Guest Author - Connie Krochmal
When choosing plants for cut flower gardens, consider these award winning varieties.
Crystal Peak White Obedient Plant
Also called false dragon head, Crystal Peak White was named a 2010 Fleuroselect Gold Medal winner. This perennial blooms from mid-summer through the fall. They’re wonderful cut flowers with tall, erect flower spikes. Crystal Peak White will bloom the very first year from seed. The first blossoms start appearing about three months after the seeds are planted. The single white blossoms resemble snapdragon flowers. They’re bell-shaped with lobed edges. The stems are nearly 1˝ feet in height.
Crystal Peak White is very hardy, and is recommended for zones two through nine. Members of the mint family, these perennials are native to the eastern states.
Originally a wildflower, they are now grown as cut flowers. In the cutting garden, these need full sun and prefer a well-drained soil. This variety can be grown in containers. These stems will last for about a week or so as a cut flower.
Jade Princess is one of the ornamental millets. It was named one of the best new varieties at the Oklahoma State University trials in Oklahoma City. It was also named one of the top five varieties at the University of Illinois trials, which take place at the University of Illinois Arboretum, Miles C. Hartley Selections Garden, in Urbana. In addition, this variety was chosen as a favorite by visitors to the Illinois gardens.
Jade Princess was also named a Classic City Award annual winner at the University of Georgia Trial Gardens in Athens.
The chartreuse foliage acts as a gorgeous background for the two-tone flower heads, which are yellowish-green on the lower portion and a rich, reddish-brown on the upper portion.
Ornamental millet stems make a great cut flower. Jade Princess stems are around 2˝ feet in height. The flowers are pollen-free. This is a new variety that will be available for the first time in 2010. These plants are sold under the Simply Beautiful brand. Plants can be found in garden centers and the usual sources. Seeds are also available as well.
In the cutting garden, the ornamental millets need full sun and a well drained soil. The stems have a vase life of about five to seven days. They’re used as a medium mass flower.