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Top Performers from Mt. Cuba Center Trials

Top Performers from Mt. Cuba Center Trials LogoThese perennial plants have taken the top spots in the rigorous garden trials conducted at Mt. Cuba Center in Hockessin, Delaware, the home of the American Horticulture Society. Their garden trials began in 1988 and includes an array of excellent Asters, Baptisias, Beebalms or Monardas, Coneflowers or Echinacea, Coreopsis or Tickseeds, Heleniums or Sneezeweed, Heuchera, one Iris, Phlox, one Sedge or Carex, and with more to come. The Top Performers Logo is courtesy of Mt. Cuba Center, all rights reserved.

 


Large clusters of lightly fragrant lavender-blue flowers are produced in early spring and are held well above the deep dark green foliage. Blue Moon Phlox was selected for its clusters of large full flowers and vigor. This is an excellent choice for lightly shaded gardens or as a groundcover under deciduous trees. Provide shade during the hottest portion of the day in hot summer climates and well-drained soil rich in organic matter. Easy and reliable once established. The flowers provide early spring nectar to butterflies and other pollinators. Item# 11217

Grows To: 6-12"H and slowly spreads
Outdoor Light: *Full sun, Part sun, Part shade, Light shade

Large rounded clusters of lightly fragrant 1" wide deep coral pink flowers that lighten to near white toward the base of the petals and with a fuchsia eye sit atop sturdy stems and are produced beginning in late spring and continuing through summer potentially into fall. Coral Crème Drop™ Garden Phlox is another exceptionally disease resistant Phlox paniculata hybrid from the Candy Store series with rich deep dark green often bronze-tinged foliage on well-branched plants that are a little more compact than most Garden Phlox cultivars reaching only about 24" high. This is a slowly spreading clump-forming perennial that will eventually develop into a dense mass of stems and foliage that is topped for weeks by the bright and showy nectar rich flowers that attract butterflies, hummingbirds, and hummingbird moths. Provide a full to mostly sunny site in well-drained fertile soils for optimum vigor and flowering. Images courtesy of Plants Nouveau, all rights reserved. Item# 12206

 

Grows To: 18-24"H x 18-24"W space about 12-14" apart
Outdoor Light: Full sun, Mostly sunny, Part shade
3.5 inch Pot / 16 fl.oz. / 473 ml
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1 of only 5 Monardas to be selected as an RHS Award of Garden Merit winner, 1 of the top 10 in Mt. Cuba Center's 2014-2016 Monarda trials, and in the top 10 in trials at the Chicago Botanic Gardens in 1998! The extra large, 3-4" wide, clusters of 2" long, deep red tubular flowers are produced over an extended period beginning in late spring to midsummer, depending on your zone. Earlier in warmer climates and later in colder climates. Gardenview Scarlet Monarda or Beebalm, a hybrid selection of native US species, it is similar in many regards to Jacob Cline, still one of the most popular red cultivars, but has improved resistance to powdery mildew and a slightly more compact habit topping out at 3' high. This is a clump-forming, slowly spreading perennial  that enjoys ample sunlight in a moist but well-drained, fertile soil. Sure to be a hummingbird magnet! Item# 12818

Grows To: 2-3'H x 2-3'W
Outdoor Light: Full sun, Mostly sunny, Part shade
3.5 inch Pot / 16 fl.oz. / 473 ml
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Ivory Towers Baptisia, False Indigo

Baptisia 'Ivory Towers'  PP26827

#3 in Mt. Cuba Center Baptisia trials and the #1 white cultivar! In midspring, loads of dark smokey purple 12-20" high flower spikes adorned with starkly contrasting bright white pea-like, nectar rich flowers are held well above the neat mounds of foliage. Ivory Towers Baptisia or False Indigo, a hybrid of our native species developed by Tony Avent of Plant Delights Nursery, is an easy and low maintenance, deer resistant, large, long-lived clump forming, herbaceous, taprooted perennial maturing to about 4-5'H and equally wide and it maintains its architecturally pleasing vase shaped form throughout the growing season. As the palnts mature they produce more and more flowering spikes with each passing year with some plants producing over a 100 spikes on mature plants. Considered a must for the cutflower garden as the spikes have an excellent vase life. Provide Baptisias with a full to mostly sunny site in a soil with average or better drainage and moderate fertility. Image credit: Tony Avent, Plant Delights, all rights reserved. Item# 13318

Grows To: 48-60"H x 48-60"W
Outdoor Light: Full sun, Mostly sunny, Part shade, *Part sun
4.5 inch Pot / 20 fl.oz. / 591 ml
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Kim Carolina Phlox, Thickleaf Phlox

Phlox carolina subsp. carolina 'Kim'  

Clusters of pinkish purple flowers with a white eye sit atop sturdy stems and are borne in late spring and early summer. Kim Carolina Phlox is a slowly spreading evergreen perennial well suited to the front of the garden and its nectar rich flowers attract a variety of pollinators including butterflies and hummingbirds. A disease and mildew resistant easy care native. Item# 10913.

