Water-Thrifty Plants

High Country Gardens introduces 10 new perennial plants for Spring 2012, including a new Red Yucca and a bright-colored Ice Plant.

From High Country Gardens, Brakelights Red Yucca, Hesperaloe parviflora Perpa PPAF

From High Country Gardens, Brakelights Red Yucca, Hesperaloe parviflora Perpa PPAF

courtesy High Country Gardens

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High Country Gardens is America’s premier source for “beautiful plants for the waterwise garden.” For Spring 2012, High Country Gardens continues its tradition of introducing exciting new perennial plants with selections that include the exclusive new Brakelights® Red Yucca (Hesperaloe parviflora ‘Perpa’ PPAF) and the shockingly bright-flowered ‘Fire Spinner’ Ice Plant (Delosperma ‘P001S’) that has been chosen a Plant Select Winner for 2012.

High Country Gardens is an award-winning source for water-thrifty native and adapted plants. The nationally recognized mailorder catalog and website specializes in easy-to-grow varieties that thrive in many areas of the country but grow particularly well in the climates of the western United States. High Country Gardens offers a wide range of perennials, ornamental grasses and shrubs including many water-wise (“xeric”) plants that need little or no extra water once established.

To receive a free Spring 2012 catalog, call High Country Gardens at 800-925-9387, or order a catalog and/or view the entire catalog online at the High Country Gardens website


Brakelights® Red Yucca (Hesperaloe parviflora ‘Perpa’ PPAF) 

The 2012 High Country Gardens “Plant of the Year”

The first truly red flowered Red Yucca, Brakelights® blooms all summer with attention-grabbing red flowers that are truly the color of brakelights. This new variety is also the longest blooming variety of Red Yucca, and its nectar-rich flowers look up at the sky and keep the hummingbirds coming into your yard all summer long. Brakelights is a semi-dwarf grower that is at least 1/3rd smaller than the typical Red Yucca, making it ideal for narrow “inferno strips” and other small but hot locations. The dark green, grassy non-spiny leaves are compact and evergreen, giving this beauty year-round interest. Brakelights is the result of over 10 years of breeding and evaluation by native plant expert Ron Gass of Phoenix, AZ. Heat loving and extremely cold tolerant, the plant thrives in hot, dry, full-sun conditions in well-drained soil. A HCG mail order exclusive! 30-inches tall (in flower) by 24 to 30-inches wide. USDA Zones 5-10. No. 1 pot $24.99 each, 3 or more $22.99 each.

Carpeting Pincushion Flower (Pterocephalus depressus) 

A showy perennial with a distinctive look in the garden, Pterocephalus is a marvelous groundcover species closely related to Scabiosa (Pincushion Flower). It grows as a mat of attractive gray-green crinkled leaves and blooms from late spring through summer with large 1-1/2-inch mauve-pink flowers followed by furry, silvery-pink seed heads. The dense, evergreen foliage tolerates light foot traffic and is a wonderful choice as crack filler in flagstone and pavers. Carpeting Pincushion Flower is native to the mountains of Morocco. Mature size is 2-inches tall and 15 to 18-inches wide. USDA zones 5-9. 2 1/2 -inch pot $6.99 each, 3 or more plants $6.49 each.

‘Fire Spinner’ Ice Plant (Delosperma ‘P001S’) 

‘Fire Spinner’ Ice Plant in full flower is the “Wow” plant of 2012. This South African’s vibrant tri-colored flowers are an amazing late-spring spectacle and cover the tight evergreen mat of succulent foliage. A heat-loving groundcover, it grows best in full sun and well drained sandy-loam soil (no rich, heavy loams or clay). ‘Fire Spinner’ is perfect for use in raised beds and in waterwise landscapes to plant into and cover gravel mulch. It is no surprise that this plant has been honored as a 2012 Plant Select® winner. This groundcover is just 1-inch tall, but each plant spreads to about 15 to 18-inches wide. USDA zones 6-10. 2 1/2-inch pot $6.99 each, 3 or more plants $6.49 each.

Kintzley’s Ghost® Vining Honeysuckle (Lonicera reticulata ‘Kintzley’s Ghost’) 

With showy late-spring yellow flowers followed by a summer-long display of large, unique silver bracts, Lonicera reticulata ‘Kintzley’s Ghost’ attracts a lot of attention. New to High Country Gardens this year, ‘Kintzley’s Ghost’ is a compact growing vine that is a good choice for patios, portals and mail box posts. Originally found and propagated by William ‘Ped’ Kintzley at the Iowa State University greenhouses in the 1880s and passed along to family members, this heirloom plant was just recently rediscovered growing in Fort Collins, Colorado. Easily grown in almost any soil in part- to full-sun. 8 to 12-feet tall and 3 to 5-feet wide. USDA Zones 4-8. 5-inch premium pot $9.99 each, 3 or more plants $9.49 each.

