Plant Select: New Plants for 2023

Every year, Plant Select introduces a new set of plants to garden centers and wholesale suppliers! Plants are trialed and tested for 2-5 years at Denver Botanic Gardens, Colorado State University, and public and private gardens. Our 2023 new plant introductions include…

TUSHAR bluemat penstemon 

As our weather grows more extreme, we’re on the lookout for regionally native plants from harsh climates. 

TUSHAR bluemat penstemon (Penstemon xylus) is a tough and tiny penstemon from the Tushar Mountain range in Utah. It has bluish-lavender flowers from June to July and steel-blue foliage.  

This xeric penstemon is happy in gritty soils and full sun. Its size makes it ideal for rock gardens, troughs and crevice gardens.

If you’re looking for four-season beauty, this penstemon’s evergreen foliage is a bonus in winter gardens.

One of Plant Select's new plants for 2023: Ultra Violet Salvia

Ultra Violet Salvia

Ultra Violet Salvia (Salvia ‘Ultra Violet’ PP 21,411) is an exciting addition to the Plant Select program from horticulturist Lauren Springer. Hardy to zone 5, this western salvia is more cold hardy and compact than so many of the Salvia greggii types that are on the market.

It has iridescent, deep purple flowers that add a pop of color, particularly in a late summer garden. It starts blooming in July and will offer flowers into the fall. This flowering plant is xeric, establishes easily in the garden, and is both rabbit resistant and deer resistant. 

Better Homes and Gardens magazine lists it as a top perennial for dry sites. 

TIDY littleleaf peashrub is a large tree or small shrub--and one of the new 2023 plants for Plant Select

TIDY littleleaf peashrub 

TIDY littleleaf peashrub (Caragana microphylla ‘Tidy’) is a large shrub or small tree, depending on how you choose to train it. It has airy, bright green, fern-like foliage. In the spring, it produces showy yellow flowers.

This peashrub takes heat, intense cold, poor soil and xeric conditions in stride. It can be used as a windbreak, bird habitat or landscape tree. It adds graceful beauty to a winter garden, particularly when its stems are cloaked with a dusting of snow.

It was selected for reduced suckering, making it a perfect courtyard tree with a southwestern look.

Shimmer evening primrose has joined the Plant Select collection of plants.

Shimmer evening primrose 

Shimmer evening primrose (Oenothera fremontii ‘Shimmer’ PP19,663) is a great pollinator plant— attracting bees, sphinx moths and butterflies. It has cheerful, large, lemon-yellow flowers that bloom profusely in late spring and re-bloom in the summer and fall, filling the evening air with a beautiful scent.

Shimmer was first selected by horticulturists Lauren Springer and Scott Ogden for its narrow, grassy silver foliage mound, which is even more delightful when dotted with the bright yellow flowers.

It’s native to Kansas and Nebraska.

Bellina pink cornflower is an exciting introduction in the Plant Select program for 2023

Bellina pink cornflower 

Bellina pink cornflower (Psephellus simplicicaulis) is a well-behaved, small-scale groundcover that produces bright pink pincushions from spring through summer.

Bellina spreads slowly—eventually to 18” or more across. It has frilly, matte green leaves that have a silver hue on the underside, yielding a captivating texture. The showy, bachelor button-type flowers have pale pink centers.

There are very few xeric perennials that bloom as long or have such a delightful form and habit. Ideal for rock gardens, borders or even cut flowers.

SILVER TOTEM buffaloberry is a new Plant Select shrub.

SILVER TOTEM® buffaloberry 

SILVER TOTEM® buffaloberry (Shepherdia argentea ‘Totem’) has an upright, columnar growth habit, making it idea for many uses, including accents, privacy hedges, colonnades lining walkways, for separating the “rooms” of your garden, and for shielding unsightly parts of a yard (like a telephone pole).

In the spring, it produces small clusters of tiny yellow flowers before its narrow, silvery green leaves emerge. It’s ideal for sunny, dry locations. It tolerates heat and drought, but does equally well in moist conditions. 

SILVER TOTEM® is native to states across the western United States and central plains.

Visit our tab—Where to Buy—to find a grower or a garden center that offers Plant Select plants locally or online!