ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Meet Jack Frost, Perennial Plant of the Year

Updated on June 10, 2015
Jack Frost's silvery white leaves add interest to the landscape, particularly at night. Dubbed "fully hardy" by the Royal Horticultural Society, it grows best in USDA Hardiness Zones 3-8.
Jack Frost's silvery white leaves add interest to the landscape, particularly at night. Dubbed "fully hardy" by the Royal Horticultural Society, it grows best in USDA Hardiness Zones 3-8. | Source
Jack Frost's flowers appear from mid to late spring. They look a lot like forget-me-nots.
Jack Frost's flowers appear from mid to late spring. They look a lot like forget-me-nots. | Source

Brunnera macrophylla 'Jack Frost,' the Perennial Plant Association's 2012 Perennial Plant of the Year, is a gorgeous low-maintenance shade perennial.

All candidates for Perennial Plant of the Year are easy to grow and easy to propagate. They perform well in a wide range of climates, and they add interest to landscapes throughout several seasons of the year.

Jack Frost, a.k.a. Siberian Bugloss, is no exception. Here are four great reasons to grow it.

Why Grow Jack Frost?

It's absolutely gorgeous.

For most of the year, Jack Frost's foliage makes it a standout plant. Its leaves are big and silvery white with green veins and deep green edges.

In spring, Jack Frost's blossoms steal the show as clusters of pretty blue flowers develop on long stalks that rise several inches above its intricately patterned leaves.

It's very versatile.

Brunnera macrophylla can perform so many functions in a shady landscape!

Use it as a groundcover, border plant or bed filler. It grows quickly, reaching 12 to 18-inches tall with a spread of about 18 inches. It also self seeds readily, so it's easy to naturalize. Jack Frost even grows well in containers!

It's shade tolerant.

Like all Brunneras, Jack Frost is a shade-loving woodland perennial that grows best in rich, consistently moist soil. In warm climates, such as the southern U.S., it grows best in full shade. In colder climates, it prefers morning sun.

It requires little care.

Once Jack Frost is established, it requires little care. In early spring, cut back its old leaves. In climates where winters are harsh, mulch it in the fall to provide protection during cold spells.

Other Top Candidates for 2012 Perennial of the Year

Each year, members of the Perennial Plant Association vote on four perennials. In 2010, Jack Frost was among the top contenders for the award, but Baptisia australis (Blue Wild Indigo) took the prize.

The competition in 2012 was just as tough, with many votes going to the three excellent candidates pictured right: Coral Bells (Heuchera ) ‘Caramel,' Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum ) ‘Northwind' and Pink Turtlehead (Chelone lyonii ) ‘Hot Lips’.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Heuchera (Coral Bells) Caramel was  a contender for the 2012 Perennial Plant of the Year.Panicum virgatum (Switchgrass) 'Northwind' was among the 4 plants considered for the prestigious award.Of 431 plants nominated, Chelone lyonii (Turtlehead) 'Hot Lips' was among the finalists.
Heuchera (Coral Bells) Caramel was  a contender for the 2012 Perennial Plant of the Year.
Heuchera (Coral Bells) Caramel was a contender for the 2012 Perennial Plant of the Year. | Source
Panicum virgatum (Switchgrass) 'Northwind' was among the 4 plants considered for the prestigious award.
Panicum virgatum (Switchgrass) 'Northwind' was among the 4 plants considered for the prestigious award. | Source
Of 431 plants nominated, Chelone lyonii (Turtlehead) 'Hot Lips' was among the finalists.
Of 431 plants nominated, Chelone lyonii (Turtlehead) 'Hot Lips' was among the finalists. | Source

Coral Bells (Heuchera ) ‘Caramel'

The Caramel Heuchera cultivar looks as good in a container as it does along a border. A robust, compact perennial with fuzzy, bright orange leaves, it grows about a foot tall and a little over a foot wide. Native to the southeastern U.S., Caramel is extremely tolerant of heat and humidity. It's hardy in USDA Zones 4-9.

Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum ) ‘Northwind'

Northwind is a fast-growing ornamental grass that reaches heights of five to six feet with a spread of three to five feet. It blooms in late summer and is hardy in USDA Zones 4-9. Unlike most grasses, Northwind's seed heads are located in the middle of the clump.

Pink Turtlehead (Chelone lyonii ) ‘Hot Lips’

Source

Pink Turtlehead (Chelone lyonii ) ‘Hot Lips’

Like Jack Frost, Turtlehead is a woodland perennial. It grows up to 3 1/2-feet tall with a spread of approximately two feet, so it makes a lovely backdrop for shorter plants. The Hot Lips cultivar is a long bloomer, producing showy pink flowers from late summer to early fall.

The name "turtlehead" is derived from the shape of the plant's flowers, which look like a turtle's head with its mouth open. Hot Lips prefers moist shade. It has deep bronze-green foliage and upright, red stems.

More Planting Ideas

"Low Maintenance Groundcovers That Suppress Weeds" These 5 perennial groundcovers grow thickly to choke out weeds.

"Bunny Tails Ornamental Grass" Grow this ornamental grass from seed for fuzzy blossoms that delight kids & adults alike.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • The Dirt Farmer profile imageAUTHOR

      Jill Spencer 

      7 years ago from United States

      You're very kind, Q. Thanks!

    • quester.ltd profile image

      quester.ltd 

      7 years ago

      I was so excited agbout moving to your next article I forget to vote this one up - so I had to come back to do that -

      good job and interesting as always

      Q

    • profile image

      The Dirt Farmer 

      7 years ago

      Thanks, Miss Mellie. I like that Coral Bell variety, too, because of the color. There's another one, Citronelle, that's bright yellow. Appreciate the feedback!

    • Miss Mellie profile image

      M.S. Ross 

      7 years ago

      The eye-catching juxtaposition of tiny, delicate blue blossoms popping up next to large, broad leaves really does create some notable interest. And the Coral Bells are certainly an attention-getter, too. It's so fun to discover a wider variety of plants than the typical fare usually found at home improvement stores. Voted up and useful.

    • The Dirt Farmer profile imageAUTHOR

      Jill Spencer 

      7 years ago from United States

      Thanks, tillsontitan!

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 

      7 years ago from New York

      Great article. Jack Frost looks interesting. I have very sandy soil and live in the northeast so its hard to grow things but all heuchera seem to do well here. Voted up.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)