Welcome to Prairie Bloom Flowers
A collection of flowers tested by K-State for the prairie climate
Prairie Bloom Perennial Flowers
About the Prairie Bloom program:
The Prairie Bloom collection consists of high performance perennial flowers of great vigor and spectacular bloom. These flower varieties have exhibited superior performances for at least 3-5 years in the K-State bedding plant research trials. They are the best of the best: flowers that grow and bloom like crazy with minimal care.
Flowering plant research is headquartered at the Horticulture Research and Extension Center in Olathe, KS with other trial sites in Wichita, Hays, and Colby. These sites encompass two USDA cold hardiness zones (5,6) and two American Horticulture Society heat tolerance zones (7,8). All varieties on the list grow well across the state, east to west and north to south.
Plants are rated for vigor, defined as how fast and how strong they grow and how much substance they have. They are also rated on floriferousness, or total overall visual impact of the flower display. The number of flowers, size of flowers, and how they are borne on the plant are important. Flowers that hang down with backs showing are not as pretty as those presented in profile. Ideally, flowers should tilt up to greet onlookers.
Flowering plant varieties in research trials are submitted by or collected from plant breeders and distributors from around the world. All varieties on the list are available from retail garden centers or mail-order plant companies. However, the list contains many varieties - no greenhouse, garden center, or nursery is likely to carry them all. The Prairie Bloom list is not a commercial brand or product line. Gardeners should look for the specific variety on the list i.e. not the generic daisy but the specific daisy variety 'Becky'. Not all daisies have great vigor and floriferousness when planted in Kansas soils and prairie climate. Plants at garden centers may or may not be labeled Prairie Bloom, so take the list to shop for specific varieties.
Perennial flowering plants on the Prairie Bloom list have been tested by K-State and been found to grow well in Kansas soils and transitional prairie climate. Some excellent plants that grow well are not included because they have not been tested. As more perennial flower trials are completed, more plants will be added to the Prairie Bloom collection.
An easy-to-print PDF version of the list is available to download free from the KSRE Bookstore. Click the full list below for pictures and more information on all the cultivars.
Shrub Rose Additions (PDF list)