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Selections for 2009

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Oklahoma Proven is a plant promotion program coordinated by faculty in the Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture at Oklahoma State University. The goal of the program is to recommend plants well-adapted for use across Oklahoma.


Collector's Choice for 2009

Persian Parrotia

Parrotia persica

Persian Parrotia is a small tree reaching only 20 to 30’ tall and can spread almost as wide. Interesting deep-maroon flowers appear in late winter. Leaves have a reddish color when appearing in spring, change to a lustrous green in summer, and can be a brilliant yellow or orange in fall. As the tree ages the bark exfoliates into patches of green, cream, and gray adding to the year-round interest of this tree. It is very heat and drought tolerant once established but appreciates some protection from the afternoon sun.

  • Exposure: Light shade
  • Soil: Moist, well-drained
  • Hardiness: USDA Hardiness Zone 5



Tree for 2009

Arizona Cypress

Cupressus arizonica

Arizona cypress is a drought tolerant, evergreen tree native to the southwestern United States. In the landscape it usually reaches a height of only 20’ to 25’ and 15’ wide. The foliage can be a gray-green but usually blue-foliage and recently yellow foliage forms are available in the trade. ‘Blue Ice’ and ‘Carolina Sapphire’ are common cultivars and ‘Cookes Peak’ is a selection from Cookes Peak, New Mexico with silvery-blue foliage and pyramidal form (see photograph). Arizona cypress require well-drained soil and thrive in hot, dry environments. As the tree ages, the bark exfoliates beautifully becoming mottled with patches of burnt orange and green.

  • Exposure: Full sun
  • Soil: Well-drained
  • Hardiness: USDA Zone 7




Shrub for 2009



There are two species of importance in the genus Aronia, Red Chokeberry (Aronia arbutifolia) and Black Chokeberry (Aronia melanocarpa). As their common names suggest, fruit color is the major difference between the two. Both produce clusters of white flowers in spring, have excellent red fall foliage, grow about 10’ high, and thrive in almost any soil type. ‘Brilliantissima’ is a popular cultivar of Red Chokeberry, chosen for its more compact size and abundance of red fruit. Both species are excellent wildlife plants, but Black Chokeberry gets a lot of attention as a “super fruit” for its high levels of antioxidants and can be used to make juice, jelly, or wine. Aronia work well massed in naturalized settings or at the back of a border since the stems are usually bare near the base leaving room for garden perennials.

  • Exposure: Sun to part shade
  • Soil: Tolerant of most soils
  • Hardiness: USDA Zone 4




Perennial for 2009

Mexican Feather Grass

Nassella tenuissima

Mexican feather grass is a fine textured clumping perennial that waves its silvery flowers in the slightest breeze. It is drought tolerant and tough despite its refined appearance and forms a clump almost two feet tall and three feet wide as the leaves arch to the sides. It tolerates a wide variety of conditions, but prefers well-drained soils and does not like to be cut to the ground in spring like other grasses. Remove only the top third of the plant to rejuvenate. It is native to prairies in Texas, New Mexico, and south to central Mexico and may reseed in the garden.

  • Exposure: Full sun to part shade
  • Soil: Well-drained
  • Hardiness: USDA Zone 7




Annual for 2009

Diamond Frost® Euphorbia

Euphorbia 'Inneuphdia'

Euphorbia is a fine-textured mounding plant used as an annual in Oklahoma. The simple white flowers bloom from spring until first frost and the plant forms a 2’ to 3’ sphere. Diamond Frost® can be used as a mass planting, alone in a container, or mixed with almost any other plant. Its fine sprays of foliage and flowers will weave through other plants making it a perfect complement for almost anything from poinsettias to petunias. It is an excellent background plant, filler, or specimen, proving to be an extremely beautiful and versatile new introduction.

  • Exposure: Full sun to part shade
  • Soil: Moist, well-drained
  • Hardiness: Use as an annual