Grows To: 18-24''H at flowering and slowly spreads
Outdoor Light: Full sun, Part sun, Part shade, Light shade

KISMET® Intense Orange Coneflower, Echinacea

Echinacea 'TNECHKIO'  PP28769

Voted in the top 5 by visitors in 2020 Echinacea trials at Mt. Cuba Center! Brilliant glowing orange-red rays that fade into yellow-orange pastels in late summer surround the dark orange rounded cones of disk flowers on the 3-4" wide flowers atop sturdy 18" high stems beginning in late spring and continuing into early fall. KISMET® Intense Orange Coneflower is a hybrid Echinacea selected for its exceptionally long flowering season, brilliant colors, as well as its perennial reliability as a garden plant. Coneflowers are clump forming perennials whose often fragrant flowers are adored by butterflies, bees, and other pollinators that can be enjoyed as part of the sunny garden garden and landscape as well as for container specimens. Leave seedheads for fall and winter songbirds to enjoy. Provide a full to mostly sunny site in an average moist, well-drained, fertile soil for optimum vigor and flowering. Photos courtesy of TERRA NOVA® Nurseries, Inc. www.terranovanurseries.com, all rights reserved. Item# 12784

Grows To: 16-18"H x 16-24"W
Outdoor Light: Full sun, Mostly sunny, Part shade
3.5 inch Pot / 16 fl.oz. / 473 ml
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KISMET® Raspberry Coneflower, Echinacea

Echinacea 'TNECHKR'  PP28768

#5 overall in 2020 Echinacea trials at Mt. Cuba Center! Intense raspberry red rays surround the dark orange rounded cones of disk flowers on the 3-5" wide flowers atop sturdy 18-24" high stems beginning in late spring and continuing into early fall. KISMET® Raspberry Coneflower is a hybrid Coneflower selected for its exceptionally long flowering season, brilliant color, extra large flowers, as well as its perennial reliability as a garden plant. Coneflowers are clump forming perennials whose often fragrant flowers are adored by butterflies, bees, and other pollinators that can be enjoyed as part of the sunny garden garden and landscape as well as for container specimens. Leave seedheads for fall and winter songbirds to enjoy. Provide a full to mostly sunny site in an average moist, well-drained, fertile soil for optimum vigor and flowering. Photos courtesy of TERRA NOVA® Nurseries, Inc. www.terranovanurseries.com, all rights reserved. Item# 12785

Grows To: 18-24"H x 16-24"W
Outdoor Light: Full sun, Mostly sunny, Part shade
3.5 inch Pot / 16 fl.oz. / 473 ml
Currently In Stock: 0
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Morris Berd Smooth Phlox

Phlox glaberrima 'Morris Berd', P. carolina 'Morris Berd'  

In spring to early summer clusters of rich rosy pink flowers are produced atop 18-24" high sturdy stems providing a feast for butterflies and hummingbirds. Morris Berd Smooth Phlox, a highly disease resistant selection of Phlox glaberrima or P. carolina depending on the source, is a clump-forming, slowly spreading rhizomatous native perennial that readily develops into a dense groundcovering mass of foliage and stems. This sunloving perennial is decidous in the colder portions of its range but may remain evergreen with purplish winter foliage in warmer winter regions. This easy to grow Phlox has proven to be highly resistant to powdery mildew and was in the top four in trials both at Mt. Cuba Center and the Chicago Botanic Gardens. Provide Morris Berd Phlox with a full to mostly sunny site in an average moist, fertile, well-drained soil for optimum vigor and flowering. Item# 12318

Grows To: 20-24"H and slowly spreading, space about 8-12" apart
Outdoor Light: Full sun, Mostly sunny, Part shade, Part sun

October Skies Aromatic Aster

Symphyotrichum oblongifolium 'October Skies', Aster oblongifolius  

Masses of 1" wide yellow-eyed bluish purple daisies absolutely cover this plant for weeks in late summer and fall. October Skies Aromatic Aster, a selection of Symphyotrichum oblongifolium, is a low mounding perennial that develops into a compact shrub-like plant by flowering time. Excellent fall color for the garden as well as drought tolerance and pest and disease resistance make this an excellent addition to the perennial or wildflower border and landscape. Prefers good to excellent drainage and a full to mostly sunny site. Caterpillar host: Field Crescent, Pearl Crescent, Texan Crescent, Roadside Checkerspot, Hoffman's Checkerspot, and American Lady. Item# 9913

