"Flowers always make people better, happier,
and more helpful:
they are sunshine, food and medicine to the soul."

~ Luther Burbank

What's New for 2019?

New Varieties

Check out a beautiful PowerPoint of our New Varieties for this year.

Adding new products to our offerings is a balancing act of customer requests, "filling-in" where we are lacking, refining what we already offer and the desire to bring you the best of the new varieties.

We are adding 53 new varieties for 2019: 44 perennials, 6 grasses, 2 ferns and 1 vegetable.

Breeders, especially Walters Gardens, continue to bring new and improved genetics to the horticultural world. Improved genetics means:

  • more robust growth
  • improved disease resistance
  • better flowering

Here are a few highlights of the new perennial varieties:
  • Allium Blue Eddy Alliums continue to be a popular choice for gardens and landscapes alike. Last season we sold out of Allium Millenium AND Summer Beauty! Blue Eddy is a great addition to our catalog. It has globes of showy, fragrant, pastel lavender-pink and very compact clumps of strongly swirling blue-grey, strap-like foliage are reminiscent of "small swirling eddies of water".
  • Echinacea BUTTERFLY Rainbow Marcella was requested frequently last season. What a beauty! With its two tone, coral and pink, aging to soft raspberry pink flowers it's a stunner wherever it's used.
  • Echinacea SOMBRERO Adobe Orange and Granada Gold make their appearance this season. Adobe Orange will replace Flamenco Orange and Granada Gold replaces Sandy Yellow.
  • Helleborus WEDDING PARTY First Dance has double, large, maroon-edged, light to medium yellow flowers. An unusual color for Lenten Rose and one we think your customers and clients will enjoy.
  • Heuchera x Mega Carmel is just what it says; huge foliage and substance with that beautiful caramel color. One look at these babies in trial and we had one customer who bought the whole crop!!
  • Heucherella x Pumpkin Spice is a much improved Heucherella x Sweet Tea.
  • Polygonatum biflorum nanum Prince Charming is the WNLA Perennial of the Year, and something you should consider for the landscape. Short, handsome and a dramatic groundcover in all seasons, but especially in the fall as the foliage turns gold and the large berries mature to dark purple.
  • Athyrium niponicum Regal Red replaces Burgundy Lace.
  • Matteuccia struthiopteris The King is a stunner! It is up to 50% larger than the species, with better heat tolerance. Best display is in a rich, moist location.
  • For 2019 we are adding these two sterile hybrids Miscanthus sinensis My Fair Maiden and Pennisetum alopecuroides Jambalaya. Currently we offer Miscanthus x giganteus and Miscanthus sinensis condensatus Cabaret, which are also sterile. Chicago Botanic Gardens did a study of Miscanthus and Pennisetum and decided to eliminate all Miscanthus and Pennisetum from the Gardens due to reseeding issues.
  • We don't want to lose these beautiful genera and want to encourage you to use sterile hybrids when planning gardens and landscapes. A couple suggestions: Miscanthus My Fair Maiden would make a great sub for Gracillimus. Pennisetum Jambalaya could replace Hameln.

NEW Northern Sunset Perennials for 2019

    GROUND CHERRY Aunt Molly
    AGASTACHE x Blue Boa (Blue Boa Hyssop)
    ALLIUM senescens Blue Eddy (Blue Eddy Onion)
    ALLIUM thunbergii Ozawa (Ozawa Japanese Onion)
    AMSONIA tabernaemontana Storm Cloud [Blue Star] (Storm Cloud Willow Bluestar)
    ARMERIA pseudarmeria BALLERINA Ballerina Red (Ballerina Red Sea Thrift)
    ASTILBE x chinensis Taquetii Hybrid Mix (Taquetii Hybrid Mix Astilbe)
    BAPTISIA x DECADENCE™ Cherries Jubilee (Cherries Jubilee Baptisia)
    COREOPSIS grandiflora SunKiss (SunKiss Tickseed)
    COREOPSIS x PERMATHREAD™ Blushing Pink (Blushing Pink Tickseed)
    COREOPSIS x PERMATHREAD™ Cherry Blast (Cherry Blast Tickseed)
    DELPHINIUM exaltatum (Tall Blue Larkspur)
    DIANTHUS carthusianorum (Clusterhead Pink)
    DIANTHUS x SCENT FIRST™ Coconut Surprise (Coconut Surprise Pinks)
    ECHINACEA x BUTTERFLY™ Rainbow Marcella (Rainbow Marcella Coneflower)
    ECHINACEA x SOMBRERO™ Adobe Orange (Sombrero Adobe Orange Coneflower)
    ECHINACEA x SOMBRERO Granada Gold (Sombrero Granada Gold Coneflower)
    HEDERA helix Thorndale (Thorndale Ivy)
    HELIOPSIS helianthoides Double Sunstruck (Double Sunstruck Sunflower)
    HELLEBORUS x WEDDING PARTY™ First Dance (First Dance Lenten Rose)
    HEMEROCALLIS purple RAINBOW RHYTHM™ Nosferatu (Nosferatu Daylily)
    HEMEROCALLIS red Ruby Stella (Ruby Stella Daylily)
    HEMEROCALLIS red RAINBOW RHYTHM™ Ruby Spider (Ruby Spider Daylily)
    HEUCHERA x Mega Caramel (Mega Caramel Coral Bells)
    HEUCHERA x DOLCE™ Appletini (Appletini Coral Bells)
    HEUCHERA x DOLCE Silver Gumdrop (Silver Gumdrop Coral Bells)
    HEUCHERA x PRIMO Black Pearl (Black Pearl Coral Bells)
    HEUCHERA x PRIMO Wild Rose (Wild Rose Coral Bells)
    X HEUCHERELLA x Pumpkin Spice (Pumpkin Spice Foamy Bells)
    HOSTA x Rhino Hide (Rhino Hide Hosta)
    LATHYRUS latifolius Pink Pearl (Pink Pearl Sweet Pea)
    LIATRIS spicata Kobold Original (Kobold Original Blazing-star)
    LIGULARIA x Bottle Rocket (Bottle Rocket Golden-ray)
    MONARDA didyma (Oswego Tea)
    MONARDA didyma PARDON MY Pardon My Pink (Pardon My Pink Beebalm)
    MONARDA x LEADING LADY Leading Lady Plum (Leading Lady Plum Bee Balm)
    MONARDA x SUGAR BUZZ™ Cherry Pops (Cherry Pops Bee Balm)
    NEPETA x faassenii Cat's Meow (Cat's Meow Catmint)
    NEPETA x faassenii Early Bird (Early Bird Catmint)
    PENSTEMON grandiflorus (Large-flowered Beardtongue)
    PEROVSKIA atriplicifolia Denim 'n Lace
    POLYGONATUM biflorum nanum Prince Charming (Prince Charming Solomon's-seal)
    PYCNANTHEMUM muticum (Smooth Mountain Mint)
    SALVIA nemorosa COLOR SPIRES™ Crystal Blue (Crystal Blue Sage)
    SMILACINA stellata (Starry Solomon's-seal)
    SOLIDAGO ulmifolia (Elm-leaved Goldenrod)
    ATHYRIUM niponicum Regal Red (Regal Red Fern)
    MATTEUCCIA struthiopteris The King (The King Ostrich Fern)
    ANDROPOGON gerardii Dancing Wind (Dancing Wind Big Bluestem)
    CAREX brevior (Plains Oval Sedge)
    CAREX comosa (Bristly Sedge)
    ELYMUS canadensis (Canada Wild Rye)
    MISCANTHUS sinensis My Fair Maiden™ (My Fair Maiden Grass)
    PENNISETUM alopecuroides Jambalaya™ (Jambalaya Fountain Grass)