Agapanthus campanulatus ‘Albus’ (White Lily of the Nile) 

This graceful and cold-hardy selection of Lily of the Nile brings a touch of elegance wherever it grows and belongs in every perennial border. Glowing white 4-inch globes of flowers are held high over handsome, deep-green deciduous foliage. (It loses it leaves in winter, which is a characteristic of all cold-hardy Agapanthus.) ‘Albus’ is a vigorous, long-lived plant when grown in rich, moderately moist soil. It benefits from a heavy layer of mulch in advance of winter. This special, hard-to-find perennial is expected to sell out early in the season. 18 to 24-inches tall by 15 to 18-inches wide. USDA Zones 6-9. 5-inch premium pot $9.99 each, 3 or more plants $9.49 each.

Monarda ‘Peter’s Purple’ (Peter’s Purple Beebalm) 

‘Peter’s Purple’ is a xeric Monarda that will thrive in hot climates with challenging growing conditions. Because the deep-green foliage is completely resistant to powdery mildew, it is also a “must have” hummingbird plant for humid parts of the country with milder climates. A nectar-rich garden hybrid between Monarda bartlettii and Monarda fistulosa, this vigorous heat lover has a two-month display of showy lavender-purple flowers beginning in early summer. ‘Peter’s Purple’ is as beautiful as it is durable in the garden. Mature size is 40 to 48-inches tall and 18 to 24-inches wide in USDA Zones 6-10. 5-inch premium pot $9.99 each, 3 or more plants $9.49 each.

Veronica bombycina (Wooly Turkish Veronica) 

This stunning small-scale groundcover is covered with clear blue flowers in mid-spring. A durable perennial from Western Asia, it is the perfect plant for full sun and poor, fast-draining soils. Shear off the faded flowers to highlight the fabulous, furry white leaves that make a tidy mat of low-spreading stems. Best in arid, western climates, Veronica bombycina is excellent as a crack filler between bricks, pavers and flagstone. This groundcover is just 1 to 2-inches tall and spreads to 8 to 10-inches wide in USDA Zones 5-8. 2 1/2-inch pot $6.99 each, 3 or more plants $6.49 each.

Prunus andersonii (Desert Peach) 

This xeric beauty is a knockout in spring bloom with mature plants covered by showy, fragrant pink flowers. With spiny stems and small green leaves, this finely textured, low-care shrub is highly recommended for the western United States. Desert Peach provides excellent nesting habitat for song birds. The fruit are not edible, but they look like miniature peaches. This is a really “cool” but little-known native fruiting shrub from the rugged Great Basin region of Utah, Nevada and eastern California. 5 to 8-feet tall by 5 to 8-feet wide. USDA Zones 5-9. 5-inch premium pot $9.99 each, 3 or more plants $9.49 each.

Campsis radicans ‘Red Sunset’ (‘Red Sunset’ Native Trumpet Vine) 

This new selection of our beloved native vine, ‘Red Sunset’ was selected for its dazzling scarlet-red trumpets. A prolific bloomer, established plants will flower with great vigor all summer, keeping your neighborhood hummingbirds well-fed and happy. Provide a very sturdy trellis for this robust grower, or train it onto a fence you’d like to cover. Mulch heavily the first winter to help establish its deep, wide spreading roots. Mature size is 20 to 30-feet long by 3 to 5-feet wide (when trained upright). USDA Zones 4-10. 5-inch premium pot $9.99 each, 3 or more plants $9.49 each.

Euphorbia x ‘Blue Haze’ PP#14,868 (Blue Haze Spurge) 

This dazzling mid-spring bloomer has chartreuse-yellow flowers that light up hot, sunny flower beds. When the spring flowers are done, the equally outstanding powder-blue, evergreen foliage will hold your interest year-round. ‘Blue Haze’ is a compact grower with a semi-spreading habit and is ideal for use in patio containers or in the front of the perennial border. Plant it in your poorest, fastest-draining soil, and this sterile hybrid will always look good. Mature height is 6 to 8-inches and mature width is 12 to 15 inches. USDA Zones 6-10. 5-inch premium pot $8.99 each, 3 or more plants $8.49 each.