Guest Author - Connie Krochmal
Plant trials were held around the country in 2009. Some cut flower varieties were stars.
Several coral bells were award winners. Related to the astilbes, these have pendant blooms that resemble miniature bells. Two cultivars were named Classic City Award Winners by the University of Georgia Trial Gardens in Athens.
Caramel Heuchera villosa has lovely delicate, wispy, white blossoms on a well shaped stem. The colorful leaves are pinkish-orange. Caramel has proven to be a very reliable perennial.
Brownies Heuchera villosa was also a Classic City Award winner. The flower stalks are covered with graceful, creamy white blooms. The foliage features a mix of shades, including tans and browns interspersed with green.
These tough plants can withstand all sorts of challenges, including drought. They need a well drained soil in partial shade.
Coral bell stems are used as a small filler flower. They have a vase life of about a week.
Tuscan Sun false sunflower was also named a Classic City Award Winner at the University of Georgia trials in Athens. This is a Proven Winners perennial that will be available in garden centers.
This false sunflower was also chosen as one of the top five varieties at the Michigan State University Horticulture Gardens in East Lansing.
Recommended for zones three through nine, Tuscan Sun reaches 1˝ feet in height. The sunny yellow petals surround golden centers. The dark greenish-black foliage offers the perfect backdrop for the lovely flowers. This cultivar is resistant to powdery mildew.
The false sunflowers prefer a moist soil. In hot climates, these benefit from partial shade. In the Georgia trials the plants laughed off the hot and humid conditions. Though the plants are reportedly tolerant of drought, they will bloom better if they’re kept watered.
Blooming throughout the summer months, the stems of false sunflowers have a long vase life—about a week or more. They’re used as a medium mass flower. These are just perfect for mixed bouquets.