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Selections for 2013

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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 2013

Specialty Fruit for Small Spaces

Miniature peaches, columnar apples, dwarf pomegranate, and dwarf patio type blueberries.

Many of the fruits we enjoy so much don’t fit well in today’s urban landscapes, especially the standard variety fruit trees. However, today’s breeding and production techniques bring us dwarf and miniature versions that fit in just about any space. Columnar apples, patio peaches, dwarf pomegranate and compact blueberries now make easy to enjoy fresh fruit right out our backdoors; and they are ornamental too!

  • Exposure: Full sun to part shade
  • Soil: Prefers moist, well-drained soil; blueberries require acidic soil (pH5)
  • Hardiness: USDA Zone 3-11 (varies by species)




Tree for 2013

Winterberry Euonymus

Euonymus bungeanus

Winterberry euonymus is a large shrub to small tree with pendulous branches and light green foliage. Flowers are yellowish-green but not showy. Fruits are pinkish capsules which split open at maturity revealing an orange aril (fleshy seed covering). Fall color can be yellow to orange and red. Bark is green with a rough texture and is also quite attractive. Winterberry grows 15’-24’ high and just about as wide. It is very adaptable and quite drought tolerant. It is mostly resistant to scale insects that are common on other euonymus species. Winterberry makes a great patio or specimen tree.

  • Exposure: Full sun to part shade
  • Soil: Tolerates a wide range of soils
  • Hardiness: USDA Zone 4-7




Shrub for 2013

Chaste Tree

Vitex spp.

Vitex is a multi-stemmed large shrub, but can be trained into a small tree. Leaves are palmately compound and dark green. Flowers appear in early summer and continue to bloom sporadically through summer and fall. Flowers of Vitex can be blue, lavender, pink or white. Old strains had small spikes of flowers; improved varieties have large spikes (8” to 12” long) of colorful flowers that are fragrant and make excellent cut flowers. Vitex is not too picky of soils and is easy to grow, very heat, drought and pest tolerant and an excellent choice for a xeric garden. Vitex is often considered an excellent replacement for lilacs, which grow much better in colder climates, and it attracts butterflies and hummingbirds.

  • Exposure: Sun to part shade
  • Soil: Moist, well-drained
  • Hardiness: USDA Zone 4-9




Perennial for 2013


Nepeta x faassenii 'Walker's Low'

Walker’s Low Catmint was the Perennial Plant of the Year in 2007 and is an easy to grow, pest free perennial. This hybrid Nepeta develops into a mound of aromatic, grayish green foliage. Lavender-blue flowers appear in spring and continue to bloom if properly pruned by trimming after initial flowering. Walker’s Low grows 1 to 2 feet high and 1 ½ to 3 feet wide and can be used as edging or in a border, herb or rock garden, naturalized area, as groundcover, or is quite attractive spilling over the edge of a wall. Nepeta attracts bees and butterflies. It also tolerates some shade, dry, rocky soil, and is quite drought and deer resistant.

  • Exposure: Sun, part shade
  • Soil: Moist, well-drained
  • Hardiness: USDA Zone 3-8




Annual for 2013

Dakota Gold, Sneezeweed

Helenium 'Dakota Gold'

Common names for Helenium include sneezeweed and bitterweed, a native wildflower of Texas. Dakota Gold is a cultivar with excellent ornamental qualities and because it is native to Texas it is also very tough and tolerates heat and dry conditions. Dakota Gold grows as low, 6” to 8” mounded cushions, of fine, dark green foliage covered with golden yellow flowers all summer long. Dakota Gold looks great in beds, containers, rock gardens, borders, and as an accent.

  • Exposure: Full sun
  • Soil: Almost any soil (well-drained)
  • Hardiness: Use as an annual