The Perennial Plant Association has named Brunnera macrophylla ‘Jack Frost’ as the 2012 Perennial Plant of the Year. Like all brunneras, these are treasured for their shade tolerance and early baby-blue, forget-me-not looking flowers.
Brunnera macrophylla ‘Jack Frost’ has enchanting silvery leaves with green veins and a thin green edge. One common name for this perennial is heartleaf brunnera because the emerging leaf enlarges to a heart shape as it matures.
This plant thrives best in shady areas with good moisture retentive soils. It will tolerate morning sun if the soil conditions remain moist. By midday, shade is essential, particularly in our Triangle gardens.
From mid to late spring, blue, forget-me-not like flowers bloom in clusters several inches above the brilliant frosty silver leaves. The rough leaf texture makes this perennial less palatable to browsing deer.
‘Jack Frost’ can be used along the front of the shade border, is excellent in a container, or can be combined with other ground cover perennials such as hostas, ferns, and epimediums. The silver foliage lights up a dark garden from spring to fall. The plant is hardy from zones 3-8.
The Perennial Plant of the Year program 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.
Source www.perennialplant.org. Photo courtesy of Walters Gardens, Inc.