Perennial Plant of the Year


Perennial Plant of the Year 2018 Allium 'Millenium'

The Perennial Plant Association has chosen Allium ‘Millenium’ as the 2018 Perennial of the Year

This honor is bestowed upon plants that meet certain criteria, including suitability to a wide range of climate types, multiple-season interest, ease of culture, low maintenance requirements, and pest and disease resistance.

This hybrid ornamental onion was introduced in 2000 and has since proven itself as an interesting, easy-to grow addition to sunny perennial gardens. Its ornamental qualities include masses of 2” globe-shaped rosy purple flowers in midsummer, attractiveness to butterflies and bees, clumps of glossy deep green, grass-like foliage, adaptability to any well-drained soil, with no insect or disease problems. At 15-16” in height, it is useful in perennial beds, rock gardens, or borders.

Allium is a genus native to the northern hemisphere, with more than 900 species. The Allium family is best known for its edible members - onions, garlic, leeks and chives - and perhaps for the bulbous members of the family often sold in fall along with tulips, daffodils and other spring-blooming bulbs. The bulbous Alliums have foliage that dies back after bloom, but ‘Millenium’ foliage remains green and attractive all season. It has a long season of bloom, beginning in June and lasting into August, and even the spent flowers stay good-looking as they fade to tan. ‘Millenium’ is a complex hybrid from the extensive Allium breeding program of Mark McDonough, selected not only for its beauty and usefulness in the garden, but for its drought-resistant constitution. Its fibrous root structure and clumping growth habit make it easy to lift, divide and propagate, either in spring or fall.

Allium ‘Millenium’ makes an excellent garden companion for other perennials that prefer full sun. Try it with Russian Sage, whose lacy silver leaves make a foil for the bold deep green foliage of the Allium. All colors of Echinacea (coneflowers), from pink through hot orange, complement the lavender purple ball-like flowers of ‘Millenium’. Plant it with wispy white and pink Gaura or bold golden Rudbeckia to take advantage of contrasting flower colors and shapes.

Previous Perennial Plant of the Year Selections include:

     Asclepias tuberosa -                             
     'Orange Butterfly Weed
     2017 Perennial of the Year. 

Anemone x hybrida ‘Honorine Jobert’
2016 Perennial of the Year. 

Anemone Honorine Jobert
Photo from: Missouri Botanical Garden

Geranium x cantabrigiense ‘Biokovo’

     Geranium X Cantabrigiense ‘Biokovo’
2015 Perennial of the Year

Panicum ‘Northwind’           
Northwind Switch Grass    
2014 Perennial of the Year    

Panicum 'Northwind' Panicum 'Northwind'


     Polgonatum odoratum ‘Variegatum’

     2013 Perennial of the Year

Brunnera macrophylla ‘Jack Frost’    
Perennial of the Year     

     Amsonia hubrichtii
2011 Perennial of the Year

Baptisia australis     
2010 Perennial of the Year    


     Hakonechloa macra ‘Aureola’
     2009 Perennial of the Year

Geranium ‘Rozanne’     
2008 Perennial of the Year     


     Nepeta 'Walker's Low'
     2007 Perennial of the Year

Dianthus ’Firewitch’     
2006 Perennial of the Year    

2006 Dianthus Firewitch


     Helleborus orientalis - Hellebore
     2005 Perennial of the Year

Athyrium japonicum ‘Pictum’     
Japanese Painted Fern

2004 Perennial of the Year    


     Leuchanthemum ‘Becky’ –

     Shasta Daisy ‘Becky’
     2003 Perennial of the Year

Phlox paniculata ‘David’    

2002 Perennial of the Year    


     Calamagrostis ‘Karl Foerster’ – 

     Feather Reed Grass
     2001 Perennial of the Year

Scabiosa ‘Butterfly Blue’     

2000 Perennial of the Year    


     Rudbeckia ‘Goldsturm’ 

     1999 Perennial of the Year

Echinacea ‘Magnus’     

Purple Coneflower ‘Magnus’     

1998 Perennial of the Year     


     Salvia ‘May Night’ (Mainacht)

     1997 Perennial of the Year

Penstemon ‘Husker’ Red’      

1996 Perennial of the Year      


     Perovskia atriplicifolia --Russian Sage

     1995 Perennial of the Year

Astilbe simplicifolia 'Sprite'      

1994 Perennial of the Year      


     Veronica ‘Sunny Border Blue’

     1993 Perennial of the Year

Coreopsis Moonbeam     

1992 Perennial of the Year     


     Heuchera ‘Palace Purple’

     1991 Perennial of the Year

Phlox stolonifera – Woodland Phlox    

1990 Perennial of the Year     

1990 Phlox stolonifera.jpg

Photo Credit ~~ Walters Gardens ~~ Missouri Botanical Garden