Grows To: 18-24"H x 24-36"W
Outdoor Light: Full sun, Mostly sunny

PRAIRIE PILLARS™ Fragrant Angel Coneflower, Echinacea

Echinacea purpurea 'Fragrant Angel'  PP16054

Tops in Mt. Cuba Center's first Echinacea trials in 2009 and was still one of the top ten in the 2020 trials! It also garnered the most pollinator visits in their 2018-19 trial years likely due to its strongly fragrant flowers. Pure white rays surround the dark orange tipped rounded cones of disk flowers on the 3-5" wide flowers atop sturdy 24-30" high stems beginning in late spring and continuing into early fall. PRAIRIE PILLARS™ Fragrant Angel Coneflower is a hybrid Coneflower selected for its exceptionally long flowering season that lasts from late spring or early summer often into fall, briliant color, extra large flowers, and improved branching habit over the original Mac-N-Cheese as well as its perennial reliability as a garden plant. Coneflowers are clump forming perennials whose often fragrant flowers are adored by butterflies, bees, and other pollinators that can be enjoyed as part of the sunny garden garden and landscape as well as container specimens. Leave seedheads for fall and winter songbirds to enjoy. Provide a full to mostly sunny site in an average moist, well-drained, fertile soil for optimum vigor and flowering. Photos courtesy of TERRA NOVA® Nurseries, Inc. www.terranovanurseries.com, all rights reserved. Item# 12787

Grows To: 20-30"H x 16-24"W
Outdoor Light: Full sun, Mostly sunny
3.5 inch Pot / 16 fl.oz. / 473 ml
Currently In Stock: 0
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Purple Rooster Bee Balm, Monarda, Oswego Tea, Bergamot

Monarda didyma 'Purple Rooster'  

The rich-purple tubular flowers arch outward from the center of the ball like clusters of buds that are perched atop sturdy stems and are produced for weeks in summer often lasting into fall and attract hummingbirds and larger butterflies. Purple Rooster Bee Balm, a selection of the native Monarda didyma, has outstanding disease resistance as well as some of the deepest purple flowers among its peers. This is a slowly spreading, winter deciduous, herbaceous perennial that will prefer a moist, well-drained, fertile soil in a full to mostly sunny site for optimum vigor and flowering. Purple Rooster won high marks in Monarda trials at Mt. Cuba Center, the headquarters for the American Horticulture Society. Item# 12317

Grows To: 3-4'H x 2-3'W space about 1' apart
Outdoor Light: Full sun, Mostly sunny

Rounded clusters of raspberry colored buds open to 2" long tubular, nectar rich, raspberry wine colored flowers in summer. Raspberry Wine Monarda is a disease resistant selection with strongly fragrant, deer and rabbit resistant foliage that can be used to flavor teas. Bee Balm is a clump forming, slowly spreading perennial well suited to moist, well-drained soils in a sunny garden setting whether in the herb garden or in mass as an informal groundcover. Item# 11400

Grows To: 3-4'H x 2-3'W, space about 12-18" apart
Outdoor Light: Full sun, Mostly sun

Wood's Light Blue Dwarf New York Aster, Michaelmas Daisy

Symphyotrichum novi-belgii 'Wood's Blue', Aster novi-belgii  

Light blue narrow rays surround the eye of contrasting yellow disc flowers sit atop the neat mounds of foliage beginning in late summer and continuing into fall. The nectar rich flowers attract a variety of smaller pollinators. Wood's Light Blue New York Aster, a selection of Symphyotrichum novi-belgii or Aster novi-belgii, is a 8-12" x 8-12" compact selection of the species that is a good choice as a replacement for fall mums and can be enjoyed as both a container plant as well as near the front of the border in the garden and landscape. Provide a full to partly shaded site in an average moist, average to well-drained, fertile soil for optimum vigor and flowering. Caterpillar host: Field Crescent, Pearl Crescent, Texan Crescent, Roadside Checkerspot, Hoffman's Checkerspot, and American Lady. Images courtesy of North Creek Nurseries, all rights reserved. Item# 13151

Grows To: 8-12"H x 8-12"W, space about 8-12" apart
Outdoor Light: Full sun, Mostly sunny, Part shade, Morning sun

Large clusters of lightly fragrant lavender-blue flowers are produced in early spring and are held well above the deep dark green foliage. Blue Moon Phlox was selected for its clusters of large full flowers and vigor. This is an excellent choice for lightly shaded gardens or as a groundcover under deciduous trees. Provide shade during the hottest portion of the day in hot summer climates and well-drained soil rich in organic matter. Easy and reliable once established. The flowers provide early spring nectar to butterflies and other pollinators. Item# 11217

Grows To: 6-12"H and slowly spreads
Outdoor Light: *Full sun, Part sun, Part shade, Light shade
     

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