2024 Brings New Gold Medal Plants!

2024 Brings New Gold Medal Plants!

iris

The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society (PHS) has shared its list of Gold Medal Plant winners for 2024!

The Gold Medal Plant Program was created by PHS in 1979 to celebrate and showcase beautiful, easy-to-grow plant species ideal for home gardening. Gold Medal Plants have been selected for their ease of cultivation, multiple seasons of interest, commercial availability, and value to wildlife!

Meet The 2024 Gold Medal Plants:

Without further ado, here are the 2024 Gold Medal Winners!

1. Millennium Asparagus

asparagusAsparagus is stem-vegetable producing uniform, tight-tipped, tender spears with excellent flavor! Asparagus is hardy and easy to grow in full sun and loose, organically rich, evenly moist, sandy, well-drained soil. In addition to the edible shoots, Asparagus produces attractive ferny foliage that looks great in the landscape and floral bouquet. It is disease, deer, and drought-resistant and grows in hardiness zones 3-10.

2. Proven Winners® Sugar Shack® Buttonbush

Proven Winners® Sugar Shack® Buttonbush

Proven Winners® Sugar Shack® Buttonbush (Cephalanthus occidentalis 'SMCOSS' USPP 26,543) is an excellent native plant for wet, even boggy sites! This cultivar carries the distinctive round, white fragrant flowers indicative of Button Bush, but it differs from conventional Buttonbush in that after the flowers are spent, it has showy red fruit rather than the typical green!

Sugar Shack® Buttonbush also boasts a useful, compact habit - about half the size of the straight species at just 4-5 feet tall and wide and is an exceptional shrub for pollinators. This variety has green glossy foliage that turns red and burgundy in the fall throughout USDA zone 4-10.

3. Woodland Ruby Anise Shrub

star florida anise

The Woodland Ruby Anise (Illicium ‘Woodland Ruby’), more commonly known as Star Florida Anise, is a tree or shrub that has deep reddish strap-like flowers with an extended period of bloom! Beginning in early summer and lasting through fall throughout USDA growing zones 6-9. 

Woodland Ruby requires protection from winter winds and is happiest in some shade but will tolerate more sun given enough moisture. It grows well in numerous settings and especially well in city gardens, where space and light are issues. These deer-resistant shrubs attract pollinators, and have fragrant leaves and flowers! In its mature height of 6-7 feet, it is a good choice for a screen or backdrop!

4. Japanese Roof Iris

lion king iris

Pretty Japanese Roof Iris (Iris tectorum) Also known as Japanese Roof Iris, or the Wall Iris has beautiful showy flowers in shades of lavender blue, blush violet, and lilac blue. Its foliage is arranged in fans of narrow, lance-shaped, ribbed, glossy, upright leaves. It can spread rapidly in the garden. Called Roof Iris because they were grown in the thatch of Chinese and Japanese houses.

Growing well in organically rich, medium moist, well-drained soil in full sun to part shade. Japanese Iris benefits from the shelter of a wall with western or southern exposure and appreciates winter mulch. It is hardy in USDA growing zones 6-9, is deer-resistant, and grows 12 to 18 inches tall in maturity.

5. Genie Magnolia Tree

genie magnolia

The Genie Magnolia Tree (Magnolia ‘Genie’) is a perfect flowering ornamental tree for small space gardens! It has an incredible spring flowering display of red to purple scented flowers with repeat blooms through the growing season. Forming a narrow columnar profile that fits anywhere - only 10 to 13 feet tall, 5 feet wide!

Genie grows best in sun to part shade in slightly acidic, moist, fertile well-drained soils. Amend with compost when planting and keep well watered, especially in the warmer of its favored growing zones throughout USDA growing zones 5 through 9.

6. Brandywine Foam Flower

Tiarella

The pretty Brandywine FoamFlower (Tiarella cordifolia ‘Brandywine’) is a gorgeous perennial that looks like a cross between Coral Bells (which they are related to) and Astilbe! Tiarella can go by Foam Flower two words, or Foamflower one word. The unique foamy spires of bold white flowers sit above the ground-hugging foliage and stay in bloom for 2 months. It attracts specialist bee species and other pollinators, and it is great for small space gardens, containers, and window boxes. The leaves have red hues and turn bronze in the fall, and often can be semi-to-fully evergreen in warmer, more frost-free climates.

It is an early-season, long-blooming, plant introduced by Sinclair Adams at Dunvegan Nursery in West Chester, Pennsylvania. Foam Flowers thrive in part-to-full shade and work well in both dry and moist soils. It combines well with other shade-loving plants and is deer-resistant throughout USDA growing zones 4 to 8.

New Year Brings Great Plants!

Great new plants and fantastic garden standards help make your landscape and the year 2024 that much better! Nature Hills works with all the best breeders and nurseries around the country to bring you the very latest and the greatest garden additions!

Look for these Gold Medal plants and other new offerings on our website this year!

Happy Planting!

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