2021 Gold Medal Winners from the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society


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.  Plants are nominated from submissions by home gardeners, garden designers, horticulturists, landscape architects, nursery owners and propagators.  Once nominated, plants are reviewed by a committee of horticulturists.

If you are thinking about adding a new plant to your garden this 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.

This year’s winners for 2021 are two trees, a flowering shrub, an evergreen groundcover, and three perennial flowers.   All of the past winners who made the cut exhibit standards of excellence for pests and disease resistance, as well as ease of growing when planted and maintained properly.



Cercis Canadensis ‘Appalachian Red’ (Native Redbud). Photo Credit: Lisa Strovinsky

Cercis Canadensis ‘Appalachian Red’ –   You’ll love this native redbud.  It has bright rose-pink flowers cloaking the tree’s bare branches before the foliage emerges in early spring.  It does best in a ‘woodsy’ setting with well drained soil and grows 15-25’.

Platanus x acerfolia Exclamation! –    This is a fast growing tree that can reach 55 – 65 feet tall and 40 – 50 feet wide. It has beautiful exfoliating bark and is tolerant of and resistant to most abuses.  It likes full sun and is prized for its grand proportions.


Hydrangea paniculata Bobo. Photo Credit: Proven Winners

Hydrangea paniculata Bobo – This is a heavily flowering dwarf shrub that features large conical clusters of white flowers beginning in midsummer, which fade to pink and persist into the fall.  There’s no flopping and the flowers cover every inch of the plant.  Grows about 36” tall and wide at maturity.   Looks great tucked in smaller garden borders and in containers.   Plant in partial to full sun in northern climates.


Sarcococca hookeriana ‘Frangrant Valley (Sweet box). Photo Courtesy: Lisa Strovinsky

Sarcococca hookeriana ‘Fragrant Valley’ –  This is an amazing evergreen groundcover that sometimes is referred to as Sweet box ‘Fragrant Valley’.  It’s perfect for dry shade, it’s slow spreading, compact and has small white flowers that bloom in early spring.  It’s sweet smelling and grows about 18” tall and spreads three to four feet.


Rudbeckia ‘American Gold Rush’. Photo Credit: Walters Gardens

Rudbeckia ‘Amerian Gold Rush’ – This is a native perennial that blooms from July to September.  It is a great pollinator and deer resistant.  This selection has slightly smaller foliage that blooms brilliantly and heavily throughout its growing season and will grow two feet tall and likes full sun.  Is destined to be the new staple for landscapes!


Peony ‘Bartzella’. Photo Credit: Photo Credit: Walters Gardens

Peony ‘Bartzella’  –  This selection is a stately and long-blooming blend of herbaceous and tree-type peonies.  This Peony has fist-sized blooms of soft yellow with a pinkish-red throat and has dozens of fragrant blossoms arranged on sturdy stems that don’t require staking.  It grows about three to four feet tall and wide in full sun and blooms in June.  After flowering, foliage retains its rich green throughout the season.


Dryopteris x australis (Dixie Wood Fern. Photo Credit: Lisa Strovinsky

Dixie Wood Fern (Dryopteris x australis) – This clumping native fern will grow to four feet and has glossy, bright green upright fronds.  It’s a wonderful vertical element in the shade garden and stays mostly evergreen in winter.  Likes full or part shade, and is deer resistant.

There are some very exciting selections this year and we hope to incorporate some of them in our landscaping plans this year.  You can never go wrong with their choices.

Are you 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 or call 484-300-4290 to learn more about our services.