B. Rosie Lerner
Purdue Extension


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Brunnera macrophylla 'Jack Frost' 2012 Perennial Plant of the Year™

Brunnera with blue blooms
Brunnera macrophylla 'Jack Frost'  - photo courtesy of Walter's Gardens

And the winner is, Brunnera macrophylla 'Jack Frost' for the Perennial Plant Association Perennial of the Year!

Known as Siberian bugloss by many longtime gardeners, Brunnera macrophylla is a hardy (native to Siberia), low-growing clump-former, reaching 18 inches tall and wide. Brunneras are generally grown for their lovely small blue spring flowers that remind of forget-me-not. 'Jack Frost' is particularly notable for all-season interest with striking silver leaves with contrasting green venation and leaf edge.

brunnera green border plant
Brunnera macrophylla 'Jack Frost' - photo courtesy of Walter's Gardens

Brunnera is an excellent plant for edging the flower border and container collections, as well as a companion to other shade-loving perennials, such as hosta, ferns and epimedium. Like most shade-loving perennials, Brunnera thrives in partial shade and moist, well-drained soil. Morning sun followed by afternoon shade is ideal.

The Perennial Plant Association selects a different perennial plant each year to promote throughout the nursery and gardening industry. Members of the PPA are invited to nominate plants based on several criteria, including low maintenance requirements, adaptability to a wide range of climates, pest and disease resistance, wide availability, multiple seasons of interest in the garden and ease of propagation. A PPA committee then narrows the field to 3-4 choices from which the members cast their votes.

Previous PPA Perennial of the Year winners.

 2011 Amsonia hubrichtii
2010 Baptisia australis
2009 Hakonechloa macra 'Aureola'
2008 Geranium 'Rozanne'
2007 Nepeta 'Walker's Low'
2006 Dianthus gratianopolitanus 'Feuerhexe'
 2005 Helleborus x hybridus
2004 Athyrium niponicum 'Pictum'
 2003 Leucanthemum 'Becky'
2002 Phlox 'David'
2001 Calamagrostis x acutiflora 'Karl Foerster'
2000 Scabiosa columbaria 'Butterfly Blue'
1999 Rudbeckia fulgida var. sullivantii 'Goldsturm'
1998 Echinacea purpurea 'Magnus'
1997 Salvia 'Mainacht' (May Night)
 1996 Penstemon digitalis 'Husker Red'
1995 Perovskia atriplicifolia
1994 Astilbe 'Sprite'
1993 Veronica 'Sunny Border Blue'
1992 Coreopsis verticillata 'Moonbeam'
1991 Heuchera micrantha 'Palace Purple'
1990 Phlox stolonifera



Writer: B. Rosie Lerner
Editor: Olivia Maddox