You can also view the full Prairie Star list on our other website and print an updated publication from the K-State Bookstore to take with you when you start shopping for flowers this spring. The next installment will feature the new additions in the "Containers" section.
The impressive Geranium 'Glitterati Ice Queen' was one of the toughest Geraniums in the trial, even with its glamorous variegated foliage. It brightens up displays with its white edged leaves and delicate red flowers.
If you're looking for low maintenance and drought tolerant flowers, try Gomphrena 'QIS Carmine' and 'QIS Red.' These tough plants bloomed all summer and are great for cutting to add to flower bouquets.
A new addition in the "Foliage" section of the Prairie Star list is the Ornamental Grass Pennisetum 'Sky Rocket.' These mounded plants grew about four feet high and displayed white variegated foliage and abundant plumes.
We don't see many Dahlias tough enough to make it on the Prairie Star list, but 'XXL Taxco' is a new addition this year. Featuring dark red flowers on stems long enough for cutting, it is a standout performer that bloomed all summer, especially late into September. We couldn't help but gush about how well it did at some of our demonstration gardens on our Facebook page this year!
Something a little different is Echibeckia - a cross between Echinacea (Coneflower) and Rudbeckia (Black-Eyed Susan). 'Summerina Orange' proved to be very uniform and displayed beautiful orange flowers. Although we did not trial it as a perennial it is supposed to be hardy in our Midwest zones.
Impatiens 'Bounce Pink Flame' is a hybrid that can be planted in sun or shade and is a solid patch of color. Unlike the traditional Impatiens walleriana, this hybrid is not susceptible to Impatiens Downy Mildew disease.
Dianthus 'Jolt Pink' is an All-American Selections (AAS) winner that did very well in our climate. The blooms are long-lasting and brightly colored.
If you want to attract some pollinators to your garden, there are three new Salvias on this list. The blue-flowered Salvia farinacea 'Mannequin Blue Mountain' is a prolific bloomer, and 'Playin the Blues' has tall flower spikes on large stocky plants. Salvia coccinea 'Summer Jewel White' is an AAS winner that thrives in the summer heat and is a favorite of the bees and butterflies.
The Canna 'Cannova' series is a trial garden standout. The plants thrive with little care and put on loads of big flowers. They're fairly compact for cannas, reaching heights of about three feet. There are even more colors coming that we will trial in 2016, so stay tuned...