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Eye candy at horticulture show

'Jade Princess,' an ornamental millet, has a blend of green, pink and brown flowers and gets 3 to 4 feet tall. (C) Jo Ellen Meyers Sharp

'Jade Princess,' an ornamental millet, has a blend of green, pink and brown flowers and gets 3 to 4 feet tall. (C) Jo Ellen Meyers Sharp

A few weeks ago, Irvin Etienne, a horticulturist from the Indianapolis Museum of Art and a fellow member of Garden Writers Association, and I went to OFA in Columbus, Ohio, the country’s largest horticulture show, a circus really, of new plants, better potting mixes, conveyor belts and watering machines.

There were several plants that I thought were spectacular, including a new, annual ornamental millet, ‘Jade Princess’ (Pennesetum glaucum) and ‘Blue Emotion’ Salvia farinacea or the annual sometimes called mealy cup sage. The millet had a rich molasses fragrance several feet away. The salvia’s tall, blue spikes were thick and richly colored.

'Blue Emotion' salvia gets about 20 inches tall and wide. (C) Jo Ellen Meyers Sharp

'Blue Emotion' salvia gets about 20 inches tall and wide. (C) Jo Ellen Meyers Sharp

I also could tell that interest in succulents remains on the rise, with several new introductions, including ‘Cante,’ an Echeverias, which is almost eerie in its brightness.

echeverias cante2

'Cante' Echeverias (C) Jo Ellen Meyers Sharp

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