CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- The Perennial Plant Association selected the Brunnera macrophylla'Jack Frost' as the 2012 Perennial Plant of the Year.
Siberian bugloss, brunnera, heartleaf brunnera and false forget-me-not are common names for this perennial. It grows 12 to 15 inches tall and will spread to 20 inches. With blue flowers in the spring, frosty-silver leaves with green veins throughout the growing season, it's a multiseason plant.
The Perennial Plant of the Year designation began in 1990 to showcase a perennial that is a standout among its competitors. Perennials chosen are suitable for a wide range of growing climates, require low maintenance, have multiple-season interest and are relatively pest- and disease-free.
If you are looking for an excellent perennial for your next landscape project or for something reliable for your gardens, make sure to check out the Perennial Plant of the Year archive list at www.perennialplant.org. For information about other perennials, be sure to search the website's plant database.
I wrote about 'Jack Frost' several years ago when it was included in Tracy DiSabato-Aust's book, "50 High-Impact, Low-Care Garden Plants."
The criteria for DiSabato-Aust's list of 50 include the high-impact traits of multiseason interest, colorful foliage, long-lasting bloom, outstanding texture and architectural form. Her checklist of low-maintenance criteria includes: long-lived, heat- and humidity-tolerant, cold-hardy, deer-resistant, insect- and disease-resistant, minimal or no deadheading required, prospers without heavy fertilizing, doesn't require staking, infrequent or no division required for four or more years, infrequent or no pruning required to maintain decent habit, appearance or best flowering, noninvasive and drought-tolerant. Each of the author's 50 plants meet many or most of these criteria.
DeSabato-Aust writes that 'Jack Frost' Siberian bugloss (Brunnera macrophylla) is a perennial favored for its silver-frosted heart-shaped leaves with green veins. After flowering with baby-blue flowers in April and May, the leaves continue to enlarge during the summer, eventually reaching 6 to 8 inches.
The Perennial Plant Association calls 'Jack Frost' a real scene-stealer and very adaptable.
"It fits along the front of a shade border, in a shade container, or naturalized along a stream bank. The silver coloring of the foliage lights up a darker garden from spring to fall