Heptacodium miconioides (Seven-son Flower)
Gold Medal Plant Winner
Image by Vincent Simeone

Heptacodium miconioides (Seven-son Flower) - 2019

Long Island Gold Medal winner Betula Nigra Little King
Image by Vincent Simeone

Betula nigra ‘Little King’ Fox Valley™ (Little King River Birch) - 2018

Gold Medal Plant vine 2010

Lonicera sempervirens, Trumpet Honeysuckle - 2010

Gold Medal Plant perennial 2009

Abelia x grandiflora ‘Rose Creek’, Dwarf Glossy Abelia - 2009

Gold Medal Plant perennial 2009

Carex morrowii ‘Ice Dance’, Variegated Evergreen Sedge - 2009

Gold Medal Plant tree 2000

Stewartia pseudocamellia, Japanese Stewartia - 2000

L.I Gold Medal Plant Program

The Long Island Gold Medal Plant Program began in 1999 and is administered by Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County. The mission of the Gold Medal Plant Program is to identify and promote exceptional ornamental plants that will thrive in the Long Island home landscape. Increased public education and awareness of sustainable plant selections are the main goals of the Program.

Four award-winning plants are selected each year, which may be trees, shrubs, perennials, vines, groundcovers, grasses, or annuals. Gold Medal Plant Winners are identified by the Plant Selection Committee, which is a volunteer group of horticulture professionals.

What is a Gold Medal Plant?

The Long Island Gold Medal Plant Program began in 1999 in an effort to promote exceptional under-utilized plants for Long Island gardens and landscapes. The selection committee represents a wide cross-section of the local nursery and landscape industry.

Why are Gold Medal Plants special?

  • Proven performance in Long Island garden settings
  • Pest-free with multi-season ornamental appeal
  • Adaptable to challenging landscape conditions
  • Easily grown by those of any skill level
  • Widely available from local wholesale/retail sources

2019 Award Winners

Deutzia gracilis (Slender Deutzia)
Gold Medal Plant Winners
Chamaecyparis thyoides (Atlantic White Cedar)
Gold Medal Plant Winners

Deutzia gracilis (Slender Deutzia)

This deciduous plant adds elegance and variety to the landscape with its mounded form and arching branches. Native to Japan but well-suited for Long Island, slender deutzia thrives in full sun or part shade in well-drained soil, and reaches a mature height of 2 to 4 feet. In mid to late May, the shrub is covered in white bell-shaped flowers that bloom from last year’s growth. Come fall, the slender ovate leaves change to yellows and reds, with cultivar ‘Nikko’ turning a beautiful burgundy. Cultivar ‘Chardonnay Pearl’ offers bright lime green leaves in spring and summer with red fall color. Perfect for the compact garden or mass planting, there are several other cultivars suitable for Long Island as well.

Chamaecyparis thyoides
(Atlantic White Cedar)

In natural settings, the Long Island native Atlantic white cedar can reach 50 feet in height and 40 feet in width. There are several cultivars available that highlight this tree’s ornamental qualities. Cultivars ‘Andelyensis’ and ‘Red Star’ are both very slow growing columnar forms and mature to a compact 15 to 25 feet. The soft blue-green needles of the juvenile tree mature to become more scale-like, and in late fall the foliage becomes plum-colored for added winter interest. Cones add an additional ornamental element with yellow, pollen-bearing cones in spring and purple-brown, seed-bearing cones in summer. Whether for a privacy screening, specimen planting, or back-of-border greenery, Atlantic white cedar will be a stand-out in your garden. Grows best in full sun and in moist organic soils.

Heptacodium miconioides (Seven-son Flower)
Gold Medal Plant Winner

Alchemilla mollis (Lady’s Mantle)
Gold Medal Plant Winner

Heptacodium miconioides
(Seven-son Flower)

Native to China, this deciduous shrub or small tree is similar in form to crape myrtle with its showy flowers and exfoliating bark. Growing to 15 to 20 feet, this plant is one of the first to break dormancy in spring, and one of the last to bloom. In August, clusters of fragrant, white flowers bloom at the ends of branches, which then transform to striking small fruit. The showy red to burgundy calyxes surrounding the fruit give a beautiful display, and the birds enjoy the treat in late fall as well. Can be grown as a single stem tree or multi-stemmed shrub. Plant in full sun to part shade; can tolerate salt spray.

Alchemilla mollis (Lady’s Mantle)

Native to eastern Europe, this clumping, mound-shaped perennial offers attractiveness along the garden path or repeated within a mixed border as it complements all designs. In June, clusters of small star-shaped flowers borne on 1-foot stems cover the plants, giving this plant a max height of 24 inches while in bloom. The chartreuse flowers and wide serrated, lobed leaves perfectly capture droplets of water that reflect sunlight and more. To encourage a second bloom in late summer, deadhead in mid-July. Plant in full sun to shade in moist, organic soils; flowers best with more light.



Mina Vescera
Nursery and Landscape Specialist
631-727-7850 x 213

Last updated November 19, 2019