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The Flower Show

Gold Medal Plants

2020 gold medal plants web hero with logo

The PHS Gold Medal Plant Program is a resource for anyone looking for the perfect tree, shrub, vine, or perennial plant to add to their garden. Gold Medal Plants have been selected for their ease of cultivation, multiple seasons of interest, commercial availability, appropriateness for the Mid-Atlantic region, and value to wildlife.

Explore the Gold Medal Plant Database.

What Makes a Plant a “Gold Medal Plant”? 

Each year, PHS convenes nursery owners, horticulturists, expert gardeners, and professional growers to conduct a review of both newly available and classic species and cultivars, selecting the best performing and most beautiful for inclusion in the Gold Medal Program.  

How to Use the Gold Medal Plant Database 

Watch our user video on how to best navigate the database, including sorting, alphabetizing, viewing images, printing a shopping list, and more!

  • Place your cursor anywhere within the database. Scroll up and down within the database to navigate the listings. To expand a record in our ‘Plant Gallery’ view, just click into the box. Scroll within the record to see the attributes and growing conditions of the plant.
  • To browse our pre-sorted views, click the square switch icon in the upper left-hand corner of the database, just under the tab named Gold Medal Plant Database.
  • Enjoy browsing our decades of Gold Medal Plant expertise at your leisure!

2022 Gold Medal Plant Winners

1. Abelia x grandiflora ‘Little Richard’, glossy abelia

An ornamental shrub with alluring small, white flowers that bloom in late spring and early summer. In the fall, the foliage of this evergreen shrub changes to an orange-pink hue. ‘Little Richard’ is a fast-growing shrub that grows exceptionally well in containers, is deer resistant, and attracts pollinators. It is a great shrub for hardiness zones 6-9.

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Abelia x grandiflora ‘Little Richard’, glossy abelia

2. Acer x freemanii Autumn Blaze®, Freeman maple

A large native shade tree that has spectacular orange-red fall foliage. This native cultivar will cool surrounding temperatures, benefiting the environment by attracting native birds. It is also deer resistant. Autumn Blaze® is tolerant of dry and wet soils. It is hardy to zones 4-8.

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Acer x freemanii Autumn Blaze®, Freeman maple

3. Cornus kousa Scarlet Fire®, Kousa dogwood 

A flowering dogwood with magnificent, fuchsia-colored flowers. Scarlet Fire® adapts very well in many different climates and soils. It is a medium-growing tree that blooms within two years of being planted. Scarlet Fire® is a relatively new addition to the ornamental landscape with its deer and disease resistant tolerance. It is hardy to zones 5-8.

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Cornus kousa Scarlet Fire®, Kousa dogwood

4. Heuchera 'Caramel', coral bells

A perennial that works well in the landscape as a ground cover or for massing in the perennial border. ‘Caramel’ is a vigorous, clump-forming coral bells cultivar that features unique apricot foliage. It provides three seasons of interest: spring, summer, and fall. ‘Caramel’ is deer resistant. It is hardy to zones 4-9.

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Heuchera 'Caramel', coral bells

5. Ilex opaca 'Maryland Dwarf', American holly

A sun-loving, low-growing native holly that is shade tolerant and grows well in average to somewhat moist soil. This exceptional holly has broad spreading leaves that boost winter interest in the garden and landscape. It is beautiful in small garden spaces. ‘Maryland Dwarf’ is hardy to zones 6-9.    

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Ilex opaca 'Maryland Dwarf', American holly

6. Pycnanthemum muticum, mountain mint

A fragrant perennial with dark green leaves that taste like peppermint when crushed. This vigorous grower is not invasive like most other mints. It grows best in moist to medium moist soils, can be planted in meadows, and is a fantastic addition to a perennial garden. It also attracts pollinators and is one of the best perennials for deer resistance. Mountain mint is hardy in zones 4-8.

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Pycnanthemum muticum, mountain mint