Guest Author - Connie Krochmal
For 2007, a number of new succulent varieties will be available in time for the growing season. Among those are some that are only hardy in certain parts of the country. Here are some of the new offerings that will be found at garden centers and nurseries.
Agave Linda is a beautifully formed plant with the sword shaped foliage creating a perfect rosette. The leaves are light to medium green. These are noted for the colorful creamy stripes that stand out along the margins. This is only hardy in warmer regions of the country to zone nine.
Agave Spot is unique in that the foliage is highly speckled. The glistening greenish-blue leaves are highlighted with irregularly shaped dark purple blotches. As the foliage matures, the spots become more visible. Spot grows from about one to 1½ feet in height. During the summer, the stately flower spikes emerge and reach four feet in height. The white blossoms, up to an inch in length, are richly fragrant. This is recommended for zones six through nine.
A New Aloe
Aloe dorthea is being introduced to American gardeners. This plant has lovely spiny foliage that is arranged in the shape of a star. During the warmer months, the leaves will be medium green, turning red during the winter.
New Euphorbias or Spurges
While most spurges are quite hardy, this one is an exception. Royal Velvet spurge is a new evergreen perennial. Its velvety leaves provide velvety, deep dark red color. Like most spurges, this blooms during the spring. Around eight inches in length, the flowering stems feature chartreuse bracts with deep maroon centers. This plant is only hardy in warmer climates, and is recommended for zones seven through ten.
Galaxy Mixed Lewisia cotyledon
This is a wonderful new variety from Thompson and Morgan. A member of the portulaca family, this beautiful plant is a great choice for rock gardens. It is also small enough to grow in containers. Reaching ½ to one foot in height, this plant features foliage in lush rosettes. The blooms come in a range of colors, including rich orange, red, various shades of pink, and pastel salmon. This is recommended for zones six through eight.