CSU RESEARCH: First Year Perennials with Superior Flowering from 2021 Perennial Trials

By James E. Klett, Ph.D., Colorado State University

The Perennial Trial Garden Committee at Colorado State University (CSU) met recently to determine which plants from our 2021 trial were “Superior First Year Flowering Perennials.” It should be noted that these Superior First Year Flowering Perennials were grown for only one summer but flowered so well so as to be designated as Superior First Year Flowering Perennials for 2021. First-year flowering is becoming an important trait in the industry.

Delphinium Delgenius Glitzy

Delphinium Delgenius Glitzy from Pacific Plug and Liner
Multiple spikes of blooms and huge flower size gave this plant an impressive display of color. Plants rebloomed after spent flowers were removed. The entire Delgenius series are strong per-formers in the garden and “Glitzy” is the newest addition to the series.

Echinacea SunMagic Vintage

Echinacea SunMagic Vintage series from Flamingo Holland / Bull Breeding
The SunMagic Vintage series is known for its compact plant size and uniform growth habit. Plants filled in fast the first year while blooms were noted for having lots of petals and for holding their color a long time. Even as flowers faded, the had attractive mottling. SunMagic Vintage Ruby was particularly appealing with a unique fluorescent color.

Kniphofia POCO Citron™

Kniphofia POCO Citron™ from Terra Nova Nurseries, Inc.
This plant was strong blooming in its first year from May into September. Plants were uniform and sword-like foliage creates unique texture for the garden. Blooms also make a good cut flower.

Lavandula Lavenzine Elegance

Lavandula Lavenzine Elegance from Pacific Plug and Liner
Plants were taller and bushier than many other lavenders. Flowers were unique with the longer spike and darker color. Plants were relatively low maintenance, uniform and had no pests.

Salvia Dark Matter™

Salvia Dark Matter™ from Danziger
Dark flowers are the inspiration for the name as the plants are covered in intense, dark blue flowers. Blooming starts early and plants rebloom all summer. Plants were recognized for good branching and great uniformity. It makes a great pollinator plant.