Take cowl – Nursery Administration


The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society has awarded its gold medal to seven exceptional plants specially selected for home gardens in the mid-Atlantic region.

The Gold Medal Plant program evaluates trees, shrubs, vines, and perennials for ease of cultivation, good commercial availability, and value to wildlife. Gold medalists offer gardeners several interesting seasons and are chosen for their hardiness in zones 5 through 7, although many are suitable for other regions as well.

Since 1979, outstanding wood plants have been awarded and promoted as part of the gold medal program. The program was originally designed by the well-known gardener Dr. J. Franklin Styer, who realized that gardeners needed to learn about superior wood plants for their landscapes.

In general, plants are nominated from submissions from home gardeners, horticulturists, horticulturists, landscape architects, tree nursery owners and plant propagators.

After the nomination, the plants are checked by a committee of experienced gardeners through personal discussions and an evaluation tool. The Gold Medal Plant Committee annually recommends plants that meet the strict criteria for excellence.

Gardeners who purchase a gold medalized plant can be assured that the plant has the highest standard of beauty in the landscape, as well as being resistant to pests and diseases and easy to cultivate.

The winners of the 2021 gold medal facility are listed below. View previous winners in the Gold Medal Plant Database.

2021 gold medalist

Cercis canadensis ‘Appalachian Red’

Photo credit: Lisa Strovinsky

Appalachian Red, a variety of one of the best spring-flowering small indigenous trees in the mid-Atlantic, has clear, bright rose-pink flowers for 2-3 weeks in April that cover the bare branches of the tree before the foliage emerges. Suitable as a street or courtyard tree for compact spaces. Grows 15-25 ‘.

full sun, partial shade, medium water, wildlife value, deer-resistant

Rudbeckia ‘American Gold Rush’

Photo credit: George Weigel

This cheerful perennial is a slightly more compact selection of our native black-eyed susan with smaller, disease-resistant foliage that blooms from July through September. As an All America Selections winner, he grows 24 inches.

Sun, low water, medium water, pollinators, indigenous, deer resistant

Paeonia ‘Barcelona’

Photo credit: Lisa Strovinsky

A mix of a tree and an herbaceous peony, this selection contains dozens of fragrant, semi-double, sultry yellow 8-inch flowers arranged on sturdy stems that do not require staking. After flowering, the foliage will keep its lush green throughout the season. Grows 4 ‘.

Sun, medium water, deer-proof

Hydrangea paniculata Bobo®

Photo credit: George Weigel

This heavily flowering shrub is a dwarf variety with large, conical, white clusters of flowers that begin in midsummer and fade to pink and persist into autumn. Blooms on new wood, so tolerant of hard freezing and overcutting. A great choice for the front of the border or in a container. Grows 30-36 ”.

full sun, partial shade, medium water, deer resistant

Platanus x acerfolia exclamation! ™

Photo credit: Lisa Strovinsky

For over a century, London’s Planetree has been a classic urban tree, valued for its great proportions, pollution tolerance and beautiful peeling bark. Exclamation! ™ is an improved variety; slightly fruity, upright pyramidal habit and especially resistance to anthracnose, which leads to premature leaf drop Grows 60 ‘.

full sun, partial sun, shade, high water, medium water, low water

Sarcococca hookeriana ‘Fragrant Valley’

Photo credit: Lisa Strovinsky

This slowly spreading absorbent shrub is an elegant, evergreen ground cover with small, shiny foliage and is perfect for dry shade. A more compact, more uniform selection with tiny, wonderfully fragrant flowers in March. Grows 18 ”.

Partial shade, shade, medium water, low water, deer resistant

Dryopteris x australis

Photo credit: Lisa Strovinsky

Our native Dixie Wood fern is a wonderfully statuesque vertical element in the shade garden and has bright green, glossy, upright fronds that are mostly evergreen in winter. Grow 4-5 ‘.

Full shade, partial shade, medium water, deer resistant, indigenous