In my last couple of blogs, I've reported on top-performing varieties at university trials. So far we've covered Colorado State University and Michigan State University — two varying climates. And today, I'd like to focus on Kansas State University.
KSU has a very unique program combined with its plant trials. The Prairie Star program is an ongoing list of annual flowers best adapted to the challenging prairie climate. According to the Prairie Star website (www.prairiestarflowers.org ), the list contains flowers that have exhibited superior performance for two or more years in the KSU bedding plant research trials. Prairie Star flowers are the best of the best — flowers that grow and bloom abundantly with minimal care.
Plants are rated for vigor, floriferousness, and number and size of flowers. Plant varieties are submitted by or collected from plant breeders and distributors around the world.
So without further ado, here are some of the newest additions to the Prairie Star Flowers program for 2013! You can view additional photos and learn more about the complete list at www.prairiestarflowers.org .
Angelonia 'Serena Blue' (PanAmerican Seed)
This variety's well-branched plants fill gardens, landscapes and mixed containers with unique dimensional color. This continuous bloomer is durable and performs well under a wide range of conditions.
Calibrachoa 'Superbells Blackberry Punch' (Proven Winners)
Known for its distinctive dark eye, this calibrachoa features a rich velvet-black throat on deep pink petals. It is a low-maintenance plant with abundant flowers.
Canna 'South Pacific Scarlet' (American Takii)
Excellent for garden borders, containers and shallow areas of water gardens, this canna is vigorous and compact. It features excellent repeat blooming on multiple spikes.
Gaillardia 'Mesa Bright Bicolor' (Kieft Seed)
This gaillardia puts out lots of fast color on strong plants. Early flowering and well-branched, it fills containers quickly and maintains a controlled height without flopping over.
Helichrysum 'Silver Leaf Yellow' (Suntory Collection)
This early-flowering variety boasts bright yellow flowers on silver-green foliage. It is a versatile plants and can be used in landscapes, containers, hanging baskets and borders.
Lobularia 'Silver Stream' (Danziger)
Bred for heat tolerance, 'Silver Stream' is well controlled in nature. It can handle early to late season and makes a great addition to combination pots.
Are you familiar with the Prairie Star program? Are you growing any of the above plants? How are they performing for you? Shoot me an e-mail  anytime; I'd love to hear from you.
— Jasmina