AND THE WINNER IS… 2017 PERENNIAL OF THE YEAR

The Perfect Perennial for Lakes Region Gardens

Asclepias tuberosa – butterfly weed


With all the ”buzz” about bees and butterflies, BUTTERFLY WEED is an excellent plant choice for the 2017 Perennial of the Year. Known for its ability to support insects and birds and serve as the primary caterpillar food for the beloved North American native Monarch butterfly, it puts out 3 months of tangerine/orange blooms on perfect little upright shrubs 24” tall and wide.

Hummingbirds, bees, beneficial insects, and other butterflies also love the flowers, which are laden with pollen and nectar. They grow best in full sun, are deer resistant, and tolerant of wet or dry soils. They are hardy to zones 3-9, and native throughout almost all of the Eastern states.

Since Asclepias tuberosa is a native prairie plant, butterfly weed is quite comfortable in meadow gardens, native plantings and wildlife sanctuaries but is finding its way into more formal to semi-formal urban gardens. Plant it in large masses, for an unrivaled display of eye-popping orange. Butterfly weed pairs well with summer blooming Phlox, Hemerocallis, Liatris, Echinacea, Salvia, and most of June/July sun-loving perennials.

The Perennial Plant of the Year showcases a perennial that is a standout among its competitors. Perennials chosen are suitable for a wide range of growing climates, require low maintenance, have multiple-season interest, and are relatively pest/disease-free. If you are looking for an excellent perennial for your next landscape project or something reliable for your gardens, make sure to check out the Perennial Plant of the Year™ archive list. At Miracle Farms we often chose plants on the list of past Perennial of the Year winners to be reliable bloomers year after year.

Here is the list we often choose from:

Previous PPA Perennial Plant of the Year winners:

  • 2016 Anemone × hybrida ‘Honorine Jobert’ (windflower)
  • 2015 Geranium ‘Biokova’ (dwarf cranesbill, hardy geranium)
  • 2014 Panicum virgatum ‘Northwind’ (tall switch grass)
  • 2013 Polygonatum odoratum variegatum (Solomon’s seal)
  • 2012 Brunnera macrophylla ‘Jack Frost’ (Siberian bugloss)
  • 2011 Amsonia hubrichtii (blue star)
  • 2010 Baptisia australis (blue false indigo)
  • 2009 Hakonechloa macra ‘Aureola’ (Japanese forest grass)
  • 2008 Geranium ‘Rozanne’ (cranesbill, hardy geranium)
  • 2007 Nepeta racemosa ‘Walker’s Low’ (catmint)
  • 2006 Dianthus ‘Feuerhexe’ (aka ‘Firewitch’) (cheddar pink)
  • 2005 Helleborus x hybridus (hellebore, Lenten rose)
  • 2004 Athyrium niponicum pictum (Japanese painted fern)
  • 2003 Leucanthemum x superbum ‘Becky’ (shasta daisy)
  • 2002 Phlox paniculata ‘David’ (garden phlox)
  • 2001 Calamagrostis x acutiflora ‘Karl Foerster’ (feather reed grass)
  • 2000 Scabiosa ‘Butterfly Blue’ (pincushion flower)
  • 1999 Rudbeckia fulgida sullivantii ‘Goldsturm’ (black-eyed Susan)
  • 1998 Echinacea purpurea ‘Magnus’ (purple coneflower)
  • 1997 Salvia x sylvestris ‘Mainacht’ (aka ‘May Night’ ) (wood sage)
  • 1996 Penstemon digitalis ‘Husker Red’ (beardtongue)
  • 1995 Perovskia atriplicifolia (Russian sage)
  • 1994 Astilbe ‘Sprite’ (dwarf astilbe)
  • 1993 Veronica ‘Sunny Border Blue’ (speedwell)
  • 1992 Coreopsis verticillata ‘Moonbeam’ (threadleaf coreopsis)
  • 1991 Heuchera micrantha diversifolia ‘Palace Purple’ (coral bells)
  • 1990 Phlox stolonifera (creeping phlox)