Georgia Gold Medal Plant Program


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Armand ClematisClematis armandii

  • Category Vine
  • Winner for 2009
  • Hardiness Zone 7 to 9
  • Conditions Full Sun to Part Shade

Unlike other clematis that are prized for their flowers, Armand Clematis (Clematis armandii) would be a great vine, even if it didn’t flower. Its glossy, evergreen leaves are attractive year round and provide visual interest to fences, arbors, trellises, walls or pergolas.

Spring flowers are an added bonus of Armand Clematis. White, fragrant, star-shaped flowers appear as early as March and persist nearly a month. Flowers have a spicy, subtle fragrance that is not over-powering. Expect Armand Clematis to grow 20 to 30 feet by the end of two to three growing seasons.

Pride of Augusta Carolina JessamineGelsemium caroliniana

  • Category Vine
  • Winner for 2008
  • Hardiness Zone 7 to 10
  • Conditions Full Sun to Part Shade

Pride of Augusta is a double-flowering form of our native Carolina Jessamine, the state flower of South Carolina. Bloom time varies from February to April, depending on geographic location and location within the landscape. Although the spring bloom is most dramatic, additional blossoms are produced sporadically throughout the growing season.

Peak bloom lasts two to four weeks.|Like other Carolina Jessamines, Pride of Augusta needs help climbing a support, since it lacks the tendrils and holdfasts that other vines use to cling to a structure. Pride of Augusta Carolina Jessamine is a versatile vine. Not only does it adapt well to arbors, trellises and fences, it also can be used to cascade over large containers or walls.

Madison Confederate JasmineTrachelospermum jasminoides 'Madison'

  • Category Vine
  • Winner for 2007
  • Hardiness Zone 7 to 10
  • Conditions Full Sun to Part Shade

A tough, fragrant, evergreen vine, Confederate Jasmine has all the characteristics of a garden standout. Madison Confederate Jasmine is a fast-growing, twining, evergreen vine reaching 20 to 40 feet at maturity. It needs help climbing because it lacks clinging aerial roots.

Like clockwork each year creamy-white, phlox-like flowers emerge and overshadow the foliage. The five-pointed, star-shaped flowers are borne on short stalks and in clusters at the leaf axils of the previous season’s growth. Soon after flowering, the plant will enter a vigorous growth phase, so regular summer pruning and training are necessary to keep it in bounds.

Amethyst Falls WisteriaWisteria frutescens

  • Category Vine
  • Winner for 2006
  • Hardiness Zone 5 to 9
  • Conditions Full Sun to Part Shade

While the Asian types of wisteria may take 10 years or more to begin flowering, Amethyst Falls Wisteria begins flowering at one year of age. Flowering occurs on new growth of the season and is about two weeks later than that of the Asian types (late April to early May in Athens, Ga.), so late-winter frosts seldom affect flowering. If lightly trimmed after flowering, new shoots will produce a second flush of blooms in the summer.

Considered by some to be a dwarf wisteria, Amethyst Falls has smaller leaves and flowers than the Asian types. Flowers are fragrant, lavender-blue.

CrossvineBignonia capreolata

  • Category Vine
  • Winner for 2003
  • Hardiness Zone 6 to 9
  • Conditions Full Sun to Part Shade

Crossvine is a vigorous climber, reaching 30 to 50 feet. Thread-like tendrils along the stem wrap around nearby objects and help the plant climb up a structure. Small, root-like disks along the tendrils help them attach to concrete, brick and other porous structures. Leaves are lustrous, dark green, 2 to 6 inches long and a half to 2 inches wide, turning reddish-purple in winter.

Flowers are tubular, 1 and a half to 2 inches long and up to 1 and a half inches wide, brownish-red with a yellow-orange throat. They are borne in clusters of 2 to 5 flowers on short stalks in April. Flowering continues for three to four weeks with a few additional flowers opening sporadically throughout the season. They have a pleasant, mocha-like fragrance.

What is Georgia Gold Medal Plant Program (GGMP)?

The Georgia Gold Medal Plant Program promotes the use of superior ornamental plants in Georgia.

It represents the combined effort of the State Botanical Garden of Georgia; the University of Georgia Cooperative Extension; University faculty members; and nurserymen, flower growers, garden retailers and landscape professionals across the state.

Winners are chosen from five categories: Natives, Annuals, Perennials, Trees, Shrubs and Vines and Groundcovers.

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Tell us what plants you would like to nominate for the Georgia Gold Medal Plant Program.