Guest Author - Connie Krochmal
For 2007, a number of new hardy succulents are being introduced to American gardens. Among these are the following.
Euphorbias or spurges
Blackbird euphorbia has been available for several years in England and Europe. It is now being introduced to America. It is named for the very dark purple evergreen leaves. For the best color, plant this perennial in full sun. The shapely, bushy plants reach about a foot in height and up to 1˝ feet across. During the spring, Blackbird euphorbia is covered with red flower buds. These open to reveal clusters of greenish-yellow blossoms. This is recommended for zones five through nine.
Everything about Bonfire cushion spurge is colorful. Initially green, the leaves display various shades of orange and red as well as purple, and chartreuse. These then retain their bright colors throughout the growing season. During the spring, the colorful yellow bracts make a showy appearance. Reaching about 1˝ feet in height, this forms a neat mound. Bonfire is recommended for zones five through nine. It is deer resistant. In the South, the plants need partial shade. Elsewhere, it prefers full sun.
Tiny Tim euphorbia is an award winning variety. Available for some time in Europe, it is also being introduced to American gardeners. It received a god medal at Plantarium 2004 in Europe. A mounding, compact variety, this grows to about a foot in height. Unlike some euphorbias, this one blooms throughout the growing season from spring through the fall months. The blossoms last for a very long period, and are chartreuse with gorgeous red centers. This is winter hardy to zone six.
Hen and chicks (Sempervivum)
Black sempervivum or hen-and-chicks has attractive rosettes of medium green leaves. Initially the tips and margins of the leaves are bright red. As the rosette matures, this becomes dark purple. Black makes an excellent ground cover. It is recommended for zones five through nine.
New Sedums or Stonecrops
Abbeydore sedum or stonecrop is a new upright variety with a compact growth habit. The fleshy leaves are greenish-blue. Pink in bud, the blossoms open to reveal lovely clusters of reddish-pink blooms. This grows to about 1˝ feet tall. Abbeydore is winter hardy in zones three through nine.
Thompson and Morgan has a wonderful new perennial called Sedum Turkish Delight. This species of sedum is sometimes known by another Latin name, Hylotelephium. Recommended for zones three through ten, it is dwarf enough to grow in pots. Its petite size also means it is a great choice for rock gardens and at the front of mixed borders. Turkish Delight sedum only reaches about six inches in height. The foliage is very remarkable—so dark that it is almost black.
During the late summer and fall months, the stems are covered with clusters of red flowers.
Goldilocks Sedum is a delightful new perennial that can be grown from seed. This is a seed strain from Sedum selskianum. All parts of Goldilocks are covered with soft hairs. The strap-shaped foliage is thick and narrow. The plants have an upright growth habit rather than running along the ground like many of the dwarf sedums. This is medium in height for a sedum—about eight inches tall. Flowering the first year from seed, the vivid gold blossoms begin opening in August.
Sedum Maestro is a new sport from Matrona Sedum. The rather large, fleshy leaves are greenish-blue. This has lovely purple stems. It blooms earlier than some sedums—during the summer months. Red in bud, the flowers open pink and form clusters that are five to seven inches across. The compact plants, which have an upright growth habit, reach about 1˝ feet in height. This is recommended for zones three through nine.
Sedum Xenox is a compact plant that is noted for its gorgeous scalloped foliage. This is very dark in color. When the stems initially appear during the spring, the leaves will be green or mauve. Over time as this matures, it becomes burgundy. Xenox has velvety red flower buds that form large clusters up to three inches across. The blooms are ready as well. Xenox reaches a little over a foot or so in height. This is recomm