The Perennial Plant Association has named the 2009 Perennial of the Year and it is Hakonechloa macra ‘Aureola' .
Each year the Plant of the Year is chosen by a vote from the Perennial Plant Association members. Members nominate plants for Plant of the Year based on the following criteria:
- Suitable for a wide range of climatic conditions
- Low maintenance
- Pest and disease resistant
- Readily available in the year of release
- Multiple season of ornamental interest
- Easily propagated by asexual or seed propagation
Otherwise known as Japanese Forest Grass, this plant grows in Zones 5 through 9 in full sun to part shade. It will take full sun in the north and requires at least part shade in the hotter south. It prefers moist hummus-rich, well drained soils and will not do well in heavy clay. It grows to 18” in height to 3’ wide.
The bright variegated color should succeed in brightening up dark shady places. I think broader leaved plants such as hostas or fatsias would make a nice contrast to the Japanese Forest Grass, as well as brightly colored oriental lilys or even impatiens. Alliums would be fascinating poking out of this stuff!
It makes a nice plant to view up close and personal and its weeping habit would certainly draw the eye down to the horizontal surface of any water feature or patio.
Isn’t it a beauty?!
I can’t wait to try it in my own garden this year!
This week, I'm hooked on perennials. To see what others are hooked on this Friday, go visit Hooked on Houses.