(03/09/23) HAMMOND, La. — The LSU AgCenter has announced the release of five Louisiana Super Plants for the 2023 growing season.
AgCenter commercial horticulture specialist Jeb Fields said the Louisiana Super Plants program is not just about pretty flowers.
“Not only are these some of the best plants available, but we are working to include plants that provide added functionality to the landscape,” he said. “We still ensure the highest aesthetic quality of plants inducted into the program.”
Fields said work continues to evolve the Louisiana Super Plants program to fit the growing needs of the Louisiana public and the Louisiana green industry alike.
“We are including more purposeful plants like natives, pollinators and niche plants that are critical to maintain the superior nature of the program,” he said.
The five 2023 Louisiana Super Plants were well supported and performed wonderfully throughout the evaluation process, Fields said. Plus, this year the selection team decided to include a surprise induction as lagniappe.
The spring 2023 selection is the Peggy Martin rose. Known as the Katrina rose, it was found surviving in Plaquemines Parish after Hurricane Katrina. With its unique story, this rose will forever be connected to Louisiana’s horticultural history. With countless gorgeous pink flowers, Peggy Martin is a prolific bloomer.
Like most roses, it grows best in full sun and well drained soils. This is a vigorous, climbing rose with cascading branches that bring a unique look to the landscape. The climbing habit makes this a great choice for fences, trellises and railings, especially because the rose produces a relatively low number of thorns. Pruning is more form-specific than other roses. Cane thinning and shaping should be done to ensure proper growth.
The summer 2023 selections are two Evolvulus varieties: Blue My Mind and Blue Daze.
Evolvulus Blue My Mind is a perfect warm-season border plant or groundcover. It also can work as a spiller plant for containers and baskets. The amazing, bright blue flowers are unbeatable in the landscape, and the plants handle the Louisiana heat with ease.
A tried-and-true favorite of the landscape industry, Blue Daze is rightfully being added as a Louisiana Super Plant in 2023. This heat-loving, drought-tolerant, blue-flowering staple is an excellent choice as a groundcover or border plant. Plant in a mass for a mat of blue against a silvery-green background. An easy way to tell these apart from the Blue My Mind cultivar is that the flowers are slightly less lobed.
The fall 2023 selection is Cinnamon Girl distylium, which is about as low-maintenance as you can get for a well-formed evergreen shrub. Cinnamon Girl distylium is a great choice for landscapers, businesses and municipalities that need a clean look without the hassle of constant maintenance.
Cinnamon Girl gets its name from the crimson-colored new growth, which slowly reverts to blue-green. It keeps a nice, dense shape with minimal pruning and can handle nearly any growing conditions, with equal performance in sun or shade. There can be minimal late winter damage on new growth during hard freezes, but there are no long-term issues. Inconspicuous flowers are an added bonus in the spring for those who look closely.
The lagniappe addition to this group of Louisiana Super Plants is the Suncredible Saturn sunflower. Two years ago, Suncredible Yellow was inducted into the program. It’s just as prolific and vigorous as Yellow, but it comes with an extra splash of color in the form of a red-orange ring around the center.
The Louisiana Super Plant program is an LSU AgCenter educational and marketing campaign that highlights tough and beautiful plants that perform well throughout the state of Louisiana. Each spring and fall, AgCenter horticulturists announce the Louisiana Super Plants selections for that year. Louisiana Super Plants have a proven record with many years of reliable performance in Louisiana landscapes or have gone through several years of university evaluations and observations. Look for these plants at local nurseries.
Peggy Martin rose. LSU AgCenter photo
Blue My Mind. LSU AgCenter photo
Blue Daze. LSU AgCenter photo
Cinnamon Girl distylium. LSU AgCenter photo
Suncredible Saturn. LSU AgCenter photo