October 13, 2021
Schizachyrium scoparium named Perennial Plant of the Year
The Perennial Plant Association (PPA) named Schizachyrium scoparium — and its cultivars — the 2022 Perennial Plant of the Year.
Perennials selected for the honour are suitable for a wide range of growing climates, require low maintenance, have multiple-season interest and are relatively disease-free.
The Perennial Plant of the Year designation began in 1990 to showcase a perennial that stands-out among its competitors.
The wider selection of Schizachyrium scoparium cultivars are selected by perennial experts in several regions of North America.
For the Canadian region, Tony Post of Brookdale Treeland Nurseries - Valleybrook Farm, selected the ‘Standing Ovation’ cultivar.
“This selection adds excellent texture to the summer garden,” Post said. “Burgundy highlights add late season interest. Seed heads are attractive, particularly when backlit.”
Patty Steinhauser of Stonehouse Nursery picked the ‘Carousel’ cultivar for the Great Lakes region.
“This uniquely mounded selection forms a wide clump of blue-green foliage that emerges nearly horizontal and matures into strong, upright stems that remain standing through inclement weather and winter,” Steinhauser said. “It takes on pink, copper and orange-red tones in fall topped with tiny seed tufts.”
Richard Hawke from the Chicago Botanic Garden selected Schizachyrium scoparium ‘Jazz’ for the Central region. Hawke noted the cultivar reaches about 90-cm tall and 75-cm wide.
“The striking silvery blue leaves of Schizachyrium scoparium ‘Jazz’ are most comparable to ‘The Blues,’” Hawke said.
For the Western region, Nanci Hollerith Allen of MarkWatch Plants notes Schizachyrium scoparium is a tricky plant without reasonably dry, well-drained soil. However, Hollerith Allen recommended ‘The Blues’ and ‘Standing Ovation’ for the pacific northwest and Rocky Mountain regions.