Pollinators Are Abuzz for the 2019 Perennial of the Year By: B. Rosie Lerner, Extension Consumer Horticulturist, Purdue University
Stachys ‘Hummulo’ Perennial of the Year for 2019
By selecting Stachys officinalis ‘Hummelo’ as its 2019 Perennial Plant of the Year, the Perennial Plant Association once again continued its focus on pollinator-friendly plants.
‘Hummelo’ is a compact, clump-forming perennial, reaching 1.5 to 2 feet tall and wide. Over time, the plants will form a dense mat, spreading slowly from creeping underground stems. Showy magenta flower spikes rise well above the foliage in midsummer and are quite attractive to butterflies and other pollinators. Plants are hardy in USDA Hardiness zones 4-8 and appear to be trouble-free. Plants perform best in full sun and well-drained soil. ‘Hummelo’ was the highest rated Stachys in the Chicago Botanic Garden Evaluation Trials for its strong flower production, vigor, habit, quality and winter hardiness.
The Perennial Plant Association selects a different perennial plant each year to promote throughout the nursery and gardening industry. PPA members nominate plants based on several criteria, including low maintenance needs, adaptability to a wide range of climates, pest and disease resistance, wide availability, multiple seasons of interest, and ease of propagation. A selection committee narrows the field tothree or four choices, and then members cast votes.
For more information about the Perennial of the Year program, see www.perennialplant.org.
Below are the last five PPA Perennial Plant of the Year winners:
• 2018 Allium ‘Millenium’ (ornamental onion)
• 2017 Asclepias tuberosa (butterfly milkweed)
• 2016 Anemone x hybrida ‘Honorine Jobert’ (windflower)
• 2015 Geranium ‘Biokova’ (dwarf cranesbill, hardy geranium)
• 2014 Panicum virgatum ‘Northwind’ (tall switch grass)