International Hardy Plant Union announces 2022 Innovation Award winners

Tomasz Michalik from Vitroflora (right.) won an award for the only true novelty at the ISU Summer Days and received two awards from Jonas Bengtsson for the same novelty – the Jury and Audience Award. Photo: Tina Banse

BOSKOOP, Netherlands: ISU, the International Hardy Plant Union, is proud to present ‘The Golden Quintet’ – five outstanding varieties that a panel of expert judges found to be superior in terms of visual appeal, pest and disease resistance, distinctness, uniformity and stability, and crowned with the ISU Perennial Innovation Award.

ISU Trial Commission at work with chairman Jonas Bengtsson (left standing) together with Ronald Houtman, KVBC (right standing) presenting the entries to members of the jury (Photo credit: Tina Banse).

More than 50 new perennial plants representing 27 genera were bedded out in the trial and display beds of Boskoop’s Royal Horticultural Society (KVBC).

The ISU Committee for Plant Evaluation awarded five new perennials. Committee Chairman, Jonas Bengtsson from Sweden, said that the trials provided valuable  insight into new perennial plants.

Agapanthus ‘Heidy’ (Pretty Heidy)

Grower Marco van Noort Breeding B.V. and breeder by Jan Zwetsloot scooped up the 2022 ISU Perennial Innovation Award for Agapanthus ‘Heidy’ (Pretty Heidy). The variety features dark blue blooms that rise above medium tall stems. The dark blue flowers have a light color with light blue stripes on the inside.  Long blooming season, as there are always new flower stalks. Suitable as a cut flower, but also as a large container plant. Very flowering, repeated flowering, flowers on different levels (height), beautiful dark flower buds, good color.

Flower height: 80 cm, max. height: 90 cm

Flower color: Dark blue

Agapanthus ‘Heidy’.

Flowering months: July-September

Exposure: full sun/half shade

Anemone hybrida GARDEN BREEZE `Pink touch

The jury praised award-winning Anemone hybrida GARDEN BREEZE `Pink touch´ from Vitroflora Grupa Producentów for its showy and unique flowers. This Anemone flowers profusingly.

Height (cm): leaves/with flowers: 60/90-100

Growth and habit (upright, compact …): Upright growth

Anemone hybrid Garden Breeze Pink Touch

Flower color: petals bicolor, front white, back purple/pink

Single flower: 4 cm diameter, semi-double

Foliage color: Dark green, glossy, compound, lobed foliage

Flowering period: August-September

Year of introduction: 2022-2023

The majority of perennial gardeners who participated in ISU Summer Days voted for the variety GARDEN BREEZE PINK TOUCH, which thus received a jury and a public award.


Heliopisis helianthoides Fire Twister.

Heliopsis helianthoides ‘Fire Twister

Sender: CNB, Netherlands

Description: vigorous, well-formed plants that need a little support, profuse flowering.

Leaf height: 70 cm

Flower height: 100 cm

Foliage color: Dark purple

Flower color: Orange/red

Unique Characteristics: Black stems/semi-double flowers

Flowering time: June-October

Habitat: Sun – Partial shade

Suitable Uses: Border

Hardiness zone: 4-9

Submergence: Yes

Deciduous: yes

Dry sale: yes

Available: since 2021

Plant breeder’s right: PPAF- EU PBR 56818

Limonium gmelinii ‘STE10’ (Dazzle Rocks)

Limonium gmelinii Dazzle Rocks.

Submitted by: Plantipp BV

Breeder: Peter van Steijn

Description: Limonium Dazzle Rocks was selected for its compact growth and large number of flowers per stem. Dazzle Rocks is broad and well branched. Because it is drought and heat resistant, it is perfect for planting with dry plants. It is also great for containers, rock gardens and landscaping. Plant Dazzle Rocks in full sun in an ideally sandy and well-drained soil. This Limonium is not only suitable for warm and dry climates, but also tolerates cold temperatures down to -30 º C. Limonium ‘STE10’ is more compact than conventional varieties. It also has a larger number of flowers. Highly recommended as a pot plant.

Height (cm): leaves/with flowers: about 40 cm

Flower color: blue-purpleSize and shape of single flower: average 3 mm in height and diameter, 7 mm in depth.

Size and shape of complete flowers: average 28.6 cm in height and 16.9 cm in diameter.

Foliage color: Green

Main flowering season: Early summer to autumn

Growth: Upright, compact

Year of introduction: 2020

Property rights: USA plant patent PP28,761 and EU PBR 20210420

Picture: Jo Bogaerts

Schizachyrium scoparium ‘Haha Tonka’.

Schizachyrium scoparium ‘Ha Ha Tonka’

Submitted by Future Plants, Netherlands

Breeder : Cassian Schmidt (Hermannshof)

Description: Short prairie grass with alternate leaves in basal shoots. Shoots and leaves densely covered with soft hairs about 3 mm long. Inverted ovate. Main shoots grow from base, no lateral branching. Beautiful bluish foliage, conspicuously more hairy than the species and other varieties, not sucking, very distinctive. Tolerates much heat.

Height: 50 cm, inflorescences up to 100 cm.

Main flowering time:September to end of November

Flower color: brown-purple

Year of introduction 2018

Property rights EU PBR EU55959, USPP 32.374, CAN PBR AF




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