2016 PHS Gold Medal Winners


Cherry Tree Blossom. Pixabay Image

Chosen for beauty, performance and hardiness in our region.

The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society (PHS) selects plants each year that are easy to grow, pest free, and add beauty to the landscape for many seasons. If you are thinking about adding a new plant to your garden next spring, you might want to consider adding a Gold Medal Plant award winner. PHS has done all the homework for you, and you can trust their selections for being great performers!


Betula nigra ‘Fox Valley’ Little King – (Little King River Birch) is a great dwarf river birch. It stays small and compact, growing 8 to 10 feet tall and 9 to 12 feet wide. Great eye-catching fall color and it doesn’t mind clay soils and occasional flooding, making it a great candidate for rain gardens.

Prunus x yedoensis ‘Akebono’ – (Akebono Yoshimo Cherry) is a spectacular flowering cherry tree best known for its spring flowers. Growing 25 to 30 feet tall and 25 to 30 feet wide, you’ll see this popular species planted throughout DC.


Cotinus coggygria ‘Royal Purple’ – (Royal Purple Smokebush) adds great color and depth to a garden all season long. Has a dark/red/purple color in the spring and has wispy heads of pink flowers in the summer. In fall, the foliage turns a brilliant scarlet color. This is a great foliage shrub that can be cut back each winter. Likes full sun and water occasionally during dry periods.

Ilex verticillata ‘Red Sprite’ – (Red Spring Winter Berry Holly) grows 3 to 5 feet tall and wide. It’s a native, low-growing and has awesome bright red fruits in the winter. It creates a nice lush green backdrop for perennial gardens. Birds love the berries, and the deer don’t care for it. Likes full sun, moist soil. It must be planted near a male holly such as Ilex verticillata ‘Jim Dandy’.


Dryopteris erythorsora ‘Brilliance’ – (Brilliance Autumn Fern) loves shade and chosen for its red and bronze new foliage. It’s 18” tall by 18” wide, and you’ll love the pop of color in spring. Mature leaves are a perfect shade of green. Fern spreads through underground rhizomes to slowly colonize an area.

Heuchera villosa “Autumn Bride’ – (Autumn Bride Heuchera) can be used any where in the garden. They prefer part shade but can tolerate some sun. The large fuzzy green leaves makes a great groundcover. It’s very drought tolerant but does its best in rich, moist soils. Also deer resistant.

Hosta plantaginea – (August Lily) has shiny green foliage and the fragrant flower heads that emerge in August attract hummingbirds and butterflies. It’s the most heat tolerant of all hostas. Likes full to part shade and is adaptable to a variety of soil conditions as long as it is moist.

Symphyotrichum oblongifolium ‘October Skies’ – (October Skies Aster) is a great native aster with superior qualities. Likes full sun in well-draining soil, but also drought-tolerant once established. This aster is shorter (2 ft. tall by 2 ft. wide) and is best planted in masses. Adds great color to mixed beds later in the season.

There are some very exciting selections this year and we are anxious to incorporate some of them in our landscaping plans next season. You can’t go wrong with their choices! Thinking about some new landscaping this spring? Whitehouse Landscaping has the horticultural knowledge in landscaping to make sure the right plants are chosen for the right place insuring your landscape thrives and can be property maintained. Our design experience can create an outdoor space that is beautiful, distinctive, livable and truly sustainable.

Contact Whitehouse Landscaping at 484-300-4290 to learn more about our services.