Wednesday, February 8, 2012

2012 Perennial of the Year - Brunnera Macrophylla 'Jack Frost'

Brunnera macrophylla 'Jack Frost' - Jill Hudock Garden
Every year, the Perennial Plant Association names a plant Perennial of the Year.  For 2012 the plant is Brunnera macrophylla 'Jack Frost'.  Also called Siberian bugloss, Brunnera macrophylla forms a low-growing clump, reaching 18 inches tall and wide. Brunneras have lovely small blue spring flowers that look like forget-me-nots, hence another common name, False Forget Me Not. The cultivar 'Jack Frost' is particularly notable for its striking silver leaves and contrasting dark green veins and leaf edge, giving it season-long interest.

According to Dr. Leonard Perry of the University of Vermont,
...this cultivar was found early one morning 1999 in a flat of the cultivar 'Langtrees' at Walters Gardens in Zeeland, MI. Looking at the leaves they were reminded of the story of Jack Frost, hence the name. It really made its debut in 2002, being featured on the front of Walters (wholesale) catalog.

In Bloom with a White Bleeding Heart - Jill Hudock Garden
Brunneras prefer shade, but will tolerate morning sun.  The rough, hairy leaves are resistant to insects, disease, rabbits, and deer browse. Just an excellent plant for your shade garden.

Cindy Stead Specimen

The Perennial Plant Association selects a different perennial plant each year to promote throughout the nursery and gardening industry. Members of the PPA are invited to nominate plants based on several criteria, including low maintenance requirements, adaptability to a wide range of climates, pest and disease resistance, wide availability, multiple seasons of interest in the garden and ease of propagation. A PPA committee then narrows the field to 3-4 choices from which the members cast their votes.

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