How did we jump from spring of 2016 to recap and review time? It’s been a busy but great year, and if you’re in the landscape industry you’re probably happy for a chance to slow down for the holidays. While you’re taking a little break, let’s look at some of the hottest plants for landscape design in 2016. Some you may know well; if there are some you missed, why not try them out in 2017?
Carex oshimensis Evercolor® ‘Eversheen’
Sedge grass is a versatile plant in the landscape. ‘Eversheen’ has the beautiful gold color of carex varieties like ‘Evergold’ but the dark margins really make the colors pop. Mounding to about 16” tall, this cultivar is listed as growing in USDA zones 5a to 10.
Pieris japonica ‘Cabernet’ PPAF
Let’s be honest – is there a better name for piquing homeowners’ interest? You could probably design a “wine garden” around plants with an oenological theme. This terrific evergreen shrub combines richly colored blooms and bronze-tinted new foliage to create drama in the garden. As with many pieris it’s a slow grower, eventually reaching 5-7’ tall and 3-5’ wide. Look for this plant in zones 6 to 8.
Callicarpa x ‘nccx2’ PPAF CBRAF (common name ‘Pearl Glam™’)
Callicarpa is typically a bit of a “sleeper” plant. The small flowers and bright foliage are attractive but nothing exceptional; beautyberry comes into its own at the end of the season with its profusion of bright purple berries. ‘Pearl Glam™’ flips the script with deep purple foliage and white spring flowers, turning this callicarpa into an all-season stunner. Recommended for zones 5 to 8, grows to 5’x5’.
Thuja plicata x standishii ‘Virginian™’ PPAF
‘Virginian™’ is an arborvitae that was cultivated from a sport out of a Green Giant arborvitae. Similar to popular varieties like “Smaragd’, ‘Virginian™’ has green, dense foliage without requiring pruning to get there. It’s a rapid grower like ‘Green Giant’ but doesn’t get nearly as tall or wide. Final size is listed as 14.5’ tall and 6.5’ wide, making it a terrific screening evergreen for the typically narrow suburban lot. Zone 5 is what’s listed, but we have an email in with the patent holder and will update as info comes in.
Buxus sempervirens ‘Skywalker’ PP22,977
An upright, quick growing boxwood seems like an amazing find, and that’s what ‘Skywalker’ is. The grower states that it has dark green foliage and will grow 30 inches in a year, reaching an eventual size of 15 feet tall x 3 feet wide. Zone info is listed as 6a.
Hydrangea macrophylla Onyx® ‘Zebra’ PP18,688
Sometimes it feels like deer serve a vital function, preventing mophead hydrangeas from being any more common than they already are. The Onyx® series of hydrangeas all have strong, black stems. ‘Zebra’ offers a study in contrasts with bright white blooms that bloom on both old and new wood.
Cotinus coggygria ‘Old Fashioned’ PP19,035
Smokebush is one of those plants that can really make a statement in the right spot. ‘Old Fashioned’ is a new introduction that builds on what makes cotinus a wonderful specimen shrub and adds a range of seasonal colors. In the spring, new growth is flushed with purple. Summer foliage is blue-gray, and the fall foliage lights up the yard with hues of pink, orange, and red. Eventual size is 6 feet high x 5 feet wide.
Have you had an opportunity to try any of these 2016 introductions in your projects? If not, you may want to consider them for upcoming planting installations!
Even though these are new introductions, many of these plants are already in the plant library within Describeit. Those that aren’t are simple to add. If you want to see just how many plants our database features, as well as how Describeit can help you close more sales, sign up for a FREE starter plan and start exploring!