Note: New variety photos courtesy of Walter's Gardens, Plant Haven and Terra Nova Nursery.


This past year has seen the rise of consumer concern with two issues -- the use of GMO seeds and the use of neonicotinoids. We thought we'd print our answers to give you a start.

2013_Rudbeckia First, we do not use GMO seeds for any of our vegetables, herbs or perennials. Actually, there are few food crops for which there are GMO varieties available. They include corn, soybeans, cotton (for cotton seed oil) squash, papaya, sugar beets that are refined into sugar, and alfalfa for animal feed. There are really no GMO varieties in herbs or perennials.

Second, there has been a lot of press lately about the use of neonicotinoids on ornamental crops. We limit the use of neonics on pollinator plants to those applications for which there is no viable alternative and use only according to label specifications. Since there is no definitive answer to the decline of bees, butterflies and other pollinators, our answer is PLANT MORE FLOWERS!!

There has been a "Growing Green" statement on this website for some time. The statement has now been updated to address the above issues. Visit our How We Grow page for more information.

Happy gardening!

Some Other Stuff

In the last several years, the State Nursery Inspectors have found Tobacco Rattle Virus (TRV) in our Dicentra spectabilis, Dicentra spectabilis Alba, Epimediums, and a few other crops. Unfortunately, our suppliers do not have virus tested plants available. Until we can be certain of the plant health, we will not be offering certain varieties. We will continue to offer some Dicentra varieties which are being produced in tissue culture and have been tested. We will continue to work with suppliers to obtain virus free plants. The State Nursery Inspectors also found POTY virus in our Dwarf Iris and many of the Tall Iris varieties. Again, until we can find virus free stock, we have discontinued all of the Dwarf and Tall Iris.

The phase-out period for the Wisconsin DNR NR 40 Invasive Species regulations has ended. The following is a list of varieties we no longer grow:

  • Aegopodium podagraria (Bishop's goutweed)
  • Akebia quinata (Fiveleaf akebia or Chocolate vine)
  • Ampelopsis brevipedunculata (Porcelain berry) including the variegated cultivar
  • Elymus arenarius or Leymus arenarius (Lyme grass or sand ryegrass)
  • Iris pseudacorus (Yellow iris)
  • Lysimachia nummularia (Moneywort) except the cultivar Aurea and yellow and gold leaf forms
  • Myosotis scorpioides (Aquatic forget-me-not)

There will be a new round of evaluations for invasiveness coming with the initial assessment completed in the winter of 2021. We will keep you informed of new regulations. Plant names keep changing. Using the "List of Names of Perennials", WISFLORA: Wisconsin Vascular Plant Species website, and the USDA Plants Database, we updated some of our plant names. You will see the changes especially in Hosta and Phlox. If we aren't listing the "accepted" name, you will find it as a botanical synonym followed by an asterisk (*).

Plants of the Year
Each year extraordinary plants are chosen to represent the best in their category. Here are the "plants of the year" this year:

2019_plant of the year

WNLA Plant of the Year is Polygonatum biflorum nanum 'Prince Charming' (Prince Charming Solomon's Seal). Learn more here.

2019_Perennnial of year

Perennial Plant of the Year: Stachys 'Hummelo'. Learn more at www.perennialplant.org

2019_hosta of the year

Hosta of the Year: Lakeside Paisley Print. Learn more at www.lotsahostas.com

2019_herb of the year

Herb of the Year: Anise-Hyssop. Learn more at http://www.iherb.org

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