Jeb Fields, Stagg, Jason
Although unusually harsh winter temperatures can cause quite a bit of damage in the landscape, they also provide a great opportunity to showcase some of the tougher plant material here at the Hammond Research Station Trial Gardens. During the week of January 15, the research station recorded temperatures as low as 14 F. This followed previous cold snaps as well as approximately 6” of snow in December. A number of plants proved to be remarkably resilient, and we have highlighted some industry favorites and some less widely known varieties to provide an example.
Salvia farinacea 'Rebel Child' - This particular variety of Salvia farinaceae, along with its family members ‘Augusta Duelberg’ and ‘Henry Duelberg’ are typically perennial salvias in Louisiana. Cold hardiness is evidenced by the new growth at the soil level.
Distylium 'Linebacker' – Distyliums are still new taxa of ornamental evergreen plants for the industry. Preformed as expected, showing no signs of cold damage. Look closely at photo to see inconspicuous flower buds that show during cooler weather months.
Thuga'Firechief' – Nice dwarf arborvitae for our region. The cool autumn initiated red shades of foliage, while colder temperatures pushed colors into bronze/rust. This variety should produce light green colored new growth in the spring.
Verbena 'Homestead Purple' – One of our most popular Louisiana Super Plant selections, this Verbena even demonstrates semi-evergreen qualities during unusually harsh winters as we are currently experiencing. The older damaged shoots can be removed in early spring.
The LSU AgCenter and the LSU College of Agriculture