May 22, 1998

Perennial of the Year

Echinacea purpurea 'Magnus' was selected as the Perennial of the Year for 1998 by the Perennial Plant Association. Purple Coneflower is native to the Midwestern plains, but like many American natives, it was first refined in Europe before reintroduction to the US. Magnus was selected by Magnus Nilsson for its rose-purple color and non-drooping nature of the petals. Magnus Purple Coneflower is easy to grow and tolerant of a wide range of conditions. It performs best in full sun to part shade in well-drained soils. Plants grow 2 to 4 feet tall and 2 feet wide.

Tree of the Year

Welcome! Welcome!

We would like to welcome James Romer to the horticulture extension staff.

James is the new Iowa Master Gardener Coordinator. In addition to coordinating the Master Gardener program in Iowa, he will assist in the home or consumer horticulture area. James received his Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture Education/Horticulture from Iowa State University in December, 1997. He will begin working on his Master's degree this summer.

James can be reached at (515)294-2336. His address is Reiman Gardens, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa 50011.

Perennials Tolerant of Dry Conditions

In addition to providing color in the garden, perennials can also be used as solutions to problem spots in the home landscape. Many landscapes have hot, dry sites that are difficult for many perennials. Drought tolerant perennials are the perfect solution for these dry sites. Below is a list of some perennials that, once established in the garden, will tolerate or even thrive in dry conditions.

Periodical Cicadas in Iowa, Again

The spectacle of last year's emergence of Brood III of the 17- year periodical cicadas in central, south-central and south-east Iowa is already becoming a dim memory. But there is a chance to relive the excitement of a periodical cicada emergence and not have to travel out of the state.

Peach Leaf Curl

Peach leaf curl has been a common disease problem this spring. This fungal disease causes peach leaves to appear puckered, thickened, and often reddish in color. Later in the season, upper surfaces of infected leaves turn gray. Diseased leaves fall from the tree prematurely.

Fruit yields are often reduced because the tree's energy is diverted into forming new leaves.