By Kerry Ann Mendez
Each year the Perennial Plant Association selects one perennial to be the gold medalist. This is based on the input of green industry professionals nationwide. Winners must meet a number of criteria including:
Let's give a standing applause for the 2019 winner: Stachys monieri 'Hummelo'!
Although related to Lamb's Ear, it is dramatically different in many ways. 'Hummelo' is a clump-grower (not an aggressive spreader like Lamb's Ear), plus its rich green crinkled leaves don't have the same issues with humidity as Lamb's Ear. Dense clusters of rose-purple flower spikes will also emerge from the tidy foliage mounds in summer.
This drought and heat tolerant perennial is adored by pollinators but snubbed by deer and rabbits. Simply place 'Hummelo' in a sunny location with well drained soil and get ready for the cameras to start flashing! It will be hardy in Zones 4-8.