2023 Perennial Plant of Year Named
The Perennial Plant Association has announced rudbeckia ‘American Gold Rush’ as the 2023 Perennial Plant of the Year. ‘American Gold Rush’ is a stunning addition to any garden, according to the association.
At the height of summer, it turns up the volume for a long season of dazzling color right up to autumnal frosts. The bright golden-yellow flowers feature arching rays and a reddish halo surrounding dark chocolate cones. Three-inch flowers blanket the compact plant, which is 22 to 27 inches tall with a broader width to 40 inches if given room to grow.
The green leaves and stems are covered in hairs, which give them a silvery cast — on sunny days, peeking through the blooms to the leaves is a luminous silver-and-gold treat. More than just boosting the ornamental show, the hairy foliage is resistant to Septoria leaf spot — a debilitating fungal disease that causes unsightly black spotting and premature seasonal decline on some Black-eyed Susans. ‘American Gold Rush’ is a reliable hardy perennial and a great substitute for popular, brassier ‘Goldsturm’, which is highly susceptible to leaf spotting.
Brent Horvath, owner of wholesale growing operation Intrinsic Perennial Gardens in Illinois, says of ‘American Gold Rush’, “I’ve always liked my plant introductions to speak for themselves and this one speaks volumes. From start to finish this plant is generally trouble free and easy to propagate, grow and finish in a container and a breeze to garden with.”
The PPA board of directors reviewed the nominated perennials and selected the finalists, which PPA members voted on to select the Perennial Plant of the Year. In addition, PPA members have access to a flyer, poster, bench card and other resources to assist with promoting the Perennial Plant of the Year.