Cary Award Winners 2018 2018-02-01T23:06:05+00:00


Atlantic Whitecedar
(Chamaecyparis thyoides)

Family: Cupressaceae

Description: Atlantic whitecedar (Chamaecyparis thyoides) is a wonderful evergreen tree, native to the eastern seaboard and known for it’s elegant blue-green foliage, beautiful winter presence, and decay resistant wood. Numerous cultivars give the discerning gardener many size options and foliar hues to choose from. Diminutive cultivars like ‘Versent’ grow slowly to 20” in 10 years and turns plum in the winter, while the straight species can reach 50’ or more. This pest-resistant conifer can be found in moist soils throughout it’s range, but it is well suited to average soils. Site in full sun and grow in hardiness zones 4-8. With such adaptability, and so many cultivars to choose from, it’s easy to see why this species and it’s cultivars are considered winners.

Key features:

  • Type/Habit: Evergreen tree
  • Key season and features of interest: Winter. Beautiful in winter when upright shape and form add interest to the dormant  landscape
  • Flowering Period: NA
  • Evergreen or deciduous: Evergreen
  • Native? North American native
  • Pollinator plant: N/A
  • Wildlife benefits: Provides cover for birds and small mammals
  • Site/condition  tolerance: Tolerant of moist soils
  • Sun/Shade Preference
  • Soil Condition Preference

Growth Habit: Species is an upright evergreen tree growing to 50’ or more at maturity. Various  cultivars provide a variety of size and shapes, as well as tolerance to wind, and winter coloration.

Size (mature height and spread): 50’ tall by 35-40’ wide. Smaller cultivars available.

Hardiness (USAD Zones): 4-8

Nativity: Eastern United States

Suggested Uses: A fine native, evergreen tree that can be used as a single specimen; for screening; and in areas with moist soils.  Blue-green foliage adds winter interest and provides a nice contract to other evergreen plants. Shelter from winter winds is recommended in colder zones.

Year of award: 2018

Bottlebrush Buckeye
(Aesculus parviflora)

Family: Sapindaceae

Description: Bottlebrush buckeye (Aesculus parviflora) is an exuberant North American shrub, well suited to woodland edges, or expansive shrub borders. Palmately compound leaves are tinged with red as they unfurl in spring, then settle into deep green with a tropical texture. In mid-July, when few other shrubs offer bloom, this shrub covers itself in upright panicles of tubular white flowers which sport enticing red anthers. Individual flowers are small but the effect of numerous 12” panicles over an 8-12’ shrub is of a cloud of white. It is beloved by pollinators and grows best in full sun in good garden soil. Allow plenty of room for it to sucker and spread. It is hardy in zones 4-8.

Key features:

  • Type/Habit: Multi-stemmed Shrub
  • Key season and features of interest: Summer blooming, large shrub suited to woodland edges, woodland gardens, large shrub borders
  • Flowering Period: July
  • Evergreen or deciduous: Deciduous
  • Native? North American native
  • Pollinator plant: Hummingbirds, honey and other bees
  • Wildlife benefits: Nectar plant for bees and hummingbirds
  • Site/condition tolerance: Tolerant of shade to partial shade, average soils, drought tolerant once established.
  • Sun/Shade Preference: Shade to partial shade
  • Soil Condition Preference: average
  • Pest and disease resistant, easily grown

Growth Habit: Multi-stemmed shrub which forms large thickets with time.

Size (mature height and spread): 8’-12’ tall by 12’ or more  wide

Hardiness (USAD Zones): 4-8

Nativity: South Eastern United States

Suggested Uses: Shrub border, native plant garden, naturalized.

Year of award: 2018