Briggs Plant Propagators, industry leaders in micropropagation and the nation’s largest producer and grower of rhododendrons, is right in step with the growing trend to decorate landscapes with trusted plants in fashionable colors. New varieties for 2011:
Rhododendron ‘Florence Parks’
A cross between ‘Roseum Elegans’ and ‘Olin O Dobbs’, ‘Florence Parks’ is a heavy flowering, very hardy plant with dark green foliage that forms a broad star-like whorl, providing a nice backdrop for its abundant deep purple flowers. This midseason bloomer will reach 5 feet tall and 6 feet wide. Full sun to light shade. Zone 4.
A Hachmann hybrid, this rhodie’s nice green foliage and deep red buds open into fiery red trusses of 9 to 11 flowers. This mid- to late-season compact hybrid will look great in beds and borders, as a specimen or in groups of 3 or 5. Grows 3 feet tall and wide. Full sun to light shade. Zone 6.
Hakonechloa macra Fubuki (‘Briform’)
The Japanese word fubuki translates to snowstorm, an apt name for a white-striped Japanese forest grass that can light up the shade. The stripes turn pink in autumn. Fubuki tends to be shorter than comparable cultivars, reaching 14 inches tall and 18 inches wide. Shade to partial sun. Zone 5.