I’ve Seen Them With My Own Eyes — They’re Huge!

By Abby Lapides

Hardworking hybridizers have been toiling over their fields, labs, and data, trying to come up with the plants with the biggest blooms, best disease resistance, along with outstanding vigor. Their hard work has paid off. We recently discovered these superior behemoths. These perennials have proven to be the biggest and best in their class.

As far as we know, ‘Grand Cascade’ Butterfly Bush, Buddleia (pictured), boasts the largest flower of all Butterfly Bushes. And, unlike most others, ‘Grand Cascade’ panicles cascade downward, similar to the look of weeping willow or a bridal wreath spirea.

Enormous 12-14 inches long and 4 inches thick light lavender flowers appear all summer into fall. Its remarkable flowers attract butterflies, bees, and hummingbirds that flock to their honey-scented blossoms. At 5 – 6 feet tall this shrub is the perfect height as a background for perennial borders, a spectacular specimen, or as a hedge.

Coreopsis ‘Super Star’ Tickseed, Coreopsis, has the largest blossoms of all Coreopsis. ‘Super Star’ Coreopsis brings massive flowers that just keep coming and coming. Its 2 1/2 – 3 inch flowers are brilliant yellow and deep crimson. ‘Super Star’ produces display after display of cheerful bi-color blossoms with vibrant red centers and fringed, yellow petals from spring through fall. It forms a compact mound of highly disease resistant, dark green foliage. Some professionals say ‘Super Star’ Coreopsis is the most exciting Coreopsis introduction in years.

Not new, but certainly the biggest, ‘Empress Wu’ Hosta is the largest Hosta in the world. Huge, massive, colossal, ‘Empress Wu’ Hosta is as big as they come. Gargantuan dark green, deeply veined leaves of good substance can measure more than 1 1⁄2 feet wide and long. ‘Empress Wu’ Hosta can grow as tall as 4 feet+ and spread 4-5 feet. Profuse huge leaves and strong upright habit create a spectacular very tall and wide clump. Pale reddish violet flowers appear just above ‘Empress Wu’ Hosta’s foliage in early to midsummer. Currently ‘Empress Wu’ Hosta is known as the biggest Hosta in the world with a record breaking leaf measurement of a whopping 61 cm.

For images, descriptions, and growing instructions for these and more plants visit www.sugarcreekgardens.com.