Celebrate Earth Day in your garden–2002 Plants of the Year announced

Celebrate Earth Day in your garden–2002 Plants of the Year announced


2002 is the third year for the Plant of the Year Program sponsored by the Illinois Nurserymen’s Association (INA). The purpose of the program is to keep the general public informed about useful, hardy and aesthetically-pleasing plant material that is available by highlighting three different plants each year—a perennial, shrub and ornamental or shade tree. The 2002 selection for the Plants of the Year are:

Perennial – Anemone x hybrida, Japanese Anemone

Shrub – Fothergilla gardenii, Dwarf Fothergilla

Tree – Taxodium distichum, Bald Cypress

It is beneficial for the public to use plants selected as INA Plants of the Year in their landscape for many reasons, including:

l The selections are tolerant of many of Illinois’ climate and soil conditions.

l The selections will provide contrast and interest to the landscape.

l The increased variety of species planted in Illinois will deter severe disease and insect damage.

Planting trees and other plant materials is important because they can increase property values, reduce energy costs by modifying temperatures in and around homes, as well as acting as natural filters and purifying the air.

Each year a committee comprised of retailers, growers and landscapers decides on three plants to focus on that particular year. The selection criteria for the plants is as follows:

l Materials must be readily available.

l Materials must be statewide in distribution.

l Materials must not have any known major pest disease problems or invasive tendencies.

l Materials must exhibit outstanding characteristics yet remain underutilized.

Plant suggestions are made to the selection committee by more than 300 Illinois Certified Nursery Professionals (ICN Pros) statewide. Once the selection committee makes a decision on the three plants it wishes to highlight for the year, the INA Board of Directors must approve the committee’s decision before the plants are introduced to the INA membership. This announcement takes place the year prior to allow for preparation and growing time for nurseries.

Horticultural professionals worldwide are informed of the year’s selections each January during the INA’s annual trade show, Mid Am, and through various publications. The announcement is made to the general public during the spring retail/landscaping season. Garden centers, nurseries and landscapers have promotional materials for each plant that they may offer customers. These materials describe each plant’s common and botanical names, hardiness zone, growth rate, culture and outstanding qualities.

To receive a .TIF file of each of the 2002 Plants of the Year via e-mail, contact the INA office at 888-525-3900 or at kristen@ina-online.org.

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