Perennial of the Year
Perennial of the Year 2020
Aralia 'Sun King'
The Perennial Plant Association revealed their pick Aug. 1 during the PPA National Symposium in Chicago.
'Sun King' has a tropical look, but it's a fast-growing perennial that's hardy to USDA Zone 3 and grows to about 3 feet high and wide or larger in some cases. The large compound leaves measure up to 3 feet long, as well.
According to Walters Gardens, 'Sun King' emerges in mid-spring with bright gold leaves held on contrasting reddish-brown stems. If given at least a few hours of sun a day, the foliage will remain yellow all summer. In heavier shade, the foliage ranges from chartreuse to lime green.
It forms a large clump of foliage and produces racemes of small white flowers in mid to late summer followed by deep purple berries. It's a pollinator plant and is reportedly deer resistant.
For cultural information, go here.
'Sun King' is not patented and was brought to market by Barry Yinger.
Perennial of the Year 2019
Hardiness: USDA Zones 4 to 8, foliage may remain evergreen in warmer climates.
Light: Full sun to part shade.