to partial shade and moderate to dry conditions. It is also a selection for mountain gardens up to 9,000 feet.
Blonde Ambition blue grama grass is a large selection of a native grass. The Blond Ambition flowers heads grow to almost three feet which is twice as tall as normal blue grama. It will grow in sun or partial shade. It tolerates varied water and soil conditions. Blonde Ambition offers multi-season garden interest.
Check with your local grower for these recommendations and introductions. I’m told some varieties are hard or almost impossible to find. Search out these new plants early in the season to assure you will have some of them in your garden this year.