Purple Mountain® Sun Daisy - Osteospermum barberiae var. compactum - from Plant Select® Purple Mountain® Sun Daisy - Osteospermum barberiae var. compactum - from Plant Select®

Plant Smarter With Plant Select®

Plant Select® is a regional plant introduction organization founded in 1997. As a collaboration between Colorado State University and Denver Botanic Gardens, the organization has brought together many of the region's best horticulturists, plant breeders, landscapers, and commercial plant growers with the goal of introducing regionally suitable plants for the Great Plains and Intermountain states.

The criteria used for the selection process is rather strict and includes the following ten attributes:

The plants must be:

  1. Durable
  2. Flourish with less water
  3. Thrive in a broad range of conditions
  4. Habitat-friendly
  5. Tough and resilient in challenging climates
  6. One of a kind/unique
  7. Resist disease & insects
  8. Long-lasting beauty
  9. Non-invasive
  10. Cold hardy

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Plant Select® & High Country Gardens

Over the last 25 years, these efforts have been wildly successful, currently having brought to the market 150 noteworthy plants - with new perennials added every year. Plants in the program include a wide range of native perennials, shrubs, and ornamental grasses, in addition to a wide-ranging assortment of cold-hardy species from Europe, Asia, and South Africa.

While the organization's focus is to introduce plants adapted to western growing conditions, gardeners elsewhere in the country have discovered that some of these plants are also suitable for the eastern half of the US as well.

As a founding member of the organization, High Country Gardens Chief Horticulturist David Salman discovered and developed six of the plants that were brought into the program:

David also helped to popularize and create a market through High Country Gardens for another handful of noteworthy plants, including Platinum® Dwarf Silver Leaf Salvia (Salvia daghestanica)Red Birds In A Tree (Scrophularia macrantha), and Undaunted® Ruby Muhly Grass (Muhlenbergia reverchonii), and others that were later brought into the program.

Heroes Of Horticulture

High Country Gardens has partnered with Plant Select® for many years to offer unique, tough, and reliable plants for the waterwise garden. Our partnership continues with Heroes of Horticulture! In this series, we'll feature some of the most well-known names in the industry, and highlight the hard work of the plant enthusiasts behind some of the most popular plants in the High Country Gardens catalog.

What makes a Hero of Horticulture? A Horticulture Hero has a passion for plants, is driven to understand and experiment with plants, and is not afraid to fail in pursuit of plant knowledge and discovery. Read on!


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