Guest Author - Connie Krochmal
During 2010 a number of plants that are used for cut flowers received numerous awards. Among these were some sages as well as other varieties.
Award Winning Sages
The sages were among the top five most popular perennials in several areas. These included North Carolina and Florida as well as New England.
Velocity Blue Sage was named a best overall performer at the Cornell University plant trials in Ithaca.
Sallyfun Blue Emotion was named a 2011 Prairie Star Flowers selection. These were grown at the Kansas State University bedding plant trials and the Prairie Star program. The candidate plants must be hardy to zone five, and be able to withstand hot summers typical of zones seven and eight. The winners are mostly grown as annuals rather than perennials. Sallyfun Blue Emotion was quite tolerant of drought and heat. This has lovely blue and white blooms, which are suitable both as fresh cut flowers and everlastings. The plants tolerate partial shade and full sun.
Wendy’s Wish sage was a top performer at the Dallas Arboretum trials. Reaching three feet in height with a spread of up to four feet, this plant is considered hardy to zone eight. Quite drought resistant, it can be grown in both partial shade and full sun. Wendy’s Wish has very attractive purplish-pink blooms that begin to open during late spring and can continue into the fall.
As cut flowers, the stems of the sages are used as medium filler flowers. These have a vase life of about five days or so.
Other Award Winning Cut Flowers
Various other varieties that make suitable cut flowers received various honors during the last year. These include Peachy Cheeks Kniphofia. This was among the best performers at the University of Guelph plant trials in Canada.
The kniphofias are known as torch lily, red hot poker, and poker plant. Blooming during the summer, these are used as a medium line flower. They have a vase life of about a week.
Bronze Foliage agastache or anise hyssop was also among the best performers at the Guelph plant trials. Overall, the agastaches are among the top favorite perennials in Colorado.
The anise hyssop stems are used as a medium filler flower. They have a vase life of about five to seven days. These are highly prized for their wonderful fragrance. All parts of the plant are scented.