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

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

Lonicera sempervirens, Trumpet Honeysuckle - 2010

Lonicera sempervirens, Trumpet Honeysuckle - 2010

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

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

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

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

Stewartia pseudocamellia, Japanese Stewartia - 2000

Stewartia pseudocamellia, Japanese Stewartia - 2000

Long Island 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


2018 Award Winners


    

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

This native, deciduous tree has an exfoliating orange to brownish bark and diamond-shaped dark green leaves that turn yellow at the margins in the fall. Native to riverbanks and floodplains in New York, ‘Little King’ is a dense and multi-stemmed cultivar, which can grow to 20’ ft. tall with a 12 ft. spread. This tree is best grown in medium to wet soils in full sun to part shade. Ideal for wet sites or in a rain garden, this birch is also suitable for a lawn or park. Luckily, the river birch is one of the most disease free birches. Particularly hot summers can weaken the tree and make it susceptible to the bronze birch borer, but when grown in cool, northern climates, the river birch will thrive.


Taxodium distichum (Bald Cypress)

With soft, feathery yellow-green foliage that turns orange/cinnamon-brown in the fall, this pyramidal conifer is perfect for a unique landscape accent. Even though bald cypress gives the appearance of an evergreen tree, leaf drop in the fall is perfectly normal and its fall color display is outstanding. It grows up to 50’-70’ feet tall and its small cones change from purple-green to brown as they mature. Although bald cypress is native to southern U.S. swamps and bayous, when cultivated it can grow well in drier, upland soils. These trees, aside from very minor twig blight, experience few problems. ‘Cascade Falls’ is a compact, weeping form that can grow up to 20’ tall.







Polygonatum odoratum ‘Variegatum’
(Variegated Solomon’s Seal)

The greenish-white, tubular flowers of this herbaceous perennial have a fragrant aroma similar to lilies, and bloom from late spring to early summer. Following flowering, it’s the variegated white-edged leaves that make this the perfect summer-long perennial to spruce up a woodland garden or shady area of a rock garden. Come fall, the leaves turn a golden yellow for late-season interest, and then in spring elegant, new stems emerge with a lovely maroon-red tint that further enhances seasonal interest. Best grown in moist, organically-rich, and well drained soils in part-shade to full shade. This perennial grows 18 to 24 inches in height. No serious problems pose a threat.


Viburnum nudum ‘Winterthur’ and ‘Brandywine’
(Smooth Witherod)

This is a shrub with aromatic white flowers that appear in May to June, followed by clusters of berries that change color from pink to black. Its glossy, dark-green leaves are stunning. It’s suitable for average, medium to wet, well-drained soil in full sun to part shade and grows from 5 to 12 ft. tall. The ‘Brandywine’ cultivar is more compact at 5 to 6 ft. tall, and stands out due to the intense colors of its berries. ‘Winterthur’ is also a compact cultivar, but with glossier leaves. In fall, these gorgeously colored shrubs change color from maroon or orange to reddish-purple. Perfect for shrub borders, foundations, roadside plantings, or low spots near ponds or streams. Less susceptible to viburnum leaf beetle than other viburnum species.

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Contact

Mina Vescera
Nursery and Landscape Specialist
mv365@cornell.edu
631-727-7850 x 213

Last updated April 18, 2018