Wisconsin Nursery Association announces Plants of the Year for 2001

Wisconsin Nursery Association has made its selections for Plants of the Year. They choose the Dwarf Korean Lilac as the woody Plant of the Year, and the Astilbe Visions as the herbaceous perennial Plant of the Year.

The Dwarf Korean Lilac (Syringa meyeri ‘Palibin’) produces masses of lavender-purple flower clusters at an early age. This deciduous flowering shrub blooms in spring and reaches heights between 3 and 6 feet. Suggested for use as accents, mass plantings or shrub borders.

The Astilbe (Astilbe chinesis ‘Visions’) displays vibrant raspberry coloring and is suggested for placement near bergenia, hosta and ferns, and prefer moist soil. With its high color, the Astilbe is striking when planted in shade or woodland areas, and is also an excellent cut flower, either dried or fresh. Blooming in early to midsummer, the Astilbe will grow to 12 to 14 inches.

The Plants of the Year program was initiated by the WNA to promote quality—and underused—plants to the public. Two categories were created to fully consider all plants: the woody category, which includes evergreens, deciduous shrubs and shade trees; and the herbaceous perennial category.

Specific guidelines have been developed for judging the winning selections, and they must display all of the following properties: The plant must be hardy to Zone Four, have multi-season interest and be easy to propagate and easy for consumers to grow. They must also exhibit high pest and disease resistance.

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