Guest Author - Connie Krochmal
When shopping for hardy succulents for your garden, consider the award winning varieties. These have proven they’re stars during plant trials.
Euphorbia Burgundy Wine was a top performer at the Texas A & M trials in Overton. This large plant can easily reach three to five feet in height. So, do give it plenty of room. It is named for the exquisite, deep red foliage.
Euphorbia Blackbird was named a Classic City Award Winner at the University of Georgia trials in both the 2006 and 2007 trials. Hardy to zone six, this blooms all summer. It is named for the very dark purple foliage that looks good all season. It laughed off record high temperatures and prolonged drought.
Euphorbia Silver Fog was named an outstanding new variety in the University of Florida trial gardens for 2008.
Euphorbia Faded Jeans also did very well in Florida trials. This is a low growing, compact plant. The foliage is gray-green.
At commercial trials in California, a number of sedums were among the best perennials in trials during 2007. The trial singled out a number of sedums as
top performers. These included Mr. Goodbear, Picolette, and Autumn Charm.
Sedum Mr. Goodbear is hardy to zone four. This is a little over a foot tall with a matching spread. The strong, upright stems are branched. Needing full sun, this plant reaches 1˝ feet in height. The gorgeous flowers, which are bright pink, open in large clusters. The buds are salmon. It blooms earlier than Autumn Joy, usually in June and July. This is a good choice for butterfly gardens.
Sedum Picolette has short, branching stems. It is noted for its vibrant, deep purple foliage. The mauve blooms start opening in June.
Sedum Autumn Charm has also been available for several years. It proved to be reliable during perennial trials. This developed as a sport of Autumn Joy. It is best known for its variegated foliage with vivid gold along the edges. Its blooms start opening in late summer and fall. The flowers are mauve. This has sturdy, branching stems.
Sedum Lemon Coral was named a winner at the University of Florida trials in 2007. This was grown as a cool season bedding plant, and did remarkably well. A vigorous plant, it is noted for its unique foliage, which ranges from lime-green to yellow. The plant is quite tolerant of disease problems.