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Medallion winners make great spring planting choices

The Mississippi Medallion program was established in 1996 by the Mississippi Nursery and Landscape Association to increase awareness of plant materials and to promote sales and production of ornamental plants in Mississippi. Compared to national campaigns like All-American Selections and Perennial Plant of the Year, the Mississippi Medallion Program focuses on plants adapted to the environment in Mississippi.

As we are all anticipating spring planting, consider purchasing plants selected as Mississippi Medallion winners for 2016 — serenita angelonia, muscadine, rosemary, drift rose and Cherokee purple tomato.

• Serenita angelonia – sometimes called summer snapdragon is a tough, heat tolerant annual that is available in colors of blue, blush and white. Serenita angelonia love full sun and will reach a height of 12 to 14 inches tall and wide.

• Muscadine – this native grape loves our heat and humidity! In late summer and early fall, they will reward you with fruit that is excellent for jelly, juice or wine. Good varieties to try are Carlos, Doreen or Noble.

• Rosemary – this aromatic herb is a favorite of mine. Plant it in full sun and a well-drained soil. Rosemary can be found in varieties that are upright or trailing. The trailing ones are especially nice in hanging baskets.

• Drift rose – drift rose is a low growing landscape rose that works great in small spaces, borders or containers. They come in a variety of colors, including pink, coral, red, white, peach and apricot. Plant them in full sun and a well-drained soil.

• Cherokee purple tomato – Cherokee purple is an heirloom tomato that is thought to have been grown by the Cherokee tribe in North Carolina. You will need to trellis or cage this plant, as it is a vigorous indeterminate grower. The fruit mature in mid-June and have a rich taste and purplish color.

With spring planting right around the corner — visit your local nurseries for these outstanding selections! They are guaranteed to perform well in our Mississippi gardens.

 

Rebecca Bates is director of the Lincoln County Cooperative Extension Service. To contact her, call 601-835-3460.