Jan 3, 2024
Proven Winners ColorChoice shrub named 2024 Flower of the Year in Japan

Buddleia ‘Pugster Amethyst’, a Proven Winners ColorChoice variety, has earned the 2024 Flower of the Year award from the Japan Flower Selections Association (JFA).

Nominated plants are judged for their performance and impact in both field and greenhouse examinations at Chiba University. From these season long trials, award winners are chosen in three categories: cut flowers, potted plants, and garden plants.

In the most recent judging, sixty-one varieties were selected as award winners, and from those, one plant in each category received the top award, Flower of the Year. Buddleia ‘Pugster Amethyst’ won the top honor in the garden plant category.

“This [Plant of the Year] award is the most famous and prestigious one in Japan,” said Masashi Fujiwara, the marketing director at Hakusan, the company managing all the Proven Winners ColorChoice shrubs in Japan on behalf of Spring Meadow. “A New Standard for Good Flowers” is the motto of JFA, and it expresses their confidence in ‘Pugster Amethyst’ as the best new garden plant introduction in Japan this year.

‘Pugster Amethyst’ has large, amethyst-purple flowers that are fragrant and attract pollinators. It is deer resistant, and drought and heat tolerant.

Spring Meadow Nursery developed the Pugster series of buddleia in cooperation with the University of Connecticut. It offers a unique combination of full-sized flowers on a sturdy dwarf plant that reaches 2 feet in height and width. Pugster butterfly bushes bloom from early summer through frost and have thick, sturdy stems, improving their over-winter survival compared to other dwarf butterfly bushes.

The buddleia Pugster series has won awards in Europe, North America, and Japan.