Perennial Plant of the Year


Anemone Honorine Jobert

Perennial Plant of the Year 2017

Asclepias tuberosa – Orange Butterfly Weed

The Perennial Plant Association has chosen Orange Butterfly Weed, Asclepias tuberosa,
as the 2017 Perennial of the Year.


This award 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.


With the increased interest in natural gardening and planting for beneficial insects and wildlife, it is no surprise that Orange Butterfly Weed has been chosen for this honor.  Asclepias tuberosa has long been a favorite choice of those wishing to add native plants to their gardens.  It occurs naturally over nearly the entire continental United States, and can be found growing in old fields and on slopes.  It prefers full sun, well-drained soils and is very drought tolerant. As a garden plant, it is completely hardy (zones 3-9), very easy-care, and provides many weeks of brilliant color.  Not only do the flowers attract many butterflies seeking nectar sources, but the foliage is a food source for the larvae of the monarch butterfly. Hummingbirds and other beneficial insects also find the flowers attractive. 


Butterfly weed grows from a long tap-root. The plants resent transplanting and do not divide well, so it is wise to choose the garden site carefully.  They are very late to emerge in the spring, often not until warm weather arrives in May or even early June.  They make excellent companions to other sun-loving perennials that bloom in June and July, such as Coreopsis, Crocosmia, Echinacea, Hemerocallis, Liatris, Platycodon and Veronica.

More information on Asclepias tuberosa can be found at the PPA website at this link:

Previous Perennial Plant of the Year Selections include:

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