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Plant of the Year

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The “Plant of the Year” is often designated by various gardening and horticultural societies or organizations, and sometimes by individual countries, so there can be multiple plants receiving this title in a given year. One of the more recognized programs is the “Perennial Plant of the Year,” designated by the Perennial Plant Association (PPA) in the United States. However, there are also annuals, houseplants, and other categories awarded by different organizations.

Here are the perennial plants of the year as awarded by the PPA from 2010 to 2022, along with a brief description of each:

2010 – Baptisia australis (Blue False Indigo)

This hardy perennial features tall spikes of deep blue flowers in late spring to early summer. It’s drought-tolerant once established and adds a striking vertical element to the garden.

A Baptisia australis plant with its blue flowers
A Baptisia australis plant with its blue flowers

2011 – Amsonia hubrichtii (Hubricht’s Bluestar)

Valued for its foliage, in spring and summer, it features feathery green leaves and light blue star-shaped flowers, and in autumn, the foliage turns a stunning golden yellow.

Photo by David J. Stang, CC BY-SA 4.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

2012 – Brunnera macrophylla ‘Jack Frost’ (Siberian Bugloss)

Noted for its silver heart-shaped leaves veined with green and tiny, sky-blue flowers in the spring. It’s a shade-loving plant, making it perfect for woodland gardens.

2013 – Polygonatum odoratum ‘Variegatum’ (Variegated Solomon’s Seal)

This shade perennial has arching stems with variegated green and white foliage and dangling white bell-shaped flowers in spring, followed by black berries.

2014 – Panicum virgatum ‘Northwind’ (Northwind Switchgrass)

An ornamental grass that stands upright and features tall, slender blue-green leaves that turn golden yellow in fall.

2015 – Geranium ‘Biokovo’ (Biokovo Cranesbill)

A hardy geranium with fragrant, pale pink flowers and deeply lobed, semi-evergreen leaves. It’s known for its excellent ground-covering capabilities and autumn foliage color.

2016 – Anemone x hybrida ‘Honorine Jobert’ (Windflower)

This perennial blooms late in summer into fall, featuring pure white flowers on long, graceful stems and thrives in partially shaded areas.

2017 – Asclepias tuberosa (Butterfly Weed)

With its bright orange flowers, this native plant is a favorite of monarch butterflies—both as a nectar source and as a host plant for their caterpillars. It’s drought-tolerant and thrives in full sun.

2018 – Allium ‘Millenium’ (Ornamental Onion)

This allium variety has attractive, grass-like foliage and produces rounded heads of rose-purple flowers in mid-to-late summer.

2019 – Stachys monieri ‘Hummelo’ (Betony)

Valued for its rose-lavender, spiky flowers, and mounding, low-maintenance habit. It’s attractive to pollinators and provides a bold color statement.

2020 – Aralia cordata ‘Sun King’ (Golden Japanese Spikenard)

A shade-loving perennial with golden-yellow foliage that provides a bold color contrast. Small white flowers in late summer are followed by deep purplish-black berries.

2021 – Calamintha nepeta subsp. nepeta (Lesser Calamint)

Offers tiny, white flowers throughout the summer and a gentle, minty fragrance. It’s a favorite of pollinators and a great filler for any sunny spot in the garden.

2022 – Schizachyrium

All cultivars of Schizachyrium were selected for 2022. The fall color of this medium-sized native grass makes it stand out.

2023 – Rudbeckia ‘American Gold Rush’

Because of its thinner and hairier leaves, this hybrid Rudbeckia is resistant to fungus even in rainy, humid environments.

A clump of Rudbeckia Hirta Black Eyed Susans along a walkway
Rudbeckia hirta

2024 – Phlox paniculata ‘Jeana’

Phlox paniculata ‘Jeana’ is without a best-performing phlox. This cultivar was named after Jeana Prewitt, who spotted it growing along the Harpeth River in Nashville, Tennessee.

A crop of pink Phlox paniculata 'Jeana' in a field
Courtesy Mt Cuba Center

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