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  • Jane Shellenberger

Plant Select Offerings for 2024

At least 10 years ago I was at a late spring, small early evening event at Harlequins Gardens in North Boulder. I strolled over to their xeric groundcover test gardens (funded by a grant from City of Boulder Water Conservation Dept) and was struck by an especially lovely plant illuminated in the slant of late day light. Low growing mounds with narrow, silvery, sage green leaves were covered in radiant, purplish pink blooms. Wow! When I asked Mikl Brawner what it was he told me, “Oh, that’s the silver teucrium.” Back with the group at the outdoor dining table discussing plants I turned to the late Alison Peck of Matrix Gardens and asked, “Did you see the silver teucrium? You have got to check it out!” When I went back to the nursery a couple days later to buy a couple of those plants Mikl informed me that Alison Peck had come in and bought every single one.

Plant Select Director Ross Shrigley says that it took years to bring this plant into their plant promotion program. He says that while it’s one of the best plants in the trade, it proved difficult to propagate so it didn’t meet one of Plant Select’s key criteria. But Gulley’s in Fort Collins finally “cracked the code” which boiled down to taking cuttings in the spring instead of fall. So this year EversilverTM creeping germander, (Teucrium ‘Harlequin’s Silver’) shown above, tops the list of Plant Select’s “New Plants for 2024.” The bloom period is relatively short – just two weeks in early June, but the pretty, silvery foliage persists year round. It thrives with little water in full sun and deer and rabbits don’t like it.

Others on this year’s list are:

Letitia flannel plant (verbascum ‘Letitia’), a uniformly globe-shapped perennial with masses of bright yellow flowers from May into July that attract pollinators, but not deer or rabbits. Noteworthy as a xeric plant that grows well in full sun or part shade, it won the Royal Horticultural Society’s Award of Garden Merit.

Sarada’s Greek mountain tea (Sideritis syriaca ‘P023S’) is a great replacement for tradtional Lamb’s Ears. It has the same velvety soft leaves but maintains a compact form without spreading and resists disease. Full sun, low water, and pale yellow blooms from late June to early July.

Crystal Frost Arizona cypress, (Hesperocyparis arizonica ‘Fandango’), is a native tree selected from a higher elevation along the Arizona/New Mexico border that can handle extreme temperatures and drought as well as winter temps to -20°F. This beautiful tree offeres excellent nesting sites for birds and shelter for small wildlife.



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