Vibrant Perennials Well Suited to Grow in Colorado's Altitude and Growing Conditions

REMEMBRANCE® Columbine (Aquilegia 'Swan Violet & White') is a hybrid derived from Colorado's state flower. REMEMBRANCE® is a registered trademark of FTD®

The petals and spurs of this perennial are an incredibly rich, shining violet-blue. The name honors the memory of the students and a teacher lost in the shooting at Columbine High School. Proceeds from garden center and nursery sales of this plant benefit organizations that promote diversity and tolerance in schools.Grows 14-24" tall, 15-18" wide Blooms late spring to early summer. Needs partial sun and prefers moderate water in loamy soils.








viola_corsica_massCorsican Violet (Viola corsica) This perennial pansy has large 1-inch bright purple flowers with white whiskering on the petals.

This plant is heat tolerant but does not do well in hot, humid areas. Reseeds moderately. This plant is a good choice for adding year-round bloom to your garden. Grows 6-8" tall, 6-8" wide Lovely purple blooms from early spring to late fall Likes full sun to partial shade and needs moderate water in loamy/well-drained soils Excellent for higher altitudes and partly shaded gardens.

Denver Botanic Gardens Information on Corsican Violet





coronado_red_hyssopCORONADO® Red Hyssop (Agastache 'Pstessene') is a Southwest native perennial which bears orange-yellow flowers.

Grows 15-18" tall, 12-15" wide · Spikes of tiny red blooms, most prolific July to September Good in full sun and grows in moderate to dry conditions in a wide range of soil conditions · Great for attracting pollinators like bees, butterflies and moths.






Diascia integerrima 1
CORAL CANYON® Twinspur (Diascia integerrima) is a perennial which colors resembles a cloud of soft pink, bubble-gum like pink oval flowers from late spring(May) to autumn frost (October).

This heat tolerant introduction from the East Cape Drakensberg Range of South Africa has a wide tolerance of soil and exposure. Prefers full sun to partial shade and grows with moderate water in a wide range of soil conditions · Looks great combined with purples and silvers in the garden. By far the toughest performer in this novel genus of everblooming wildflowers. Grows 15" tall, 12" wide.



Colorado Gold Ganzania linearis
COLORADO GOLD® Gazania (Gazania linearis) This perennial has glossy mounds of deep green, strap-shaped leaves with three-inch, shiny bright golden yellow flowers throughout the season April to October.

This selection is cold hardy compared to the annual bedding gazanias. It does well under ordinary garden treatment, or in unamended, dry soils (once established). Grows 3" tall, 10" wide. Grows in full sun to partial shade and is adaptable to moderate to dry conditions in well-drained soils · Great for xeriscape, edging or borders.





T75IM 1HEUCHERASnow Angel Coral Bells (Heuchera sanguinea 'Snow Angel')are a familiar and popular perennial excellent for dry shade because they adapt to various exposures and bloom reliably.

Low-growing mounds of light green, broadly-lobed leaves are marbled with a light cream variegation that brightens shady gardens. Delicate spikes of pinkish-red/coral bells flowers add a complimentary note from late spring into summer. Grows 6-15" tall, 10" wide ·Prefers partial sun to full shade and needs moderate water in loamy soils · Beautiful, variegated foliage is attractive all season long.

Penstemon_BillAdams SILVERTON® Bluemat Penstemon (Penstemon linarioides var. coloradoensis) offers a great show of lavender-blue flowers in May and June.
This native penstemon is prized for its handsome display of silvery, evergreen leaves that persist even through the winter months. If you are interested in adding plants that reflect a regional note, SILVERTON® Bluemat Penstemon will soon become one of your favorite selections. Grows 8-12" tall, 12-15" wide · Needs full sun and grows in moderate to xeric conditions in sandy, well-drained soils. Great for rock gardens and edging for low-water gardens.





Salvia greggii Wildthings

Wild Thing Sage (Salvia greggii) ·is a woody perennial with aromatic mounds of dark, semi-evergreen foliage are covered with flushes of hot pink/rose-red flowers from May to October.

Attracts hummingbirds and butterflies. Grows in full sun to partial shade and prefers moderate to xeric conditions in a wide. Grows 16-20" tall, 12-24" wide.







Furman's Red SageFurman's Red Sage (Salvia greggii 'Furman's Red') is a woody perennial great for Xeriscape and attracts hummingbirds and butterflies.


