The DNLA Plants of the Year Program promotes great plants that are well-adapted to Delaware’s environment. Each year, the DNLA selects one herbaceous plant and one woody plant for use in Delaware landscapes. This year marks Delaware Nursery & Landscape Association’s Twenty-Third Annual Plant of the Year selection.
‘Standing Ovation’ little bluestem is a warm season grass with blue-green spikey stems and leaves. Leaves have a purplish caste at the base. Fluffy, light-catching seed clusters appear in late summer/fall. In fall, little bluestem turns an apricot color that brightens the winter landscape. ‘Standing Ovation’ has sturdy blades that are thicker than most bluestems, remaining sturdy even in richer garden soils. ‘Standing Ovation’ with its sturdy habit and excellent fall color makes a good accent or mass planting in a perennial or shrub border. Cut back in early spring to make room for new emerging leaves.
Woody: Taxodium distichum
Bald cypress is a pyramidal, deciduous conifer that grows 50-70 feet tall. It thrives in average to wet soils, preferring sandy soils, but tolerating anything from dry conditions to standing water. Trunks are buttressed at the base, often developing knobby root growths, called knees, when grown in water. Soft, yellow-green needles turn an attractive orange/cinnamon-brown in fall. Purplish green cones mature to brown. Bald cypress is a striking specimen tree for a variety of large areas since it tolerates a wide range of conditions.