Hardy selection of a southwestern ever-blooming sage. Bright red crimson to scarlet flowers are produced in repeated flushes from June to October. Grows in full sun to partial shade and prefers moderate to xeric conditions · Best cut back in spring. Grows 18-24" tall, 12-24" wide.



BlondeAmbition_DavidSalmanBlonde Ambition blue grama grass (Bouteloua gracilis ‘Blonde Ambition” PPAF)
Seldom does a new grass selection offer the gardener something so completely different and exciting. Its profusion of big, showy chartreuse flowers, held horizontally above the leaves is unlike any other ornamental grass in cultivation.

Plant Select Winner 2011 - An exceptionally large growing selection of our native Blue Grama, it has 2 1/2 to 3 ft. tall stems of flowers that mature to long lasting blonde seed heads. These flag-like flowers rise up out of the blue-green foliage in mid-summer and are held on stiff, weather resistant stems. ‘Blonde Ambition’ provides exceptional winter interest as the stems of seed heads pop up even after a heavy snow and remain standing through winter, giving the grass 6 to 8 months of garden color and texture. This beauty is extremely cold hardy, grows in a wide range of soil types and is a perfect choice for low maintenance home or commercial landscapes. Discovered and introduced by David Salman of High Country Gardens.

Avalanche white sun daisy Osteospermum ‘Avalanche’, Dazzling white flowers with metallic backing are produced from April through summer over glistening mats of lustrous, nearly succulent, evergreen foliage.

It has greater disease resistance and heavier summer bloom than the other hardy sun daisies. Giant blossoms close at night to reveal a metallic reverse of ray flowers. A spectacular addition to the sunny border or xeriscape.



Chrysothamnus HMCM1Baby blue rabbitbrush (Chrysothamnus [Ericameria] nauseosus var. nauseosus) is a compact, dome-like strain found along the Front Range. It is especially dense and silvery-blue with bright golden flowers in late summer and fall.

This indispensible and indestructible native offers multiseason interest, growing 16-28 inches high and 20-30 inches wide. It flowers from September through November. Baby blue rabbitbrush grows best in full sun to part shade in sandy, clay or loam soils. Once established, it will need no additional moisture, but can tolerate moderate water conditions. It’s hardy in Zones 4-9.





colorado deser blue star Colorado desert blue star (Amsonia jonesii) This widely adaptable western native thrives in ordinary gardens or unwatered xeriscape.

Light blue flowers from April to June atop a mound of medium green foliage. 12" ht. x 15" width. Autumn foliage is a beautiful, clear yellow. Attracts butterflies and is deer resistant. Requires full sun.







Erodium_chrysanthumGolden Storksbill (Erodium chrysanthum) Silvery mounds of evergreen, ferny grayish-blue green foliage decorative in their own right.

Fragrant, soft yellow, geranium-like flowers from early spring until late summer. It stays low - about 6", and spreads to about 24". Long lived , easy, and adaptable. Plant in sunny location with well drained soil. Water occasionally. This is a good plant for rock gardens. It is hardy to about 10 to 15 degrees F.








Penstemon_BillAdamsGrand Mesa Beardtongue (Penstemon mensarum) The richly colored, deep cobalt-blue and lavender flowers of Penstemon mensarum will leave you in awe.

When planted with other late spring bloomers like lemon- yellow Achillea “Moonshine” and red _Salvia greggii  “Furman’s Red”, you will have a traffic- stopping color combination. Grand Mesa Beardtongue grows to form a sturdy semi-woody plant  with deep glossy green foliage. A long-lived Penstemon when grown in a lean, well- drained soil where it gets a lot of sun. Clip off the bloomed-out flower spikes right at their base, then  thin out and shape the stems  at the base of the plant for a  profusion of flowers the next  spring. Zones 4-8.







Crataegus amb fruit PK Crataegus_DavidWinger
Russian hawthorn (Crataegus ambigua) is a small ornamental tree that will grow 15 to 20 feet in height. It is hardy to zone 4.

Resists cedar apple rust. Prefers full sun and has low to very low water needs. Tolerates drought and compacted clay soil. Another gem tracing its origins in American horticulture to the Cheyenne Experiment Station, this nearly perfect small tree has gorgeous bark, foliage and flowers followed by glistening red fruit in fall beloved of birds. Did we mention golden fall color? An underutilized tree, although treasured by keen gardeners in the Front Range.

Watch this video of the 2011 Plant Select Winners and see more pictures of the beautiful plants we recently showcased in our blog.

Sit back, relax and enjoy the beauty of nature.



2016 Plant Select Winners for Colorado 


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